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Theoretical based:
Theories always provided basis for the understanding of different concepts. In this
lecture main focus ill be to understand theoretical concepts of Leadership. These theories will also help
us to understand the behaviors and their relationship with the work environment.
Let’s discuss first the basic approaches/theories which will help us to understand the other approaches
and theories directly related to leaderships.
Theory X and Theory-Y:
1. Theory X According to this theory, employees dislike work, are lazy, seek to avoid
responsibility, and must be coerced to perform.
2. Theory Y the assumption is that employees are creative, seek responsibility, and can
exercise self-direction.
Theory X assumed that lower-order needs (Maslow’s) dominated individuals, and Theory Y assumed
that higher-order needs dominated the individual behaviors.

Hawthorne experiments: The Hawthorne Studies were, without question, the most important
contribution to the developing organizational behavior. These were series of experiments conducted
from 1924 to the early 1930s at Western Electric Company’s Hawthorne Works in Cicero, Illinois. The
studies were initially devised as a scientific management experiment to assess the impact of changes in
various physical environment variables on employee productivity. Other experiments looked at
redesigning jobs, making changes in workday and workweek length, introducing rest periods, and
introducing individual versus group wage plans.
The researchers concluded that social norms or group standards were the key determinants of individual
work behavior. Although not without critics (of procedures, analyses of findings, and the conclusions),
the Hawthorne studies did stimulate an interest in human behavior in organizations.

Leadership Theories/ Approaches
The above theoretical backgrounds and other similar studies provided basis to develop leadership

Early studies were based on two theories:
1. Trait Theories (focuses on leader qualities/traits)
2. Behavior Theories (focuses on leader actions/behavior)
1. Trait Theory/Approach: the basic focus was on the traits of leaders. Leaders are born with certain
traits which make them leaders. Common believes were that “Leaders are born, not made.” and
Leaders possess certain traits that make them leaders
Theories that attempt to isolate characteristics that differentiate leaders from non-leaders.
Attempts to identify traits consistently associated with leadership have been more successful.
Might be used as a basis for selecting the “right” people to assume formal leadership positions
Some facts/basis about this trait theory is given bellow.
1. Qualities such as intelligence, charisma, decisiveness, enthusiasm, strength, bravery,
integrity, and self-confidence.
2. These responses represent, in essence, trait theories of leadership.
3. If the concept of traits were to prove valid, all leaders would have to possess specific
4. Research efforts at isolating these traits resulted in a number of dead ends.
5. Attempts failed to identify a set of traits that would always differentiate leaders.
6. However, attempts to identify traits consistently associated with leadership have been more
7. Six traits on which leaders are seen to differ from non-leaders include drive, the desire to
lead, honesty and integrity, self-confidence, intelligence, and job-relevant knowledge.
8. Explanations based solely on traits ignore situational factors.
9. Possessing the appropriate traits only makes it more likely that an individual will be an
effective leader.
10. He or she still has to take the right actions.
11. A major movement away from trait theories began as early as the 1940s.

Sir Francis Galton: One of the earliest leadership theorists Wrote “Hereditary Genius” pub. 1869. He
believes “leadership qualities were genetic”. This theory assumes physical and psychological
characteristics like basic intelligence, clear and strong values and high personal energy that matters for
effective leadership. Edwin identified six traits for effective leadership:
1. Need for achievement
2. Intelligence
3. Decisiveness
4. Self-confidence
5. Initiative
6. Supervisory ability

TRAIT APPROACH - People have special qualities that cause them to assume leadership positions in
any situation.
We can also observe following
common traits in the leaders which are very essential for the process of leadership.
• Intelligence
• Dominance
• Self-confidence
• High energy level
• Task relevant knowledge

Behavioral Theories of Leadership:
According to this theory, there are behavioral determinants of leadership which can be learned.
People can be trained to be effective leaders.
Some facts/basis about this behavior theory is given bellow.
1. It was hoped that the behavioral theories would provide more definitive answers.
Personal Characteristics of Leaders
Personal Characteristics
• Energy
• Physical stamina
Intelligence and Ability
• Intelligence, cognitive ability
• Knowledge
• Judgment, decisiveness
• Self-confidence
• Honesty and integrity
• Enthusiasm
• Desire to lead
• Independence
Social Characteristics
• Sociability, interpersonal skills
• Cooperativeness
• Tact, diplomacy
Work-Related Characteristics
• Drive, desire to excel
• Responsibility in pursuit of
• Persistence against obstacles,
Social background
• Education
• Mobility
a) If behavioral studies were correct, we could train people to be leaders.
2. We shall briefly reviewed during our lecture three of the most popular studies:
a) Kurt Lewin’s studies at the University of Iowa.
Explored three leadership styles
autocratic - leader dictated work methods
democratic - involved employees in decision making
– used feedback to coach employees
laissez-faire - gave the group complete freedom
– satisfaction higher with democratic leader

