Chapter 14 Outline

Chapter 14 Outline

Follow these instructions to complete your outline for this chapter.






6. READ THE FIRST AND LAST SENTENCE OF EVERY PARAGRAPH. ENTER YOUR NOTES IN THE APPROPRIATE SECTIONS. Return to the beginning of the chapter. This time, read the first and last sentence of every paragraph. This process should reveal significant details that might not be included elsewhere in the chapter. Write down the important details you find in each subheading section of your outline.






Eighth Edition




To Madison, Isla, and Sullivan





Theory and Practice

Eighth Edition

Peter G. Northouse Western Michigan University





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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Northouse, Peter Guy, author.

Title: Leadership : theory and practice / Peter G. Northouse, Western Michigan University.

Description: Eighth Edition. | Thousand Oaks : SAGE Publications, [2018] | Revised edition of the author’s Leadership, 2015. | Includes index.

Identifiers: LCCN 2017049134 | ISBN 9781506362311 (pbk. : alk. paper)

Subjects: LCSH: Leadership. | Leadership—Case studies.




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Brief Contents

1. Preface 2. Acknowledgments 3. About the Author 4. About the Contributors 5. 1. Introduction 6. 2. Trait Approach 7. 3. Skills Approach 8. 4. Behavioral Approach 9. 5. Situational Approach

10. 6. Path–Goal Theory 11. 7. Leader–Member Exchange Theory 12. 8. Transformational Leadership 13. 9. Authentic Leadership 14. 10. Servant Leadership 15. 11. Adaptive Leadership 16. 12. Followership 17. 13. Leadership Ethics 18. 14. Team Leadership 19. 15. Gender and Leadership 20. 16. Culture and Leadership 21. Author Index 22. Subject Index




Detailed Contents

Preface Acknowledgments About the Author About the Contributors 1. Introduction

Leadership Defined Ways of Conceptualizing Leadership Definition and Components

Leadership Described Trait Versus Process Leadership Assigned Versus Emergent Leadership Leadership and Power Leadership and Coercion Leadership and Management

Plan of the Book Summary References

2. Trait Approach Description

Intelligence Self-Confidence Determination Integrity Sociability Five-Factor Personality Model and Leadership Strengths and Leadership Emotional Intelligence

How Does the Trait Approach Work? Strengths Criticisms Application Case Studies

Case 2.1 Choosing a New Director of Research Case 2.2 A Remarkable Turnaround Case 2.3 Recruiting for the Bank

Leadership Instrument Leadership Trait Questionnaire (LTQ)

Summary References




3. Skills Approach Description

Three-Skill Approach Technical Skills Human Skills Conceptual Skills Summary of the Three-Skill Approach

Skills Model Competencies Individual Attributes Leadership Outcomes Career Experiences Environmental Influences Summary of the Skills Model

How Does the Skills Approach Work? Strengths Criticisms Application Case Studies

Case 3.1 A Strained Research Team Case 3.2 A Shift for Lieutenant Colonel Adams Case 3.3 Andy’s Recipe

Leadership Instrument Skills Inventory

Summary References

4. Behavioral Approach Description

The Ohio State Studies The University of Michigan Studies Blake and Mouton’s Managerial (Leadership) Grid

Authority–Compliance (9,1) Country-Club Management (1,9) Impoverished Management (1,1) Middle-of-the-Road Management (5,5) Team Management (9,9)

Paternalism/Maternalism Opportunism

How Does the Behavioral Approach Work? Strengths Criticisms Application




Case Studies Case 4.1 A Drill Sergeant at First Case 4.2 Eating Lunch Standing Up Case 4.3 We Are Family

Leadership Instrument Leadership Behavior Questionnaire

Summary References

5. Situational Approach Description

Leadership Style Development Level

How Does the Situational Approach Work? Strengths Criticisms Application Case Studies

Case 5.1 Marathon Runners at Different Levels Case 5.2 Why Aren’t They Listening? Case 5.3 Getting the Message Across

Leadership Instrument Situational Leadership® Questionnaire: Sample Items

Summary References

6. Path–Goal Theory Description

Leader Behaviors Directive Leadership Supportive Leadership Participative Leadership Achievement-Oriented Leadership

Follower Characteristics Task Characteristics

How Does Path–Goal Theory Work? Strengths Criticisms Application Case Studies

Case 6.1 Three Shifts, Three Supervisors Case 6.2 Direction for Some, Support for Others Case 6.3 Playing in the Orchestra

Leadership Instrument




Path–Goal Leadership Questionnaire Summary References

7. Leader–Member Exchange Theory Description

Early Studies Later Studies Leadership Making

How Does LMX Theory Work? Strengths Criticisms Application Case Studies

Case 7.1 His Team Gets the Best Assignments Case 7.2 Working Hard at Being Fair Case 7.3 Taking on Additional Responsibilities

Leadership Instrument LMX 7 Questionnaire

Summary References

8. Transformational Leadership Description

Transformational Leadership Defined Transformational Leadership and Charisma A Model of Transformational Leadership

Transformational Leadership Factors Transactional Leadership Factors Nonleadership Factor

Other Transformational Perspectives Bennis and Nanus Kouzes and Posner

How Does the Transformational Leadership Approach Work? Strengths Criticisms Application Case Studies

Case 8.1 The Vision Failed Case 8.2 An Exploration in Leadership Case 8.3 Her Vision of a Model Research Center

Leadership Instrument Sample Items From the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) Form 5X-Short




