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Leadership is both a research area and a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual, group or organization to "lead", influence or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations. Often viewed as a contested term[1], specialist literature debates various viewpoints, contrasting Eastern and Western approaches to leadership, and also (within the West) North American versus European approaches.

U.S. academic environments define leadership as "a process of social influence in which a person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task".[2][3] Others have challenged the more traditional managerial view of leadership which believes that it is something possessed or owned by one individual due to their role or authority, and instead advocate the complex nature of leadership which is found at all levels of the institution, both within formal and informal roles[4].

Studies of leadership have produced theories involving traits,[5] situational interaction, function, behavior,[6] power, vision and values,[7] charisma, and intelligence, among others.[3]

The neo-emergent leadership theory (from the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme[76]) sees leadership as an impression formed through the communication of information by the leader or by other stakeholders,[77] not through the true actions of the leader himself.emotions at work. The leader creates situations and events that lead to emotional response. Certain leader behaviors displayed during interactions with their employees are the sources of these affective events. Leaders shape workplace affective events. Examples – feedback giving, allocating tasks, resource distribution. Since employee behavior and productivity are directly affected by their emotional states, it is imperative to consider employee emotional responses to organizational leaders.[75] Emotional intelligence, the ability to understand and manage moods and emotions in the self and others, contributes to effective leadership within organizations.[74]

The neo-emergent leadership theory (from the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme[76]) sees leadership as an impression formed through the communication of information by the leader or by other stakeholders,[77] not through the true actions of the leader himself.[citation needed] In other words, the reproduction of information or stories form the basis of the perception of leadership by the majority. It is well known[by whom?] that the naval hero Lord Nelson often wrote his own versions of battles he was involved in, so that when he arrived home in England he would receive a true hero's welcome.[citation needed] In modern society, the press, blogs and other sources report their own views of leaders, which may be based on reality, but may also be based on a political command, a payment, or an inherent interest of the author, media, or leader. Therefore, one can argue that the perception of all leaders is created and in fact does not reflect their true leadership qualities at all. Hence the historical function of belief in (for example) royal blood as a proxy for belief in or analysis of effective governing skills.

Constructivist analysis

Some constructivists question whether leadership exists, or suggest that (for example) leadership "is a

Some constructivists question whether leadership exists, or suggest that (for example) leadership "is a myth equivalent to a belief in UFOs".[78][79]

Leadership emergence

Many p

Many personality characteristics were found to be reliably associated with leadership emergence.[80] The list includes, but is not limited to (following list organized in alphabetical order): assertiveness, authenticity, Big Five personality factors, birth order, character strengths, dominance, emotional intelligence, gender identity, intelligence, narcissism, self-efficacy for leadership, self-monitoring and social motivation.[80] Leadership emergence is the idea that people born with specific characteristics become leaders, and those without these characteristics do not become leaders. People like Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, and Nelson Mandela all share traits that an average person does not. This includes people who choose to participate in leadership roles, as opposed to those who do not. Research indicates that up to 30% of leader emergence has a genetic basis.[81] There is no current research indicating that there is a “leadership gene”, instead we inherit certain traits that might influence our decision to seek leadership. Both anecdotal, and empirical evidence support a stable relationship between specific traits and leadership behavior.[82] Using a large international sample researchers found that there are three factors that motivate leaders; affective identity (enjoyment of leading), non-calculative (leading earns reinforcement), and social-normative (sense of obligation).[83]

Assertiveness

The relationship b

The relationship between assertiveness and leadership emergence is curvilinear; individuals who are either low in assertiveness or very high in assertiveness are less likely to be identified as leaders.[84]

Authenticity

Individuals who are more aware of their personality qualities, including their values and beliefs, and are less biased when processing self-relevant information, are more likely to be accepted as leaders.[85] See Authentic Leadership.

Big Five personality factors

Those born first in their families and only chil

Those born first in their families and only children are hypothesized to be more driven to seek leadership and control in social settings. Middle-born children tend to accept follower roles in groups, and later-borns are thought to be rebellious and creative[80]

Character strengths

Individuals with dominant p

Individuals with dominant personalities – they describe themselves as high in the desire to control their environment and influence other people, and are likely to express their opinions in a forceful way – are more likely to act as leaders in small-group situations.[87]

