Leadership Styles Theories

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Decision making: makes them independently with no input from others
Task driven
Little creativity
Short on humor
Difficult for staff to be “heard”
Decisions need to be made quickly, when there’s no need for input, and when team agreement isn’t necessary for a successful outcome.
When would this be appropriate? Code, crisis situation, military, bureaucratic settings (Might be useful when quick action or critical decisions must be made in which everyone must perform in the same way.)
disadvantage: In general, it is ineffective with professionals and creates workplace issues.
Consultative: allows team input on decision, but degree of input varies
Decision making
Empowers individuals
Acts as coach, team leader
Important when team agreement matters, but it can be difficult to manage when there are lots of different perspectives and ideas.
When would this be appropriate? Manager of a floor, good when cooperation and collaboration is necessary. (Might be useful when sufficient time is available or when the group must agree on a plan. In general, this approach is effective in healthcare and helps reinforce the concept of team. It is especially effective when a group is dealing with a quality initiative.)
Disadvantage – if there are lots of differing opinions it’s hard to come to an agreement.
Non-directive, non-interfering
Permissive: allows team to make decisions
Works well when the team is highly capable, motivated, and doesn’t need close supervision
Can arise because the leader is lazy or distracted; and this is where this style of leadership can fail
When would this be appropriate? Physicians letting the med students lead
trait theory
Physical and emotional characteristics that inspire others
*Early belief that leadership qualities are innate; later others believed they can be learned and improved upon. Self-awareness of traits is useful for personal growth, but is a limited theory.
*Great leaders share many of the same personality traits
* Application to practice: Self-awareness of traits is useful in self-development (e.g. developing assertiveness) and in seeking employment that matches traits (drive, motivation, integrity etc.)
style or exchange theory
What do they do in relational and contextual terms, 360-degree feedback is obtained. Leaders are employee-centered.
*Developed because of the limitations of trait theory
*Style theories focus on what leaders do in relational and contextual terms. The achievement of satisfactory performance measures requires supervisors to pursue effective relationships with their subordinates while comprehending the factors in the work environment that influence outcomes.
*Application to practice: To understand “style,” leaders need to obtain feedback from followers; superiors, and peers, such as through Managerial Grid Instrument. Employee-centered leaders tend to be the leaders most able to achieve effective work environments and productivity.
situational contingency
Degree of trust/respect, task structure, positional power, style of leadership dependent upon situation; can change as needed.
*These theorists believed that leadership effectiveness depends on the relationship among 1) the leader’s task at hand 2) his or her interpersonal skills, and 3) the favorableness of the work situation.
* Three factors are critical: 1) the degree of trust and respect between leaders and followers, 2) the task structure denoting the clarity of goals and the complexity of problems faced, 3) the position power in terms of where the leader was able to reward followers and exert influence. Consequently, leaders were viewed as able to adapt their style according to the presenting situation.
*Application to practice: These theories consider the challenge of a situation and encourage an adaptive leadership style to complement the issue being faced. In other words, nurses must assess each situation and determine appropriate action based on the people involved.
transformational theory
Attends to needs/motives of followers; leader is a role model, more recent theory and more effective in current health care settings.
*Refers to a process whereby the leader attends to the needs and motives of followers so that the interaction raises each to high levels of motivation and morality. The leader is a role model who inspires followers through displayed optimism, provides intellectual stimulation, and encourages follower creativity.
*Application to practice: Transformed organizations are responsive to customer needs, are morally and ethically intact, promote employee development, and encourage self-management. Nurse leaders with transformational characteristics experiment with systems redesign, empower staff, create enthusiasm for practice, and promote scholarship of practice at the patient-side.
Hersey Blanchard situational leadership theory
All leadership styles are used based upon the context of the situation and consider the maturity level of the follower
leads based on situation; adapt to the situation
degree of trust/respect, task structure, positional power
style of leadership dependent upon situation; can change as needed
transformation leadership
Transformational: motivates using influence and persuasion, not using rewards/punishment
attends to needs/motives of followers; leader is a role model
more recent theory and more effective in current healthcare settings
Transformational leadership- is based on an inspirational vision that changes the framework of the organization for employees. Employees are encouraged to transcend their own self-interest. This style of leadership involves communication that connects with employees’ ideas in a way that causes emotional engagement.
5 key practices of transformational leadership- Challenging the process, Inspiring shared vision, Enabling others to act, Modeling the way, Encouraging the heart (ex. saying thank you)
Leader Behaviors: Charismatic, inspiring and motivating, intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration
Effect on Follower: A shared vision, increased self-worth, challenging and meaningful work, coaching and mentoring happens, feeling valued
Organizational Outcomes: Increased loyalty, increased commitment, increased job satisfaction, increased morale and performance
transactional leadership
is the traditional “boss” image. Employees understand that a superior makes the decisions with little or no input from subordinates. Relies on the power of organizational position and formal authority to reward and punish performance.
Leader Behaviors- Contingent reward (quid pro quo), punitive, management by exception (active)- monitors performance and takes action to correct, management by exception (passive)- intervenes only when problems exist
Effect on Follower- Fulfills the contract or gets punished, does the work and gets paid, errors are corrected in a reactive manner
Organizational outcomes- Work is supervised and completed according to the rules, deadlines are met, limited job satisfaction, low to stable levels of commitment
Categories: Leadership