Current theories and Models of leadership

The topics of leadership and organizational culture have attracted considerable interest from both academics and practitioners. In modern World Leadership is taken as the most influencing factor of an Organization. Leaders are those people who make the organization move through definite path towards the success.

As the other topics in the field of Organizational Environment, there are numerous numbers of studies and very relative theories on Leadership.

The established study of Leadership includes.

Trait Theory

Group and Exchange Theory

Contingency Theory


Trait Theory

This theory is all about the traits present in a person. The main objective is to recognize those traits which can produce a good leader. As per the ancient scholars “The leaders are born not made”.

A theory called “The Great Person Theory” gave the right way to more realistic to the trait approach. This says that these traits are not totally in born but a mixture of nature and nurture means that the factors like Physiology, Society, and Economics have a great impact on the trait of a person which can make him a great leader.

Group and Exchange Theory

These theories have its root in social psychology. It says the leaders must have followers. And they must have some positive exchange between them i.e. Benefits, Rewards and Costs.

A recent study indicates that the leader and followers both affect each other in a great impact. Relevant to the Exchange view an approach are there, Leader-Member Exchange approach is in discussion, these says that Leader treats subordinate differently. In precise the both develop a dynamic relationship which affects the behavior of the both.

Contingency Theory

This can be treated as the extension of the trait theory which deals with the situational aspect of leadership. Numerous situational variables were identified but no solid theory could be formulated.

Fred Feeler test the hypothesis, he had formulated from the previous data findings. He develops a contingency model of leadership effectiveness. This contains the relationship between Leadership style and Favorableness of the situation.

There are some dimensions:

The Leader Member relationship.

The degree of the task structure.

The Leader’s position and power.

As per this theory the trainers is taught to diagnosis the situation to change it at optimization leadership style which match the situation. Some of the ways are as follows:

Spending more informal time with the follower.

Discuss task structure with them.

Raise the position power

Path Goal Theory

This theory has been derived from the motivational theory. The path goal theory attempts to explain the impact of the leader behavior has on subordinate motivation, satisfaction and performance.

These are of four major types.

Directive Leadership

Participative Leadership

Achievement oriented Leadership

Using these for types on the situational factor the leader attempt to influence subordinate’s perception and motivation. In other word the leader attempts to make the path to the goal for the subordinate as smooth AS possible. But the leader must depend on the situational variables present.

We were been discussing the traditional theories there are some other theories which has immerged most recently:





Are some important of theories which are in discussion.


The sociologist Max Weber described charismatic authority as “resting on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an individual person, and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained by him.” Charismatic authority is one of three forms of authority laid out in Weber’s tripartite classification of authority, the other two being traditional authority and rational-legal authority. The concept has acquired wide usage among sociologists.

Charismatic authority is ‘power legitimized on the basis of a leader’s exceptional personal qualities or the demonstration of extraordinary insight and accomplishment, which inspire loyalty and obedience from followers’. As such, it rests almost entirely on the leader; the absence of that leader for any reason can lead to the authority’s power dissolving. However, due to its idiosyncratic nature and lack of formal organization, charismatic authority depends much more strongly on the perceived legitimacy of the authority than Weber’s other forms of authority. For instance, a charismatic leader in a religious context might require an unchallenged belief that the leader has been touched by God, in the sense of a guru or prophet. Should the strength of this belief fade, the power of the charismatic leader can fade quickly, which is one of the ways in which this form of authority shows itself to be unstable. In contrast to the current popular use of the term charismatic leader, Weber saw charismatic authority not so much as character traits of the charismatic leader but as a relationship between the leader and his followers – much in the same way that Freud would transform Gustave Le Bon’s crowd psychology through the notion of identification and of an Ideal of the Ego. The validity of charisma is founded on its “recognition” by the leader’s followers (or “adepts” – A hanger). This recognition “is not (in authentic charisma) the grounds of legitimate, but a duty, for those who are chosen, in virtue of this call and of its confirmation, to recognize this quality.” Recognition” which is, psychologically, a completely personal abandon, full of faith, born either from enthusiasm or from necessity and hope. No prophet has seen his quality

Charismatic leadership is leadership based on the leader’s ability to communicate and behave in ways that reach followers on a basic, emotional way, to inspire and motivate. We often speak of some sports and political leaders as charismatic (or not) — an example being John F. Kennedy.

It’s difficult to identify the characteristics that make a leader “charismatic”, but they certainly include the ability to communicate on a very powerful emotional level, and probably include some personality traits.

