Leadership in Management and the "Great Man' theory Essay

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Leadership in top management and organisations for centuries have fascinated humankind and even gathering more storm as organisations continually change in structure either through merger and acquisition, joint ventures, etc. 21st century organizations require good leadership to revitalise and survive in today’s highly competitive market; which is also critically important to nations. (Boloden, R., Gosling, J., Marlushro, A. and Dennson, P. :Leadership Theory and Competency). There has been various theories on leadership by leading management scholars attempting to review, explain and define leadership. Cole (1996, p.51) defines leadership as a “dynamic process in a group whereby one individual influences the others to contribute…show more content…
Attempts would be made to review some leadership theories and why lot of attention surrounds organisational leadership. The “Great man” or trait theory believes that, leaders are exceptional charismatic people, born with innate qualities and influences, to lead. Churchill and Eisenhower in the successful planning and supervision of the invasion of France and Germany during 1944-45 world war is classic example. They aroused to a need and (Mostovicz, E. I., Kakabadse , N. K., Kakabadse, A. P.,2009; A dynamic theory of leadership development) let’s not forget they had the political power. However subsequent theories; based on skill, style, situation/context,... and more questioned this assertion, arguing that qualities, behaviours and competencies can be learnt and/or acquired over time. (Bolden, R....: What is Leadership Development? Purpose & Practice). Robert Katz in 1955, elaborated on skill approach to leadership which recognises that leaders should posses technical, human and conceptual skill. Research shows about 80% of leadership traits are learnt as a craft on the job(Mostovicz, E. I., Kakabadse , N. K., Kakabadse, A. P.,2009; A dynamic theory of leadership development) Behaviourist theory, due to lack of established measurement tool for traits, concentrates on human relationships, along with output and performance. McGregor also examines the autocratic
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