Very Short Question and Answer

1. State the nature of leadership.

Some of the key natures of leadership are enlisted as follows:

  • Process of interpersonal influence
  • Leaders and followers
  • Common goals
  • Continuous exercise
  • Leadership is situational
2. 2074 Q.No. 8 State what trait theory says about leadership.

 One of the earliest theories to be developed is the trait theory of leadership. Trait theory suggests the fact that leaders are born, not made. As per trait theories of leadership, personal characteristics like physical, personality and mental are associated with leadership success.

3. What is charismatic leadership?

The charismatic theory of leadership primarily focuses on the ability of a leader. As per this theory, the effectiveness of leadership depends upon leaders’ ability to communicate the new vision to their followers and make them aware of the value associated with goals.

4. What is leadership?

Leadership is defined as the influence that is, the art or the process of influencing people so that they will strive willingly and enthusiastically forward the achievement of group goals. In other words, leadership is the ability to influence people and provide an environment for them to achieve team or organizational objectives.

5. What do you mean by the attribution theory of leadership?

Attribution theory of leadership is related to cause and effect relationships. As per this theory, people attribute an event to specific success. According to this theory, the success of an organization generally depends upon the capabilities and motivation of the leader.

6. What do you mean by the transactional theory of leadership?

The transactional theory of leadership explains the exchange relationship between leaders and followers. As per this theory, transactional leadership takes place when leaders and their followers are in some type of exchange relationship that satisfies the needs of one or both parties.

7. Define behavior theories of leadership.

A behavior theory insists that the success of leaders depends upon their behavior. As per this theory, leaders can be identified by reference to their activities and relation to their followers.

Short Question and Answers

1. Define leadership. Explain the behavioral approaches of leadership

Meaning of Leadership

Leadership is defined as the influence that is, the art or the process of influencing people so that they will strive willingly and enthusiastically forward the achievement of group goals. In other words, leadership is the ability to influence people and provide an environment for them to achieve team or organizational objectives.

A key to effective leadership is helping followers to achieve their respective essential goals as well as their maximum potentialities. Dynamic leaders, therefore, should have the ability to awaken in others the desire to follow a common objective. Leadership as a function is explained below the given equation.

L = F (I, F, S)

where, I, F, and S are the variables.

Behavioral Approaches of Leadership

Among the various approaches to leadership, the behavioral approach is one of the widely accepted ones.

This approach is based on the premise that effective leadership is the result of effective role behavior. Success in leadership depends more on what the leader does than on his traits. A leader uses technical, conceptual, and human skills to influence the behavior of his subordinate. Leadership, therefore, becomes a dynamic interaction between the leader and the led.

The behavioral approach is useful as it suggests the functions and activities of a leader. Three important theories included in the behavioral approach are discussed below.

a) Ohio State Studies:

In 1945, a group of researchers at Ohio state university began extensive investigations of leadership. The central focus of their work was to study in-depth the work of a leader. Their effort uncovered many things concerning leadership behaviour. The most publicized aspect of Ohio state leadership was the isolation of two dimensions of leadership behaviour:

  • Initiating structure: A high initiating structure score indicates that leaders structures their and subordinates’ role towards the attainment of goals. They are actively involved in planning work activities, communicating pertinent information, and scheduling work.
  • Consideration: Leaders who were high on the consideration dimension reflected that they had developed a work atmosphere of mutual trust, respect for subordinates’ ideas, and consideration of subordinates’ feelings. Such leaders encouraged good superior-subordinate rapport and two-way communication. A low consideration score indicates that leaders are more impersonal in their dealing with subordinates.

b) University of Michigan Studies

The study showed that Employee-Oriented Leaders (EOL) were associated with higher group productivity and higher job satisfaction on the other hand, Production-Oriented leaders (POL) tend to be associated with low group productivity and lower job satisfaction. Where,

  • Employee-oriented leaders (EOL)– are one who emphasizes interpersonal relation
  • Production-oriented leaders (POL)– are one who emphasizes technical or task aspects of the job

c) The Managerial Grid:

The concept of the managerial grid was created by R.R. Blake and Jane S. Mouton of USA. They emphasize that leadership style consists of facts of both task-oriented and relation-oriented behavior in varying degrees.

To explain the concept they have used two phrases:

  • Concern for production: means the attitude of the supervisors towards a variety of factors concerning production, such as product, procedures, and processes, quality of staff service, workload, efficiency, and quantity of production.
  • Concern for people: includes a degree of personal commitment toward goal achievement, maintaining the self-esteem of workers, responsibility, and conductibility based on trust rather than on force, and satisfying interpersonal relations.
2. A good leader needs not to be a good manager but an effective manager must I have many of the qualities of a good leader.” In this context, distinguish between managers and leaders.

Managers and leaders are distinguished in the following table.





Managers initiate the thinking process and focus on things.

