Literature Review On Leadership Effectiveness Management Essay

In the previous chapter it was discussed the purpose and reason for this investigative study on leadership effectiveness and its possible mediating affects on subordinate job satisfaction.

The chapter will critically review the literature characterised the ideas and topics surrounding:

This chapter will seek to critically review the literature surrounding:

General concepts and models that have been developed & discussed on leadership, competences and job satisfaction

Influence of competences on the style of leadership

Influence of leadership style on subordinate job satisfaction

By reviewing existing literature will aid in highlighting, indentifying and discussing factors of a critical nature thus allowing sound understanding when taking the influences of competences on leadership style and its ripples on subordinate job satisfaction, if any.

The contents of this literature review will dispense:

A definition and explanation of leadership through the use of academic principles, conceptualization and models where suited. Complimented with competences profiling and subordinate job satisfaction when introduced.

The critical evaluation will look at key authors and their insights in the areas of leadership styles and competences.

To observe areas which have been the focal points of interest based on the topics being acknowledged, research will be made on leadership style and impact on subordinate job satisfaction.

Based on what has been revealed whilst reviewing literature will allowed what has been learnt and to pin any hypostasis by what has been viewed.

(Please note that some of these paths may and may not follow suit to allow for consistency)


The concept of leadership has had multi attempts to define and evolve what leadership is more often or not proving to be an enigma for theorists and practitioners. These attempts have grown from fields such as management, psychology, ideology, anthropology and sociology. With so much attention Burns (1978) described the matter by stating that “leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth” (p. 2). Having been numerous attempts in defining the meaning for the term ‘leadership’, this has resulted in taking many interpretations. Stogdill (1974, citied in Northouse, 2007, Pg 2) ‘pointed out in a review of leadership research, there are almost as many different definitions of leadership as there are people who have tried to define it’. In Stogdill’s Handbook of Leadership that was revised and expanded by Bass in (1981) highlighted different definitions and conceptions of leadership had previously been reviewed briefly by Morris and Seeman (1950), Shartle (1951a,b, 1956), L.F. Carter (1953), C. A. Gibb (1954, 1969a), and B. M Bass (1960). This is only a small numerical amount compared to Crainer (1995 cited in Mullins 2007, pg363) that it is claimed there are over 400 definitions of leadership and ‘ it is a veritable minefield of misunderstanding and difference though which theorists and practitioners must tread warily’.

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At best of times theoretical perspectives define the concepts being views as a trait, behavioural style, the manipulation of individuals and groups derived through interaction, influence to gain followers and the situation in which its attended. The constant upheaval of leadership suggests that many investigators see leadership as a key structural beam for organisational effectiveness and it’s influences on the performance; OE’s aren’t just segmented to monetary turnover but a measure of a dependant variable that is employee job satisfaction (Robbins, 2003).

Traits Theory of Leadership

From the 1930’s the trait theory of leadership have been under Jerry et al (1984) , Wexley et al (1984), Smelser et al (2002) & Moran et al (2007)

Behavioral Theories of Leadership



Situational Theories of Leadership

The theory of situation leadership primary principle distinguishing leadership effectiveness in an particular situation and also what leadership style is most suited to be active in that situation. Most, if not all situational theory hinges on that the style of leadership obtained by a manager should acknowledge sets of circumstances:

Management elements such as competencies, personalities and drive

Employee elements such as needs derived from personalities, drive and skills

Group effectiveness such as task, structure and development

Organisational procedures such as standards, rules, power and timing

The idea of situational leadership have recognisable and influential models that circulate around this phenomenon, these are indentified as:

Fiedler’s Model Contingency

House’s Model of Path-Goal

Fiedler’s Contingency Model

Fieldler (1967) based his theory on explaining that two variables that have a direct impact the performance of a group. These two variables are widely known as style of leadership and situational favourability. Fiedler (1967) asserted that the most profound leadership trait and situational favourability is distinguished by their similarity that causes the effectiveness of a leader. When leadership trait is said; it is the personality that causes relationship-oriented or task-oriented leader.