Emotional intelligence

Individuals with higher int

Individuals with higher intelligence exhibit superior judgement, higher verbal skills (both written and oral), quicker learning and acquisition of knowledge, and are more likely to emerge as leaders.[80] Correlation between IQ and leadership emergence was found to be between .25 and .30.[89] However, groups generally prefer leaders that do not exceed intelligence prowess of average member by a wide margin, as they fear that high intelligence may be translated to differences in communication, trust, interests and values[90]

Self-efficacy for leadership

High self-monitors are more likely t

High self-monitors are more likely to emerge as the leader of a group than are low self-monitors, since they are more concerned with status-enhancement and are more likely to adapt their actions to fit the demands of the situation[92]

Social motivation

Individuals who are both success-oriented and affiliation-oriented, as assessed by projective measures, are more active in group problem-solving settings and are more likely to be elected to positions of leadership in such groups[93]

Narcissism, hubris and other negative traits

Existing research has shown that absentee leaders - those who rise into power, but not necessarily because of their skills, and are marginally engagi

Existing research has shown that absentee leaders - those who rise into power, but not necessarily because of their skills, and are marginally engaging with their role - are actually worse than destructive leader, because it takes longer to pinpoint their mistakes.[95]

Leadership styles

A leadership style is a leader's style of providing direction, implementing plans, and motivating people. It is the result of the philosophy, personality, and experience of the leader. Rhetoric specialists have also developed models for understanding leadership (Robert Hariman, Political Style,[96] Philippe-Joseph Salazar, L'Hyperpolitique. Technologies politiques De La Domination[97]).

Different situations call for different leadership styles. In an emergency when there is little time to converge on an agreement and where a designated authority has significantly more experience or expertise than the rest of the team, an autocratic leadership style may be most effective; however, in a highly motivated and aligned team with a homogeneous level of expertise, a more democratic or Laissez-faire style may be more effective. The style

Different situations call for different leadership styles. In an emergency when there is little time to converge on an agreement and where a designated authority has significantly more experience or expertise than the rest of the team, an autocratic leadership style may be most effective; however, in a highly motivated and aligned team with a homogeneous level of expertise, a more democratic or Laissez-faire style may be more effective. The style adopted should be the one that most effectively achieves the objectives of the group while balancing the interests of its individual members.[98] A field in which leadership style has gained strong attention is that of military science, recently expressing a holistic and integrated view of leadership, including how a leader's physical presence determines how others perceive that leader. The factors of physical presence are military bearing, physical fitness, confidence, and resilience. The leader's intellectual capacity helps to conceptualize solutions and acquire knowledge to do the job. A leader's conceptual abilities apply agility, judgment, innovation, interpersonal tact, and domain knowledge. Domain knowledge for leaders encompasses tactical and technical knowledge as well as cultural and geopolitical awareness.[99]

Under the autocratic leadership style, all decision-making powers are centralized in the leader, as with dictators.

Autocratic leaders do not ask or entertain any suggestions or initiatives from subordinates. The autocratic management has been successful as it provides strong motivation to the manager. It permits quick decision-making, as only one person decides for the whole group and keeps each decision to him/herself until he/she feels it needs to be shared with th

Autocratic leaders do not ask or entertain any suggestions or initiatives from subordinates. The autocratic management has been successful as it provides strong motivation to the manager. It permits quick decision-making, as only one person decides for the whole group and keeps each decision to him/herself until he/she feels it needs to be shared with the rest of the group.[98]

The democratic leadership style consists of the leader sharing the decision-making abilities with group members by promoting the interests of the group members and by practicing social equality. This has also been called shared leadership.

Laissez-faire or Free-rein

In Laissez-faire or free-rein leadership, decision-making is passed on to the sub-ordinates. The sub-ordinates are given complete right and power to make decisions to establish goals and work out the problems or hurdles.[100]

Task-oriented and relationship-oriented

Many reasons can contribute to the barriers that specifically affect women's entrance into leadership. These barriers also change according to different cultures. Despite the increasing number of female leaders in the world, only a small fraction come from non-westernized cultures. It is important to note that although the barriers listed below may be more severe in non-western culture, it does not imply that westernized cultures do not have these barriers as well. This aims to compare the differences between the two.

