Essay on Compare and Contrast Any Two Theories of Leadership

1533 Words Dec 29th, 2010 7 Pages
Compare and contrast any two theories of leadership

In the following essay I will look at leadership, its definition and compare and contrast two theories behind it. I will firstly see if there is a distinction between leadership and management as suggested by John
Kotter(1990) who goes on further to stress that organisations require both a leader and a manager but the function can be provided by a single individual. I will then look at some definitions of leadership such as that by Bryman(1999), “The process of influencing the activities of an organized group in its efforts toward goal setting and goal attainment”. The two leadership theories which I will compare and contrast are transactional and transformational. I will also
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Transformational leadership inspires individuals and groups to think more openly about what affects them and solutions that would resolve their issues. However this level of freedom could result in a lot of different directions to develop a single vision given by the leader.
Does the type of organisational sector, private or public, have an impact on the type of leadership theory that can be applied? It could be argued that a leader’s level in an organisation and the type of organisation will have an impact on both their behaviour and their leadership style. Bass(1985) argues that organic, less constrictive, environments such as the private sector would most likely produce transformational leaders.
This is in contrast to the transactional leadership found within the public sector which is more constrictive, mechanistic. Public entities such as local councils and the Metropolitan Police Service, MPS, have policy and procedures as well as organisational traditions and values. The MPS changes its values and goals each time the
Commissioner changes. Similarly local councils will change their targets and goals according to the political party running them locally and nationally. Changes in these organisations are often due to high level decisions being made and the results to be followed and achieved by the lower ranks.
In contrast private companies such as Semco, manufacturing, have more flexible arrangements. Employees

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