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Fielder’s contingency theory has come under criticism like most theorists do. The criticism came from the likes of Ashour (1973) & Vecchio, (1977) & (1983) which suggest the method of measuring the variables and the empirical research conducted were insufficient in allowing for the theory to have any validly. Such an observation is farcical simply because Fiedler has spent years tuning and perfecting his well established and used theory.

House’s Path-Goal Model

House (1971) based his theory from Vroom’s expectancy theory. House (1971) suggests in order for a leader to motivate its subordinates by a way of two means firstly to recognise between individual subordinate needs and an organisations goal(s) by understanding the relationship between the two factors and secondly the leader must state and ease the chosen course not only for the organisational goal(s) but as well as fulfilling their own individual needs. House’s path-goal theory is very much influenced on situational characteristics. Thus allowing its ability to predict the effects it has on behavioural structuring. House also suggests the expectancies and motivations in subordinates are created through the behaviour of the leader this in turn would create job satisfaction by subordinates recognising their capabilities and the weight they perceive their job would get results.

Drenth et al (1998) raised a number of criticisms regarding the path-goal theory they asserted that House’s theory doesn’t cultivate the collective members as a whole based on behaviour and performance. Secondly they highlight the relationship between leadership behaviours and the group may be heavily influenced by environmental interactions. Lastly it is suggested that when empirical studies are conducted using the path-goal theory most enthusiasts use standardised leadership styles to measure the variable of effectiveness.

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Morden Management



Fulfilment Theory

Discrepancy Theory

Equity Theory

Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory

Focal Theoretical Research

Burns, J. M. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper & Row.

Robbins, S.P, (2003). Organisational Behaviour. – 10th Ed. Pearson Education, New Jersey

Jerry, L., Gray, A., & Starke, F. (1984). Organizational behaviour: Concepts and

applications. New York: A Bell and Howell Co. Inc.

Wexley, K, N., & Yukl, G. A., (1984). Organizational behaviour and personnel psychology. US: Richard D Irwin

Smelser, N, J., & Baltes, P, B., (2002) International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences. Oxford: Elsevier Inc

Moran, R. T., Harris, P,R.,, & Moran, S. V., (2007) Managing cultural differences: global leadership strategies for the 21st century – 7th ed. Oxford: Elsevier

Mullins, Laurie J. (2007) Management and organisational behaviour / Laurie J. Mullins . – 8th ed. . – Harlow : Financial Times Prentice Hall

Northouse, P, G., (2007) Leadership – Theory and Practice – 4th ed. United Kingdom: Sage Publications.

Bass, B, M., (1981) Stogdill’s Handbook of Leadership – Revised and expanded Edition. New York: The Free Press

Gordon, J. R. (1987). A diagnostic approach to organizational behavior. New

York: Allyn and Boston

Fiedler, F. E. (1967) A Theory of Leadership Effectiveness, New York: McGraw-Hill.

Vecchio, R. P. (1977) An Empirical Examination of the Validity of Fiedler’s Model of Leadership Effectiveness, Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 19: 180-206.

Vecchio, Robert P (1983) Assessing the Validity of Fiedler’s Contingency Model of Leadership Effectiveness: A Closer look at Strube and Garcia, Psychological Bulletin 93: 404-8

Ashour, A. S. (1973) The Contingency Model of Leadership Effectiveness: An Evaluation, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 9(3): 339-55.

Lawler, E. E., III (1973). Motivation in work organizations. Brooks/Cole Publishing Company: Monterrey, CA.

Locke, E. A. (1969). What is job satisfaction? Organizational behavior and human performance. In E. E. Lawler (1973). Motivation in work organizations. Brooks/Cole Publishing Company: Monterrey, CA.

House, R, J., A Path-Goal Theory of Leadership Effectiveness’, Administrative Science Quarterly, vol. XVI(1971), 321-38

Drenth, D J P., Thierry, H., De Wolff, J, C., 1998 A Handbook Of Work And: Organizational Psychology united kingdom Psychology Press Ltd

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