Week 5

Leadership Theories

This Week's Activities

This is a busy week! You will be completing your first quiz in this course and you will be submitting the contact information for the person you will be interviewing and the agency you will be conducting your observation.

I mentioned the details regarding the quiz in last week's announcement and I am going to revisit the important items in this module as well. Here are the ground rules:

  1. You can use any notes, articles, websites, and module information presented in this course. It is completely open book and open notes type of quiz.

  2. You can only take the quiz once and it is due on Sunday night just like the assignment due date in this class. You can use the late assignment waiver if you find that this is a difficult week. Please note that you can only use this waiver twice this semester.

  3. You can consult with your classmates on this quiz. In my profesional experiences, rarely have I had to solve problems on my own so I see this as an opportunity to discuss the questions with your peers. It is perfectly ok if you submit the same answers as a fellow classmate since I am expecting that you will be working together. Please note that the answer choices are randomized so the correct answer could be B on your account and D on someone else's screen.


This week is about leaderhip theories and there are a lot of required readings that discuss the main leadership theories. Below I am going to outline the theories I would like you to focus on while completing your readings. This material will not only be on your quiz but you will be using it for your Personality Leadership Style Paper, Organizational Leadership Assessment and Reflection, Agency Interview and Observation, and your Final Project. Therefore, this week's organizational theories is an important one that you will revisit frequently.

The readings I curated this week are lists of the common leadership theories. I find that I like to examine multiple viewpoints of one theory to get a good grasp of its meaning. You will find that some of the articles overlap in the listed theories, which will hopefully give you a diverse perspective of these leadership theories.

Leadership Theories

I want to you to spend a bulk of your time this week reviewing the readings that I have assigned, therefore the descriptions below are very quick summaries of the theories I would like you to focus on while reviewing this's weeks infromation.

  1. Trait Theories
  2. Behavioral Theories
  3. Power and Influence Theories
  4. Transactional
  5. Transformational Leadership
  6. Contingency Theories
  7. Cultural/Symbolic Theories


Trait Theories

These collective theories suggest that leaders have specific traits that make them great leaders. For example, someone who shows the traits of assertiveness, good judgment, intelligence etc. are more likely to be good leaders (Amanchukwu, Stanley, & Ololube, 2015).

Behavioral Theories

Behavioral theories maintain that one can become a leader if he or she is trained to be a leader. One does not need to be born a leader or have leadership traits, the required behaviors can be learned (BBN, n.d.; Zultowski, 1996).

Power and Influence Theories

We will discuss how leaders can influence their workers later this semester and these specific theories focus on how one can influence through his or her power and influence. Specifically, can a person use their power and at work to help get projects completed? If so, then that person is a good leader (Mind Tools, 2017).

Transactional Leadership

Transactional leaders provide benefits to those who are following them. For example, if you have a transactional leader in your organization you might support him or her on weekends and evenings for important projects and, in return, you get a promotion (ZKahn, Nawaz, & Khan, 2016).

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leaders adapt their leadership styles to the specific situation and their evolving thought processes. These leaders are also invested in developing their employees (Germano, 2010).

Contingency Theories

Specific work situations and projects require a specific type of leader and these theories suggest that the most successful leaders adapt to the style of work and the leadership needed in that particular environment (BBN, n.d.).

References and Reading List

Amanchukwu, R.N., Stanley, G.J., & Ololube, N.P. (2015). A review of leadership theories, principles and styles and their relevance to educational management. Management, 5(1), 6-14.

BBN Business Network (n.d.). Core leadership theories. Available online: http://www.bbnbusinessnetwork.co.za/phocadownload/Leadership/Core%20Leadership%20Theories.pdf

Germano, M.A. (2010). Leadership style and organizational impact. Available online: http://ala-apa.org/newsletter/2010/06/08/spotlight/

Khan, Z.A., Nawaz, A., & Khan, I. (2016). Leadership theories and styles: A literature review. Journal of Resources Development and Management, 16, 1-7.

Mind Tools (). Core leadership theories. Available online: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/leadership-theories.htm

Penn, A. (n.d.). Leadership theory simplified. Available online: https://www.uaex.edu/publications/PDF/FSPSD200.pdf

Zultowski, W.H. (1996). Tracing the evolution of the leadership concept. LIMRA's Vision, 1(1), 17-19.