Associate Professor Human Resource Management, India
Received date: January 13, 2017; Accepyed date: February 18, 2017; Published date: February 24, 2017
Citation: Puranik V (2017) Literature Review of Leadership. J Entrepren Organiz Manag 6:207. doi:10.4172/2169-026X.1000207
Copyright: © 2017 Puranik V. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Visit for more related articles at Journal of Entrepreneurship & Organization Management
In his genre-defining book titled “Leadership”, James MacGregor Burns made striking mentions of ‘qualities of leaders’ and since then i.e., for past few decades, it is being discussed and understood that a leader’s qualities and his character will make a greater difference to his effectiveness. According to Burns, civilization depends on ‘transforming leaders’ i.e., not only problem solvers but those who could help the society to a higher level of morality and motivation. Some writers on Leadership say that leaders are those who not only ‘do things right’ but are also seen ‘to do the right thing’. In that case, which type of leaders would necessarily be counted on for doing the right thing? Lee Iacocca who is a domineering charismatic battler; Highly performance oriented ruthless leaders like Jack Welch; Proponents of ‘Servant Leadership ‘styles like Max De Pree of Herman Miller; Darwin Smith, CEO Kimberly- Clark who is a quiet stoic and is lauded by Jim Collins in his book ‘Good and Great’; people like Attila the Hun whose leadership secrets have been collected with time? According to Mintzberg , leaders share one personality trait in common, a passion to lead. But each of the above styles of leadership have their own and multiple advocates and acolytes. The field of Leadership does not have a dearth of experts or sophistication of approaches but there is still no consensus on which style of leadership is the most effective. Even though individual qualities of leaders do matter, the effectiveness of leadership is increasingly believed to depend on the situational and context factors in which the leaders are working. Research of 160 CEOs shows that leadership is driven not so much by what someone is like inside but by what the outside demands . It is essential to consider temporal changes in patterns of leader behaviour and dynamics of the task undertaken by them when conceptualizing the effectiveness of their styles
In his genre-defining book titled “Leadership”, James MacGregor Burns made striking mentions of ‘qualities of leaders’ and since then i.e., for past few decades, it is being discussed and understood that a leader’s qualities and his character will make a greater difference to his effectiveness. According to Burns, civilization depends on ‘transforming leaders’ i.e., not only problem solvers but those who could help the society to a higher level of morality and motivation. Some writers on Leadership say that leaders are those who not only ‘do things right’ but are also seen ‘to do the right thing’. In that case, which type of leaders would necessarily be counted on for doing the right thing? Lee Iacocca who is a domineering charismatic battler; Highly performance oriented ruthless leaders like Jack Welch; Proponents of ‘Servant Leadership ‘styles like Max De Pree of Herman Miller; Darwin Smith, CEO Kimberly- Clark who is a quiet stoic and is lauded by Jim Collins in his book ‘Good and Great’; people like Attila the Hun whose leadership secrets have been collected with time? According to Mintzberg , leaders share one personality trait in common, a passion to lead. But each of the above styles of leadership have their own and multiple advocates and acolytes. The field of Leadership does not have a dearth of experts or sophistication of approaches but there is still no consensus on which style of leadership is the most effective. Even though individual qualities of leaders do matter, the effectiveness of leadership is increasingly believed to depend on the situational and context factors in which the leaders are working. Research of 160 CEOs shows that leadership is driven not so much by what someone is like inside but by what the outside demands . It is essential to consider temporal changes in patterns of leader behaviour and dynamics of the task undertaken by them when conceptualizing the effectiveness of their styles .
The leadership style itself and the eventual outcome of the task had very strong effects on the perception of appropriateness of leadership style (participative or consultative). In turn the perceived appropriateness of the leadership style greatly influenced the judgment of the ability of the leader and also willingness of the follower to work for him. Gender had no effect . Good management definitely seems to be essential for companies, as they go through the struggle to achieve efficiency and profitability. But the companies would depend on leaders to motivate employees and manage problems effectively. It is accepted that a company’s success is largely dependent on its leaders, however, what is not clearly understood many a times is effect of leadership on employee satisfaction. A leader who can help subordinates to achieve their own goals by having influence in the organisation will be acceptable . Many a times leaders may indulge in superficial measures like minor policy and procedure changes, overhead control, managing fiscal benefits in order to positively impact the organisation. In the process they may conveniently bypass the more vital interventions of education, empowering and employee support for organisation effectiveness. However this may work only for a short term. In reality to gain long-term profitability, employee passion and customer loyalty should be sought through leadership actions which are strategically aligned. Leaders should have the ability to influence people to strive willingly to cope with changes for sustained periods.
