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Essay On Great Man Theory

Decent Essays
Theories are commonly categorized by which aspect is believed to define the leader the most. The most widespread one's are: Great Man Theory, Trait Theory, Behavioural Theories, Contingency Theories, Transactional Theories and Transformational Theories.

Great Man Theory (1840s)

The Great Man theory evolved around the mid 19th century. Even though no one was able to identify with any scientific certainty, which human characteristic or combination of, were responsible for identifying great leaders. Everyone recognized that just as the name suggests; only a man could have the characteristic (s) of a great leader.
The Great Man theory assumes that the traits of leadership are intrinsic. That simply means that great leaders are born... they are
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Trait Theory (1930's - 1940's)
The trait leadership theory believes that people are either born or are made with certain qualities that will make them excel in leadership roles. That is, certain qualities such as intelligence, sense of responsibility, creativity and other values puts anyone in the shoes of a good leader. In fact, Gordon Allport, an American psychologist,"...identified almost 18,000 English personality-relevant terms" (Matthews, Deary & Whiteman, 2003, p. 3).
The trait theory of leadership focused on analyzing mental, physical and social characteristic in order to gain more understanding of what is the characteristic or the combination of characteristics that are common among leaders.
There were many shortfalls with the trait leadership theory. However, from a psychology of personalities approach, Gordon Allport's studies are among the first ones and have brought, for the study of leadership, the behavioural
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It is generally accepted within the contingency theories that leader are more likely to express their leadership when they feel that their followers will be responsive.
Transactional leadership Theories (1970's)
Transactional theories, also known as exchange theories of leadership, are characterized by a transaction made between the leader and the followers. In fact, the theory values a positive and mutually beneficial relationship.
For the transactional theories to be effective and as a result have motivational value, the leader must find a means to align to adequately reward (or punish) his follower, for performing leader-assigned task. In other words, transactional leaders are most efficient when they develop a mutual reinforcing environment, for which the individual and the organizational goals are in sync.
The transactional theorists state that humans in general are seeking to maximize pleasurable experiences and to diminish un-pleasurable experiences. Thus, we are more likely to associate ourselves with individuals that add to our strengths.
Transformational Leadership Theories
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