Summary References

9. Authentic Leadership Description

Authentic Leadership Defined Approaches to Authentic Leadership

Practical Approach Theoretical Approach

How Does Authentic Leadership Work? Strengths Criticisms Application Case Studies

Case 9.1 Am I Really a Leader? Case 9.2 A Leader Under Fire Case 9.3 The Reluctant First Lady

Leadership Instrument Authentic Leadership Self-Assessment Questionnaire

Summary References

10. Servant Leadership Description

Servant Leadership Defined Historical Basis of Servant Leadership Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader Building a Theory About Servant Leadership

Model of Servant Leadership Antecedent Conditions Servant Leader Behaviors Outcomes Summary of the Model of Servant Leadership

How Does Servant Leadership Work? Strengths Criticisms Application Case Studies

Case 10.1 Everyone Loves Mrs. Noble Case 10.2 Doctor to the Poor Case 10.3 Servant Leadership Takes Flight

Leadership Instrument Servant Leadership Questionnaire





References 11. Adaptive Leadership

Description Adaptive Leadership Defined

A Model of Adaptive Leadership Situational Challenges Technical Challenges Technical and Adaptive Challenges Adaptive Challenges Leader Behaviors Adaptive Work

How Does Adaptive Leadership Work? Strengths Criticisms Application Case Studies

Case 11.1 Silence, Stigma, and Mental Illness Case 11.2 Taming Bacchus Case 11.3 Redskins No More

Leadership Instrument Adaptive Leadership Questionnaire

Summary References

12. Followership Description

Followership Defined Role-Based and Relational-Based Perspectives Typologies of Followership

The Zaleznik Typology The Kelley Typology The Chaleff Typology The Kellerman Typology

Theoretical Approaches to Followership Reversing the Lens The Leadership Co-Created Process New Perspectives on Followership

Perspective 1: Followers Get the Job Done Perspective 2: Followers Work in the Best Interest of the Organization’s Mission Perspective 3: Followers Challenge Leaders Perspective 4: Followers Support the Leader Perspective 5: Followers Learn From Leaders




Followership and Destructive Leaders 1. Our Need for Reassuring Authority Figures 2. Our Need for Security and Certainty 3. Our Need to Feel Chosen or Special 4. Our Need for Membership in the Human Community 5. Our Fear of Ostracism, Isolation, and Social Death 6. Our Fear of Powerlessness to Challenge a Bad Leader

How Does Followership Work? Strengths Criticisms Application Case Studies

Case 12.1 Bluebird Care Case 12.2 Olympic Rowers Case 12.3 Penn State Sexual Abuse Scandal

Leadership Instrument Followership Questionnaire

Summary References

13. Leadership Ethics Description

Ethics Defined Level 1. Preconventional Morality Level 2. Conventional Morality Level 3. Postconventional Morality

Ethical Theories Centrality of Ethics to Leadership Heifetz’s Perspective on Ethical Leadership Burns’s Perspective on Ethical Leadership The Dark Side of Leadership Principles of Ethical Leadership

Ethical Leaders Respect Others Ethical Leaders Serve Others Ethical Leaders Are Just Ethical Leaders Are Honest Ethical Leaders Build Community

Strengths Criticisms Application Case Studies

Case 13.1 Choosing a Research Assistant Case 13.2 How Safe Is Safe?




Case 13.3 Reexamining a Proposal Leadership Instrument

Ethical Leadership Style Questionnaire (Short Form) Summary References

14. Team Leadership Description

Team Leadership Model Team Effectiveness Leadership Decisions Leadership Actions

How Does the Team Leadership Model Work? Strengths Criticisms Application Case Studies

Case 14.1 Can This Virtual Team Work? Case 14.2 Team Crisis Within the Gates Case 14.3 Starts With a Bang, Ends With a Whimper

Leadership Instrument Team Excellence and Collaborative Team Leader Questionnaire

Summary References

15. Gender and Leadership Description

The Glass Ceiling Turned Labyrinth Evidence of the Leadership Labyrinth Understanding the Labyrinth

Gender Differences in Leadership Styles and Effectiveness Navigating the Labyrinth

Strengths Criticisms Application Case Studies

Case 15.1 The “Glass Ceiling” Case 15.2 Lack of Inclusion and Credibility Case 15.3 Pregnancy as a Barrier to Job Status

Leadership Instrument The Gender–Leader Implicit Association Test

Summary References

16. Culture and Leadership




Description Culture Defined Related Concepts

Ethnocentrism Prejudice

Dimensions of Culture Uncertainty Avoidance Power Distance Institutional Collectivism In-Group Collectivism Gender Egalitarianism Assertiveness Future Orientation Performance Orientation Humane Orientation

Clusters of World Cultures Characteristics of Clusters

Anglo Confucian Asia Eastern Europe Germanic Europe Latin America Latin Europe Middle East Nordic Europe Southern Asia Sub-Saharan Africa

Leadership Behavior and Culture Clusters Eastern Europe Leadership Profile Latin America Leadership Profile Latin Europe Leadership Profile Confucian Asia Leadership Profile Nordic Europe Leadership Profile Anglo Leadership Profile Sub-Saharan Africa Leadership Profile Southern Asia Leadership Profile Germanic Europe Leadership Profile Middle East Leadership Profile

Universally Desirable and Undesirable Leadership Attributes Strengths Criticisms Application




Case Studies Case 16.1 A Challenging Workplace Case 16.2 A Special Kind of Financing Case 16.3 Whose Latino Center Is It?

