Theories and concepts in leadership

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The term leader is defined as a person initiating interaction with other members of a group, a person who moves the group towards group role. To be called a leader, one must be performing leading roles repeatedly under varying conditions (English dictionary 1987; Gibb 1965) (leaders and leadership roles in relation to effective management of human resources by John Domingo)

Social psychologist define leadership as the process through which one member of a group (its leader) influences other group members towards the attainment of specific group goals (Yukl,1994).Leadership however is essentially a process of mutual stimulation which by successful interplay of relevant individual differences controls human energy in pursuit of a common cause. (Ekong, 2003)

Leadership calls for certain qualities or characteristics firstly on the part of the individual who want to become a leader and secondly on the part of a group who want to respond favorably to the individuals leading acts. In the first place, a leader must have the ability to influence others. This may be derived from his personal characteristics such as height, handsomeness or some general personal appeal, abilities to speak and win the crowd, the possession of specific skills known to and desired by the group, being wealthy and or generous, having known connections with external sources of power or occupying known official positions , and so forth. Studies in Nigeria have also shown that among other characteristics, age, being married, honesty, humility and industry are highly valued in being accepted as a community leader (Adeogun, 1976).

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Second, a leader must have the ability to identify with the group he leads. This entails the ability to place oneself in another’s position; consideration for others, emotional stability, readiness to delegate tasks, love for and constant identification with the group, selflessness, and loyalty to group ideas and goals, etc. A person may also assume leadership because of the innate conditioned need in him to lead and or dominate others. However, for his leadership to be accepted by the people he must have other desirable characteristics, which he would have to project it to the group In certain instances, people have assumed leadership on the assumption that they have a divine call or revelation to lead others. A number of self appointed prophets and religious leaders fall into this group. Apart from their claims to divine call, such people still have to develop other personal qualities mentioned earlier, and or show extraordinary power(e.g. healing, fortune telling, making of very potent charms,etc)to be accepted by others. In all several types of leaders can be identified according to the following criteria:

Path of attaining leadership position, power, authority, scope of influence and orientation. It must be noted before hand that these are not mutually exclusive categories. One leader can fall into all or most of these classifications which leads to types of leaders and path to leadership the first being situational leader this refers to one who foresees crises or the needs of a group and takes initiative in either rectifying the situation or mobilizing others to meet such a situation. And that is why it is argued that leaders are not born but made by situations. Situational leaders however persist as long as the condition which brought them into the forefront lasts. They can last longer only if the condition becomes institutionalized or else, by imposing themselves as leaders on the group. Then comes the dictatorial leader generally when a situation brings up a leader , there is the tendency for this individual to either feel that he has the obligation to remain at the head to watch over the interest of that group perpetually irrespective of their wishes ,or that the only befitting gratitude which the group he has helped could render him is to allow him to rule over them .In the absences of such expectations being voluntarily fulfilled , the individual then uses his initial advantage to paralyze initiative amongst his followers and subdue all manner of opposition. He would want to control all phases of life in the community and takes no suggestion from his subordinates except when such suggestions are in his own favour. Generally they succeed in antagonizing others to their disadvantage and so they never last for too long before being toppled. Military rulers who come in through coup D’etat and do not want to return to the barracks are e.g. of dictatorial leaders. Traditional or hereditary leaders: this is one born into a hereditary leadership position which custom and tradition recognize. His leadership status is therefore ascribed rather than achieved. In other words, he has authority by virtue of the tradition of the community (Moss 1970). Charismatic leader charisma means a divine or spiritual power .it also means a personal character or quality that enable an individual to influence his fellow men. A charismatic leader is therefore a type of person who has such personal type of qualities like good looks , high level of intelligence , ability to speak, fearlessness and commitment to a certain idea which when taken altogether make people follow him almost without questioning his authority . He has a more or less magical appeal to the people and they may infact, come to regard him as their saviour. He himself may, as time goes on, begin to feel that he has been divinely inspired to lead. This type of leader tends to thrive most in crises situation where he can display or exhibit his qualities. A number of political leaders can be look upon as charismatic leaders. Professional leaders this is one who earns his leadership position by virtue of his expertise or technical competence. His leadership is therefore not based purely on personal charm, although good personal characteristic can enhance his acceptability to the group he is leading. The community workers, the agricultural extension officer, the medical officer, the organization executive are all professional leaders. In their interaction and leadership roles they control their actions and direct these to conform to the expectations of the organizations they represent, the expectations of their peers within the profession, the expectations of the client population which they serve and to what they expect of themselves as individuals.

