Basic Understanding Of Leadership Theories

Leadership topic has always been a controversial subject and many questions have been raised and many theories have been advocated trying to find out the correct set of rules, traits, styles etc.

The three leaderships theories have been explained in brief:

Trait Theories


  • Commonly recognized that successful leaders possessed certain personal characteristics

Behavioural Theories

  • The theory focus on what the leaders do. The same group of leader show different behaviors in different situations.
  • Unlike traits, these behaviors need not necessarily be possessed by leaders, they can also be learned. Therefore leaders who are trained in appropriate leadership behavior can prove to be effective leaders.

Situational or Contingency theories

  • As researchers are not able to find the correct set of traits/behavior style that is appropriate under all conditions, they concluded that leadership was situational.
  • These situational or contingency theories of leadership started in 1950.
  • Recognized that leader’s qualities and behavior cannot be separated from the environment.
  • Take more specific account of the other variables involved any leadership situation in particular the task and/or the work group and the position of the leader within that group.



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