Leadership Style Assessments Analysis Paper Example

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Carnegie Mellon University
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Leadership refers to an undertaking that involves social influence through which an individual can procure assistance and encouragement of others in the implementation of an ordinary exercise. Considerably, leadership is associated with various concepts such as qualities, behavior, intelligence, vision, charisma, morals, function and situational interaction among others. Therefore, by exhibiting these theories, leadership has the potential to control subordinates and fellows through governing resources in an organization. However, the manner in which a leader demonstrates leadership is thus known as the leadership style which is a resultant of the knowledge, philosophy, and disposition of a leader.

Leadership is a valuable asset to numerous organizations, and this is evidenced by a development of much focus on research concerning administration as well as various conceptual strategies to determine the complexities of the leadership operation (Northouse, 2016). Considerably, a majority of organizations have acknowledged the significance and developed formal approaches to assess the various leadership styles (Church & Rotolo, 2013). Thus, forms the basis of this essay to discuss three individual techniques of leadership style evaluations, as well as make comparisons and accomplish objectives for each assessment tool. Therefore, the approaches to evaluate leadership styles include:

The trait strategy

The trait concept is considered as the most ancient efforts to understand leadership. Despsiet that it does not entirely express the idea with adequately implemented propositions, the trait approach established the foundation of a majority of leadership studies (Northouse, 2016). In essence, this concept concentrates on individual characteristics (or qualities) of leaders, for example, personality and practical features, skills, and morals. Furthermore, this approach perceives leadership as independent from the reader's interpretation. Inherently, the trait concept assumes that traits results to patterns of character that are steady across conditions (Fleenor, 2011). This means that to evaluate the leadership traits one needs to acknowledge the persistent attributes which were developed when people were still toddlers and which progressed as reliably functional for a period.

The contingency approach

The study by Northouse (2016) identifies that this method of leadership style focuses on the character of a leader. Primarily, the concept of behavior highlights what roles leaders play as well as the manner in which they exercise them. Further, this policy transforms the assessment of leadership into the behavioral aspect of leaders, such that the strategy of character evaluation broadened the study of direction to encompass the activities of leaders in respect to their subordinates in diverse environments. Moreover, the behavioral policy was evaluated to illustrate two forms of characters that include: association behaviors and occupational behaviors.

The situational theory

This concept of leadership style stands out among most the extensively acknowledged that was evolved by scholars Hersey and Blanchard in 1969 (Northouse, 2016). Accordingly, situational theory indicates that it focuses on governance in the circumstances. In essence, this approach asserts that there is not a single model of leadership that concerns all given business circumstances. Thereby, the situational approach assesses as whether the style of leadership varies by the understanding and competence of employees in a particular exercise (Wyld, 2010). Apparently, Northouse (2016) argues that the premise of the concept is that various conditions urge numerous kinds of governance.

The success in developing a strategy for an organization is crucial and requires enterprises to have a future-oriented talent capacity. Firms should implement and maintain a stream of professional leaders, with the desired skills, performing their competencies and within the acceptable time to contribute to a sustainable competitive power (Korn Ferry, 2015). Apparently, this particular perception to determine and control great prospective leaders has emerged fundamental in organizations with a significant focus to implement the trait, behavioral and situational approaches. However, according to Northouse (2016), these procedures have not received adequate research, and it is substantial to make a comparison between their functions and expected goals an organization.

Typically, the three approaches to leadership styles have distinct similarities such as to determine the development capacity of employees and the leadership model needed from the employers to deal with the advancement levels appropriately. However, individual differences among them are evident in ways such as:

In general, the trait theory is primarily focused on illustrating the traits of leaders and identifying individuals with these characteristics. Also, by the fact of possessing specific essential characteristics can guarantee effective management. However, the perception that a distinct group of attributes leads to effective leadership as always been presented regardless of whether the job circumstances fails to address the aspect of situations. Considerably, cases between both leaders and employers emerged to differ broadly across various events and thus, influences the leadership success (Fleenor, 2011). On the other hand, the behavioral concept contributes to a mechanism for evaluating governance in a general aspect such as both task and association alignments (Northouse, 2016).

