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Behavioral Theory Leadership: How Important is Leadership Behavior

  • December 24, 2018
Behavioral Theory Leadership

Initial research on behavioral theory leadership highlight 65 unique groups of behaviors.  With time, additional research has expanded on these categories. Further research on the behavior of leaders has led to the development of new leader behavior theories. theme emerging from research on behavioral theory leadership can be grouped into task-oriented, relational oriented, change-oriented and passive leadership behaviors. Two behavioral theory leadership paradigms are initiating structure-considerations and transformational-transactional.

Initiating structure refers to the development of task roles in coordination with member relationships, organizing individual actions, identifying benchmark standards, and holding members accountable for actions and performance.

Transactional style of leadership establishes expectations regarding task performance along with incentives for meeting performance measures, identify potential pitfalls or hurdles, and taking corrective steps.

Both of these theories rely on leaders highlighting performance expectations and motivating individuals to meet expectations through their actions.

Leaders who employ this approach must be friendly and approachable. They ought to be receptive to feedback and strive to be equitable when treating followers.

Leaders build communities that are team oriented. Members are respectful of one another and support each other in reaching performance standards.  They understand that their contributions help and ide everyone involved.

When it comes to change, behavioral theory leadership spells out the importance of communication. Leaders must be able to express their thoughts in a manner that excites members to innovate. The can connect their work to a broader picture of change looks like to the organization. There are acceptance and support given to members who take calculated risks.

When it comes to measuring the effectiveness of leaders, the actions of leaders undergo scrutiny. Functions of leadership are regulated through the lens of the task and personal interactions. One of the reasons the behavior of the leaders becomes the central focus is that is that measuring the personality of a leader is a difficult task.

Behavioral Theory Leadership Conclusion

When it comes to behavioral theory leadership research indicates that behaviors represent effectiveness more so than the traits of the leader. If the goal is to improve task completion of leadership traits relating to task orientation play a more significant role. Whereas a goal geared toward follower satisfaction relates most closely with interpersonal characteristics. Those leaders who choose to display passive leadership behaviors tend to experience negative performance levels and weaker relationships with followers.

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