Leadership Instrument Dimensions of Culture Questionnaire

Summary References

Author Index Subject Index





This eighth edition of Leadership: Theory and Practice is written with the objective of bridging the gap between the often-simplistic popular approaches to leadership and the more abstract theoretical approaches. Like the previous editions, this edition reviews and analyzes a selected number of leadership theories, giving special attention to how each theoretical approach can be applied in real-world organizations. In essence, my purpose is to explore how leadership theory can inform and direct the way leadership is practiced.




New to This Edition

First and foremost, this edition includes a new chapter on followership, which examines the nature of followership, its underpinnings, and how it works. The chapter presents a definition, a model, and the latest research and applications of this emerging approach to leadership. It also examines the relationship between followership and destructive, or toxic, leadership. In addition, the strengths and weaknesses of followership are examined, and a questionnaire to help readers assess their own follower style is provided. Three case studies illustrating followership, including one that addresses the Penn State sexual abuse scandal and another that looks at the 1936 U.S. Olympic rowing team, are presented at the end of the chapter.

In addition to the discussion of destructive leadership in Chapter 12, this edition includes an expanded discussion of the dark side of leadership and psuedotransformational leadership and the negative uses and abuses of leadership in several of the chapters. Readers will also find that the ethics chapter features a new self-assessment instrument, the Ethical Leadership Style Questionnaire (ELSQ), which assesses a leader’s style of ethical leadership and will help leaders understand their decision-making preferences when confronting ethical dilemmas.

This edition retains many special features from previous editions but has been updated to include new research findings, figures and tables, and everyday applications for many leadership topics including leader–member exchange theory, transformational and authentic leadership, team leadership, the labyrinth of women’s leadership, and historical definitions of leadership. The format of this edition parallels the format used in earlier editions. As with previous editions, the overall goal of Leadership: Theory and Practice is to advance our understanding of the many different approaches to leadership and ways to practice it more effectively.




Special Features

Although this text presents and analyzes a wide range of leadership research, every attempt has been made to present the material in a clear, concise, and interesting manner. Reviewers of the book have consistently commented that clarity is one of its major strengths. In addition to the writing style, several other features of the book help make it user-friendly.

Each chapter follows the same format: It is structured to include first theory and then practice. Every chapter contains a discussion of the strengths and criticisms of the approach under consideration, and assists the reader in determining the relative merits of each approach. Each chapter includes an application section that discusses the practical aspects of the approach and how it could be used in today’s organizational settings. Three case studies are provided in each chapter to illustrate common leadership issues and dilemmas. Thought-provoking questions follow each case study, helping readers to interpret the case. A questionnaire is provided in each of the chapters to help the reader apply the approach to his or her own leadership style or setting. Figures and tables illustrate the content of the theory and make the ideas more meaningful.

Through these special features, every effort has been made to make this text substantive, understandable, and practical.





This book provides both an in-depth presentation of leadership theory and a discussion of how it applies to real-life situations. Thus, it is intended for undergraduate and graduate classes in management, leadership studies, business, educational leadership, public administration, nursing and allied health, social work, criminal justice, industrial and organizational psychology, communication, religion, agricultural education, political and military science, and training and development. It is particularly well suited as a supplementary text for core organizational behavior courses or as an overview text within MBA curricula. This book would also be useful as a text in student activities, continuing education, in-service training, and other leadership-development programs.




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SAGE edge for students

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Mobile-friendly practice quizzes encourage self-guided assessment and practice. Mobile-friendly flashcards strengthen understanding of key concepts. Carefully selected video and multimedia content enhances exploration of key topics to reinforce concepts and provide further insights. EXCLUSIVE! Full-text SAGE journal articles have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter. Meaningful web resources with exercises facilitate further exploration of topics.




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SAGE coursepacks make it easy to import our quality instructor and student resource content into your school’s learning management system (LMS) with minimal effort. Intuitive and simple to use, SAGE coursepacks give you the control to focus on what really matters: customizing course content to meet your students’ needs. The SAGE coursepacks, created specifically for this book, are customized and curated for use in Blackboard, Canvas, Desire2Learn (D2L), and Moodle.

In addition to the content available on the SAGE edge site, the coursepacks include the following:

Pedagogically robust assessment tools foster review, practice, and critical thinking and offer a better, more complete way to measure student engagement:

Diagnostic chapter pretests and posttests identify opportunities for student improvement, track student progress, and ensure mastery of key learning objectives. Instructions on how to use and integrate the comprehensive assessments and resources are provided. Assignable video with corresponding multimedia assessment tools bring concepts to life that increase student engagement and appeal to different learning styles. The video assessment questions feed to your gradebook. Integrated links to the eBook make it easy to access the mobile-friendly version of the text, which can be read anywhere, anytime.

Interactive eBook

Leadership (8th ed.) is also available as an interactive eBook, which can be packaged with the text for just $5 or purchased separately. The interactive eBook offers hyperlinks to original and licensed videos, including Peter Northouse author videos in which the author illuminates various leadership concepts. The interactive eBook includes additional case studies, as well as carefully chosen journal articles from the web, all from the same pages found in the printed text. Users will also have immediate access to study tools such as highlighting, bookmarking, note-taking/sharing, and more!





Many people directly or indirectly contributed to the development of the eighth edition of Leadership: Theory and Practice. First, I would like to acknowledge my editor, Maggie Stanley, and her talented team at SAGE Publications (Lauren Holmes and Alissa Nance), who have contributed in so many different ways to the quality and success of this book. For their very capable work during the production phase, I would like to thank the copy editor, Melinda Masson, and the project editor, Bennie Clark Allen. In her own unique way, each of these people made valuable contributions to the eighth edition.