Research and Literature Although there have been many studies done on leadership for women in the past decade, very little research has been done for women in paternalistic cultures. The literature and research done for women to emerge into a society that prefers males is lacking. This ultimately hinders women from knowing how to reach their individual leadership goals, and fails to educate the male counterparts in this disparity.[107]

Maternity Leave Studies have shown the importance of longer paid maternity leave and the positive effects it has on a female employee's mental health and return to work. In Sweden, it was shown that the increased flexibility in timing for mothers to return to work, decreased the odds of poor mental health reports. In these non-western cultures that mostly follow paternalism, the lack of knowledge on the benefits of maternity leave impact the support given to the women during this important time in their life.[108]

Society and Laws Certain countries that follow paternalism, such as India, still allow for women to be treated unjustly. Child marriage and minor punishments for perpetrators in crime against women, shape the society's view on how females should be treated. This can prevent women from feeling comfortable to speak out in both a personal and professional setting.[109]

Glass Ceilings and Glass Cliffs Women who work in a very paternalistic culture or industry (e.g. oil or engineering industry), often deal with a limitations in their career that prevent them from mov

Many reasons can contribute to the barriers that specifically affect women's entrance into leadership. These barriers also change according to different cultures. Despite the increasing number of female leaders in the world, only a small fraction come from non-westernized cultures. It is important to note that although the barriers listed below may be more severe in non-western culture, it does not imply that westernized cultures do not have these barriers as well. This aims to compare the differences between the two.

Research and Literature Although there have been many studies done on leadership for women in the past decade, very little research has been done for women in paternalistic cultures. The literature and research done for women to emerge into a society that prefers males is lacking. This ultimately hinders women from knowing how to reach their individual leadership goals, and fails t

Research and Literature Although there have been many studies done on leadership for women in the past decade, very little research has been done for women in paternalistic cultures. The literature and research done for women to emerge into a society that prefers males is lacking. This ultimately hinders women from knowing how to reach their individual leadership goals, and fails to educate the male counterparts in this disparity.[107]

Maternity Leave Studies have shown the importance of longer paid maternity leave and the positive effects it has on a female employee's mental health and return to work. In Sweden, it was shown that the increased flexibility in timing for mothers to return to work, decreased the odds of poor mental health reports. In these non-western cultures that mostly follow paternalism, the lack of knowledge on the benefits of maternity leave impact the support given to the women during this important time in their life.[108]

Society and Laws Certain countries that follow paternalism, such as India, still allow for women to be treated unjustly. Child marriage and minor punishments for perpetrators in crime against women, shape the society's view on how females should be treated. This can prevent women from feeling comfortable to speak out in both a personal and professional setting.[109]

Glass Ceilings and Glass Cliffs Women who work in a very paternalistic culture or industry (e.g. oil or engineering industry), often deal with a limitations in their career that prevent them from moving up any further. This association is often due to the mentality that only males carry leadership characteristics. The glass cliff term refers to undesired projects that are often given to women because they have an increase in risk of failure. These undesired projects are given to female employees where they are more likely to fail and leave the organization.[110]

In the past, some researchers have argued that the actual influence of leaders on organizational outcomes is overrated and romanticized as a result of biased attributions about leaders (Meindl & Ehrlich, 1987). Despite these assertions, however, it is largely recognized and accepted by practitioners and researchers that leadership is important, and research supports the notion that leaders do contribute to key organizational outcomes (Day & Lord, 1988; Kaiser, Hogan, & Craig, 2008). To facilitate successful performance it is important to understand and accurately measure leadership performance.

Job performance generally refers to behavior that is expected to contribute to organizational success (Campbell, 1990). Campbell identified a number of specific types of performance dimensions; leadership was one of the dimensions that he identified. There is no consistent, overall definition of leadership

Job performance generally refers to behavior that is expected to contribute to organizational success (Campbell, 1990). Campbell identified a number of specific types of performance dimensions; leadership was one of the dimensions that he identified. There is no consistent, overall definition of leadership performance (Yukl, 2006). Many distinct conceptualizations are often lumped together under the umbrella of leadership performance, including outcomes such as leader effectiveness, leader advancement, and leader emergence (Kaiser et al., 2008). For instance, leadership performance may refer to the career success of the individual leader, performance of the group or organization, or even leader emergence. Each of these measures can be considered conceptually distinct. While these aspects may be related, they are different outcomes and their inclusion should depend on the applied or research focus.

"Another way to conceptualize leader performance is to focus on the outcomes of the leader’s followers, group, team, unit, or organization. In evaluating this type of leader performance, two general strategies are typically used. The first relies on subjective perceptions of the leader’s performance from subordinates, superiors, or occasionally peers or other parties. The other type of effectiveness measures are more objective indicators of follower or unit performance, such as measures of productivity, goal attainment, sales figures, or unit financial performance (Bass & Riggio, 2006, p. 47)." [111]

A toxic leader is someone who has responsibility over a group of people or an organization, and who abuses the leader–follower relationship by leaving the group or organization in a worse-off condition than when he/she joined it.

