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Leadership theory taxonomy

Leadership theory taxonomy

A 1-page taxonomy that follows the Leadership Theory Taxonomy Template available in this Module�s

Learning Resources to the Assignment Part 1 – Module 2 link.

A 4- to 6-page (not including cover page or references) Leadership Theory Taxonomy paper that explains
in detail each theory listed in the taxonomy, by synthesizing multiple scholarly references and examples.
This paper will be submitted to the Assignment Part 2 Turnitin – Module 2 link. Be sure to include the

following in your paper:

Five peer-reviewed scholarly resources in addition to those offered by the Learning Resources
Specific examples of two of the four theories drawn from experiences or scholarly literature

Work that adheres to APA style


Leadership theory taxonomy

Over the number of years, leadership has continuously evolved giving rise to the different
types of leadership positions. The leadership theory taxonomy studies the behavior, traits and
ability of a leader to play the important role that the society expects them to play. The various
leadership theories are defined by the various unique characteristics and they vary considerably.
In this study, three types of leadership’s taxonomical theories are going to be explored. The three
include transformational, situational leadership taxonomy, contingency and leader- member

Transformational leadership theory

Transformational leadership refers to the mode that goes beyond the normal running of
day-to-day operations in any business organization. It depicts the leadership of the future
whereby the leader is more interested in creation of a vision for the company. Transactional
leadership runs or provides a mechanism to run the day-to-day operations without much focus on
the future goals of any company (Patrulescu, n.d ). The transformational style was coined in the
year 1973 by Downtown. It puts more emphasis on providing motivation or morale for their
employees, understanding their problems and looking at the bigger picture of trying to solve such
problems. It also places high regard to the employees of a given company and urges them to put
more focus on the good of the group rather than the individual interests. Additionally the leader
serves to motivate and inspire those under them, at the same time providing them with an
opportunity to make solo individual positions regarding several types of issues (Sarros& Santora,

The common four features that describe the transformational leaders are referred to as the
4is. They include intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation, individual consideration and
idealized influence. Transformational leaders are open-minded and tend to agree with most of the
employees wishes. They area also extraverts and conscious of the surrounding climate that their
employees face. A perfect example of a transformational leader was Nelson Mandela. Nelson
managed to inspire confidence in the people of South Africa in abolishing apartheid in South
Africa .similarly Martin Luther King Junior similarly managed to abolish discrimination between
the whites and blacks providing them with equal opportunities in the united States. Meanwhile
Nelson Mandela urged forgiveness between the native compatriots of south Africa and the Boers
who had racially segregated them. The followers since they looked upon the leader they agreed
to let by gones and embrace each other thanks to the leader (Sarros& Santora, 2001).

Situational leadership theory

Situational leadership charges leaders to change basing on the various conditions or
circumstances. The four main leadership characteristics that define the leadership are
delegative, supportive, directing and coaching role. The delegative role allows the leadership to
assign powers or specific job details to other employees to act on their behalf in making certain
conditions or situations. The delegative style of leadership is considered as one of the highest
form of leadership position. Supporting leadership form allows the individual leader to
consciously partner with their employees or subjects in assisting them to achieve their various
roles or goals.. the leaders in this case act more as consultants assisting the employees where
some matters may be difficult or complex (Graeff, 1997)..

The coaching mode of leaders requires both directive and supportive principles from the
leader. The leader is supposed to teach the employee about key aspects concerning their jobs.
The employees or followers of the leaders might not have particular knowledge concerning a
given subject. Therefore , the mode that leader, uses ultimately defines whether the followers
would understand the said concepts. It becomes imperative that leaders become more supporting
in assisting the employees. The leader should direct the employees or followers to acquire the
basic knowledge and skills. Finally yet importantly, the directive method employed in situational
leadership is used in providing supervision. Situational leadership is much more of an adaptive
mod of leadership practiced by most leaders throughout the world( Nye, 2013).

Contingency theory

Similar to the situational theory, contingency theory defines circumstances between
leadership styles and different situations. The success of the leader depends on the task structure,
subordinates and the power position. The task structure requires every aspect of the task to be
organized clearly. The leader power position provides the leaders with an option of firing the
employee in case they do not meet the organizations goals or objectives. The leader has the
option of hiring new employees. The leader’s member relationship in the structure would
determine the success of the leader. A closer relationship between the leader and the members
results in a higher chance of success. The best way of organizing a given organization is in the
managing the task ahead. The contingency structure puts more emphasis on using different
managing practices in different organizations

Leader-member theory

Leader- member exchange theory puts more emphasis in the communication structure
between the leaders and their subordinates. The more and closer the relationship between the
leaders and the subordinates the more the higher of success in an organization. By having the
leader –member theory, the members know the exact roles they are to play in the company in
realizing the set objectives. The leader in this case provides a better organizational climate due
to the close relationship. A better communication structure results in provision of solutions to
the problems that affect the organization. Leaders have an important role in building this
communication barriers and the only way to enhance this communication is via breaking the
normal communication barriers (Sherman,2002).
Leaders –member exchange theory has three important roles. Role taking, role making
and routinisation of the roles. Role taking involves the leader’s ability in assign new roles to
every new member that joins a specific team. Role making involves the assigning the members
in a given group. The in-group recognizes employees or composed of members who have
proved their loyalty and trust to the leader(Antonakis, & House, 2014). They are provided with
unrestricted opportunities in doing most of the task since they are completely trusted. People in
this group have a similar personality to the leader. The out-group is composed of employees who
have shown distrust or have been not loyal to the leaders. The communication structure is a little
bit broken and the members of the group are a restricted access. Finally yet importantly, in daily
company routines, in-group members tend to rely on the leaders and would want to maintain a
good impression to their leaders. Out-group members have a lot of distrust for their leaders and
never carry out activities in the right manner (Antonakis & House, 2014)..
In conclusion, the different taxonomical theories underlying the various types of
leadership ultimately defines the type of leader in any organizational setting and climate.

Additionally, the leaders who are the forefront of maintaining the image of the company should
choose one of the methods to lead their organization.



Antonakis, J., & House, R. (2014). Instrumental leadership: Measurement and extension of
transformational–transactional leadership theory. The Leadership Quarterly, 25(4), 746-
Graeff, C. (1997). Evolution of situational leadership theory: A critical review. The Leadership
Quarterly, 8(2), 153-170.

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