Evolution of Leadership Theories Essay examples

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Evolution of Leadership Theories

Leadership is, and always has been, a vital aspect of social and economic constructs. It is essential to the survival of societies, industries, organizations, and virtually any group of individuals that come together for a common purpose. However, leadership is difficult to define in a single, definitive sense. As such, theories of leadership, what constitutes a great leader, and how leaders are made have evolved constantly throughout history, and still continue to change today in hopes of improving upon our understanding of leadership, its importance, and how it can be most effective in modern organizational cultures.
This evolving trend of leadership can generally be seen
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At this point they were interested in why we considered them to be great leaders, rather than the previous trend of simply identifying who would be great leaders. (Daft, 2008, p. 20)
Following the behavior theories were the contingency theories, or situational theories (Daft, 2008, p. 20). The contingency theories were now concerned with identifying which behaviors would need to be taught or altered based on the surrounding factors involved, such as the followers, tasks, and environment (Daft, 2008, p. 20). The name “contingency theory” was based on the belief that there was an interaction and interdependency between the leader’s traits, behaviors, and surroundings, such that the effects of one were contingent upon the others (Horner, 2007, p. 271). This was a beginning of more realistic views on leadership, now realizing that there were likely many complexities involved in the effectiveness of a leader, which would vary depending on the external factors of an individual situation of leadership (Horner, 2007, p. 271).
The third era was called the Team or Lateral Leadership era, beginning in the early 1970’s. Largely due to drastic changes in the global economic structure and increasing commerce competition, organizations were in need of a drastic change in leadership techniques in order to survive and deal with