LEADERSHIP FRAMEWORKS Whether one leads a team at work
Whether one leads a team at work, captain a sports team or lead an organisation which leadership approach is best? Consciously or subconsciously, one will probably use some combination of leadership styles. There are many different frameworks that have shaped the current understanding of leadership, and many of these have their place, just as long as they are used appropriately. This section looks at some of the most common frameworks, and then consider popular styles of leadership. Many industries and workplaces today are characterised by the diversity of their work force. The work force differs in terms of age, experience, cultural background and mind set (Baldock 2014). This places a huge responsibility on leaders, to effectively lead people when there is so much diversity. Each individual in an organisation is unique and requires an individual approach to get the best out of him/her to benefit the organisation and realise its vision.
Leadership has developed over time with four broad paradigms (Avery, 2005), namely Classical (Antiquity-1970), Transactional (1970-mid 1980s), Visionary (Mid 1980s-2000) and Organic (2000 to date). Classical leadership is based on the leader’s position and power. A high form of control by the leader and the team members are followed because of fear or out of respect. In contrast, transactional leadership is based on influencing the followers. This is done by some degree of consultation to achieve short term goals or outcomes. In essence, transactional leaders ‘manage’ their subordinates, for example they help them achieve their performance goals by linking job performance to rewards and ensuring they have the resources needed to get the job done.
A leadership approach is a method for providing direction to study leadership. It can be from the viewpoint of traits, behaviour or skills. Leadership theory, in contrast, is a discipline that focuses on finding out what makes successful leaders better in what they do (Roberson ; Myers 2016). The primary distinction between leadership theory and leadership style is that leadership style falls inclusive under the umbrella of leadership theory (Northouse, 2016). In other words, leadership style is one of many examples covered under leadership theory. Leadership style focuses specifically on the traits and behaviours of leaders. Over the years many theoretical approaches have been developed to explain the complexity of the leadership process (Northouse, 2016).
This study on leadership can be classified under four perspectives namely, thee leader’s perspective, the team members and circumstances’ perspective or from the interaction between the leader and their team members, and the new prototype (Northouse, 2016). The prototype leadership styles refer to the new leadership models, which give more consideration to the appealing and operational elements of leadership (Bryman, 1992). These four perspectives are reflected in table 2.3 on page 51.