Table of Contents
Theories of Leadership:
Leadership is one of the most important and widely researched topics in Public Administration studies. Research work done by Ronald Lippitt and Ralf K. White at the University of Lowa, Bureau of Business Research, Ohio State University has been a pioneering study of leadership. Likewise, several other scholars have tried to explain the nature of leadership. In fact, there exist several theories of leadership, out of which the most important and popular theories of leadership are:
(1) Trait Theory.
(2) Group Theory or Psychological Theory.
(3) Situational Theory.
(4) Supportive Theory or Participative Theory or Semantic Theory of Leadership.
The Group Theory or Psychological Theory of Leadership:
The Group Theory of Leadership has been developed by social psychologists and that is why it is called the Psychological Theory of Leadership. This theory emphasizes the fact that leaders provide benefits to their followers. As such, the major function of a leader, according to this theory, is to develop the best motivation system. The leader stimulates the subordinates to contribute to organizational objectives as well as to satisfy their own personal goals.
According to this theory, the followers depend upon those leaders who satisfy their needs or who are expected to satisfy their needs and interests. A leader is one who has the ability to satisfy the needs and interests of his followers. He should have the ability to motivate people.
The Group Theory of Leadership is quite broad and general. The technique for motivating are many and success is usually associated with the adoption of the correct technique for every particular individual circumstances.
The Supportive Theory or Participative Theory or Democratic Theory of Leadership:
The Democratic Theory of Leadership advocates the concept of leadership which supports the efforts of his followers. Such leadership acts in a democratic and participating way and ensures that the decisions made and works undertaken are such as are supported by his followers. The leader creates a work environment that promotes the desire by virtue of which the followers perform to the best of their abilities, cooperate with others, and develop their skills and abilities. The leader plays the role of encouraging his followers to participate willingly in decision-making as well as in the process of achieving results through the implementation of accepted and agreed decisions.
None of the above theories of leadership can be individually accepted as a wholesome and fully acceptable theory. Each theory has its validity in parts. As such, all of them taken together can be used for explaining the nature of leadership and the relations between the leaders and their followers.