I would like to thank the following reviewers for their valuable contributions to the development of this manuscript:

Sandra Arumugam-Osburn, St. Louis Community College-Forest Park Rob Elkington, University of Ontario Institute of Technology Abimbola Farinde, Columbia Southern University Belinda S. Han, Utah Valley University Deborah A. Johnson-Blake, Liberty University Benjamin Kutsyuruba, Queen’s University Chenwei Liao, Michigan State University Heather J. Mashburn, Appalachian State University Comfort Okpala, North Carolina A&T State University Ric Rohm, Southeastern University Patricia Dillon Sobczak, Virginia Commonwealth University Victor S. Sohmen, Drexel University Brigitte Steinheider, University of Oklahoma-Tulsa Robert Waris, University of Missouri–Kansas City Sandi Zeljko, Lake-Sumter State College Mary Zonsius, Rush University

I would like to thank the following reviewers for their valuable contributions to the development of the seventh edition manuscript:

Hamid Akbari, Winona State University Meera Alagaraja, University of Louisville Mel Albin, Excelsior College Thomas Batsching, Reutlingen University Cheryl Beeler, Angelo State University Julie Bjorkman, Benedictine University Mark D. Bowman, Methodist University Dianne Burns, University of Manchester




Eric Buschlen, Central Michigan University Steven Bryant, Drury University Daniel Calhoun, Georgia Southern University David Conrad, Augsburg College Joyce Cousins, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Denise Danna, LSUHSC School of Nursing S. Todd Deal, Georgia Southern University Caroline S. Fulmer, University of Alabama Brad Gatlin, John Brown University Greig A. Gjerdalen, Capilano University Andrew Gonzales, University of California, Irvine Decker B. Hains, Western Michigan University Amanda Hasty, University of Colorado–Denver Carl Holschen, Missouri Baptist University Kiran Ismail, St. John’s University Irma Jones, University of Texas at Brownsville Michele D. Kegley, University of Cincinnati, Blue Ash College Jeanea M. Lambeth, Pittsburg State University David Lees, University of Derby David S. McClain, University of Hawaii at Manoa Carol McMillan, New School University Richard Milter, Johns Hopkins University Christopher Neck, Arizona State University–Tempe Keeok Park, University of La Verne Richard Parkman, University of Plymouth Lori M. Pindar, Clemson University Chaminda S. Prelis, University of Dubuque Casey Rae, George Fox University Noel Ronan, Waterford Institute of Technology Louis Rubino, California State University, Northridge Shadia Sachedina, Baruch College (School of Public Affairs) Harriet L. Schwartz, Carlow University Kelli K. Smith, University of Nebraska-Lincoln David Swenson, The College of St. Scholastica Danny L. Talbot, Washington State University Robert L. Taylor, University of Louisville Precious Taylor-Clifton, Cambridge College John Tummons, University of Missouri Kristi Tyran, Western Washington University Tamara Von George, Granite State College Natalie Walker, Seminole State College William Welch, Bowie State University




David E. Williams, Texas Tech University Tony Wohlers, Cameron University Sharon A. Wulf, Worcester Polytechnic Institute School of Business Alec Zama, Grand View University Xia Zhao, California State University, Dominguez Hills

In addition, I would like to thank, for their exceptional work on the leadership profile tool and the ancillaries, Isolde Anderson (Hope College), John Baker (Western Kentucky University), Kari Keating (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Kathryn Woods (Austin Peay State University), Eric Buschlen (Central Michigan University), Lou Sabina (Stetson University), and Neda Dallal.

A very special acknowledgment goes to Laurel Northouse for her insightful critiques and ongoing support. In addition, I am especially grateful to Marie Lee for her exceptional editing and guidance throughout this project. For his review of and comments on the followership chapter, I am indebted to Ronald Riggio (Claremont McKenna University). I would like to thank Sarah Chace (Marian University) for her contributions to the adaptive leadership chapter, Leah Omilion-Hodges (Western Michigan University) for her contributions to the leader–member exchange chapter, Isolde Anderson (Hope College) for her comprehensive literature reviews, Robin Curtiss for her contributions to a case study on followership, and Rudy Leon for her editorial assistance.

Finally, I would like to thank the many undergraduate and graduate students whom I have taught through the years. Their ongoing feedback has helped clarify my thinking about leadership and encouraged me to make plain the practical implications of leadership theories.




About the Author

Peter G. Northouse, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Communication in the School of Communication at Western Michigan University. Leadership: Theory and Practice is the best-selling academic textbook on leadership in the world and has been translated into 13 languages. In addition to authoring publications in professional journals, he is the author of Introduction to Leadership: Concepts and Practice (now in its fourth edition) and co-author of Leadership Case Studies in Education (now in its second edition) and Health Communication: Strategies for Health Professionals (now in its third edition). His scholarly and curricular interests include models of leadership, leadership assessment, ethical leadership, and leadership and group dynamics. For more than 30 years, he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in leadership, interpersonal communication, and organizational communication on both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Currently, he is a consultant and lecturer on trends in leadership research, leadership development, and leadership education. He holds a doctorate in speech communication from the University of Denver, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in communication education from Michigan State University.




