Business Psychology on Leadership - Essay Example

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In the paper “Business Psychology on Leadership,” the author provides critical perspectives on leadership. The different mainstream approaches to leadership are the following: trait, behavioral, transformational, and situational/contingency approaches…
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Business Psychology on Leadership
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Download file to see previous pages The trait approach to leadership focuses on the leader, not the followers.  This approach “emphasizes that having a leader with a certain set of traits is crucial to having effective leadership” (Adam & Eves, n.d).  In this approach, society sees qualities in individuals that they deem worthy characteristics in their leaders, and consequently they install them as their leaders.  The trait approach relies on qualities of a person ranging from the superficial to the intellectual and even to the spiritual.  Physical qualities in a leader could be in the person’s height, general appearance, and grooming.  Less superficial traits such as intelligence, honesty, integrity, and expertise are also qualities that people expect in their leader.  “In the trait approach, effective leadership is defined in terms of the traits of leaders thought to exemplify good leadership”  (Vasu, et.al., 1998, p.98).  This approach equates good leadership with desirable traits and qualities (such as those previously mentioned).    The trait approach to leadership focuses on the leader, not the followers.  This approach “emphasizes that having a leader with a certain set of traits is crucial to having effective leadership” (Adam & Eves, n.d).  In this approach, society sees qualities in individuals that they deem worthy characteristics in their leaders, and consequently they install them as their leaders.  The trait approach relies on qualities of a person ranging from the superficial to the intellectual and even to the spiritual.  Physical qualities in a leader could be in the person’s height, general appearance, and grooming.  Less superficial traits such as intelligence, honesty, integrity, and expertise are also qualities that people expect in their leader.  “In the trait approach, effective leadership is defined in terms of the traits of leaders thought to exemplify good leadership”  (Vasu, et.al., 1998, p.98).  This approach equates good leadership with desirable traits and qualities (such as those previously mentioned).    Behavioural Approach The behavioral approach came about as a response and as an alternative to the trait approach to leadership.  The focus of this approach is the behavior of the leader, not his qualities or traits.  “Effective leadership became transformed into what leaders do as opposed to what they are” (Great Visionaries, n.d.).  As a result of this approach, there was a greater emphasis on training leaders to be better in their craft.  In this approach, the leader’s behavior is easier to describe because they are observable actions, as opposed to traits that may be generally characterized and reduced to single word adjectives which are difficult to measure or quantify.  Transformational The transformational approach to leadership makes use of “’transactions’ as a means of motivating employees to achieve business results” (Gmelin, 2005). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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