Leadership Theory and Practice

1- key authors in the debate on management versus leadership? refer to intrinsic and extrinsic motivations and/or refer to some motivations theories, such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs or Vroom’s expectancy theory. 2- This module has explored some of the early thinking about what leadership is and how it is achieved. It has summarised trait theories and behavioural theories and concluded that a more contextualised explanation of leadership is required if we are to understand it properly – and, of course, if we are to become the best leaders we can. As the module has demonstrated, leadership is contingent on the situation. Fiedler (1967) developed a contingency theory, which, applied to leadership, proposes that the style of leadership appropriate in different contexts varies. Therefore, the choice of a leader should be contingent on their match with followers and with the desired outcomes/goals of the organisation. Not every leader will be suitable for every leadership role. Following on from this, the module explored various approaches to the understanding and practice of leadership that are contingent on the situation, and require a flexible or considered approach with regards to who is being led, what the purpose of the group/task is, and which style (or which leader) is most appropriate. The principles of contingent and contextually meaningful leadership underpin most modern approaches to leadership, which, most recently, have evolved to refer to leadership as a developmental process involving: leading in terms of thought: having a vision in terms of the goals of the team or organisation; leading in terms of the task: what leadership is appropriate for different tasks; and leading in terms of people: in particular, developing people so that they are enabled to give their best. 3- This module has outlined the key theories of transactional leadership; and transformational leadership. These theories are developments of the theories of traits, behaviours, contingent and situational leadership, and propose that leadership is about influencing people by transaction and by offering opportunities to engage on a personally meaningful level. The practice of leadership as involving some degree of each of these is known as the full range of leadership. From there, three of the most commonly cited approaches to leadership hat rely heavily on the principles of transformational leadership, in particular, were also explored, including charismatic, servant and authentic leadership. Most recent developments in understanding leadership are beginning to focus less on individual leaders and what they do to focus more on leadership as a practice and as a process. These are explored in the next module. 4- This module has offered some alternative ways of thinking about leadership that broaden our view from simply focusing on the actions and behaviours of individual leaders. Among the ideas suggested are that leadership: is a collective activity that involves multiple people working collaboratively across organisational and professional boundaries. does not necessarily reside at the top of an organisation, nor is it always restricted to formal roles within an organisational hierarchy. can be understood as a social and relational process. can be understood as a set of practices and as the ongoing practice that brings about change and produces direction. On a practical level, focusing on collective and relational approaches to leadership changes the emphasis for those who are involved in the process of leadership in organisations. Instead of feeling pressure at an individual level to ‘live up to’ an ever-expanding list of behavioural competencies required of ‘good leaders’, the onus shifts to leadership as a collective phenomenon that entails building collaborative groups of people who can have effective conversations. The need to be personally ‘charismatic’ or ‘authentic’ is replaced with the social dynamic of forming and maintaining relationships and developing a better dialogue to ease the process of doing leadership. In the next module, the need for different approaches in response to specific circumstances and challenges is explored. 5- gender, ethics and culture in leadership

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