Management and leadership: theories and approaches

Management and leadership: theories and approaches

Management and leadership are two separate business disciplines. Both have their approaches and theories.

Management is primarily concerned with guidance, personal example, control, and authority – affirming the positive behavior of the leader (delegating power and responsibility). The term that best covers the main focus of leadership is influence.

Leadership is defined as a process involving two or more people in which one seeks to influence the other’s behavior to achieve a goal or goals. The above definition summarizes at least three main points.

First, leadership is a process in which several people are employed, ie. it is a continuous activity in the organization. Second, leadership encompasses other people, usually in the form of obedience.

And through their willingness to be influenced by managers, subordinates formalize their authority and make the leadership process possible. Finally, the end product of the leadership process is some form of goal achievement.

Unlike the relatively widely discussed “leadership”, the concept of “leadership” remains vague in some books. The confusion is because Anglo-Saxon literary sources use the word “leadership”, either as a guide or as a leadership.

The term “leadership” first appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1800, and the term “leader” about 500 years earlier. The basis of both concepts is the verb “lead” – lead, lead, direct. “Leader” is a derivative word of the verb and has two meanings: – leadership, leadership, leadership; – superiority, a quality that separates one person from others.

There are significant differences between the terms leadership and leadership. Management as one of the functions of management is a much more institutionalized, formal, and rational act.

Largely exhaustive of goal-setting and decision-making processes. It does not contain informal components. From this point of view, each manager leads his subordinates. Reference: The profession of the manager: How to become one”,

Management is rather identified with structures, procedures, planning, efficiency, control, etc. Leadership is also part of management. And although it contains elements of leadership, it remains much more informal, unregulated and necessarily relies on emotional attachment between participants. But the question should not always be asked “either/or” because many leaders have to manage and lead, and a good leader must inevitably be a leader to some extent.

The above leads to the conclusion that leadership and leadership are two specific but complementary systems of behavior, each of which performs its functions and includes typical activities.
W. Bennis devotes much of his attention to comparisons managers / resp. leaders. Briefly, his comparisons can be summarized as follows:

  • Managers administer, leaders renew;
  • Managers support, leaders develop;
  • Managers control, leaders inspire; Reference:“Manager vs leader: similarities and differences”,
  • Managers are committed to the shorter term, and leaders are committed to the longer-term;
  • Managers are interested – “how and when”, leaders – “what and why”;
  • Managers imitate, leaders create;
  • Managers accept the status quo, leaders question it, and so on. Reference: “Manager or Leader: What are the differences and similarities”,

Management does not contain informal components

From this point of view, each manager leads his subordinates. Leadership may contain elements of leadership, but it remains much more informal, unregulated, and necessarily relies on emotional commitment.

Managers have a legally established power, their responsibility is official, and the means of influence – mandatory. Leaders do not rule, but coordinate. Only part of their means of influence is mandatory.

The earliest attempts to build a theory of leadership are related to the search for specific personality traits inherent in the leader. The story of the qualities that make a leader successful and effective is influenced by the “great man” theory. Leaders such as Alexander the Great, Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Suvorov, George Washington, and others were considered “great men” because they had an innate ability to govern and lead.

During the period 1930-1940. based on the theory of the “great man” the “theory of characteristic features” also develops. In the 1940s, scientists began to study the accumulated facts about the relationship between personal qualities and leadership.

Despite numerous studies, theorists at the time did not reach a consensus on the set of qualities that a great leader should possess.
Only in 1948.

Ralph Stogdil, after an extensive review of more than 100 theories of leadership, concludes that the average leader is superior to the average person in his group in terms of intelligence, knowledge, security is responsible activities, activity, and participation in social processes and enviable socio-economic status.

The use of management skills is determined by the situation

After the analyzes of the researches and the theories for the characteristic features, it has been proved that the effective use of the leading abilities is determined by the peculiarities of the situation.

This means that a manager may prove to be an effective leader in one type of task but fail in another. One of the most important findings is that the intelligence of the leader should be higher, but not much higher than that of subordinates.

Otherwise, the significant difference in the intellectual level between a leader and leaders can make the relationship between them non-functional.

The approach based on personal qualities is often rejected because it cannot answer many questions, such as: “What do successful leaders do and how do successful leaders adapt to changing requirements in different situations?”

Nevertheless, it still finds a place among the applicable theories of leadership, because qualities play a central role in the perception of the leader.

Disappointment with the initial approach to leadership from the standpoint of personal qualities “brings to life” the behaviorist school. It is also called an approach to defining leadership style because behavior is differentiated and found expression in defining different styles.

It is assumed that effective leadership is a function of the leader’s behavior, his style. According to the behavioral approach, efficiency is determined not by the personal qualities of the leader, but rather by his manner of managerial behavior.

The scientific-behavioral approach to management began to take shape in the early 1950s. It is related to the establishment of the Foundation for the Study of Human Behavior. The purpose and tasks of which are to support and stimulate research in business, government, and other organizations built on the science of behavior.

Behavioral theories of leadership

Behavioral theories of leadership include many studies, styles, approaches, models, and theories. They prescribe different leadership styles, but each emphasizes two orientations – to tasks and people.

Task orientation is the attention that the manager pays to the performance of work through activities such as distribution and organization of work, decision-making, monitoring their implementation, and evaluation of what has been done.

People-centeredness includes the sincerity and friendliness of the manager and the concern shown for the well-being of employees.

Behavioral theories include:

  • Research at the University of Iowa by Levin, Lipid, and White;
  • McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y;
  • Tannenbaum and Schmidt’s model for the integrity of leadership behavior;
  • University of Michigan research;
  • Ohio State University research;
  • and Blake and Mouton’s Management Grid.

The inability to reach unambiguous conclusions about the effectiveness of the leadership style, which is reliable over time, leads to a focus of interest on the influences of the situation.

As a result, the main emphasis is on the important situational factors influencing the manager’s attempt to influence.
Many concepts of leadership come together under the common name Situational Theories.

They can be considered as a subset of previous behavioral theories, but include in some form an analysis of the situation in which leadership is exercised.

Leadership authors reject the idea of ​​a universal management style

All authors of situational theories of leadership reject the idea of ​​a single universal style of leadership. Many models and approaches have been developed, the most significant of which are:

  • Fred Fiedler’s model of “unpredictable situations”;
  • Martin Evans and Robert House’s “path-goal” theory;
  • Paul Hirsch and Kennedy Blanchard’s “life cycle” theory;
  • The normative model of Vroom, Yeton, and Iago.


Leadership concepts based on charisma

There is another group of concepts of leadership based on so-called charisma. The theories, approaches, models, and styles of the leadership phenomenon outlined so far are among the most successful, but on the other hand, they are only somewhat unifying.

Outside of them remain magic, magnetism, and enchanting influence, the persuasiveness of the true leader, and the authoritarian contagion of his behavior.

The first research on charismatic leadership was conducted from the 1920s to the 1970s. They consider it only in socio-political and military terms. It was only in the last years of the twentieth century that interest in charisma was transferred to the government.

In the ’90s J. Conger and R. Kanungo present a four-step model of charismatic leadership. In it, each degree is seen as requiring different leadership behaviors and skills. The degrees cover the following management skills:

  • Discovering the shortcomings, opportunities, and formulation of the strategic vision;
  • Communicating the vision – clarity, and purpose, motivating employees;
  • Building trust based on success, self-sacrifice, personal risk orientation, unconventional behavior;
  • Demonstrate the achievement of the vision by using powers, modeling, and unconventional tactics.