Developing “charisma” is difficult, if not impossible for many people, but luckily charismatic leadership is not essential to be an effective leader. Many other characteristics are involved in leading effectively, and there is significant evidence to indicate that it simply is not necessary to have this elusive charisma to lead others well.

Relying on charisma to lead also can be problematic. For example, there have been many charismatic leaders who lack other leadership characteristics and skills (e.g. integrity) and lead their followers into situations that turn out horribly — think political leaders such as Stalin, Hitler, and even business leaders (Enron).

Finally, in organizations lead by charismatic leaders, there is a major problem regarding succession. What happens when a leader who relies on charisma leaves? Often the organization founders because the ability to lead rested with one person’s charisma.


Transformational leadership is defined as a leadership approach that engenders change in individuals and social systems. In its ideal form, it creates valuable and positive change in the followers with the end goal of developing followers into leaders. Enacted in its authentic form, transformational leadership enhances the motivation, morale and performance of his followers through a variety of mechanisms. These include connecting the follower’s sense of identity and self to the mission and the collective identity of the organization; being a role model for followers that inspires them; challenging followers to take greater ownership for their work, and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of followers, so the leader can align followers with tasks that optimize their performance. James MacGregor Burns (1978) [1] first introduced the concept of transforming leadership in his descriptive research on political leaders, but this term is now used in organizational psychology as well. According to Burns, transforming leadership is a process in which “leaders and followers help each other to advance to a higher level of morale and motivation”. Burns related to the difficulty in differentiation between management and leadership and claimed that the differences are in characteristics and behaviors. He established two concepts: “transforming leadership” and “transactional leadership”. According to Burns, the transforming approach creates significant change in the life of people and organizations. It redesigns perceptions and values, and changes expectations and aspirations of employees. Unlike in the transactional approach, it is not based on a “give and take” relationship, but on the leader’s personality, traits and ability to make a change through example, articulation of an energizing vision and challenging goals. Transforming leaders are idealized in the sense that they are a moral exemplar of working towards the benefit of the team, organization and/or community. Burns theorized that transforming and transactional leadership was mutually exclusive styles.

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Now 30 years of research and a number of meta-analyses have shown that transformational and transactional leadership positively predicts a wide variety of performance outcomes including individual, group and organizational level variables

The transformational leadership introduces four elements of full range of leadership:

Individualized Consideration

Intellectual Stimulation

Inspirational Motivation


An autocratic leadership style is one of domination and repression, similar to a dictatorship. This type of leadership maximally founded in an administration of a country. There are historical examples of the disadvantages and oppression of an autocratic leadership style. Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Fidel Castro are examples of the autocratic leadership style. Hitler and his administration were accountable for the deaths of millions of Jewish people. Stalin killed more than 3 million people through famines, executions and forced labor. Castro has total control over Cuba’s resources, resulting in food rationing and attempts by numerous residents to flee the country. An autocratic leader tells people what to do, issues orders and expects them to be abide by. It is said to be suitable to use an autocratic leadership style in definite situations in an urgent situation and when only the leader can make the decision. For example, only the leader can decide who to hire fire and promote. If the substitute to being autocratic is participative leadership, then it is clear that employees in most organizations don’t have a say in how much the salary should be after getting promoted.

Today, leadership still has some ancient and paternalistic fundamentals. We now expect people in charge of us to respect our opinions and to engage us in making important decisions. But we still generally prefer only one person to be in on the whole charge and we want that person to live up to certain paternalistic ideals. This form of leadership, however, is breaking down because there is a clash between the desire for leaders who know what they are doing and the realities of modern complexity and rapid change. The regular way to cheat this predicament is to say that leadership no longer means calling the shots, to say instead that it means being a good facilitator and coach.

When leadership is defined as promoting fresh directions and is not connected with position, then there is no longer any such thing as autocratic leadership. Yes, the person in charge of a group can make independent decisions but this is decision-making action, not leadership. On this view, leadership is always based on unofficial pressure or influence. Leadership can also be shown by example. The allusion of this move is that any time an executive makes a decision that affects the group’s interests or direction, the executive introduced as a manager but not showing leadership. In other words, leadership cannot be shown by telling people what to do. Still managers need to be autocratic at times, such as emergency and to decide conflict that cannot be resolved in any other way


Transactional leadership is a term used to classify a formally known group leadership theories that inquire the interactions between leaders and followers. A transactional leader focuses more on a series of “transactions”. These people is interested in looking out for oneself, having exchange benefits with their subordinates and clarify a sense of duty with rewards and punishments to reach goals.