Now comes the question what is the base of leadership, this was given by Cartwright and Zander Leadership involves the ability to influence, director control others which means that leadership involves the use of power. Weber (1961) defined power as the ability to affect one’s own will against resistance from others. Power may be exercised by using force, we tend to think of power in relation to government, it is well to remember that it is exercised in many other context as well: in family, schools, hospitals and businesses wherever it is possible to manipulate conditions so that people must obey. The leader must have a recognized power, the sources of which may be within or outside the group led. When his power is from the group, this is spontaneously accorded him by his followers, whereas where the sources of powers is located externally there may be some elements of coercion. Cartwright and Zander (1960) have identified five bases of power of a group leader. These include reward power: Which derives from the belief on the part of the followers that they will be rewarded in some way for complying , in this instance ,power is exercised effectively whenever one party can grant or withhold what another party needs but cannot get elsewhere ; Coercive power: Which arises from the belief that non compliance will result in punishment, expert power: In this case when a person is evaluated to have needed knowledge , information or skill which cannot be obtained readily elsewhere ,that person holds expert power over the group., referent power : This is the power the leader has as a result of his having qualities which the group members like , admire and want to identify with. They submit to him because they identify with him. Legitimate power: this derives from the office or official position which the individual occupies and which gives him the right to cont5rol others and equally compels others to comply. The tax collector, the police all have legitimate powers to do their work.

Power is usually conceived in terms of authority and of influence. Authority and influence are not synonymous as an individual who has influence may not have any authority. Authority is derived from official position and is the power attached to that office whereas influence resides within the individual on the basis of his possession of certain characteristics or qualities which make other people want to submit to him (Ekong, 2003).The basis on which authority is used affects the nature of the organization and of the society of which the organization is the part.(Leaders and leadership roles in relation to effective management of human resources by John Domingo in yang) (

Discussion on leader’s power and influence leads us to think of the styles of leadership. Leadership style is concerned with the behaviour of the leader towards his followers. .Ideally there is three leadership styles:

Autocratic leadership style, in this all policies and procedures are determined by leader. The leader should take considerable responsibility for assigning the activity task and companions of each group member.

Democratic leadership style, wherever possible the policies should be a matter of a group decision and discussion with active encouragement and assistance by the leader. Wherever, technical advice is needed the leader should try to suggest two or more alternative procedure from which choice can be made by the group members.

Laissez-faire leadership style, in this leader should play a rather passive role in social participation and leave complete freedom for group or individual decisions in relation to activity and group procedure. Here the leader does not make any attempts to control the behaviour of the group members. He tends to relinquish his responsibility for most decisions in the organization to his subordinates.( Koehler . anatol and applbaum, 1976)

