Different leadership theories have developedthroughout the years. For decades, there have been source of numerous studieson the theories of leadership. The developments of leadership studies over timehave created many different theories of leadership. The history of modernscientific approach to leader can be divided into three general eras. The threemain theoretical frameworks have dominated leadership research at differentpoints in time.
These included the trait era from late 1800s tomid-1940s, the behavioral era from mid-1940s to early 1970s, and the contingencyor situational era from early 1960s to present. According to Nahavandi, thetrait era commonly believed that leaders, by virtue of their birth, were bornto lead others. Because the trait era did not yield the expected results,researchers turned to behaviors, rather than traits, as the source of effectiveleadership. The behavior era emphasizes what an effective leader does and howthey perform.
Even before the behavior era’s lack of success in fullyexplaining and predicting leadership effectiveness became evident, researcherswere searching for a more comprehensive approach to understanding leadership.That’s not until the early 1960s; Fred Fiedler developed a leadership researchthat refocused from simplistic models based solely on the leader to morecomplex models that take a contingency point of view. The contingency era putsforth that the personality, style, or behavior of effective leaders depends onthe requirements of the situation in which the leaders find themselves. Although each era has made distinctcontributions to the understanding of leadership, the early theories that arethe foundations of modern leadership address either the way leaders useresources or the relationship between the leader and the follower. While manydifferent leadership theories have emerged throughout the years, one of many majortheories that was addressed in this week’sliterature are; the Contingency Model, the Normative Decision Model, thePath-Goal Theory, the Substitutes for Leadership Model, and Leader-MemberExchange Model. The Contingency Model assume that the leader’s style isdetermined by internal traits and therefore difficult to change, the NormativeDecision Model relies on decision-making styles that are assumed to belearnable, the Path-Goal Theory proposes that the leader’s main function is toremove obstacles in the subordinates’ path to allow them to perform their jobsand to be motivated and satisfied, the Substitutes for Leadership Modelexplores situations in which a relationship between the leader and subordinatesis not needed and is replaced by individual, group, and organizational factors,and Leader-Member Exchange Model focuses on the dyadic relationship between aleader and each follower and proposes the concept of in-groups and out-groupsas the defining element of that relationship.
Throughall these different changes improved leadershippractice by expanding different views of leadership, a deeper look atthe different styles that you can use, and leadingto the board acceptance and establishment of the concept of contingency inleadership. Leaders often need to adapt their style to fit a specific group orsituation, and this is why it’s useful to gain a thorough understanding of differenttheories. These ideas are being employed in public organizations andnon-profit organizations by helping leaders determine and establish values,culture, communication, building relationship, creating goals, and employeemotivation. Whether is a public organizations or non – profit organization suchas government agencies, healthcare industry, education industry, or non-profitorganizations, these ideas directly influence leaders and their effectivenessin leading their employees. In addition, these ideas also help create acombination of and match between the leader and the leadership situation inorganizations.