About the Contributors

Crystal L. Hoyt completed her doctorate in social psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is a professor of leadership studies and psychology at the University of Richmond. Her primary research interests include female and minority leaders, stereotyping and discrimination, stigma, and cognitive biases. In her primary area of research, she explores the role of beliefs, such as self-efficacy, implicit theories, and political ideologies, in the experiences and perceptions of women and minorities in leadership or STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, or of those who are overweight. In a more applied fashion, she examines factors, such as role models, that may buffer individuals from the deleterious effects of stereotypes and discrimination. Her research appears in journals such as Psychological Science, Journal of Experimental and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and The Leadership Quarterly. She has published over 50 journal articles and book chapters, and she has co-edited three books.

Susan E. Kogler Hill (PhD, University of Denver, 1974) is Professor Emeritus and former chair of the School of Communication at Cleveland State University. Her research and consulting have been in the areas of interpersonal and organizational communication. She specializes in group leadership, teamwork, empowerment, and mentoring. She is author of a text titled Improving Interpersonal Competence. In addition, she has written book chapters and published articles in many professional journals.

Stefanie Simon is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Siena College. She earned her PhD in social psychology from Tulane University and was the Robert A. Oden Jr. Postdoctoral Fellow for Innovation in the Liberal Arts at Carleton College before joining the faculty at Siena. Her research centers on the psychology of diversity, with a focus on prejudice, discrimination, and leadership. In her work, she focuses on the perspective of the target of prejudice and discrimination, as well as the perspective of the perpetrator of prejudice and discrimination. She is particularly interested in how leaders of diverse groups can promote positive intergroup relations and reduce inequality in society.




1 Introduction

Leadership is a highly sought-after and highly valued commodity. In the 20 years since the first edition of this book was published, the public has become increasingly captivated by the idea of leadership. People continue to ask themselves and others what makes good leaders. As individuals, they seek more information on how to become effective leaders. As a result, bookstore shelves are filled with popular books about leaders and advice on how to be a leader. Many people believe that leadership is a way to improve their personal, social, and professional lives. Corporations seek those with leadership ability because they believe they bring special assets to their organizations and, ultimately, improve the bottom line. Academic institutions throughout the country have responded by providing programs in leadership studies.

In addition, leadership has gained the attention of researchers worldwide. Leadership research is increasing dramatically, and findings underscore that there is a wide variety of different theoretical approaches to explain the complexities of the leadership process (e.g., Bass, 2008; Bryman, 1992; Bryman, Collinson, Grint, Jackson, & Uhl-Bien, 2011; Day & Antonakis, 2012; Dinh et al., 2014; Gardner, 1990; Hickman, 2016; Mumford, 2006; Rost, 1991). Some researchers conceptualize leadership as a trait or as a behavior, whereas others view leadership from an information-processing perspective or relational standpoint. Leadership has been studied using both qualitative and quantitative methods in many contexts, including small groups, therapeutic groups, and large organizations. Collectively, the research findings on leadership from all of these areas provide a picture of a process that is far more sophisticated and complex than the often-simplistic view presented in some of the popular books on leadership.

This book treats leadership as a complex process having multiple dimensions. Based on the research literature, this text provides an in-depth description and application of many different approaches to leadership. Our emphasis is on how theory can inform the practice of leadership. In this book, we describe each theory and then explain how the theory can be used in real situations.




Leadership Defined

There are many ways to finish the sentence “Leadership is . . .” In fact, as Stogdill (1974, p. 7) pointed out in a review of leadership research, there are almost as many different definitions of leadership as there are people who have tried to define it. It is much like the words democracy, love, and peace. Although each of us intuitively knows what we mean by such words, the words can have different meanings for different people. As Box 1.1 shows, scholars and practitioners have attempted to define leadership for more than a century without universal consensus.

Box 1.1 The Evolution of Leadership Definitions

While many have a gut-level grasp of what leadership is, putting a definition to the term has proved to be a challenging endeavor for scholars and practitioners alike. More than a century has lapsed since leadership became a topic of academic introspection, and definitions have evolved continuously during that period. These definitions have been influenced by many factors from world affairs and politics to the perspectives of the discipline in which the topic is being studied. In a seminal work, Rost (1991) analyzed materials written from 1900 to 1990, finding more than 200 different definitions for leadership. His analysis provides a succinct history of how leadership has been defined through the last century:




1900–1929 Definitions of leadership appearing in the first three decades of the 20th century emphasized control and centralization of power with a common theme of domination. For example, at a conference on leadership in 1927, leadership was defined as “the ability to impress the will of the leader on those led and induce obedience, respect, loyalty, and cooperation” (Moore, 1927, p. 124).




1930s In the 1930s, traits became the focus of defining leadership, with an emerging view of leadership as influence rather than domination. Leadership was also identified as the interaction of an individual’s specific personality traits with those of a group; it was noted that while the attitudes and activities of the many may be changed by the one, the many may also influence a leader.




1940s The group approach came into the forefront in the 1940s with leadership being defined as the behavior of an individual while involved in directing group activities (Hemphill, 1949). At the same time, leadership by persuasion was distinguished from “drivership” or leadership by coercion (Copeland, 1942).




1950s Three themes dominated leadership definitions during the 1950s:

continuance of group theory, which framed leadership as what leaders do in groups; leadership as a relationship that develops shared goals, which defined leadership based on behavior of the leader; and effectiveness, in which leadership was defined by the ability to influence overall group effectiveness.




1960s Although a tumultuous time for world affairs, the 1960s saw harmony amongst leadership scholars. The prevailing definition of leadership as behavior that influences people toward shared goals was underscored by Seeman (1960), who described leadership as “acts by persons which influence other persons in a shared direction” (p. 53).