The function of any leader is to guide his group members. He leads in so far as he is ahead of his group goals. The role of a leader as a guide connotes a person devoted to helping the group move effectively in the direction it chooses to move. The leader as a guide must assist the group to choose this direction judiciously based on his expert knowledge or other advantages. The leader is a group spokesman. The leader is a group harmonizer and an enabler. In other words he is the one who keeps interpersonal relations pleasant, arbitrates disputes, provides encouragement, gives the minority a chance to be heard and increases interdependence among members. He focuses discontent and enables group members verbalize such discontents, encourages organization and emphasizes common objectives of the group. As an enabler he strives to make the group realize its potentialities and strength in cooperative work. He stimulates insight rather than provides all the answers and provides support for others who may want to share in the responsibilities of group organization and action. He is also a group educator or an expert. People submit to him because he is capable of bringing them to see the solutions to their problems. As an expert he provides research data, technical experience, and resource material, advises on methods and assists in evaluation. This may also imply expertise in knowing the traditions and customs of the people and being able to act as a resource person on traditions and cultural issues. The leader is the symbol of is the group’s ideals and an agent of control. People submit to control of a leader because he is able to discern their underlying and inarticulate aspirations and to give them expression. He has the passion for the cause he represents and can crystallize this within men’s hearts. He is loyal to the ideals and aspirations of the group so members look up to him for direction. The leader exercises control over his followers and not necessarily by using sanctions but by exhibiting certain qualities which nourish and maintain favourable sentiments e.g. courage, self sacrifice, hatred of vice, contempt for folly, a sense of national or community destiny, and so forth (Ekong 2003) (Leaders and leadership roles in relation to effective management of human resources by John Domingo in yang)

Historical background of this topic shows us that research on leadership and has been a part of social psychology since its very earliest days: and in recent decades, this research has spilled outside social psychology to the closely related fields of industrial/organizational psychology and organizational behaviour .(Fiedler,1994;Greenberg&Baron,1995).leadership is an inherently subjective subject with many definitions associated to it (Zaharah Hassan 2004) .most of those definitions found in the literature agreed that leadership is mainly concerned with a person who tries to influence groups or followers to achieve certain objectives .the literature also indicates that there are various theories describing leadership such as the traits that leads to successful leaders (Stogdill,1950),and the roles that a leader needs to perform (Mintzberg,1973;Yukl1994). Early researchers viewed leadership in terms of `great person theory’-according to this theory ,great leaders posses certain traits that set them apart from most human beings ;until 1890 research designed to test the theory generally failed to yield positive findings(Geier,1969,Yukl1991).

