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Taxonomy of Leadership Theories

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Taxonomy of Leadership Theories
Select four leadership theories. Search for additional peer-reviewed scholarly resources about your selected leadership theories. Use proper paraphrasing techniques when completing your analysis. Avoid using direct quotes by paraphrasing as appropriate. Include proper APA citations.
- Leader-Member Exchange Theory
- Transformational Leadership
- Servant Leadership
- Trait Theory

- A 1-page taxonomy that follows the Leadership Theory
- A 4- to 6-page Leadership Theory Taxonomy paper that explains in detail each theory listed in the taxonomy, by synthesizing multiple scholarly references and examples.
Five peer-reviewed scholarly resources in addition to those offered by the Learning Resources
Specific examples of two of the four theories drawn from personal experiences or scholarly literature
Work that adheres to APA style

Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Avolio, B. J., Walumbwa, F. O., & Weber, T. J. (2009). Leadership: Current theories, research, and future directions. Annual Review of Psychology, 60(1), 421-449.

George, B., Sims, P., McLean, A. N., & Mayer, D. (2007). Discovering your authentic leadership. Harvard Business Review, 85(2), 129-138..

Maner, J. K., & Mead, N. L. (2010). The essential tension between leadership and power: When leaders sacrifice group goals for the sake of self-interest. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99(3), 482-497.

Posner, B. (2010). Another look at the impact of personal and organizational values congruency. Journal of Business Ethics, 97(4), 535-541.

Raven, B. H. (1993). The bases of power: Origins and recent developments. Journal of Social Issues, 49(4), 227-251.

Schriesheim, C. A., Podsakoff, P. M., & Hinkin, T. R. (1991). Can ipsative and single-item measures produce erroneous results in field studies of French and Raven's (1959) five bases of power? An empirical investigation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 76(1), 106-114.

Whittington, J. L., Coker, R. H., Goodwin, V. L., Ickes, W., & Murray, B. (2009). Transactional leadership revisited: Self-other agreement and its consequences. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 39(8), 1860-1886.

Xu, J., & Thomas, H. C. (2011). How can leaders achieve high employee engagement? Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 32(4), 399-416.

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Taxonomy of Leadership Theories

I. Trait Theory

The trait approach was one of the earliest theories proposed to explain leadership. Effective leaders were supposed to have specific traits, although the research failed to provide evidence of precise characteristics that predicted leadership success. This approach suggested that some individuals are naturally inclined to lead (Yukl, 2006). The researcher on trait theory was conducted roughly from the 1930s through the 1950s. Some leadership theorists have returned to trait theory. There is still little evidence that there are universal traits associated with effective leadership.

Taxonomy of Trait Theory

Traits: The crux of this leadership theory is the premise that all effective leaders share a specific set of traits. Thus, employers would be able to predict that an individual had leadership potential based on the traits that they exhibited. It was assumed that traits like decisiveness, extroversion, aggression, and risk-taking would be associated with leadership potential.

Situational Constraints: Early trait theory research did not take into account the effect of situation of leadership traits. The constraints of the situation impacted the traits individuals displayed. Leadership is contextual. The effective leader will display traits that fit the context of the situation. There are times when democracy is more effective than decisiveness.

Research: As mentioned previously, trait theory was one of the earliest theories researched. Initially, trait theory spanned from the 1930s through the 1950s. There was a resurge in interest in trait theory during the 1970s. At this point researchers began to consider the context of the situation impacting the traits leaders displayed.

II. Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Theory

Yukl (2006) and other scholars suggest that leadership is about influence. A leader influence's a follower's actions, behaviors, and even their perceptions. Leadership, at its foundation, is about relationships (Fairhurst & Sarr, 1996; Goleman, 1998; Yukl, 2006). Leader-member exchange (LMX) theory provides a model for understanding the role-making process between the leader and followers/subordinates. As the role-making process unfolds, the leader establishes individual relationships with each subordinate. Some of these relationships will be high exchange (in-group) and some will be low-exchange relationships (out-groups). The relationship is not only about the leader's influence on the follower, but it is also about the follower's influence on the leader (Yukl, 2006). Leadership certainly is not a one way exchange. Rather, leadership is an exchange between the individuals involved in the relationship. The impact of in-groups and out-groups on the organization can be significant. If assignment to the out-group is only based on leader personal preference, the organizational outcomes can be negative. Whether or not you are a member of the in-group or out-group, you should expect fair treatment. Schyns and Day (2010) contend that the leader should offer high-exchange relationships to all organizational members. Some followers will not be interested in the high-exchange relationship, but at least they have the opportunity to find their own leadership position within the organization.

Taxonomy of Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Theory

Relationships: The premise of this theory is that the ...

Solution Summary

This solution offers a brief discussion and taxonomy of four distinct leadership theories. The theories are servant leadership, trait leadership, transformational leadership, and leader-member exchange theory. The solution also offers examples of servant and transformational leadership.