Contemporary Leadership Theory

Contemporary Leadership Theory

Contemporary Leadership Theory

According to this theory, leadership involves influencing the social setup of people through aiding and supporting the people in order to achieve a common goal (Daft & Armstrong, 2009).

Review History of Leadership styles

Overtime researches have been conducted on the leadership styles resulting in a range of styles applied by companies in different periods. The desire to succeed has made the researchers look for effective ways of leading others in order to dive company success (Miner, 2005).

Evolution of theories of leadership

Trait leadership

The earliest thought on leadership was of the belief that some individuals have the inner capabilities which make them good leaders. These traits differentiate these leaders from the non-leaders. It is the earliest theory applied from 1900 (Miner, 2005).

Behavioral leadership

The researchers of this theories focused on studying the specific behaviors of leaders. There are two types of leaders based on the behavior; task oriented and people oriented leaders. It was used in 1950 and 1960s by many companies (Miner, 2005).

Contextual leadership

These type of leadership focuses on the environment and the evolutions that take place. These leaders adjust their styles according to the situation and what the followers require. They greatly depend on information systems for educating their hunches (Miner, 2005).

Contingency leadership

These leadership style depends on the internal and external company situation. The leader incorporates their leadership style to the right situation (Miner, 2005).

Relational leadership

These leaders develop high-quality relationships with the follows to create trust and respect. Low-quality relations are based on the fulfillment of employment obligations. The theory is very practical in companies in this era (Miner, 2005).

New leadership (transformational leadership)

These leaders focus on inspiring the followers and transcending their interests for the achievement of a common goal. The leaders align the goals and ambitions of the employees with those of the company. The leaders come up with strategies that incorporate the needs of the employees with those of the organizations. The employees work towards achieving what is best for the company as a whole than on the individual desires. Companies using this style of leadership perform better than others (Griffin & Ebert, 2010).

Limitation of past leaderships and the current focus on satisfying stakeholder needs.

Past leadership comprised the use of the hard style of leadership where employees were seen as machines moving the tasks ahead. There was limited creativity, hierarchical company goals that resulted to low levels of commitments and motivations. The leaders were autocratic, laissez faire, and with exploitative authority. All this constraints affected the performance of companies in the negative way. The current focus on meeting stakeholder satisfaction led to the movement from hard to soft methods of HRM. The efforts of human rights activists, consumer needs, technological advances, need for democracy led to this transformation. The methods become more people-focused and shared goals between the different stakeholders (Griffin & Ebert, 2010).

Limitations of the theories.

The researchers of these theories do not come to an agreement about what is the list of the best traits that leaders should have. The theory of trait leaders is therefore, undermined by the fact that one cannot trace specific leadership traits. The behavioral theory only declares one style of leadership that cannot be applied in all situations. The theories also assume that all followers can change their behavior easily to follow what a leader outlines. This might not happen in many situations. The theories treat leadership as a character that can be easily adopted by those willing to become leaders and practice leadership. Another weakness is the fact that the theories only help in selecting leaders but cannot help in developing leaders. Further, the theories ignore the presence of leadership which is the most important element in attaining good leaders (Collins, 2001)

A successful company

A successful company is where the management gets the formal and the informal groups to work in the way the management wants. To achieve this, the management need to refine the drivers of job performance by the use of SHRM. The leaders have modeled the attitude of the employees to make then think positively about their jobs. The employees have the attitude of achieving the common company goals. There are strategies in this firms that are driven towards the motivation of employees. Finally, the jobs are designed in a way that improves efficiency within the firm (Hersey, et al, 2008).

How leadership capabilities differentiate successful from unsuccessful companies.

Successful companies have leaders who have adopted the use of soft SHRM as opposed to using the traditional hard approach. The ability to manage the employee using the soft approach improves job performance that boosts the success of this companies. Leaders in the present times are using emotional intelligence in leading their following influencing their job commitment (Fiedler, 2007)

The authoritative nature of this leaders gives directions for the employees. The use of coercive approaches lead to aggressiveness, immediate response, and compliance. The leaders are also democratic by encouraging teamwork in making decisions which heightens morale, communication, and rising different opinions. They are coaches who help the employees by understanding their weaknesses. They are pacesetters in the high-performance standards and motivating the employees. Finally, they are affiliators by ensuring that they build teams, putting employees first, able to handle low-morale situations, and call for limited feedback. Through the adoption of this approaches the leaders is able to make the followers collaborate (Hackman & Johnson, 2009).

The Six Leadership style by Goleman

As presented in the following grid.

The end goal of Goleman approach I collaboration amongst the employees. However, the achievement of appropriate leadership styles is prior to achieving the end goal.

The Widening Gap

Introducing two leaders

I take a look atthe leaders of the Starbucks; Howard Schultz and his father. The father of Schultz lost many jobs because he did not consider the health problems of the employees. Howard on becoming the leader, incorporated these employee needs in his strategy that lead to the success of Starbucks. The old leaders (predecessor) used the hard approach that had impacted negatively on the manner the employees performed. The new leader (authentic leader) adapted the new styles of leadership which are employee focused. He came up with a good SHRM approach boosting on employee commitment and performance.

The use of old and new leader is adopted to bring out the concept. The widening gap is a result of the informal and informal groups having difficulty in adopting the SHRM.  The use of the different styles; hard or soft have different focuses that leads to the widening gap. The changes in the motivation styles of groups in the two approaches results to a culture shock leading to widening gap (Miner, 2005).

Finally, different groups have different styles of working and, therefore, introduction to new ways of doing things affects their performance. The available talent is rigid to changes because of different beliefs, ways of working, and preferences, causing differences in the way drivers of job performance are managed.  These differences increase the gap between available and required leadership talent (Bass, 2000).


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