Theoretical Perspectives on Leadership: by HC11121420243


									Theoretical Perspectives on
      The Trait Approach

• One psychological perspective on leadership

"Leadership is just like psychic fraud... you're waiting
  for something lucky to happen you can take credit
  for" (Dilbert, 2002)
• The Trait Approach
  – Personality
  – Motives
  – Cognitive factors

• Leadership Traits Activity
      Understanding Leadership:
        The Trait Approach
• The “Great Man” theory:
     • The best leaders have particular qualities which make
       them inherently more fit to lead than other people.
     • Julius Caesar or Napolean would have been influential
       figures anywhere anytime
• This view is represented in biographies, news
  reporting, history books
• Common sense approach to leadership
          The Trait Approach

• Most extreme form:
  – Leaders are born, not made.

• Characteristics associated with leadership can
  be classified into three broad categories
  – Personality traits
  – Motives
  – Cognitive factors
              Personality Traits
• P1) Self-confidence
  – The ability to be certain about one’s competencies
    and skills

• P2) Integrity
  – The quality of honesty and trustworthiness. They
    inspire confidence because they can be trusted.
               Personality Traits
• P3) Sociability
   – A leader’s inclination to seek out pleasant social
     relationships. Have good interpersonal skills and are
                  Leader Motives
• M1) The power motive
   – Have a strong need to control resources

• Can be used for the sake of the powerholder or for
  helping others
       2 Types of Power Motives
• Personalized power motive
  – Seek power mostly to further their own interests.

• Socialized power motive
  – Use power primarily to achieve organizational goals
    or a vision. Power is used to help others.
              Leader Motives
• M2) Drive and achievement motive
  – Putting forth high energy and persistence into
    achieving goals
  – Finding joy in accomplishments
               Leader Motives
• M3) Strong work ethic
  – The belief in the dignity of work. They value hard

• M4) Tenacity
  – Better at overcoming obstacles because of their
             Cognitive Factors
• C1) Intelligence
     • Intellectual ability strongly related to leadership
• C2) Knowledge of the business or group task
     • Important for the leader to provide expertise in the
       field that will be a source of competitive advantage
• C3) Creativity
     • Creative in finding original and imaginative solutions
       to complex problems.
             Cognitive Factors

• C4) Insight into people and situations
     • A depth of understanding that requires intuition and
       common sense.
• C5) Farsightedness and conceptual thinking
     • Need to develop visions and corporate strategies.
     • Need to see the overall perspective
• C6) Openness to experience
     • Having a positive orientation towards learning
            Traits of a Leader Exercise
    1                             10
Trait not                   Trait strongly
manifest                      manifest

                                             1.   Self-confidence
                                             2.   Integrity
    Using the 1-10 scale above, assess       3.   Sociability
    the following three people on the
    traits listed to the right:              4.   Power motives
                                             5.   Drive and achievement motives
• 1) Colin Powell                            6.   Tenacity
                                             7.   Intelligence
• 2) The leader you most admire              8.   Knowledge of group task

• 3) Yourself.
       Strengths and Limitations
         to the Trait Approach
• Strengths
     • Intuitively appealing

     • A great deal of research

     • In-depth understanding of the leader

     • Provides a way to evaluate our own leadership attributes
         Strengths and Limitations
           to the Trait Approach
• Limitations
     •   Often based on leader’s own accounts
     •   Measurement of traits is difficult
     •   Comprehensive reviews fail to find a general set of traits
     •   Overlooks the needs of the followers
     •   Fails to clarify relative importance of traits
     •   It ignores situational factors
     •   Not amenable to training and development
Empirical vs non-empirical research
 Empirical:
    Empirical research is research which uses data derived from
    actual observation or experiment to reach conclusions. Original
    research papers that describe empirical studies and their results
    are published in academic journals.

    A non-empirical approach to research makes no explicit or
    formal reference to data as such. This research results from
    thinking, reading and contemplation.
To determine if an article is an empirical research article, use these

 What is the name of the journal?
  Popular magazines like Newsweek or Life Magazine don’t publish
  empirical research articles; publications like the Journal of Personality
  and Social Psychology or the Leadership Quarterly do.

 How long is the article?
  An empirical research article is usually substantial, not 1 or 2 pages.

 Does the article contain references to other works?
  Serious researchers always cite their sources.

 Does the abstract of the article contain variations of the words
   study, measure, subjects, data, survey, or statistical to describe
   the empirical research?

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