In recent years ,however this situation has changed greatly more sophisticated research methods ,coupled with a better understanding of basic dimensions of personality ,have led researchers to conclude that leaders do indeed differ from other persons in several important ways(Kirkpatrick & locke,1991) specifically ,recent findings(e.g. Judge&Bono ,2000) suggest that several of what psychologists often term the Big Five Dimensions of Personality may play an important role in leadership(Barrick&mount/;1991). Still we question what characteristics do these leaders have? Leaders are known to have their own leadership style and can be said to be unlike any other leader which is to a great extent true .Literature points to the styles and approach that leaders need to adopt such as shown by early studies conducted by Lowa university ,Ohio university and Michigan universities (Nahavandi,19770)leadership theories also takes into account of the contingencies and situations they face(Fielder,1967;Hersey and Blanchard ,1988).more recent research includes transformational (Burns,19780) and servant leadership (Greenleaf ,1998).Recent writings also noted that there are notions of leadership that are assumed either implicitly or explicitly linking leadership to gender (Zaharah Hassan 2004).Further in this field of study ,studies have shown that people in leadership positions are thought to be or characterized more as men over women ,gender stereotypes ,( Myres 2002) are people’s beliefs about how men and women behave .A major concern dealing with gender stereotypes, are the effects they may have on leadership. Some research shows that these stereotypes may present obstacles for women who wish to compete for a leadership position .Hosoda and Stone(2000) found that the actual stereotype of men and women have remained relatively unchanged from 10-20 years ago, and also found that masculine stereotypes was evaluated less favorable and the feminine stereotype was evaluated more favorably over a period of 21 years ,this was done through studying seventy eight attributes of which twelve were `key’ masculine attributes and rest were associated with feminism .This suggest that people believed that men and women generally behave differently from one another at the same time there were research on effect of perceived attractiveness on leadership of women .a study conducted by Sigel man (1986) found attractiveness a plus for males running for political office ,but not for female candidates. Women were not discriminated against for being pretty but they were not helped by attractiveness as were the men (Sigel 1986). In recent years, transformational and transactional leadership construct has become a popular theme in leadership studies in the general management domain. Unlike task versus relationship oriented leadership, the transformational -transactional leadership notion is viewed as a continuum allowing for individuals to employ transformational and transactional qualities at the same time (Bass 1985, 1990;Bryman,1992) .Bass furthered Burn’s view of transforming leadership to be a leadership style that gives insight into the importance placed on certain outcomes and promotes development and vision in subordinates .Bass also identified five main components to transformational leadership-charisma ,inspiration ,intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration, and extra effort . Burns (1978, as cited in Mher, 1997) suggest that transactional leadership emphasizes exchanges between leader and follower and how needs of subordinates can be fulfilled. Recent research (Hack man, Furniss, Hills Paterson, 1992) implies that to be effective leaders must display both feminine and masculine behaviour. Hack man et al (1992) found that transformational leadership requires a gender balance of strong masculine and feminine characteristics. Transformational leadership is generally held to be a superior form of leadership, built on transactional leadership, but not vice-versa .there is a line of argument in leadership literature contending that female leaders tend to be more transformational than male leaders (Rosener, 1990), since transformational leadership emphasizes on nurturing of subordinates and on the process of socialization, the nurturing qualities of women are particularly well developed in comparison to men. A cross cultural study by Gibson (1995) involving Norway, Sweden, Australia and the US, found that male leaders were more likely to emphasize goal setting than female leaders and female leaders more likely to focus on facilitating interaction then male leader this trend among women leaders who also emphasized in the Malaysian public sector leadership (Raffia Salim 2007, Halipah Esa 2007). However, other scholars such as Butterfield and Powell (1981) Campbell et al (1998) and Ron K (1993) all have concluded that leadership style is independent of gender and that they exhibit similar amounts of task oriented and people oriented leadership behaviour. Kolb (1999) has asserted that two decades of research indicates few, if any, leadership differences in the leadership behavior of male and female.

