28 Nov 2022


Leadership Theories’ Matrix: A Comprehensive Overview

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This theory depicts a concern for attributes that are definitive of an effective leader. The traits identified are dependent on the organization’s needs and desired outcomes. This theory does not propose a universally acceptable list of attributes though there are some characteristics that are repetitive in various studies. Some of the characteristics that align with effective leadership include adaptability to situations, charisma, decisiveness, persistence, self-confidence, accountability, assertiveness, cooperation, achievement-orientation, and social skill, among others (Bolden, Gosling, Marturano & Dennison, 2003). 

-Achievement motivation theory- founded on the need for achievement, power, and affiliation. The need for achievement aligns with self-confidence, goal orientation, and commitment to experience. The need for power is founded on a desire to influence others. The need for affiliation aligns with team work with a desire for good relations with others. 

-Theory X and theory Y Theory X is founded on the attitude that people dislike working and, therefore, have to be supervised. Theory Y reinforces the opposite (wyk, 2008). 

Behavioral Leadership 

Founded on the appropriation of conduct to ensure effectiveness in leadership. 

-The leader may opt to take charge and supervise the employees to have work done. In other instances, the leader can allow the employees to be in charge of their undertakings while at the same time focusing on their welfare to build trust, respect, and rapport and, therefore, enhance employees’ commitment (Wyk, 2008). 

-Autocratic leadership- emphasizes control by the leader to ensure accomplishment of desired results. No participation of subordinates in decision-making. 

-Democratic leadership- emphasizes an employee-centered approach and sensitivity to employees’ needs to have work done. Encourages subordinates’ participation in decisions affecting their work. 

Contingency Leadership 

-This embarks on the traits and behavioral approaches that fit a specific situation. The leadership style never changes but the situation. This means that an organization must seek a leadership style that fits the context of tasks and relationships involved in the day to day running. 

-Fiedler’s Contingency Leadership Theory: this theory posits that leadership styles are constant and entail a reflection of both the trait and behavioral approaches. 

- Leadership Continuum Theory and Model: This theory stipulates various leadership styles from which to choose. Based on the autocratic and democratic leadership styles, there is a continuum of seven leadership styles that depict the extremities of boss-centered and employee-centered leadership approaches (Wyk, 2008). 

Skills Leadership 

-This theory emphasizes various leadership skills that have been developed by an individual over time. These skills are categorized under human, technical, and conceptual. Human skills enable a leader to relate well and effectively with people. Technical skills align with the knowledge base of a leader as far as various tasks are concerned. The conceptual skills comprise of a leaders creativity and expression of ideas which are critical in problem-solving scenarios (May, 2010). 

-Task-oriented leadership is one of the examples that require technical skills to enable a leader to determine the competence of the workforce in alignment to attaining specific goals. 

-Relations-oriented leadership requires both human and conceptual skills to reinforce a leader’s capacity to deal with individuals and engage effectively in conflict-resolution endeavors. 

Situational Leadership 

-This theory emphasizes a leader’s ability to adapt his or her style of leadership to the follower’s level of development. It demands flexibility in a bid to adjust to an existing work environment or organization’s needs (Spahr, 2015).  - Hersey & Blanchard Leadership model: this model comprises of four types of leaders. The telling leader (S1) is an authoritative leader who makes decisions and communicates them to the followers to accept without questioning. The selling leader (S2) makes decisions, communicates them to the followers but allows room for changes. The participating leader allows the employees to make decisions though he or she may also contribute ideas or suggestions. The delegating leader leaves others to make decisions and solve problems with minimal guidance (Spahr, 2015). 


Bolden, R., Gosling, J., Marturano, A. & Dennison, P. (2003). A review of leadership theory and competency framework. Center for Leadership Studies, University of Exeter. Retrieved from http://www2.fcsh.unl.pt/docentes/luisrodrigues/textos/Lideran%C3%A7a.pdf 

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May, K. (2010). Skill-based leadership theory. Chron. Hearst Newspapers, LLC. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com 

Spahr, P. (2015). What is situational leadership? How flexibility leads to success. St. Thomas University Online. Retrieved from http://online.stu.edu 

Wyk, J.V. (2008). Leadership theories and models. Retrieved from http://www.repository.up.ac.za/bitstream/handle/2263/25691/04chapter4.pdf?sequence=5 

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