Leaders who are supportive to the strategy and exercise their leadership actions in alignment with the organizational strategy may be called strategic leaders. Strategic leadership is a process of constantly assessing whether the company is on the right path to the designed goals and continuously checking the progress towards the same. Strategic leadership works with the vision, culture, values and all strategically aligned features of the organisations. Leader’s role is to understand the strategy and put it forth in operational form for implementation by employees while exemplifying the values and vision of the organisation. Making strategic plans keeping in mind the environmental and internal strengths and opportunities is also a leader’s operational role .
What makes a leader effective? Interpersonal, cognitive and political skills, technical expertise and project management skills are essential for effective leadership . Organizing skills, envisioning success, and ability to achieve social integration is also important for leaders. Spanning the external environment to ensure that their team efficiently achieves the goals of the organisation at the same time maintaining a cohesive team is also one of the essential qualities a leader must have. They should seek employee support in terms of information for monitoring the organisation and its goals, by creating transparent systems and a culture of sharing.
Correlations were found between certain aspects of leader behaviour, emotional intelligence and performance. This correlation varied as a function of self-awareness of managers . Emotional competencies were also found to be largely responsible for effective performance when 121 business organisations from all over the world were studied . Another study indicated that subordinates job performance and their job satisfaction resulted from the superior’s use of ‘Sullivan’s Motivating language theory’ . Subordinates who are Collectivists and those who are individualists are motivated creatively by different leadership style from their superiors; collectivists prefer transformational whereas the latter prefer transactional leaders . When leaders exhibited reward and punishment behavior which was contingent to subordinate behaviour a significant change in subordinate perception, attitude and behaviour was observed. This however was not the case when the leader behavior was not contingent. This change in subordinate behaviour is moderated by two key moderating variables viz. role ambiguity and employee perception of justice . In case of groups, group members were creative, gave more supportive remarks and solution clarifications when their leaders were high transformational leaders than when they were low transformational.
Leadership styles are seen to reflect demands of the situation. According to Hersey and Blanchard , there are four leadership styles S1, S2, S3, S4. These styles are based on two dimensions namely: Task orientation behaviour and Relationship orientation behaviour.
S1- High on Task orientation and low on relationship orientation
S2- High on both task orientation and relationship orientation
S3- High on Relationship orientation and low on task orientation
S4- Low on both relationship and task orientation.
Since S1 and S2 are high on task orientation they are essentially driven by the leader whereas S3 and S4 which are high on relationship are called follower-driven styles of leadership. In the ‘Life Cycle’ theory proposed by Hersey and Blanchard , ‘Readiness of the follower’ is the situational variable. The Readiness of the follower to do work is dependent upon the ‘Psychological Maturity and Task maturity’ of the follower and the’ willingness shown by the follower to do the job’. As the employee gains experience on the job, his task maturity and Psychological maturity goes on increasing. The willingness of the employee to do work is on the other hand seen to be very high initially even though the task and psychological maturity is low. With S2 style the ability of the follower increases but the willingness increases faster. S3 style sees a decrease in the willingness with an increase in the ability (task and psychological maturity) and S4 style sees a highly mature and willing employee.
Leaders most of the times have a preferred ‘default’ style. It is seen through research that S2 or S3 are the most commonly used styles. In a study conducted on nurses in a public sector hospital, S2 seemed to be the prominent style. It is interesting to note that in a study conducted in the manufacturing (Pharmaceutical industry) sector, the S2 and S3 styles were being used by the top management, not the middle management. This may be due to the fact that the top management has been collapsed into the middle management. The basic leadership style in manufacturing organisations is S1, and the supporting style is S2. When promoted, managers use S2 as the basic style and S3 as the supporting style . 54% Leaders have only one preferred style, 35% are seen to have 2 Leadership styles which they prefer and only about 1% are seen to have a balanced use of all four styles .
Pattern impact of styles
There are various combination of Leadership styles possible. Detailed analysis of the different combinations of styles is presented in the Table 1 below.
|Style||Effect on Subordinate||Useful when?||Drawbacks||Comment|
|S1-S2||Subordinates with low maturity like this leader, those with higher maturity will not like him/her||In crisis, under pressure||Leader is unable to take strategic decisions and finds it difficult to delegate||Developmental for low maturity subordinates|
|S1-S3||This will seem to abrupt style and may seem to discourage subordinates||When subordinate has the potential to develop||Developmental only if subordinate has potential|
|S1-S4||Will create confusion in the minds of subordinates||When things go wrong manager will portray names of employees who criticize him/her and will manage by managing mistakes||Non-developmental style|
|S2-S3||Higher level subordinates frustrate him.||Leader has difficulty working alone and with speed.||Leader is a people’s person|
|S2-S4||Subordinates feel that the leader has no interest in them||The shift from S2 style to S4 style is very abrupt||Leader efforts are not appreciated|
|S3-S1||Subordinates become ‘Yes men’(Pierre du Plessis, 2008)||Used by inexperienced leaders who try to use participative style||Result in adjudication by leaders|
|S3-S4||Developed and mature subordinates will like this leader||When subordinates are of high level of maturity||Will not be useful when the tasks are structured and the environment is not flexible||Highly mature leadership style. Leader is low profile leader|
Table 1: Leadership different combinations of styles.
Leaders in the IT industry like any other leaders, lead the subordinates to the common goals/targets of the organisation. They, in addition to having the technical skills to resolve technical difficulties are required to motivate, coach and steer the employees using charisma as against directive style . It is so because unlike any other industry, the IT industry is knowledge-based. Efficient use of a skilled labor force is the forte of the industry. A positive polar context of organisation, where the organisation is adaptive, has a simple structure, clan mode of governance, and transformational leadership, is more acceptable as compared to negative polar context where orientation is bureaucratic and efficiency oriented . There would be a strong relationship between styles of leadership and satisfaction of different need-areas in the public sector. A significant difference between an executive and supervisor in terms of leadership styles on the basis of ‘Task Behaviour’ and ‘Relationship Behaviour’ could also be seen in the public sector . A person-centered leadership is found to be effective in non- profit organisations by Plas and Lewis . The traits of smartness, verbal ability, aggressiveness, consistent and hard work are the key traits which subordinates seek in effective leaders according to Robbins, Judge and Vohra (2012).
Leaders having high emotional intelligence seek challenges as they perceive them as opportunities for development not only for the individual but also for the organisation . In a study conducted on IAS officers, Rajkhowa  observed that many IAS officers were in the average category of emotional intelligence. Singh  attempted to find out the relationship between different professions and levels of emotional intelligence. Singh concluded that different EI is required for different professions. Therefore neither high EI is good nor low EI is bad. In fact there are various components of EI and a balance of these components is required. These requirements may be different for different professions. Also though the findings indicate that majority of the managers are seen to have a moderate EQ it would be wrong to conclude that a high EQ is not required for effective management. Chakraborty and Chakraborty  in their Y-V/PECI model have given emotions an implicit precedence over intellect. The Yoga- Vedanta (Y-V) model is based on the two pillars Purification of emotions (PE) and clarity of intellect (CI). The model also portrays relative priorities for leaders and subordinates on PE and CI. Boyatzis and Ratti  conducted a study to find out the competencies of effective managers. The study consisted of collecting measures of performance of managers from their superiors and their subordinates. Social, Emotional and cognitive Intelligence predicted performance. With specific reference to the emotional intelligence cluster, it was observed that the executives with a high score in this cluster showed more initiative, and managers at the middle level who had a high score exhibited better planning than those who had lesser scores. Emotional Intelligence was found to be positively co-related to leadership in IT organisations , to creativity of teams Rego et al.  and organisational outcomes . When an emotion is expressed and understood by member from similar ethnic group, it gives an ingroup advantage to the team member according to Elfenbein and Ambady . Emotional Intelligance consists of 5 domains: Self-awareness, Self-management, self-motivation, empathy and social skills. A brief explanation of the domains is as given below.
• Self-awareness- understanding self
• Self-management-Ability to use one’s emotions to enhance rather than hinder task at hand
• Self-motivation-Continue on the course towards the goal inspite of negative emotions
• Empathy-Understand others emotions and be sensitive to their needs
• Social Skills-Able to understand social situations and interact with others in order to guide their emotions and the way they act.
The first three components are about self and remaining two are about understanding and managing others emotions.
According to Boyatzis  these five components include 18 Leadership competencies which will lead to resonant Leadership. They are Self-confidence, self-management, emotional self-control, transparency, adaptability, achievement, initiative, optimism, empathy, organisational awareness, service, inspirational leadership, influence, developing others, change catalyst, conflict management, building bonds, self-awareness (Table 2).
|1||Self- Confidence||Having confidence in one’s capabilities and self-worth|
|2||Emotional self-control||Not allowing impulse and disruptive emotions to affect self.|
|3||Transparency||Displaying honest integrity and trustworthiness|
|4||Adaptability||Being flexible and adapting to situations to overcome obstacles.|
|5||Achievement||Meeting inner standards of excellence with a drive for improving performance|
|6||Initiative||Drive to seize opportunities and act on them|
|7||Optimism||Seeing the upside in events|
|8||Empathy||Understand others. Be sensitive to their needs. Show interest in their concerns.|
|9||Organisational awareness||Being aware of organisational dynamics, politics, networks and currents.|
|10||Service||Recognizing the needs of clients, followers and customers and meeting them successfully.|
|11||Inspirational leadership||Inspire the followers with a compelling vision and guide them towards the same.|
|12||Influence||Persuade followers in the direction of the common goal.|
|13||Developing others||Helping others to develop through support, guidance and feedback.|
|14||Change Catalyst||Being a driver for a new direction and facilitating the change.|
|15||Conflict management||Resolving disagreements|
|16||Building bonds||Initiating and maintaining a network of relationships.|
|17||Social awareness||Being sensitive to others needs and understanding them|
|18||Self management||Able to deal with ones emotions to facilitate more than hinder the task at hand|
Table 2: Leadership competence.
However only self-awareness component was found to be significantly correlated to effective leadership behaviour.
Judge et al.  used the five factor model to study leadership with a quantitaive approach. The three factors of the model viz. conscientiousness, openness to experience and agreeableness, were found to be correlated with leadership and the correlations were 0.28, 0.08 and 0.24, respectively and the multiple correlation being 0.48. This indicates a high support to the relation of these traits and leadership. However Bass  had found the correlation of Openness to experience with leadership to be the strongest out of the three traits. Looking at the three traits and their relation with effective leadership poses a slightly different picture. Openness to experience is positively correlated with leadership and in turn creativity has also been found to be correlated with effective leadership . This suggests that more open a person to new suggestions more likely it is that she will make an effective leader. Tact, sensitivity and altruism are key traits of an agreeable personality . This suggests that a Leader should be more modest than the followers  but should not be excessively modest . Thus relation between agreeableness and leadership appears to be a little ambiguous. Sosik et al.  found the need for affiliation, another factor from the five factor model, to be negatively correlated with leadership. But on the other hand the study conducted by Hughes et al.  puts forth a different picture. Hughes classified managers into four categories (1) Competent managers (2) Cheerleaders (3) In name only managers, and (4) Results only managers. All four managerial types were found to have differing levels of agreeableness. Competent managers had moderate levels of agreeableness, cheerleaders had extremely high levels of agreeableness, ‘Results only’ managers had low levels, and for ‘In name only managers’, the findings on agreeableness were mixed. Conscientiousness the fifth and last factor of the five factor model was related to leadership . Leaders need to be persistent and tirelessly pursue their goals [34,37].
Quality of leader-member relations will be moderated by the attribution styles of the leaders and the members . Members perceived a poor leader-member relation mostly when they were biased toward external (optimistic attributions) for the negative outcomes. The Leaders attributed internal and stable characteristics (i.e. pessimistic attributions) for negative outcomes of members. If a leader’s representativeness of a group is high, he receives more trust and will be perceived as more effective by his followers if he fails to achieve a maximum goal, but not if he fails to achieve a minimal goal . A study demonstrated that transformational leadership style provided for a better leader- member relationship, thus generating a positive organisational climate that reduced the likelihood of job burnout . Charismatic leaders’ self-esteem and situational assessment guided their efforts to manage followers’ impressions of them, their vision, and their organisation . Leaders who supported their subordinates and challenged ‘status quo’ were not very much appreciated by their own superiors and given low ratings in performance appraisal however the same leaders were praised highly by their subordinates . ‘Locomotion mode’ and ‘assessment modes’ are two modes identified in subordinates as moderators in studying leader-member relations . Transformational leaders can illicit motivation and positive evaluations from the former but not the latter. With respect to performance of subordinates, manager’s ratings of team performance did not significantly correlate with what the team members had to say about their own performance .
• Bureaucratic orientation: Bureaucratic orientation correlated significantly with eight organisational role stress factors when tested on a sample of 40 upper, 40 middle, and 40 lower level technocrats. The conclusion of the study was that bureaucratic orientation is not a product of individual preference .
• Delegating: Delegating style is positively correlated with Leadership effectiveness at 0.05. In terms of the Participating and Telling styles, there is a significant difference between the superiors and executives (p<0.01) .
• Gender: Gender Role than gender per se has a stronger effect on emergent leadership. .
• Sense of humor: Results of the study indicate that humor was a moderator in the relationship between leadership style and individuals and leadership style with unit performance .
• Challenging status quo: Leaders who supported their subordinates and challenged ‘status quo’ were not very much appreciated by their own superiors and given low ratings in performance appraisal however the same leaders were praised highly by their subordinates .
• Self-monitoring ability: Results of studies indicate discrepancies in the perception of initiating structure. It was higher for high selfmonitoring female leaders in the industry .
• Ability to play multiple roles: Leaders who have exhibit highly complex behaviour patterns and have the ability to play multiple roles are perceived to be more effective in terms of business performance .
• Support for self-worth: Employees may feel a higher self-worth when they are given the latitude to negotiate by their superiors. It also increases their perception of control on their jobs .
• Commitment leaders have commitment to building model Organisations .
• Control managers need to touch five milestones before they can effectively do justice to leadership roles. One of the milestones is resolute control.
• Managing change: Leaders cope with change while managers cope with complexity .
Resonant leaders offer inspiration and ways to initiate and sustain resonance in not only one selves but also in those who are lead by us. Followers who recall specific experiences with resonant leaders are seen to have 14 of their regions of interest in their brain to be activated. With Dissonant leaders, 6 centers are activated and 11 are deactivated. Neural systems that are involved in arousing were also activated by resonant leader interaction with subordinates. Centers in the brain for social or default network, mirror system and centers associated with approach relationships were also activated by resonant leader interaction. These were in turn deactivated if the interaction is with dissonant leaders and in addition some of the centers like narrowing attention, less compassion and negative emotions were activated. Sometimes leaders make minor changes in policies and processes when they should rather empower and educate the employees. This proves to be ineffective in the long run. The actions of the Leader should be able to drive the compassion and loyalty of the subordinate and if they are strategically and operationally aligned will be more effective . This can be brought about by a Resonant Leader. Leaders, who build resonant relationships with their subordinates, are more likely to help activate a more social relationship and openness to new ideas. This may move the primacy of leaders from results to relationships .
Effective Leaders of the United States, Thailand and China are found to be low on neuroticism and have high scores on extraversion. The relationship between agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness to experience was significantly affected by culture. High Agreeableness and conscientiousness were traits of leaders in US and China. However high openness to experience was only found in the US leaders . The middle eastern, Confucian, East European, Asian and southern Asian country clusters did not show a preference for Participative leadership. In India, action orientation and charisma were found to be the most important characteristics for effective leadership. Despite the increased preference for individualism among urban Indians, collectivism and a humane approach continued to be the most defining characteristics of Indian culture . In Brazil, participative leadership was most appreciated; in France, bureaucratic leaders did best. Egypt had a relatively high power distance and thus consultative style of leadership was more prevalent. A moderately participative style works best there .