Most theories in the 20th century argued that great leaders were born, not made. Current studies have indicated that leadership is much more complex and cannot be boiled down to a few key traits of an individual. Years of observation and study have indicated that one such trait or a set of traits does not make an extraordinary leader. What scholars have been able to arrive at is that leadership traits of an individual do not change from situation to situation; such traits include intelligence, assertiveness, or physical attractiveness.[112] However, each key trait may be applied to situations differently, depending on the circumstances. The following summarizes the main leadership traits found in research by Jon P. Howell, business professor at New Mexico State University and author of the book Snapshots of Great Leadership.

Determination and drive include traits such as initiative, energy, assertiveness, perseverance and sometimes dominance. People with these traits often tend to wholeheartedly pursue their goals, work long hours, are ambitious, and often are very competitive with others. Cognitive capacity includes intelligence, analytical and verbal ability, behavioral flexibility, and good judgment. Individuals with these traits are able to formulate solutions to difficult problems, work well under stress or deadlines, adapt to changing situations, and create well-thought-out plans for the future. Howell provides examples of Steve Jobs and Abraham Lincoln as encompassing the traits of determination and drive as well as possessing cognitive capacity, demonstrated by their ability to adapt to their continuously changing environments.[112]

Self-confidence encompasses the traits of high self-esteem, assertiveness, emotional stability, and self-assurance. Individuals who are self-confident do not doubt themselves or their abilities and decisions; they also have the ability to project this self-confidence onto others, building their trust and commitment. Integrity is demonstrated in individuals who are truthful, trustworthy, principled, consistent, dependable, loyal, and not deceptive. Leaders with integrity often share these values with their followers, as this trait is mainly an ethics issue. It i

Determination and drive include traits such as initiative, energy, assertiveness, perseverance and sometimes dominance. People with these traits often tend to wholeheartedly pursue their goals, work long hours, are ambitious, and often are very competitive with others. Cognitive capacity includes intelligence, analytical and verbal ability, behavioral flexibility, and good judgment. Individuals with these traits are able to formulate solutions to difficult problems, work well under stress or deadlines, adapt to changing situations, and create well-thought-out plans for the future. Howell provides examples of Steve Jobs and Abraham Lincoln as encompassing the traits of determination and drive as well as possessing cognitive capacity, demonstrated by their ability to adapt to their continuously changing environments.[112]

Self-confidence encompasses the traits of high self-esteem, assertiveness, emotional stability, and self-assurance. Individuals who are self-confident do not doubt themselves or their abilities and decisions; they also have the ability to project this self-confidence onto others, building their trust and commitment. Integrity is demonstrated in individuals who are truthful, trustworthy, principled, consistent, dependable, loyal, and not deceptive. Leaders with integrity often share these values with their followers, as this trait is mainly an ethics issue. It is often said that these leaders keep their word and are honest and open with their cohorts. Sociability describes individuals who are friendly, extroverted, tactful, flexible, and interpersonally competent. Such a trait enables leaders to be accepted well by the public, use diplomatic measures to solve issues, as well as hold the ability to adapt their social persona to the situation at hand. According to Howell, Mother Teresa is an exceptional example who embodies integrity, assertiveness, and social abilities in her diplomatic dealings with the leaders of the world.[112]

Few great leaders encompass all of the traits listed above, but many have the ability to apply a number of them to succeed as front-runners of their organization or situation.

One of the more recent definitions of leadership comes from Werner Erhard, Michael C. Jensen, Steve Zaffron, and Kari Granger who describe leadership as "an exercise in language that results in the realization of a future that wasn't going to happen anyway, which future fulfills (or contributes to fulfilling) the concerns of the relevant parties...". This definition ensures that leadership is talking about the future and includes the fundamental concerns of the relevant parties. This differs from relating to the relevant parties as "followers" and calling up an image of a single leader with others following. Rather, a future that fulfills on the fundamental concerns of the relevant parties indicates the future that wasn't going to happen is not the "idea of the leader", but rather is what emerges from digging deep to find the underlying concerns of those who are impacted by the leadership.[113]