Managers provide direction on operational plans.

A manager is appointed and after that gets a position.

A manager seeks those objectives, which his subordinates do not regard as their own. Thus there is a clash of objectives.

Managers ensure that employees reach their goals by controlling their behavior i.e. they monitor the result by means of reports and meetings and note derivations from the goals.

Decision methods related to managers are based on policies rules and procedures.

To conclude, managers, administer, maintain, control intimate and accept the status quo.

Leaders originate the thinking and focus on people.

Leaders provide vision and help to create the future.

 A leader’s emergence depends on a number of situational factors.

A leader generally seeks those objectives, which are the objectives of his subordinates. Thus, there is a mutuality of objectives between the leader and his followers.

Leaders ensure that employee reaches their goal by ‘motivating and inspiring them and tapping their needs values and emotions.

Decision methods related to leaders are based on values and principles.

To conclude leaders innovate, develop, inspire, originate and change the status quo.


3. What are leadership styles?

Leadership Styles

A leader’s typical way of behaving toward group members is termed a leadership style. It refers to the behavior exhibited by a leader during the supervision of employees. The style represents the leader’s predominant way of acting with his group. Although the style varies with the leader, organizational researchers have listed the following three basic styles:

  • Autocratic Style
  • Democratic Style
  • Free-Style

a) Autocratic style: The autocratic leader assumes full responsibility for deciding on the group’s project by assigning tasks to members and permitting no participation in the decision-making process. He centralizes authority and decision-making in himself and exercises complete and full-fledged control over his subordinates. He sets group goals and structures the work. He gives orders and the subordinates are expected to obey them. Communication tends to be one way i.e. downward.

An advantage of autocratic leadership is that the decisions are very speedy. It is most suited at the time of crisis or when the subordinates are inefficient.

b) Democratic style: Democratic style is widely known as the participative or employee-oriented leadership style. The essence of this style is consultation, the leader consults the subordinates. Before arriving at decisions, participative leadership styles take into consideration the wishes and suggestions of the subordinates as well as the leader. All members of the group are seen as important contributions to the final decision. Communication is two ways i.e. upward as well as downward

Some of the major advantages of the democratic style of leadership are explained as follows:

  • Increased members’ morale and support for the final decision and better decisions through shared information.
  • Ideas among group members participating in decision-making can lead to improving manager/ worker relations.
  • High satisfaction and decreased dependence on the leader
  • Multi-directional communication permits the fruitful exchange of ideas and information between the leader and the led and helps in encouraging member commitment to the decision.

3. Free rein style: Free rein style of leadership is also known as the Laissez-faire style. It goes a step further from the democratic style and turns an entire problem or project over to subordinates. Subordinates are asked to set their own goals and develop plans for achieving them. Thus, in this type of leadership style, a manager avoids power and relinquishes it. leadership position. The leader is a silent spectator. In essence, this approach is characterized by the absence of any active leadership in the group. It is the total abdication of responsibility. The leader merely functions as a group member, providing only as much advice and direction as requested. There is very little control or influence over group members of the leader.

Long Question and Answers

1. Leadership is a process of influencing the people in the organization to regulate their behavior as desired by the leaders. But people are most difficult to understand and getting more complex than the earlier days because of education and rising expectations.” In line with the above statements explain the emerging approaches and current issues in leadership.

 Emerging Approaches and Current Issues in Leadership

Leadership is a term that conjures up different images in different people. For some, it means charisma, while to many, it means power and authority. Leadership skills emerge out of spontaneity needs.

Leadership plays a crucial role in organizational dynamics. It fills many of the voids left in conventional organization design and allows for greater organizational flexibilities and responsiveness to environmental changes. It provides a way to coordinate the effort of diverse groups within the organization and facilitate organizational membership and personal needs satisfaction. It is the quality of managerial leadership that often differentiates effective and ineffective organizations. A rational leader should know different emerging approaches to leadership and current issue in leadership so that they are well equipped to adjust and adapt accordingly.

Emerging Approaches of Leadership

There are different approaches emerging in the field of leadership. Some of them are explained briefly.