b) The Ohio State group.
• identified two dimensions of leadership
Initiating structure
c) The University of Michigan studies.
– Studied leaders’ behaviors related to worker motivation and group performance
– Identified two dimensions of behavior:
Job centered (Initiating Structure)
Employee centered (Showing Consideration)

Are There Identifiable Leadership Behaviors?
1. One of the first studies; Kurt Lewin and his associates at the University of Iowa. Three
leadership behaviors or styles: autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire.
2. An autocratic style tends to centralize authority, dictate work methods, etc.
3. The democratic style tends to involve employees in decision making, delegates authority,
encourages participation in deciding work methods, and uses feedback to coach employees.
a) Further classified: consultative and participative.
b) A democratic-consultative leader seeks input but makes the final decision.
c) A democratic-participative leader often allows employees to have a “say.”
4. The laissez-faire leader generally gives employees complete freedom.
5. Which one of the three leadership styles was most effective?
a) The laissez-faire style was ineffective on every performance criterion.
b) Democratic leadership style could contribute to both quantity and high quality of work.
c) Later studies of autocratic and democratic styles of leadership showed mixed results.
d) Group members’ satisfaction levels were generally higher under a democratic leader.
6. Tannenbaum and Schmidt developed a continuum of leader behaviors.
7. Tannenbaum and Schmidt proposed that managers look at forces within themselves, forces
within the employees, and forces within the situation when choosing their style.
8. Suggested that managers should move toward more employee-centered styles in the long
a) Such behaviors would increase employees’ motivation, decision quality, teamwork,
morale, and development.

Why Were the Ohio State Studies Important?
1. The most comprehensive and replicated of the behavioral theories.
2. These studies sought to identify independent dimensions of leader behavior.
3. Beginning with over 1,000 dimensions, they eventually narrowed the list down to two
categories: initiating structure and consideration.
a) Initiating structure refers to the extent to which a leader is likely to define and structure
his or her role and those of employees in the search for goal attainment.
b) Consideration is defined as the extent to which a leader has job relationships
characterized by mutual trust and respect for employees’ ideas and feelings.
4. Research found that a leader high in initiating structure and consideration achieved high
employee performance and satisfaction more frequently than one who rated low on
consideration, initiating structure, or both.
5. However, leader behavior characterized as high on initiating structure led to greater rates of
grievances, absenteeism, and turnover etc., for workers performing routine tasks.
Other studies found that high consideration was negatively related to performance ratings of the
leader by his or her manager.

Leadership Dimensions of the University of Michigan Studies:
1. Two dimensions of leadership behavior, employee oriented and production oriented.
a) Employee-oriented leaders emphasized interpersonal relations, took a personal interest
in employees’ needs, and accepted individual differences among members.
b) The production-oriented leaders emphasized the technical aspects of the job, focused
on accomplishing their group’s tasks, and regarded group members as a means to that
2. The Michigan researchers strongly favored leaders who were employee oriented.

What Did the Behavioral Theories Teach Us about Leadership?
1. Behavioral researchers have had very little success in identifying consistent relationships
between patterns of leadership behavior and successful performance.
2. What was missing, consideration of the situational factors that influence success or failure?

Robert Blake and Jane Mouton
– Developed a managerial grid reflecting Ohio and Michigan dimensions
– The ideal leader has high concern for both production and people

Managerial Grid:
1. A two-dimensional view of leadership style developed by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton.
a) Based on the styles of “concern for people” and “concern for production.”
b) Essentially represent the Ohio State dimensions of consideration and initiating structure
and the Michigan dimensions of employee orientation and production orientation.
2. The grid depicted has nine possible positions along each axis, creating 81 different positions
into which a leader’s style may fall.
3. The grid shows the dominating factors in a leader’s thinking in regard to getting results.
a) The five key positions are focused on the four corners of the grid and a middle-ground
4. Blake and Mouton concluded that managers perform best using a 9,9 style.
5. The grid offers only a framework for conceptualizing leadership style—it offers no answers
to the question of what makes an effective leader.

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