1970s In the 1970s, the group focus gave way to the organizational behavior approach, where leadership became viewed as “initiating and maintaining groups or organizations to accomplish group or organizational goals” (Rost, 1991, p. 59). Burns’s (1978) definition, however, was the most important concept of leadership to emerge: “Leadership is the reciprocal process of mobilizing by persons with certain motives and values, various economic, political, and other resources, in a context of competition and conflict, in order to realize goals independently or mutually held by both leaders and followers” (p. 425).




1980s The 1980s exploded with scholarly and popular works on the nature of leadership, bringing the topic to the apex of the academic and public consciousness. As a result, the number of definitions for leadership became a prolific stew with several persevering themes:

Do as the leader wishes. Leadership definitions still predominantly delivered the message that leadership is getting followers to do what the leader wants done. Influence. Probably the most often used word in leadership definitions of the 1980s, influence was examined from every angle. In an effort to distinguish leadership from management, however, scholars insisted that leadership is noncoercive influence. Traits. Spurred by the national best seller In Search of Excellence (Peters & Waterman, 1982), the leadership-as-excellence movement brought leader traits back to the spotlight. As a result, many people’s understanding of leadership is based on a trait orientation. Transformation. Burns (1978) is credited for initiating a movement defining leadership as a transformational process, stating that leadership occurs “when one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality” (p. 83).




From the 1990s Into the 21st Century Debate continues as to whether leadership and management are separate processes, but emerging research emphasizes the process of leadership, whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal, rather than developing new ways of defining leadership. Among these emerging leadership approaches are

authentic leadership, in which the authenticity of leaders and their leadership is emphasized; spiritual leadership, which focuses on leadership that utilizes values and sense of calling and membership to motivate followers; servant leadership, which puts the leader in the role of servant, who utilizes “caring principles” to focus on followers’ needs to help these followers become more autonomous, knowledgeable, and like servants themselves; adaptive leadership, in which leaders encourage followers to adapt by confronting and solving problems, challenges, and changes; followership, which puts a spotlight on followers and the role followers play in the leadership process; and discursive leadership, which posits that leadership is created not so much through leader traits, skills, and behaviors, but through communication practices that are negotiated between leader and follower (Aritz, Walker, Cardon, & Zhang, 2017; Fairhurst, 2007).

After decades of dissonance, leadership scholars agree on one thing: They can’t come up with a common definition for leadership. Because of such factors as growing global influences and generational differences, leadership will continue to have different meanings for different people. The bottom line is that leadership is a complex concept for which a determined definition may long be in flux.

Source: Adapted from Leadership for the Twenty-First Century, by J. C. Rost, 1991, New York, NY: Praeger.




Ways of Conceptualizing Leadership

In the past 60 years, as many as 65 different classification systems have been developed to define the dimensions of leadership (Fleishman et al., 1991). One such classification system, directly related to our discussion, is the scheme proposed by Bass (2008, pp. 11– 20). He suggested that some definitions view leadership as the focus of group processes. From this perspective, the leader is at the center of group change and activity and embodies the will of the group. Another set of definitions conceptualizes leadership from a personality perspective, which suggests that leadership is a combination of special traits or characteristics that some individuals possess. These traits enable those individuals to induce others to accomplish tasks. Other approaches to leadership define it as an act or a behavior—the things leaders do to bring about change in a group.

In addition, some define leadership in terms of the power relationship that exists between leaders and followers. From this viewpoint, leaders have power that they wield to effect change in others. Others view leadership as a transformational process that moves followers to accomplish more than is usually expected of them. Finally, some scholars address leadership from a skills perspective. This viewpoint stresses the capabilities (knowledge and skills) that make effective leadership possible.




Definition and Components

Despite the multitude of ways in which leadership has been conceptualized, the following components can be identified as central to the phenomenon: (a) Leadership is a process, (b) leadership involves influence, (c) leadership occurs in groups, and (d) leadership involves common goals. Based on these components, the following definition of leadership is used in this text:

Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal.

Defining leadership as a process means that it is not a trait or characteristic that resides in the leader, but rather a transactional event that occurs between the leader and the followers. Process implies that a leader affects and is affected by followers. It emphasizes that leadership is not a linear, one-way event, but rather an interactive event. When leadership is defined in this manner, it becomes available to everyone. It is not restricted to the formally designated leader in a group.

Leadership involves influence. It is concerned with how the leader affects followers and the communication that occurs between leaders and followers (Ruben & Gigliotti, 2017). Influence is the sine qua non of leadership. Without influence, leadership does not exist.

Leadership occurs in groups. Groups are the context in which leadership takes place. Leadership involves influencing a group of individuals who have a common purpose. This can be a small task group, a community group, or a large group encompassing an entire organization. Leadership is about one individual influencing a group of others to accomplish common goals. Others (a group) are required for leadership to occur. Leadership training programs that teach people to lead themselves are not considered a part of leadership within the definition that is set forth in this discussion.

Leadership includes attention to common goals. Leaders direct their energies toward individuals who are trying to achieve something together. By common, we mean that the leaders and followers have a mutual purpose. Attention to common goals gives leadership an ethical overtone because it stresses the need for leaders to work with followers to achieve selected goals. Stressing mutuality lessens the possibility that leaders might act toward followers in ways that are forced or unethical. It also increases the possibility that leaders and followers will work together toward a common good (Rost, 1991).

