Leadership Theories Taxonomy Final Essay

Words: 2098
Pages: 9

Taxonomy of Leadership Theories
Yvette Primous-Flowers
Walden University
Taxonomy of Leadership Theories
The term “leadership” has been inflated for many years by countless scholars from various disciplines such as sociology or philosophy, psychology or business. Extensive research has been done revealing new and innovative theories explaining the sensation of “leadership”. As with any new theory or science solving the task to identify or justify ones, opinion takes on a life of its own. This taxonomy is intended to provide an overview of four leadership theories beginning with the earliest, mentioning influential authors of the particular theory.
I. Trait Theory
II. Year Introduced 1904-1948
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This leadership theory was established in behaviorism focusing on the actions of leaders rather than mental qualities or internal conditions. Through teaching and observation, according to this theory, becoming a leader can be learned. Early behavioral theory proposed that there are specific behavioral patterns of leaders identified that would explain the causes for effective leadership.
Overall the style approach offers a mans of assessing in a general way the behaviors of leaders, furthermore reminding leaders that their impact on others occurs through the tasks they perform as well as in the relationships they create (Northouse, 2013).

The Benefits and Limitations of the Behavioral Theories According to Northouse, (2013) leaders can learn a lot about themselves and how they come across to others by trying to see their behaviors in light of the task and relationship dimensions. Further, based on the style approach, leaders can assess their actions and determine how they may want to change to improve their leadership style (p. 85).
Results from tis massive research effort have been mostly contradictory and inconclusive, (Yukl, 1994, p. 75). In addition, researchers did not consider the leaders’ values and motives, which beyond question are shaping an individual’s behavior (Marturano and Gosling, 2008).
I. Situational Leadership Theory
II. Year Introduced 1969-1980