Comparing and Contrasting Four Leadership Models and Theories

2141 Words Dec 14th, 2009 9 Pages
The following paper outlines the comparison and contrast of four leadership models and theories. The purpose of this paper is to acquaint readers with the basic concepts underlying each model and theory. A review of the scholarly studies on leadership shows that there is a wide variety of different theoretical approaches to explain the complexities of the leadership process (e.g., Bass, 1990; Bryman, 1992; Gardner, 1990; Hickman 1998; Rost, 1991). Some researchers conceptualize as a trait, or as behavior, while others view leadership from a political perspective, or from a humanistic viewpoint.

The paper begins with a description of leadership trait theory, a theory that concerns itself solely with leader characteristics. Following this,
…show more content…
There are four types of behavior that are associated with transactional leadership: contingent reward, active management by exception, passive management by exception, and laissez-faire leadership. Contingent reward behavior includes the clarification of what is expected of followers in order to receive rewards, such as money and time-off, are used as incentives to motive followers to perform. Management by exception refers to leadership that utilizes corrective criticism, negative feedback, and negative reinforcement. A leader employing active or passive form of management by exception is always on the lookout for problems and corrective measures following a minor mistake or rule violation by a follower. Laissez-faire leadership is descriptive of a leader who acts indifferently to followers and who is not concerned with the mission. This type of leader abdicates all leadership roles and responsibilities.

Although transactional leadership is effective in certain situations, there is increasing evidence that it is not an effective leadership model for achieving long-term objectives. Followers are motivated to perform certain tasks, contingent upon rewards, but transactional leadership fails to motivate followers to perform beyond their basic job requirements. Furthermore, although transactional leadership focuses on the exchange between the leader and followers, it is the leader who has the power and who controls the terms of the relationship.
Open Document