Leadership Theories: the Evolution of Context Essay

1618 Words Jul 3rd, 2013 7 Pages
Leadership Theories: The Evolution of Context
April 2, 2013

This paper defines “context” as it relates to leadership and the inclusion of context in leadership theories. I will show examples of different leadership styles and how they relate to the context of leadership. In closing, I will reflect on the challenges of contextual theories and how these challenges can be met in the current environment.

Meaning of Context and Treatment in Leadership Research
Different types of leadership often need to be applied in a distinct manner, depending on the context and who is involved. Osborn, Hunt, & Jauch (2002) indicated leadership theory and research needs to expand to the complex levels of leadership. The authors
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In this example hotel managers may fail to be prepared and develop safety procedures in case of a fire emergency. The authors explained that because of the relatively minimal chances of a fire occurring coupled with the surety of an adequate rescue response from authorities, hotel managers are less likely to make preparations in case of a fire. According to this premise, managers may not manifest any leadership tendency because circumstances do not create a need to exercise leadership (Hannah, Uhl-Bien, Avolio, & Cavarretta, 2009).
Differences in Leadership Styles and Approaches
In the first example, the leaders demonstrated a sense of urgency and an understanding of responsibility which requires immediate reaction as leaders. In the second example, leaders do not demonstrate the same urgency. The leaders are of the mindset that someone else will respond if the situation occurs. Each situation determines the leadership style which accomplishes the organization’s goals and vision; therefore, there is not a “best” leadership style or approach.
Challenges of Developing Contextual Theories of Leadership
Efficiency may come with leadership, but leadership can be overpowering and complex. Innovation of alliances is not always required for leadership. However, a study conducted by Osborn & Marion (2009) examined the aspects of contextual leadership in which transformational leadership

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