Research Papers Leadership Theories

The scientific study of leadership began with a focus on the traits of effective leaders.The basic premise behind trait theory was that effective leaders are born, not made, thus the name sometimes applied to early versions of this idea, the "great man" theory.Second, leadership elicits voluntary action on the part of followers.

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The initial conclusion from studies of leader traits was that there were no universal traits that consistently separated effective leaders from other individuals.

In an important review of the leadership literature published in 1948, Ralph Stogdill concluded that the existing research had not demonstrated the utility of the trait approach.

Many leadership studies based on this theoretical framework were conducted in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.

Leader trait research examined the physical, mental, and social characteristics of individuals.

The Ohio State studies utilized the Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBDQ), administering it to samples of individuals in the military, manufacturing companies, college administrators, and student leaders.

Research Papers Leadership Theories

Answers to the questionnaire were factor-analyzed to determine if common leader behaviors emerged across samples.

Leadership is probably the most frequently studied topic in the organizational sciences.

Thousands of leadership studies have been published and thousands of pages on leadership have been written in academic books and journals, business-oriented publications, and general-interest publications.

In general, these studies simply looked for significant associations between individual traits and measures of leadership effectiveness.

Physical traits such as height, mental traits such as intelligence, and social traits such as personality attributes were all subjects of empirical research.

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