Transactional leaders believe that people are motivated by reward or punishment. These leaders give clear instructions to followers about what their expectations are and when those expectations are fulfilled there are rewards in store for them and failure is severely punished. They allocate work to subordinates whether resources are there or absent.

Transactional leadership is based in contingency, in that reward or punishment is contingent upon performance.

Despite much research that highlights its limitations, Transactional Leadership is still a popular approach with many managers. Indeed, in the Leadership vs. Management spectrum, it is very much towards the management end of the scale.

The main limitation is the assumption of ‘rational man’, a person who is largely motivated by money and simple reward, and hence whose behavior is predictable. The underlying psychology is Behaviorism, including the Classical Conditioning of Pavlov and Skinner’s Operant Conditioning. These theories are largely based on controlled laboratory experiments (often with animals) and ignore complex emotional factors and social values.

In practice, there is sufficient truth in Behaviorism to sustain Transactional approaches. This is reinforced by the supply-and-demand situation of much employment, coupled with the effects of deeper needs, as in Maslow’s Hierarchy. When the demand for a skill outstrips the supply, then Transactional Leadership often is insufficient, and other approaches are more effective.

The transactional leader works through creating clear structures whereby it is clear what is required of their subordinates, and the rewards that they get for following orders. Punishments are not always mentioned, but they are also well-understood and formal systems of discipline are usually in place.

The early stage of Transactional Leadership is in negotiating the contract whereby the subordinate is given a salary and other benefits, and the company (and by implication the subordinate’s manager) gets authority over the subordinate.

When the Transactional Leader allocates work to a subordinate, they are considered to be fully responsible for it, whether or not they have the resources or capability to carry it out. When things go wrong, then the subordinate is considered to be personally at fault, and is punished for their failure (just as they are rewarded for succeeding).

The transactional leader often uses management by exception, working on the principle that if something is operating to defined (and hence expected) performance then it does not need attention. Exceptions to expectation require praise and reward for exceeding expectation, whilst some kind of corrective action is applied for performance below expectation.

Whereas Transformational Leadership has more of a ‘selling’ style, Transactional Leadership, once the contract is in place, takes a ‘telling’ style.

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Transactional leaders must understand what motivates their employees.

Ensure employees understand the reward system and how they can achieve the rewards.

Ensure that both reward and punishment systems are in place and are consistently exercised.

Provide constructive feedback throughout the work process.

Ensure that rewards and recognition are provided in a timely manner.

Situational Leadership Theory

Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard developed the situational model of leadership relates four different leadership styles to the follower’s confidence and ability to carry it out.

Most of the leadership training programs offered today attempt to help you discover the leadership style you exhibit and make you aware of its strengths and weaknesses.  However, a situational leadership style is not dictated by the leadership skills of the manager. The idea of situational leadership is more closely tied to using the style needed to be successful given the existing work environment being managed or the specific needs of the business.

The effective manager is able to utilize multiple leadership styles as conditions change.  This is the theory behind the concept of situational leadership.  Implementing situational leadership in an organization then becomes a matter of training managers to recognize the current work setting or employee situation and using the most effective leadership style given that specific challenge.

For example, delegating work to an employee that is ill prepared to accept that responsibility may result in the impression that the worker is incompetent.  This can lead to frustration for both the manager and worker.  Ironically, in some situations it is actually the manager’s inability to recognize the most effective leadership style, or refusal to switch styles, that is really the cause of an ineffective workforce.

Importance of the Leadership-Performance Relationship

During the past four decades, the impact of leadership styles on organizational performance has been a topic of interest among academics and practitioners working in the area of leadership. The style of leadership adopted is considered by some researchers to be particularly important in achieving organizational goals, and in evoking performance among subordinates Despite the widespread recognition of the significance and value of leadership, when studying the leadership literature, it is remarkable that the concept of leadership lacks consistency and agreement. Most of the leadership literature confuses the definition of effective leadership by failing to make clear distinctions in some definitions, such as between leaders and non-leaders, effective and ineffective leaders, as well as overlooking the definition of the levels of leadership Further, there has been limited research that has specifically addressed the relationship between leadership behavior and organizational performance. Despite these oversights, it is widely believed that leadership creates the vital link between organizational effectiveness and people’s performance at an organizational level Substantial numbers of management scholars have debated the effectiveness of leadership styles and behaviors In addition, much prior research has examined the assumed leadership-performance relationship, but it has examined a restricted number of leadership paradigms. This implies that different leadership paradigms could affect performance differently, depending on the context. Thus, when researching the leadership-performance relationship, the context needs to be taken into account and more paradigms need to be considered. Moreover, there are methodological problems with most existing studies. The majority of field studies have been cross-sectional in design, and the common-method bias often has been a problem when performance has been


