Last Updated 10 Aug 2020

Leadership Models

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A vast number of leadership models exist in practices that are proposed by a many theorists. The leadership models that will be discussed in this assignment are the Classical Model, Style Approach Model and Path-Goal Approach Model.

1.1 Classical Model

Classical model concentrates mainly on the personal traits that a manager should have to be a good leader.  For instance, a leader should possess the traits of initiative and enthusiasm (Doyle E. M. and Smith K. M., 2006). Through additional studies, P.G Northouse (2001) explained such emphasis by stating determination is a key variable in a manager that comprises of assertiveness to be proactive rather than reactive in the workplace.

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An advantage of the classical model is that it outlines important attributes, such as physical stamina, stress tolerance and emotional maturity that are highly effective in leadership. However, proponents of such theory fail to attain a general consensus of the traits that are outlined in the classical model.

Theorists noted that some attributes are present in some successful leaders, but not others. Such results forced researchers to admit that a common set of leadership traits does not exist in practice (Doyle E. M. and Smith K. M., 2006). In addition, at the case provided the IT manager of EEST Company cannot be changed with another that more fits such traits because the consequences would be higher thus highly limiting the applicability of such model. For example a new manager would have to build up trust that the present IT manager holds.

1.2 Style Approach Model

Style approach model focusing on the positive attributes of leaders that are concentrates on the behavior and decisions taken by leaders. The Authoritarian-Democratic Leadership Model and Relationship-Oriented Approach were developed by

Schmidt and Tannenbaum. The former authoritarian-democratic leadership method identified four main styles of leadership referred to as being the leader tells, the leader sells, the leader consults and the leader joins.  These styles hold a different degree of authoritarian leadership that are selected and adopted by the leader according to the instance at hand (Kuzmenko N. T. 2004).

The Relationship-Oriented Approach states that a selection between task-oriented behavior and relationship-oriented behavior should be chosen by the leader.  Task oriented enhances goal accomplishment by focusing on the operations necessary to reach the desired aim.  While relationship oriented as its name implies aid in the unification of the group harmony by helping staff on issues they might encounter.

The adoption of the qualities of awakened leadership by being in touch with the staff and adopting a behavior that fits the particular task at hand help the manager to remain in the inner fulcrum of the department’s team. This leads to respect and trust by his subordinates, which is a very important element to effective management.  By promoting such facet, especially in the relationship-oriented approach, the style model holds this important advantage of trust and respect by employees outlined in this paragraph (Ginter M. P. 2003).

A critical disadvantage noted in the style approach model is that it concentrates solely on the behavior of the manager.  In the case provided, the IT Department will pass through a considerable change if the takeover takes place.  Such change comprises negative aspects such as promulgating with a different organizational cultural and dismissal of employees.  The most optimal leadership theory for such situation should be one that concentrates on how to motivate employees in face of such adversaries. Read about difference between behavioural theory and contingency theory of leadership

1.3 Path-Goal Approach Model

Under this model ways how to motivate employees in order to enhance the effectiveness of the team are emphasized.  The path-goal approach highlights the leader’s style, the behavior, capability and features of staff, the characteristic’s of the work context, and the optimal way to the be taken to reach the set aims.  These main elements will be further clarified below (Morden T. 2004):

  • Leadership Behavior Choices – directive, supportive, participative and achievement-oriented leaderships are the behavior choices suggested under such model to be chosen in line with the case at hand.
  • Subordinate Characteristics – the variables that are influencing the employees, such as managerial structure and control, social affiliation, managerial pressure and more.
  • Task Features – this is the present situation that the manager and staff are engaged in. The complexity, time element, task variety and more ought to be considered.
  • Path to be Taken – in view of the above mentioned features, the leader should select the best way for the employees to be taken in view of the corporate aims of the firm.

A very important advantage that this leadership model holds is that it concentrates on all the important elements present in an organization relevant to the leadership issue.  It does not concentrate solely on one factor like the previous models described.

Indeed this is the best model that the IT manager of EEST Company should adopt in view of the takeover that the firm will probably face, especially in light of the motivational characteristic that this model promotes.  We have to keep in mind that staff would need a lot of support and motivational boost due to the external forces present in order to minimize resistance to change and enhance efficiency and effectiveness (Johnston R. W. 1996).

The main limitation of this model is that it concentrates on one particular course of action.  Even though all important variables a considered no contingency plans are set in order to safeguard the company from any divergences that may arise in due course.  Such lack of planning on such area may surprise management when such problems are encountered in due course (Morden T. 2004).

Another disadvantage of this method is that failure to attain a degree of harmony between the four variables mentioned may lead to inappropriate leadership choices in practice.  This may result as counterproductive and diminish the leadership effectiveness that the manager will attain from its staff.  It is therefore important that proper evaluation of the leadership behavior choices selected is performed to see that they adhere with the other three elements of subordinate characteristics, task features and path chosen (Morden T. 2004).


Doyle E. M.; Smith K. M. (2006). Classical Leadership, (on-line). Available from: (Accessed 11th July 2007).

Ginter M. P. (2003). Leadership and Decision Making: A Retrospective Application and Assessment, Available from: (Accessed 11th July 2007).

Johnston R. W. (1996). The Effective Leader as a Link between Tasks and People, Available from: (Accessed 11th July 2007).

Kuzmenko N. T. (2004). Transformational and Servant Leadership: Content and Contextual Comparisons, Available from: (Accessed 11th July 2007).

Morden T. (2004). Principles of Management. Second Edition. Burlington: Ashgate Publishing Company.

Northouse P. G. (2001). Leadership: Theory and Practice.  Sage: Thousand Oaks.

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Leadership Models. (2018, May 19). Retrieved from

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