  • Attribution theory of leadership: It deals with people trying to make sense of cause-effect relationships. When something happens, they want to attribute it to something. This theory tells that leadership is merely an attribution that people make about other individuals. Effective leaders are generally considered consistent or unwavering in their decisions.
  • Charismatic leadership theory: Followers make attributions of heroic or extraordinary abilities when they observe certain behaviors. Some examples of charismatic leaders are John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. Walt Disney, Ted Turner, Barak Obama, etc. They are found to have extremely high confidence, dominance, and strong convictions in their beliefs.
  • Transactional or transformational leadership: Transactional leaders guide or motivate their followers in the direction of established goals, clear roles, and task requirements. Transactional leaders, inspire followers to transcend their own self-interests for the good of the organization. They are capable of having a profound and extraordinary effect on their followers. Transformational leadership is about leading, and changing the organizational strategies and culture so that they have a better fit with the surrounding environment. They are change agents who energize employees and direct them to a new set of corporate values and behaviors.
  • Visionary leadership: Visionary leadership refers to the ability to create and articulate a realistic, credible, attractive vision of the future for an organization unit. This vision, if properly selected and implemented, is so energizing that leads to the great success of the organization. A vision has clear and compelling imagery that offers an innovative way to improve, which recognizes and draws on traditions, and connects to actions that people can take to realize change. Vision taps people’s emotions and energy. A properly articulated vision creates the enthusiasm that people have for sporting events and other leisure time activities, bringing energy and commitment to the workplace.
2. Discuss the issues in Leadership

Some of the contemporary issues in leadership are explained briefly.

a) Gender issue

Research has shown that regardless of gender, people with leadership traits -such as intelligence, confidence, and sociability- are more likely to be perceived as leaders. However, there are some differences in leadership styles. For example, males tend to use a directive command and control style, while females tend to adopt a more democratic leadership style.

There is increasing evidence indicating that leadership has biological roots. Two chemicals-serotonin and testosterone are found to have a profound effect on becoming a leader. Increased levels of serotonin appear to improve sociability and control aggregation. Higher levels of testosterone increase competitive drive and they are found higher in the players like tennis.

b)National culture

National culture affects leadership style. Leaders cannot choose their styles at will. They are constrained by the cultural conditions that their subordinates have come to expect. For example, an autocratic style is compatible with high power distance, and a participation style is compatible with low power distance.

c) Popularity of empowerment

Empowerment is putting employees in charge of what they do. The problem with the current empowerment movement is that it ignores the extent to which leadership can be shared and the conditions facilitating the success of shared leadership.

d) Moral dimension of leadership

Leadership is not value-free. So we should look at the moral content of a leader’s goal and the means he/she uses to achieve those goals.

3. Who is a leader? Write about trait theory. Explain the traits that a leader should possess.

 Meaning of Leader

A person is said to be a leader when he is able to influence others and make them accept his guidance, suggestions, and directions. A manager is said to be a leader of the organization. S/he will be a successful manager only if s/he is able to influence the attitude and behavior of the subordinates.

Trait Theory

Trait theory is the traditional theory of leadership that rests on the assumption that the individual is more important than the situation and consequently if we can identify the distinctive traits of successful leaders, we can have clue to a leadership problem. According to this theory, it is believed that leaders; possess certain inborn special traits. Thus, an effective leader is supposed to poses certain abilities such as probing others’ minds, predicting future events, commanding predictable obedience, etc. Leadership under this theory is generally thought in terms of personal quality rather than as an organizational function.

The following are the characteristics of a trait theory:

  • Psychological characteristics: Age, height, weight
  • Background characteristics: Education, experience, social status, mobility
  • Social characteristics: Tact, diplomacy, prestige, supervisory, ability, cooperativeness, and popularity
  • Task-related characteristics: Initiative, persistence, need for achievement, responsibility
  • Intelligence characteristics: ability, judgment, knowledge
  •  Personality characteristics: self-confidence, enthusing, decisiveness, aggressiveness, extroversion, decisiveness, alertness, dominance, authoritarianism, independence, etc.

Many people have traits specified for leaders and still do not show leadership. Some of the traits may ‘describe a successful leader but predicting successful leaders on the basis of traits alone is not a correct approach.

4. What are the Qualities of a Successful Leader

The key qualities essential to being a successful leader are explained briefly.

  • Intelligence: A successful leader must have above-average knowledge and intelligence. Mental ability to think precisely, analyze accurately, interpret clearly, and consciously are necessary to consider the problems from the right perspective.
  • Maturity: A leader should possess a high level of emotional stability and a cool temperament. He needs to have a high degree of tolerance.
  • Sound health: Sound physical and mental health is essential to bear the burden of leadership. Sound health includes physical stamina, nervousness, energy, mental vigor, and important leadership qualities.
  • Self-confidence: He should have confidence in himself and strong willpower.
  • Empathy: The leader must have the ability to see things from others’ points of view. He must respect the viewpoints and feelings of others.
  • Foresight and vision: He should have the capability to look forward and anticipate the events. He should have a high degree of imagination, moral courage, breadth, and determination.
  • Decisiveness: A leader must have sound judgment and the ability to take quick decisions.
  • Human relations approach: A leader must have the capacity to understand people, work with them and gain their confidence, loyalty, and voluntary cooperation. He must be able to motivate people towards higher performance.
  • Responsibility: A leader should be a responsible person and must be willing to assume responsibility for the consequences.
  • Objectivity: A good leader should be fair and objective in dealing with subordinates. He must be free from bias and prejudice.

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