Leadership in community: Moving from Gender the research on leadership has moved on to study of communities, organization and defence forces. The word community is an umbrella term that is defined and applied in a myriad of ways. For instance, it may be used to refer to refer to geographic communities where members are based on region (lfe, 1997; Maimunah Ismail, 2001); unit of social organization such as worker and community associations (Maimunah Ismail, 2001); cultural Groups that can be identified through religions or races (Maimunah Ismail, 2001); or virtual communities, where members main form of contact is through electronic media (lfe, 1997). Communities of circumstances constitute another possible form of community such community or Group might emerge, for e.g. when floods occur across different regions and those most affected feel connected to one another (Marsh 1999). Finally there are communities of interest, where identity groups form to lobby Government for some kind of policy change or sponsorship various definitions of community development and organization are available in literature. One of the early definitions that were widely accepted was developed by the cooperation (1956) as cited by Maimunah Ismail (1999).It emphasized the process where individuals in the community joined forces to plan and take actions regarding community problems. They identify community problems and needs plan and conduct activities together using available resources. They also sought outside help from Government and private organization. On the other hand, the United Nations (1975), indicated that community development is a process whereby the efforts of individuals in the community were combined with efforts of Government and no bodies to bring about improvement socially and economically. These efforts should lead to national development (Jones, 1982). Kirk and Shutter (2004) suggested a community development model that is more collaborative and comprehensive in nature that comprises of three components leading change through dialogue, collective empowerment and connective leadership. It is said that children are the future of a country and they are the one’s who will be leading the nation tomorrow, therefore it is really a matter of great concern that how should these young generations be groomed, what should be the crux of their positive development? It is here where the role of developmental psychology is needed .development after all is a process of growth and increasing competence. In the important sub domain of social and emotional development, however we are often more articulate about how things go wrong than how they go right. We have a burgeoning field of developmental psychopathology but have a more diffuse body of research on the pathways whereby children and adolescents become motivated, directed, socially competent, compassionate, and psychologically vigorous adults. Corresponding to that we have numerous research based programmes for youth aims curbing drug use, violence ,suicide, teen pregnancy, they lack a vigorous applied psychology of how to promote positive youth development. The place for such a field is apparent to anyone who has had contact with a cross-section of American adolescents. In such a group one encounter a surprising number of youth who appeared to be bored, unexcited about their lives it is in this article of towards positive youth development Reed W. Larson focused on extra co curricular activities helping in positive development of youth. Here when the samples of self report on 16000 moments in the daily experience of a representative sample of white, working and middle class young adolescents-a group that seemingly has everything going for them. These youth reported feeling bored for 27 %.( 4300) of these random moments (Larson &Richards, 1991). Of course these individuals differed in these rates ,but what was surprising was that honor student were as likely as those involved in delinquent activities ,in many cases for more than 50% of random moments . The litany of explanation for this boredom -there’s nothing to do in life, the odyssey is boring, and they communicate ennui of being trapped in the present, waiting for someone to prove them that life is worth living. a central question of youth development is how to get adolescents fire lit ,how to have them develop the complex disposition skills needed to take charge of their lives .this calls for development of initiative in them .The construct initiative is closely related to capacity for agency or for autonomous action that others have discussed (Brandst-idter,1998;Deci 1995;Ryan1993). It consist of the ability to be motivated from within to direct attention and efforts towards a challenging goal , initiative is the core requirement for other components of positive development, such as creativity ,leadership, Altruism and civic engagement. Reed W.Larson argues that western adolescents’ life does not provide abundant daily opportunities for the development of initiative and it is in these activities such as participation in sports, hobbies, arts and in any youth organization opens the door of initiative within. positive youth development however has had not a strong base of research and theory (Brown 1988;Dubas&snider 1993,Murray &foster).the anthropologist Benedict (1938) observed that many traditional society provide a progressive set of steps that socialize youth into the roles and responsibilities of adulthood, whereas adults are required to be independent and suddenly take charge whereas in western society there is marked discontinuity between what we expect of adults , especially with regard to initiative. Benedict pointed out that children in our society are treated as dependent and given few responsibilities ,whereas adults are required to be independent and suddenly take charge of all parts of their life9et Sampson,1988) ,thus in order to develop initiative youths need a series of experience opportunity(1938).participation in extra co curricular activity and community youth organization has been fond to be correlated with higher self-esteem ,control over ones own life etc .(Holland& Andre1978) the problem with these relationship is that participation in these activities is selective ,participation is greater in among higher socio economic status along with parental support(butcher,1985, Holland &AndrĂ© 1987) once these factors are controlled the relationship participation and positive outcomes are reduced .(Agnew&Peterson1989) this claim however is more adequately tested by longitudinal studies .number of studies have fond association between higher school and adult participation in political organization (Dematrini 1983);the arts (blom1985) sports (Howell&Meckenzie,1987) but do not adequately control for the possibility that prior unmeasured third variables .studies that control for some of the variables that effect high school participation such as SES ,grade point average(GPA)still finds effect.(Hanks and Eckland 1978) found that youth who participated in activities were more likely to be involved in voluntary associations at age 30,even with controls for initial SES and academic aptitude .Eccles and barber (1999) fond that participation in structured youth activities in 10th predicted positive changes .(Marsh 1992) too found a positive change with respect to self concept . Classic sociological theories recognizes that joining a group leads to socialization (Berger and luckman,1966).the most extensive and most psychological discussion about the process of social integration are provide by Youniss ,Yates who have focused on how participation in service activities provide a context for civic participation (1997). This opens another avenue to the study of leadership .How far specific training in a particular field can help in mastering and developing a polished skill in the concerned field. (Toward a psychology of positive youth development by reed w. Larson)

