Leadership Characteritiesnced By Galton And Eysenck's Work

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Influenced by Galton and Eysenck’s (1869) work, early researchers defined leadership qualities as hereditary – as stable attributes that were present at birth. These leadership qualities are considered patterns of personal characteristics based on a range of heretibale characteristics that foster effective leadership across group and organizational situations (Zaccaro, 2007). In addition to this, early investigations conducted on leadership proclaimed that only a few people had leadership qualities, of which were believed to be innate (Denmark, 1993). Other early researchers focused solely on males and eliminated women from their studies, and theorized that women during those times were not perceived as leaders in any (Jogulu & Wood, 2006). …show more content…
Nevertheless it simply depends on whether one wants to be in a leadership position and happens to have the adequate knowledge and skill, or resources, an organization requires at that time (Fiedler, 1981). Hence, different personalities respond differently in various situations. For instance, in a stressful situation, a leader might resort to social support or other form of comfort, while others become defensive or withdraws. The situational factors play a role in determining who will emerge to take up a leadership role (Bass, 1990). This approach to leadership asserts that there is no best style of leadership or way of influence team members (McLaurin, 2006). Ultimately, the situation provides the leader with power, control and influence over the outcome (Fiedler, 1981). It indicates the assumption that the leader’s actions will determine the conclusions through the “task is accomplishment” and “good interpersonal relations”. Fiedler (1981) measures situational control by the degree to which a group is loyal and supportive, moreover that the task is structured and well-defined, and that the leader is in position of power to permit punishment and reward. Thereby, a leader needs to appropriately respond to the situation with an appropriate approach and relationship behavior, whilst regarding the ability and willingness of his or her followers. Accordingly, the situation has been considered the most ambiguous aspect of leadership (Masood, Dani, Burns & Backhouse, 2006). Hence, Hughes, Ginnrtt and Curphy (1993) suggests that a situation can facilitate a leader’s action, wherein the individuals ability to adapt to, or change a certain aspect of a situation has been seen to be effective as a leader’s characteristic. Stogdill (1948) argues that personality traits alone are not enough to emerge as a leader, and that traits must fit in the situation, including followers and goals.

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