Leadership is a subject studied for many years in the pursuit to understand the topic. It is a complex phenomenon, better studied across a wide array of scholarly fields. No matter what one believes or understands about the subject, the reality about understanding leadership is that it is a multidimensional subject that is best viewed or studied from the theory perspective rather than from the maxim. Leadership is a process, which involves influence, which occurs within a group context and it involves goal attainment. These components are used to define leadership as a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. These four components provide direction to understanding leadership theory. This theory provides the best approach to understanding the subject because it is grounded in the use of scientifically collected data that is used to create an explanation and then recommendation for leaders and or leadership situations. One should recognize that the theory is based on the examination of the topic from the standpoint of an empirically based explanation, grounded in scientific evidence and theory.
Leadership: An Introduction
The word “leadership” has always confused people for many years. Constant attempts to solve, define, and better understand the subject have resulted in numerous conflicting definitions of the term, along with just as many different scholarly approaches to the study of the subject. Some will say, “to truly comprehend the topic, it requires a holistic understanding across a multitude of disciplines such as psychology, anthropology, sociology and several other fields of knowledge”, while others will tell you that they know exactly what the meaning of leadership is. The way leadership is defined and studied will depend on one's conception of leadership (Hunt, 2004). No matter what one believes about the subject, the truth about leadership is that it is a multidimensional subject that is best viewed or studied from the theory perspective rather than from the maxim.
To understand the theory perspective, we must first try to define what leadership actually is. The term “leadership” with so many different definitions, remains a very difficult term to agree on as it has a slightly different description depending on which scholarly sources you use. Take for instance the modern day understanding of leadership as being defined as, “a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal” (Northouse, 2013, - pp5). The Webster dictionary defines leadership as, “The activity of leading; or “the body of people who lead a group”. The Encarta dictionary defines leadership as, “the ability to guide, direct, or influence people”. As you can see, it is quite difficult to agree on a common definition of the term.
While there are multiple definitions of leadership that are slightly different, four components are central to the phenomenon of...