Throughout this text, the people who engage in leadership will be called leaders, and those toward whom leadership is directed will be called followers. Both leaders and followers are involved together in the leadership process. Leaders need followers, and followers need leaders (Burns, 1978; Heller & Van Til, 1983; Hollander, 1992; Jago, 1982). An extended discussion of followership is provided in Chapter 12. Although leaders and followers are




closely linked, it is the leader who often initiates the relationship, creates the communication linkages, and carries the burden for maintaining the relationship.

In our discussion of leaders and followers, attention will be directed toward follower issues as well as leader issues. Leaders have an ethical responsibility to attend to the needs and concerns of followers. As Burns (1978) pointed out, discussions of leadership sometimes are viewed as elitist because of the implied power and importance often ascribed to leaders in the leader–follower relationship. Leaders are not above or better than followers. Leaders and followers must be understood in relation to each other (Hollander, 1992) and collectively (Burns, 1978). They are in the leadership relationship together—and are two sides of the same coin (Rost, 1991).




Leadership Described

In addition to definitional issues, it is important to discuss several other questions pertaining to the nature of leadership. In the following section, we will address questions such as how leadership as a trait differs from leadership as a process; how appointed leadership differs from emergent leadership; and how the concepts of power, coercion, and management differ from leadership.

Figure 1.1 The Different Views of Leadership

Source: Adapted from A Force for Change: How Leadership Differs From Management (pp. 3–8), by J. P. Kotter, 1990, New York, NY: Free Press.




Trait Versus Process Leadership

We have all heard statements such as “He is born to be a leader” or “She is a natural leader.” These statements are commonly expressed by people who take a trait perspective toward leadership. The trait perspective suggests that certain individuals have special innate or inborn characteristics or qualities that make them leaders, and that it is these qualities that differentiate them from nonleaders. Some of the personal qualities used to identify leaders include unique physical factors (e.g., height), personality features (e.g., extraversion), and other characteristics (e.g., intelligence and fluency; Bryman, 1992). In Chapter 2, we will discuss a large body of research that has examined these personal qualities.

To describe leadership as a trait is quite different from describing it as a process (Figure 1.1). The trait viewpoint conceptualizes leadership as a property or set of properties possessed in varying degrees by different people (Jago, 1982). This suggests that it resides in select people and restricts leadership to those who are believed to have special, usually inborn, talents.

The process viewpoint suggests that leadership is a phenomenon that resides in the context of the interactions between leaders and followers and makes leadership available to everyone. As a process, leadership can be observed in leader behaviors (Jago, 1982), and can be learned. The process definition of leadership is consistent with the definition of leadership that we have set forth in this chapter.




Assigned Versus Emergent Leadership

Some people are leaders because of their formal position in an organization, whereas others are leaders because of the way other group members respond to them. These two common forms of leadership are called assigned leadership and emergent leadership. Leadership that is based on occupying a position in an organization is assigned leadership. Team leaders, plant managers, department heads, directors, and administrators are all examples of assigned leaders.

Yet the person assigned to a leadership position does not always become the real leader in a particular setting. When others perceive an individual as the most influential member of a group or an organization, regardless of the individual’s title, the person is exhibiting emergent leadership. The individual acquires emergent leadership through other people in the organization who support and accept that individual’s behavior. This type of leadership is not assigned by position; rather, it emerges over a period through communication. Some of the positive communication behaviors that account for successful leader emergence include being verbally involved, being informed, seeking others’ opinions, initiating new ideas, and being firm but not rigid (Ellis & Fisher, 1994).

Researchers have found that, in addition to communication behaviors, personality plays a role in leadership emergence. For example, Smith and Foti (1998) found that certain personality traits were related to leadership emergence in a sample of 160 male college students. The individuals who were more dominant, more intelligent, and more confident about their own performance (general self-efficacy) were more likely to be identified as leaders by other members of their task group. Although it is uncertain whether these findings apply to women as well, Smith and Foti suggested that these three traits could be used to identify individuals perceived to be emergent leaders.

Leadership emergence may also be affected by gender-biased perceptions. In a study of 40 mixed-sex college groups, Watson and Hoffman (2004) found that women who were urged to persuade their task groups to adopt high-quality decisions succeeded with the same frequency as men with identical instructions. Although women were equally influential leaders in their groups, they were rated significantly lower than comparable men were on leadership. Furthermore, these influential women were also rated as significantly less likable than comparably influential men were. These results suggest that there continue to be barriers to women’s emergence as leaders in some settings.

A unique perspective on leadership emergence is provided by social identity theory (Hogg, 2001). From this perspective, leadership emergence is the degree to which a person fits with the identity of the group as a whole. As groups develop over time, a group prototype also develops. Individuals emerge as leaders in the group when they become most like the group prototype. Being similar to the prototype makes leaders attractive to the group and gives




them influence with the group.

The leadership approaches we discuss in the subsequent chapters of this book apply equally to assigned leadership and emergent leadership. When a person is engaged in leadership, that person is a leader, whether leadership was assigned or emerged. This book focuses on the leadership process that occurs when any individual is engaged in influencing other group members in their efforts to reach a common goal.




Leadership and Power

The concept of power is related to leadership because it is part of the influence process. Power is the capacity or potential to influence. People have power when they have the ability to affect others’ beliefs, attitudes, and courses of action. Judges, doctors, coaches, and teachers are all examples of people who have the potential to influence us. When they do, they are using their power, the resource they draw on to effect change in us.