Link between Leadership and Organizational Performance

Several reasons indicate that there should be a relationship between leadership and performance. The first reason relates to practice. Today’s intensive, dynamic markets feature innovation-based competition,

Price/performance rivalry, decreasing returns, and the creative destruction of existing competencies. Scholars and practitioners suggest that effective leadership behaviors can facilitate the improvement of performance when organizations face these new challenges Understanding the effects of leadership on performance is also important because leadership is viewed by

some researchers as one of the key driving forces for improving a firm’s performance. Effective leadership is seen as a potent source of management development and sustained competitive advantage for organizational performance improvement. For example, transactional

leadership helps organizations achieve their current objectives more efficiently by linking job performance to valued rewards and by ensuring employees have the resources needed to get the job done . Visionary

Leaders create a strategic vision of some future state, communicate that vision through framing and use of metaphor, model the vision by acting consistently, and build commitment towards the vision. Some scholars suggest that visionary leadership will result in high levels of cohesion, commitment, trust, motivation, and hence performance in the new organizational environments.

According to Mehra when some organizations seek efficient ways to enable them to outperform others, a longstanding approach is to focus on the effects of leadership. This is because team leaders are believed to play a pivotal role in shaping collective norms, helping teams cope with their environments, and coordinating collective action. This leader-centered perspective has provided valuable insights into the relationship between leadership and team performance. Some researchers have started to explore the strategic role of leadership, and investigate how to employ leadership paradigms and use leadership behavior to improve organizational performance. The reason for this is because intangible assets such as leadership styles, culture, skill and competence, and motivation are seen increasingly as key sources of strength in those firms that can combine people and processes and organizational performance. Previous research leads to the expectation that leadership paradigms will have direct effects on customer satisfaction, staff satisfaction, and financial performance. However, in general, the effects of leadership on organizational performance have not been well studied, according to House and Adyta’s review. House and Adyta (1997) criticized leadership studies for focusing excessively on superior-subordinate relationships to the exclusion of several other functions that leaders perform, and to the exclusion of organizational and environmental variables that are crucial to mediate the leadership-performance relationship. A further problem with existing leadership research is that the results depend on the level of analysis. House and Adyta (1997) distinguished micro-level research that focuses on the leader in

relation to his or her subordinates and immediate superiors, and macro-level research that focuses on the total organization and its environment. Other scholars also suggest that leaders and their leadership style influence both their subordinates and organizational outcomes.

Selection of Leadership development Initiatives

The models and competency frameworks detailed in the previous section are, in most cases, used as a basis for the development of leadership and management development provision within organizations as well as appraisal and performance review. It is beyond the scope of this report to offer a detailed review of the associated programmers and the range of leadership and management development initiatives available, however, we would like to introduce a number of approaches that we feel are particularly interesting in the manner in which they seek to develop the behaviors, skills and attitudes of leaders.

National and International Learning Experiences:

• Development Assignments (Lancaster University Management School)

• Transformational Thinking (Manchester University)

• Study Tour to Canada (King’s Fund)

• Duality Leadership Programmed (University of Birmingham)

Action Learning Sets (Nelson and Peddler)

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Modular Programmes:

• Experienced Chief Executives Development Programmed (King’s Fund and Lancaster University Management School)

• Drive for Results (Manchester University)


Prior to the examination of associations between leadership style, organizational culture, and performance, a phase of data reduction was necessary. The construction of meaningful indices was initiated by the use of principal components analysis with Varian rotation. Factor analysis was deemed necessary since it was considered prudent statistically to ascertain whether the adopted measures of organizational culture and leadership style captured differing dimensions of culture and style. The principal components analysis of items pertaining to organizational culture and items relating to leadership style were conducted individually. It was not necessary to delete items from the analysis due to lack of variation or because of problems of interpretation.

Leadership Styles with Examples

An autocratic leader is the one who believes in taking all the vital decisions himself. It is the leader who decides how the work has to be done and by whom. Once the decision has been made, there is no scope of any modify. The subordinates simply carry on with the works assigned to them. They are not allowed to give any input on the topic of how they should do their work or perform daily behavior. Every detail is pre-decided by the leader himself. In case some changes in the work agenda have to be made, they are made by the leader without consulting any one else.

Autocratic leadership style works well if the leader is proficient and knowledgeable adequate to decide about each and every thing. Reliable is considered one of the most effective leadership styles in case there is some disaster situation and quick decisions need to be taken. If there is no time left for discussion or weighing various options, then this type of leadership style gives the best results. Authoritarian leadership styles examples can be found in the real world in people like Bill Gates and John F Kennedy. Bill Gates followed the authoritarian leadership style and steered Microsoft towards enormous success. According to Bill Gates, he had a vision when he took reins of the company and then used all the resources available to make that vision a reality. His success can be judged from the way personal computers industry has advanced in America today.


Participative leadership style involves the leader taking into consideration the opinions of some of his employees before arriving at the final decision. This leadership style earns the leader immense respect and loyalty among his subordinates, as they feel that their opinions matter too. This leadership style is useful for the leader as he gets to see a given situation from all directions, before deciding on the final course of action. This leadership style works really well in situations when the leader does not know everything and he relies on his subordinate’s knowledge for taking decisions. The biggest advantage of this leadership and management style is that it helps in ascertaining and identifying future leaders among the subordinates. Also, it keeps a team’s spirit and morale high, as the team members feel that their opinions are valued by their leader.

Here’s a participative leadership styles examples – An advertising manager approaches his team members on how to promote a particular product of a company. The team members brain storm over the issue, some suggest print media, and others suggest direct mails to the prospective clients. The participative leader takes all these suggestions, weighs their pros and cons and then takes the final decision after considering his team members’ opinions.

Case Study

This case is about the charismatic and controversial former captain of the Indian national cricket team, Sourav Ganguly. The case outlines the emergence of Ganguly as a leader, his stunning rise and later fall from grace. Ganguly became the captain of the team in 2000, when it was in a deep crisis. Over the next few years, with the help of the coach John Wright, he soon turned the team into a combative unit. His team building skills, impartiality and, guts displayed in supporting his team members through thick and thin, endeared him to the team. Experts credited him with instilling a sense of aggression in the team. Ganguly soon became the most successful captain in the history of Indian cricket. The case also discusses the fall of Ganguly in 2005 and his public spat with Coach Greg Chappell (Chappell) which led to his exit from the team. Since age was not on his side, few felt that Ganguly could make a comeback into the team. But Ganguly refused to announce his retirement and continued to fight to win back his place in the team despite all the odds. In 2000, when Ganguly took over as captain, Indian cricket was at its nadir. The match fixing scandal had taken its toll with some senior players including former captain Mohammed Azharuddin and cricketer Ajay Jadeja being banned from the game. The morale of the team was at an all-time low.

The team, considered ‘tigers at home’, had just lost its first home series in many years to South Africa. In fact, Ganguly was not the first choice for the captaincy. He got the job as Tendulkar was reluctant to take on the additional responsibility of captaincy. Ganguly’s problems were compounded in the end of September 2005, when Dalmiya was defeated by Pawar in the BCCI elections.

On the same day of winning the elections, Pawar axed the selectors who had been sympathetic to Ganguly. It was widely believed that Ganguly’s era was over. The selection committee led by more appointed Dravid as captain. In October 2005, Ganguly was dropped from the ODI squad. In November 2005, Ganguly was sacked as captain of the Indian test squad. With the doors to the team being shut, Ganguly was forced to spend time playing domestic cricket. Experts felt that while his audacity and habit of speaking his mind had earned him respect in cricketing circles, they had also served to make him a lot of enemies w The Fighter Refuses to Quit. Despite all the criticism, when Ganguly was dropped from the squad, many Indian fans, especially fans in his home state West Bengal were upset. There was also a sympathy wave for Ganguly. Ganguly’s fan following knew no national borders. Even in Pakistan, he had a huge fan following though he performed exceedingly well against the archrivals. Whenever Indian journalists went to Pakistan, the fans asked about Ganguly and expressed their displeasure at how he had been treated by his countrymen. Despite all the criticism, when Ganguly was dropped from the squad, many Indian fans, especially fans in his home state West Bengal were upset. There was also a sympathy wave for Ganguly. Ganguly’s fan following knew no national borders.

Even in Pakistan, he had a huge fan following though he performed exceedingly well against the archrivals. Whenever Indian journalists went to Pakistan, the fans asked about Ganguly and expressed their displeasure at how he had been treated by his countrymen.

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