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The construct of youth leadership and life skills development is a complex arrangement of experience, backgrounds and attitudes. In the measure of leadership skills of agriculture students leadership and life skills development were defined as skills in communication ,decision making, interpersonal relationship, learning and resource management, understanding self and working with group .participation in FFA leadership activities in combination with the variables after school jobs, years in the FFA .self reported cumulative grades and gender accounted for 22.3% of the variance in youth leadership and life skills development scores. As an addition to the body of knowledge surrounding youth leadership and life skills development this study has revealed an increase in the overall amount of variance explained for this concept, with less than 25% of the variance explained in the phenomenon known as leadership development.(journal of agricultural education24 volume.38, 3,1997 Garry J Wingenbach & Alan A Kahler) .

The hypothesis of this study is that, the leadership quality is higher in the students who undergo NCC training than regular students who do not take NCC training. Today NCC is second largest youth organization in the world and the largest in India (a hand book on NCC) .it is one of the major second line defence force which is known for imparting training in military aspects, it has now expanded its horizon and now aims at developing character qualities amongst cadets and making them into good leaders of tomorrow as well as useful citizens so that they can take their appropriate place in all walks of life in the service of the nation. The qualities of leadership, discipline, spirit de coups, courage and confidence with secular outlooks, which are hallmark of a leader are inculcated in the cadets through a well conceived programme of institutional training combined with adventure, sports and outdoor activities plus many other community development programme -such as disaster management ,adult literacy ,traffic control, village adoption ,tree plantation, blood donation are taken up which gives youths a comprehensive and a very good platform to take initiative in almost aspects of life. not only this the camps are conducted which constitutes the most vital part of national cadet corps where cadets get the thrill and joy of outdoor and community living stay together no matter how rich or how poor they are and thus teaches socialization, team spirit, unity in diversity through its motto of unity and discipline. (

The present study not only aims at adding more knowledge to the existing body of researches in past but it is also trying to go beyond the normal theories of styles, approaches and is focusing on a universal organization that aims at instilling leadership amongst youth .in today’s world we have large number of organizations where we need leaders to lead the team to achieve the organizational goals ,whether it’s the field of scientific research ,the corporate ,the defence, the political world the non governmental organizations etc. thus, it would be interesting to know how far it has been successful in this endeavor.



In this study there were two groups consisting of total 60 subjects of which there were thirty NCC students who had participated in various training camps of NCC and few also had an opportunity to attend the prestigious national and international camps like republic day camp and youth exchange programmes, many have also attended mountaineering and parasailing courses, horse riding cum show jumps. These Students were taken from camp in Bison polo grounds Secunderabad. The non NCC students were the other regular college students taken from colleges like St. Ann’s, Bhavans, CBIT, St.Francis, etc. all the sixty subjects were in the age group of (17-22) years.


The research instrument used for the study was the Leadership Characteristics and Skills Survey questionnaire. The first section of the survey consisted of a small section on personal information like name, age, category (NCC and non-NCC), and gender. The second part of the survey contained thirty questions which focused on individual’s behaviour in a team. Leadership Characteristics and Skills Survey was assessed on five point Likert scale ranging from a score of (very weak-1, moderately weak-2, adequate-3, moderately strong-4, very strong-5). The purpose of this research was to find reliable information.


In this study the students both from NCC and NON-NCC category formed the independent variables. The leadership qualities which was assessed was the dependent variable for this research .the age group from 17-22 was chosen for assessing the leadership qualities because the experimenter was keen in knowing whether a special course or training helps in enhancing one’s managerial skills and also does it really makes a leader out of an ordinary human being. The other reason behind taking this age group was that the youngsters are the future leaders of tomorrow, so how far a youth organization like NCC has been successful in this endeavor of grooming future leaders, since NCC students basically fall in this age group and that is the reason this age was chosen for the study.


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