Besides, the trait theory tends to imply that there should be leadership categories among the administrative levels which could be applied to determine qualified leaders by evaluating their traits. However, the behavioral policy provides a general process of identifying the conduct of leaders and particularly, emphasizes that the effect of leaders results from their duties and interactions (Northouse, 2016). Nevertheless, studies on the behavioral concept to management has indicated that more often than not leaders tend to involve both supportive and character methods. Similarly, in the situational theory emphasizes that successful leaders implements both supportive and task behaviors, although their utilization is reliant on progressive nature of employees.

Moreover, Northouse (2016) suggested that the trait strategy can be utilized for individual awareness and advancement. Therefore, managers can measure the characters of their employees to understand their capacities and weaknesses. Similarly, the behavioral concept reminds leaders to realize that their actions usually happens through their duties and association functions. On the other hand, the situational theory is characterized by the transformations that occur along a strategic continuum and expects leaders to adjust in their lead characters. It is contrary to both trait and behavioral concepts which focus on discreet leadership styles.

Various aspects concern the purpose of assessing the leadership style of employees, for instance, the potential and effectiveness to achieve the goals of an organization. Therefore, about the trait, contingency and situational theories of assessment, the perceived goals and objectives include:

According to the trait concept, the evaluation of leadership style aims at encouraging individuals that possess various traits that have a potential for success in business. Also, in pursuit of detailed studies, this concept plays a significant role in identifying unique functions and activities that leaders can be assigned. Northouse (2016) also asserts that this approach purports to assist people to discover certain traits in leadership.

Similarly, the behavioral theory establishes various contributions to accomplish the actual end product of the actions of leaders and also the characteristics of behavior that was demonstrated. Besides, owing to the intense research invested in this approach, leaders aim at accomplishing an in-depth analysis of their leadership undertakings. Therefore, the behavioural approach enables an evaluation of activities and the determination for modifications to enhance leadership experience.

Furthermore, the implementation of situational outlook to leadership tends to achieve essential goals such as educating leaders in an enterprise. For instance, numerous institutions and initiatives for training appreciate situational approaches to leadership models, as evidenced by many Fortune 500 firms (Northouse, 2016). Besides, the technical part of the concept can be easily understood and adopted. Therefore, from this approach leaders can easily comprehend versatile skills for individuals that can be applied in other settings like learning institutions. Lastly, this approach aims at creating opportunities to assist employees to learn current skills and through treating each employee differently, the concept purports to impart confidence in their roles.


In conclusion, it is essential to appreciate the input of some solutions to manage employees or instead several leadership styles to implement all subordinates. Therefore, in assessing the theories of leadership styles, a competent manager should comprehend that the appropriate leadership model is mostly a product of the level of challenges in a task as well as the evolution of an employee in performing the work. Consequently, the integration of trait, behavior and situational theories has potential to determine successful leadership styles and contribute to active task operations and achievement of organizational goals.


Church, A. H., & Rotolo, C. T. (2013). How are top companies assessing their high potentials and senior executives? A talent management benchmark study. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 65(3), pp. 199-223

Fleenor, J. W. (2011). Trait approach to leadership. Encylopedia of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, SAGE Publications, pp. 831-833

Korn Ferry. (2015). Assessment of leadership potential. Research Guide and Technical Manual, pp. 2-20

Northouse, P. G. (2016). Leadership: theory and practice. SAGE Publications, Inc., pp. 19-114

Wyld, D. (June 29, 2010). Southern Louisiana University in management. Top ten management on situational leadership theory: An overview of how to match the right leader to the right group of followers. Retrieved from, http://bizcovering.com/management/top-ten-management-on-situational-leadership-theory-an-overview-of-how-to-match-the-right-leader-to-the-right-group-of-followers/

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