Chapter 6

Leadership Theories and Styles

Learning Outcomes
After reading this chapter you should be able to:
  • Investigate the various leadership styles and identify how particular theories can offer an effective approach to suit the situation.
  • Understand the appropriate leadership theories.
  • Understand the circumstances that suggest particular leadership theories.

Leadership theories are developed to inform our understanding of leadership and to improve leadership skills and behaviors. These approaches can only represent suggestions and approximations to what really happens in leadership situations.

However, the approximations provide insights into specific situations and help us to determine an appropriate leadership response. Also, investigating these theories can give a historical perspective about how approaches to leadership have developed.

Leadership theories help us to identify and categorize different leadership styles adopted by leaders in different situations. Leadership style is found to be reliant upon a number of issues:

  • The personality of the leader.
  • The maturity of followers.
  • The current situation.
  • The wider needs of the environment.

Effective leaders are able to adapt their style of leadership to suit the prevailing circumstances. Also, these theories are important for followers to recognize the approach taken by their leaders. The following sections provide some important current and historical leadership theories.

1. Leadership Theories

Leadership theory ...

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