Although there are no explicit theories in the research literature about power and leadership, power is a concept that people often associate with leadership. It is common for people to view leaders (both good and bad) and people in positions of leadership as individuals who wield power over others, and as a result, power is often thought of as synonymous with leadership. In addition, people are often intrigued by how leaders use their power. Understanding how power is used in leadership is instrumental as well in understanding the dark side of leadership, where leaders use their leadership to achieve their own personal ends and lead in toxic and destructive ways (Krasikova, Green, & LeBreton, 2013). Studying how famous leaders, such as Hitler or Alexander the Great, use power to effect change in others is titillating to many people because it underscores that power can indeed effectuate change and maybe if they had power they too could effectuate change.

In her 2012 book The End of Leadership, Kellerman argues there has been a shift in leadership power during the last 40 years. Power used to be the domain of leaders, but that is diminishing and shifting to followers. Changes in culture have meant followers demand more from leaders, and leaders have responded. Access to technology has empowered followers, given them access to huge amounts of information, and made leaders more transparent. The result is a decline in respect for leaders and leaders’ legitimate power. In effect, followers have used information power to level the playing field. Power is no longer synonymous with leadership, and in the social contract between leaders and followers, leaders wield less power, according to Kellerman. For example, Posner (2015) examined volunteer leaders, such as those who sit on boards for nonprofit organizations, and found that while these followers did not have positional authority in the organization, they were able to influence leadership. Volunteer leaders engaged more frequently in leadership behaviors than did paid leaders.

Table 1.1 Six Bases of Power

Referent Power

Based on followers’ identification and liking for the leader. A teacher who is adored by students has referent power.

Expert Power

Based on followers’ perceptions of the leader’s competence. A tour guide who is knowledgeable about a foreign country has expert




Power power.

Legitimate Power

Associated with having status or formal job authority. A judge who administers sentences in the courtroom exhibits legitimate power.

Reward Power

Derived from having the capacity to provide rewards to others. A supervisor who compliments employees who work hard is using reward power.

Coercive Power

Derived from having the capacity to penalize or punish others. A coach who sits players on the bench for being late to practice is using coercive power.

Information Power

Derived from possessing knowledge that others want or need. A boss who has information regarding new criteria to decide employee promotion eligibility has information power.

Source: Adapted from “The Bases of Social Power,” by J. R. French Jr. and B. Raven, 1962, in D. Cartwright (Ed.), Group Dynamics: Research and Theory (pp. 259–269), New York, NY: Harper & Row; and “Social Influence and Power,” by B. H. Raven, 1965, in I. D. Steiner & M. Fishbein (Eds.), Current Studies in Social Psychology (pp. 371–382), New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.

In college courses today, the most widely cited research on power is French and Raven’s (1959) work on the bases of social power. In their work, they conceptualized power from the framework of a dyadic relationship that included both the person influencing and the person being influenced. French and Raven identified five common and important bases of power—referent, expert, legitimate, reward, and coercive—and Raven (1965) identified a sixth, information power (Table 1.1). Each of these bases of power increases a leader’s capacity to influence the attitudes, values, or behaviors of others.

In organizations, there are two major kinds of power: position power and personal power. Position power is the power a person derives from a particular office or rank in a formal organizational system. It is the influence capacity a leader derives from having higher status than the followers have. Vice presidents and department heads have more power than staff personnel do because of the positions they hold in the organization. Position power includes legitimate, reward, coercive, and information power (Table 1.2).

Table 1.2 Types and Bases of Power

Position Power Personal Power

Legitimate Referent




Reward Expert


Information Source: Adapted from A Force for Change: How Leadership Differs From Management (pp. 3–8), by J. P. Kotter, 1990, New York, NY: Free Press.

Personal power is the influence capacity a leader derives from being seen by followers as likable and knowledgeable. When leaders act in ways that are important to followers, it gives leaders power. For example, some managers have power because their followers consider them to be good role models. Others have power because their followers view them as highly competent or considerate. In both cases, these managers’ power is ascribed to them by others, based on how they are seen in their relationships with others. Personal power includes referent and expert power (Table 1.2).

In discussions of leadership, it is not unusual for leaders to be described as wielders of power, as individuals who dominate others. In these instances, power is conceptualized as a tool that leaders use to achieve their own ends. Contrary to this view of power, Burns (1978) emphasized power from a relationship standpoint. For Burns, power is not an entity that leaders use over others to achieve their own ends; instead, power occurs in relationships. It should be used by leaders and followers to promote their collective goals.

In this text, our discussions of leadership treat power as a relational concern for both leaders and followers. We pay attention to how leaders work with followers to reach common goals.




Leadership and Coercion

Coercive power is one of the specific kinds of power available to leaders. Coercion involves the use of force to effect change. To coerce means to influence others to do something against their will and may include manipulating penalties and rewards in their work environment. Coercion often involves the use of threats, punishment, and negative reward schedules and is most often seen as a characteristic of the dark side of leadership. Classic examples of coercive leaders are Adolf Hitler in Germany, the Taliban leaders in Afghanistan, Jim Jones in Guyana, and Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, each of whom used power and restraint to force followers to engage in extreme behaviors.

It is important to distinguish between coercion and leadership because it allows us to separate out from our examples of leadership the behaviors of individuals such as Hitler, the Taliban, and Jones. In our discussions of leadership, coercive people are not used as models of ideal leadership. Our definition suggests that leadership is reserved for those who influence a group of individuals toward a common goal. Leaders who use coercion are interested in their own goals and seldom are interested in the wants and needs of followers. Using coercion runs counter to working with followers to achieve a common goal.

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