Contexts

OrganizationsAn organization that is established as an instrument or means for achieving defined objectives has been referred to[by whom?] as a formal organization. Its design specifies how goals are subdivided and reflected in subdivisions of the organization.[citation needed] Divisions, departments, sections, positions, jobs, and tasks make up this work structure. Thus, the formal organization is expected[by whom?] to behave impersonally in regard to relationships with clients or with its members. According to Weber's model, entry and subsequent advancement is by merit or seniority. Employees receive a salary and enjoy a degree of tenure that safeguards them from the arbitrary influence of superiors or of powerful clients. The higher one's position in the hierarchy, the greater one's presumed expertise in adjudicating problems that may arise in the course of the work carried out at lower levels of the organization. This bureaucratic structure forms the basis for the appointment of heads or chiefs of administrative subdivisions in the organization and endows them with the authority attached to their position.[114]

In contrast to the appointed head or chief of an administrative unit, a leader emerges within the context of the informal organization that underlies the formal structure.[citation needed] The informal organization expresses the personal objectives and goals of the indiv

In contrast to the appointed head or chief of an administrative unit, a leader emerges within the context of the informal organization that underlies the formal structure.[citation needed] The informal organization expresses the personal objectives and goals of the individual membership. Their objectives and goals may or may not coincide with those of the formal organization. The informal organization represents an extension of the social structures that generally characterize human life — the spontaneous emergence of groups and organizations as ends in themselves.

In prehistoric times, humanity was preoccupied with personal security, maintenance, protection, and survival.[citation needed] Now humanity spends a major portion of waking hours working for organizations. The need to identify with a community that provides security, protection, maintenance, and a feeling of belonging has continued unchanged from prehistoric times. This need is met by the informal organization and its emergent, or unofficial, leaders.[115][116][need quotation to verify]

Leaders emerge from within the structure of the informal organization.[citation needed] Their personal qualities, the demands of the situation, or a combination of these and other factors attract followers who accept their leadership within one or several overlay structures. Instead of the authority of position held by an appointed head or chief, the emergent leader wields influence or power. Influence is the ability of a person to gain co-operation from others by means of persuasion or control over rewards. Power is a stronger form of influence because it reflects a person's ability to enforce action through the control of a means of punishment.[115]

A leader is a person who influences a group of people towards a specific result. In this scenario, leadership is not dependent on title or formal authority.[117] Ogbonnia (2007) defines an effective leader "as an individual with the capacity to consistently succeed in a given condition and be viewed as meeting the expectations of an organization or society".[page needed] Leaders are recognized[by whom?] by their capacity for caring for others, clear communication, and a commitment to persist.[118] An individual who is appointed to a managerial position has the right to command and enforce obedience by virtue of the authority of their position. However, she or he must possess adequate personal attributes to match this authority, because authority is only potentially available to him/her. In the absence of sufficient personal competence, a manager may be confronted by an emergent leader who can challenge her/his role in the organization and reduce it to that of a figurehead. However, only authority of position has the backing of formal sanctions. It follows that whoever wields personal influence and power can legitimize this only by gaining a formal position in a hierarchy, with commensurate authority.[115] Leadership can be defined[by whom?] as one's ability to get others to willingly follow. Every organization needs leaders at every level.[119][need quotation to verify]

Over the years the terms "management" and "leadership" have, in the organizational context, been used both as synonyms and with clearly differentiated meanings. Debate is fairly common about whether the use of these terms should be restricted, and generally[quantify] reflects an awareness of the distinction made by Burns (1978) between "transactional" leadership (characterized by emphasis on procedures, contingent reward, management by exception) and "transformational" leadership (characterized by charisma, personal relationships, creativity).[66]

Group

In contrast

In contrast to individual leadership, some organizations have adopted group leadership. In this so-called shared leadership, more than one person provides direction to the group as a whole. It is furthermore characterized by shared responsibility, cooperation and mutual influence among team members.[120] Some organizations have taken this approach in hopes of increasing creativity, reducing costs, or downsizing. Others may see the traditional leadership of a boss as costing too much in team performance. In some situations, the team members best able to handle any given phase of the project become the temporary leaders. Additionally, as each team member has the opportunity to experience the elevated level of empowerment, it energizes staff and feeds the cycle of success.[121]

Leaders who demonstrate persistence, tenacity, determination, and synergistic communication skills will bring out the same qualities in their groups. Good leaders use their own inner mentors to energize their team and organizations and lead

Leaders who demonstrate persistence, tenacity, determination, and synergistic communication skills will bring out the same qualities in their groups. Good leaders use their own inner mentors to energize their team and organizations and lead a team to achieve success.[122]

According to the National School Boards Association (USA):[123]

These Group Leaderships or Leadership Teams have specific characteristics: