Analytical Matrix Historical Views of Leadership

Historical Views of Leadership


Commonalities Disparities
Primary focus was on management, science and social psychology by researchers (Wren, 1995). Leadership Notions

Some of the theories perceived influence to be the main component of leadership, others considered attribute and then there were those that perceived leadership to be an exchange determined by power relations (Bennis & Nanus, 1985).

They all had a limited perspective because they ignored the leadership views developed by other disciplines such as Art, Philosophy, and History (Greenleaf, 1977; Burns & Peltason, 1966; Wren, 1995). Burns believed that followers of a leader are significantly involved in the leadership process, and leaders have to lead their followers in an ethically and morally upright manner.  Greenleaf on the other hand believed that servant leadership was key.  Warren and Burt believed that leaders pull, inspire and enable their followers to meet their needs as the purpose of leadership (Greenleaf, 1977; Burns & Peltason, 1966; Bennis & Burt, 1985).
These leadership theories were dominated by a leadership view that was pragmatic, linear, male oriented and Newtonian Perspectives (Bennis & Nanus, 1985; Greenleaf, 1977). Burns and Greenleaf leadership view have roots of the old system leadership where top down was the order of leadship whereas Warren and Burt attempts to view the followers as significant players who ought to take part in the decision making (Bennis & Nanus, 1985; Greenleaf, 1977; Wren, 1995).
These three leadership theories had tenets in the military leadership style where precision and hierarchy in decision making was highly considered.  For instance top down decision making structures were paramount (Burns & Peltason, 1966). Burns view of leadership was inclined more on military leadership and Bennis and Burt views were inclined more on the organizational leadership (Bennis & Nanus, 1985; Burns & Peltason, 1966).
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