Leadership & Ethics Guide

Leadership Styles

Master of Public Administration Leadership & Ethics Guide

Purpose & Methodology

Over time, studies surrounding the topic of leadership have evolved and been advanced through the help of researchers willing to delve into a complex field that varies from profession to profession and person to person. The following guide breaks out those developments in leadership styles, as well as explains how the various styles can be interpreted in terms of leadership occurring as a process, involving influence, goals and groups of people.

Trait Leadership Approach

  • Summary: 

    Born through the 20th century, this approach was one of the first attempts to study leadership. 
    It birthed several theories, such as The Great Man Theory, which suggested people were born as leaders. 

    The trait approach is still alive and well, as we examine traits in effective leadership examples of today. Some traits identified as key to leadership, should you subscribe to this leadership style, include: Intelligence, self-confidence, determination, integrity, sociability. 

    Strengths & Weaknesses: 

    This style is appealing and simple, and it has a solid background of research. It also is conceptual in nature, allowing a person to consider what benchmarks they need to reach should they want to be a great leader. But it doesn't have a definitive list of leadership traits, and specific situations are not taken into account. As such, it is a very subjective style not suited to a university setting.

  • Leadership occurs as a process: 

    Trait approach process shakes out as the leader impresses their traits upon the followers, and does not occur because of the followers or the situation. It operates under the assumption that the process surrounds the leader's personality. 

  • Leadership Involves Influence:

    The trait approach assumes influence occurs as a leader, who is born with valuable traits, impresses those traits upon followers, or those around them, to gain power and therefore accomplish their will. 

  • Leadership Occurs in a Group Setting:

    Leadership traits drive certain leaders to motivate followers, or those beneath them, to perform and achieve on their behalf, benefitting their organization or cause. 

  • Leadership Involves Goals:

    In the trait approach, we assume effective leaders utilize their characteristics to recruit those who follow them and direct them to accomplish goals on their behalf or on the behalf of their organization, therefore accomplishing goals. 

Skill Leadership Approach

  • The Skills Leadership Approach takes a leader-centered perspective on leadership, shifting focus from personality characteristics to skills and abilities, which are developable. A surge in popularity around this model surrounds the ability to solve complex problems.

    At its heart, three competencies drive this model of leadership through technical, conceptual and human skills, which encompass being good at the tasks at hand, working with people and conceptualizing ideas. 

    Strengths: This model is viewed positively because it stresses personal development and makes leadership available to everyone, incorporating many components to be inclusive of experience, and is structured in a comfortable way for educational programs.

    Criticisms: It goes beyond the bounds of some definitions of leadership, it is not a future-focused model in terms of how skills will or will not lead to effective leadership performance, it is still a trait model, it may be limited in scope to armed forces. 

  • Leadership occurs as a process: 

    This model occurs in the process of improving certain skills that allow leadership to occur. By being proficient in the three competencies, a person in a leadership position will better be able to lead. 

  • Leadership Involves Influence:

    By being proficient in human skills, a leader in this model will better be able to exert influence on followers, improving time to task completion. 

  • Leadership Occurs in a Group Setting:

    Many leaders of organizations choose to focus on improving their leadership skills so they may better come up with ideas, solve problems and organize groups. Ultimately, this mode occurs in a group setting because leaders of people turn to improving their skillsets. 

  • Leadership Involves Goals:

    By being proficient in both technical and conceptual skills, leaders who subscribe to this model are making their goals attainable for their organization. 

Behavioral Leadership Approach

  • The Behavioral Approach to leadership centers around task and relationship-oriented behaviors, allowing groups to achieve goals and group members to feel comfortable with one another. 

    Throughout the study of this approach, multiple researchers, including those at Ohio State, University of Michigan and researchers Blake & Mouton, highlighted various methodologies to expand upon available studies and information on this method. 

    Ultimately, research has led to a breakdown of six different styles of management (Authority Compliance, Country Club Management, Impoverished Management, Middle of the Road Management, Team Management, Paternalism and Maternalism and Opportunism), which focus on tasks, situations and relationships.


    Backed by extensive research, this approach marks a shift from skills and traits to behaviors and actions. Ultimately, it is also an introspective and efficient form of leadership, as leaders learn about others and improve their style by improving relationships leading to goal completion (tasks).


    This well-researched style is marred by some flaws, including the fact that it does not offer up one universal style, and it does not link the methodology to results and efficiency. 

  • Leadership occurs as a process: 

    In this method, a leader's actions are the process. As the leader has interactions with followers, the leader adapts and improves situations to allow leadership to lead to task completion. 


  • Leadership Involves Influence:

    Ultimately, the leader's reactions to certain situations, how the leader adapts, influences followers as they adapt to improved circumstances. 

  • Leadership Occurs in a Group Setting:

    Based on the six styles of leadership outlined in the summary, all center around the groups in an organization. Based on situation, leaders can adapt to the group they have to improve goal/task completion. 


  • Leadership Involves Goals:

    Depending upon how the leader utilizes task and relationship behaviors, a leader is utilizing their skillset to change a situation to allow a group to achieve goals.  

Situational Leadership Approach

  • Situational Leadership as a method surrounds leaders adapting to different situations, changing their tactics and responding to situations. Leaders acting with SL in mind often evaluate their followers to understand what they need to be successful, then adapt to their needs. 

    Two key behaviors for this style are directive and supportive, which allow a leader to give more micro-level direction to allow goal completion and also allow for a two-way conversation which can help followers be more comfortable and perform optimally. 

    In this style, four categories of leadership (S1-S4) make a grid that shakes out in the following ways:

    * S1: Highly directive and low in supportive

    * S2: Highly directive and highly supportive

    * S3: Low directive and highly supportive

    * S4: Low directive and low supportive

    In this style, followers are also classified, to help leaders assess how they should adapt:

    * D1 Low competence, high commitment

    * D2 Some competence, low commitment 

    * D3 High competence, some commitment

    * D4  Highest developmental ability, high competence, high commitment



    Situational leadership is a proven method for training leaders, being utilized by hundreds of Fortune 500 companies. It's useful as it is both easy to understand and effective in supporting followers, as each follower can be supported in a different way by a truly adaptive leader. 


    Although it is viewed as effective, there truly aren't many studies on the matter, and more research should be done. There's also ambiguity behind the description of followers and how their various attributes are related. Still focusing on followers, it doesn't allow for various demographic differences, and it doesn't answer how followers should be coached in a one-on-one versus group setting. 

  • Leadership occurs as a process: 

    In this method, leaders dissect the followers' position and situation and then pair an effective leadership style to that follower, ensuring they can complete goals.

  • Leadership Involves Influence:


    Leaders influence their followers through directive and supportive behaviors, adapting to different follower requirements. 


  • Leadership Occurs in a Group Setting:


    This leadership situation actually can occur in group settings, but is more focused on individual followers. It does occur in a group setting because a leader is ultimately impacting a group's productivity, but they do so by improving the situations of individual followers.



  • Leadership Involves Goals:

    Leaders in this method help individual followers break down barriers and ultimately make goal completion easier for those followers and the group as a whole. 


Path Goal Theory

  • Path-Goal Leadership is a leadership style in which a leader concerns themself with obstacles blocking their subordinates/followers from achieving a goal and clearing those obstacles. They make healthy work environments the norm, and as they remove obstacles, they provide support and clear goals with a clear path. 

    Ultimately, leaders will use their behaviors in this style to meet follower needs, especially in areas they lack, improving upon their performance. 

    These behaviors include: directive, supportive, participative, and achievement-oriented.

    * Directive is very structured, allowing a follower to know what is expected through and to goal completion
    * Supportive is very clear, it means a kind leader who attends to the human needs of followers. 
    * Participative means a follower is motivated by feeling included in the decision-making process.
    * Achievement oriented means leaders are confident in the ability of their followers, and they expect high performance. 

    Additional leadership behaviors include: work facilitation; group-oriented decision process; work group networking and representation process; value-based leadership behavior 

  • Leadership occurs as a process: 

    A leader will set a clear process for goal attainment by setting the end goal, highlighting a clear path to the goal, and adopting favorable behaviors to allow the group to achieve a goal. The path the leader sets is the process. 

  • Leadership Involves Influence:

    A leader will utilize their behaviors in this style to influence members of their group to attain a goal. 


  • Leadership Occurs in a Group Setting:

    By adapting their behaviors and modifying the environment, the leader is ensuring the group is comfortable and able to achieve goals. 


  • Leadership Involves Goals:

    The entire process of this leadership style surrounds goals: The leader puts the goal first, ensuring a clear goal is set and clears barriers for their group to achieve these goals. 

Leader Member Exchange Theory

  • The Leader Member Exchange theory, also known as LMX, is a very popular style that allows leaders to form relationships with followers, creating a dyadic relationship. 

    Ultimately, the LMX theory describes leadership and prescribes leadership in that it establishes there are in and out-groups within all organizations, and it allows for leaders to build high-quality exchanges of information to ensure goals can be attained.

    A key theory within this model is the Vertical Dyad Linkage Theory, which allows leaders to form specific relationships with different characteristics between each follower, including those in the in and out groups. 

    Ultimately, this leadership style allows followers who are willing to give more to the organization and leader more influence and opportunity. 


    This theory is the first to suggest there are both in and out-groups, and it is the only theory to emphasize specific relationships between leaders and followers. 

    For all of those who are involved in relationships with the leader, positive outcomes are likely, encouraging leaders to engage in the relationships. 


    Although positive and popular, this theory doesn't allow for out-group followers to transition to the in-group. It also allows for potentially discriminatory action by the leader, opening up the possibility of inequality. 

    While effective, this style does not have readily accessible trainings. 

  • Leadership occurs as a process: 

    Leaders in this model are encouraged to go through the process of building relationships with followers, give them responsibilities and engage in transactions with them to allow for goal completion. 


  • Leadership Involves Influence:

    Leaders influence their followers through the special treatment and opportunity they can dole out, allowing them to control which followers do which tasks, rewarding effective followers for their contributions. 

  • Leadership Occurs in a Group Setting:

    Leaders in this model ultimately push their followers to achieve goals in group settings, as they influence their followers to contribute to group goals through their individual skills and tasks. 

  • Leadership Involves Goals:

    Organization goals are the reasons that leaders engage in relationships with their followers, giving them special treatment and responsibility to ultimately furthering the goals of their organization. 


Transformational Leadership Theory

  • Transformational Leadership is an intriguing model, as it is centered in an ethical code, and it creates motivation for followers to follow their leader because they know their leader has their best interests at heart. The crux of this model is a leader exerting exceptional influence to move followers to accomplish more than what is usually expected of them by elevating them morally and personally. 

    Leaders following this model can engage followers in groups or in a one-on-one setting, and they will actively focus on those follower relationships, ultimately impacting organizational effectiveness,

    While this process is named transformational, it can be conducted in a transformational and transactional way. Transformational allows leaders to engage others and raise their morality and motivation, and transactional is the promise of a result and providing follow-through, gaining influence in the process. 


    Thankfully, this is a widely-researched model, and it appeals to followers as their leader serves their needs through the connection they've made. In a broad view, some tenants of this model benefit other models, specifically the morality component. 



    Although it is a powerful model, Transformational leadership does lack conceptual clarity and was created within contexts of social and political groups. It may not be effective in nonprofits or corporations as it is hard to measure.

  • Leadership occurs as a process: 

    By creating a shared vision with followers, and ensuring they will act in the best interest of the organization, leadership occurs as a process when these followers are elevated to accomplish goals on behalf of the leader. 



  • Leadership involves influence: 

    By being an idol for their followers, leaders in this model wield influence over their followers. As It is based in a moral code, this is not meant to be exploited. 


  • Leadership Occurs in a Group Setting:

    By listening to the needs of followers, and by bringing groups together to accomplish goals, leadership in this model is firmly grounded in a group setting. 

  • Leadership Involves Goals:

    Committed followers in this model are all contributing towards a shared vision, or goals. 

Authentic Leadership Theory

  • This newer style of leadership, Authentic Leadership, is focused on being genuine. It is reliant upon followers longing for defined leadership as insecurity rises.

    While this style may seem simple: Be authentic, it is actually complex. The leader's experiences in this style makes them authentic, and as such, this is a developmental style. This style develops over a lifetime, and can't be described as a fixed trait.

    Authentic leadership unfolds as a leader draws upon positive psychological capacities and positive ethical climate to foster greater self-awareness, an internalized moral perspective, balanced processing of information and relational transparency while fostering positive self-development.

    Authentic leaders are: self-aware; internalized and moral in perspective; balanced in processing; and transparent in their relations.


    Although it is a newer style in research, it fills a need for trustworthy leadership when distrust is at an all-time high. 

    It also provides guidelines for those who want to learn the leadership style, and it can be measured, which backs up trust in the style. 


    While it has positives, its newness makes it not yet fully substantiated, and the morality component can't be fully explained. In the future, more capacities and qualifiers will likely be added. 

  • Leadership occurs as a process: 

    A leader engages in a dialogue to build a relationship. This triggers the follower's desire to follow the leader and contribute to goals.


  • Leadership Involves Influence:

    By building the trust of followers, the leader exerts influence. Followers do not need to question the leader, and therefore are willing to go along with the leader's direction.

  • Leadership Occurs in a Group Setting:

    Followers actually have more control in this setting, whereas they can give input and impact a leader's decisions, ensuring group setting is more important than many other models of leadership. 


  • Leadership Involves Goals:

    Performance increases as trust increases, and barriers to goal completion dissolve. Although there is no proof this method benefits organizations, if conducted correctly, goal completion should be improved. 

Servant Leadership Theory

An Ideal Theory For UCCS
  • Servant leaders are ethical, serve the greater good of their organization, community and society. ​

    Servant Leadership begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first, and then the conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.

    The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant, first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test is: do those who are served grow as persons; do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous and more likely to become servants themselves?

    And what is the effect on the least privileged in society. Will they benefit? Or at least not be further deprived? 

    Servant leaders lead through example, and by gaining a following, create a snowball of positivity and goal completion.    

    There are ten common characteristics of a servant leader: 

    a.    They listen
    b.    They’re empathetic
    c.    They are healers: (personal wellbeing) 
    d.    They’re aware
    e.    They can persuade; Clear and persistent communication that causes change. 
    f.    They are conceptual: They can be visionary
    g.    They have foresight
    h.    They’re stewards
    i.    They’re committed to the growth of people
    j.    They build community


    This model has some significant strengths due to its authenticity, making altruism central to the leadership process.

    It also can be a method with shortcomings, as it is not a cureall — it can still leave less than desirable conditions within an organization. 

    It can be measured, though, through the SLQ.


    Although it has strengths, it can be viewed as a fanciful style of leadership. There is debate among researchers as to which core values are valid.

    Additionally, some view this method as utopian and unrealistic. 


  • Leadership occurs as a process: 

    The Servant Leadership approach focuses on followers and if their situations are improved, which is helped if they are receptive to such a leadership style. 


  • Leadership Involves Influence:

    By being willing to help their followers grow and become better individuals, both professionally and personally, they influence followers to commit to their leadership style and the group as a whole.

  • Leadership Occurs in a Group Setting:

    Servant leadership occurs in a group context, whereas to be an effective leader in this style, you must have the backing of the majority of the group. You will be successful if the entire organization or group is more efficient and benefits from your style.


  • Leadership Involves Goals:

    Servant leaders are by their nature goal-oriented, where they want to help individuals reach/achieve their personal, professional goals, as well as they want to help an organization reach its broad goals. By committing to help followers, SL leaders are helping their followers achieve new heights. 

  • UCCS has a very defined leadership team, structure and flow. While I don't think that will change, UCCS would benefit from grass-roots leaders who can grow and build the leadership and trust of those around them.

    As such, I believe ground-level staff and faculty would benefit from studying and applying tenents of Servant Leadership to their leadership repertoire. 

Adaptive Leadership Theory

  • Adaptive Leadership encourages leaders to face and deal with problems, challenges and changes. These leaders prepare and encourage people to deal with change. 

    This style focuses predominantly on the activities of the leader in relation to the work of the followers in the contexts in which they find themselves.

    It incorporates four viewpoints: Systems perspective, biological perspective, service orientation perspective and psychotherapy perspective. 

    *Systems perspective: Many problems people face are embedded in complicated interactive systems. They evolve and change and are connected in a web of relationships.
    *Biological: people develop and evolve as a result of having to adapt to both their internal cues and external environments. Adaptation allows people to thrive in multiple circumstances
    *Service orientation: Expertise or authority to serve people by diagnosing problems and finding solutions. 
    *Psychotherapy: People need a supportive environment. It helps people adapt by solving problems.

    Adaptive leadership in a nutshell: Leaders take time to step back from a challenging situation, then assess the elements of change and challenge then utilizes behaviors to move the adaptive process forward.


    The Adaptive Leadership style takes a process-forward approach, including follower involvement and follower growth. It directs the authority to help followers deal with conflicting values. 

    Additionally, it identifies safe spaces for the leadership process, benefitting leaders and followers.


    Although the Adaptive Leadership style has strengths, it has little empirical research backing it, and it needs further refinement of its conceptualization. 

    Adaptive leadership is criticized for being a wide-ranging style and abstract, and it also does not explain how leaders should incorporate moral dimensions. 

  • Leadership occurs as a process: 

    The Adaptive Leadership process unfolds as a leader steps back to consider the situation at hand and adapts by providing direction, staff training, conflict management and building of an environment to foster success.

  • Leadership Involves Influence:

    By keeping followers focused, happy and comfortable, leaders exert their influence, ensuring their goals will be carried out. 

  • Leadership Occurs in a Group Setting:

    By ensuring followers can in fact communicate openly and work collaboratively, leadership occurs in a group context by which a leader breaks down barriers for followers to work in groups. 

  • Leadership Involves Goals:

    By clearing barriers for followers, the Adaptive Leadership process focuses on goals, ensuring those followers are freed up in their own adaptivity to complete goals set by a leader.

Followership Leadership Theory

  • You can’t have leaders without followers. This chapter focuses on followers and the process of following. Many people think there are negative connotations with followership, as society applauds leadership skills, not follower skills. Minimal studies published on followership.  Leadership is actually a shared process, interdependence between leaders and followers. New studies are shedding light on followership, as the world needs more team players, more people called to service and more who are committed to something other than themselves. 

    Followership is a process whereby an individual or individuals accept the influence of others to accomplish a common goal. Followership involves a power differential between the follower and leader. Typically, followers comply with directions and wishes of leaders, and they defer to leader powers. Followership is also ethical. Followers must consider morality of reactions. 

    There are multiple typologies behind followership, including: 

    Zaleznik Typology, which helps leaders and followers understand one another and helps followers become leaders. This delves into communication breakdowns, and dynamics of conflicts.  

    Kelley Typology, which includes passive followers, conformist followers, alienated followers, pragmatics, exemplary followers.  In this typology, effective followers share the same indispensable qualities. They self manage and think for themselves, exercise control and independence. They show strong commitment to organizational goals as well as well as their own personal goals. They build their competence and master job skills. They are credible, ethical, courageous. 

    Chaleff Typology, which amplifies the role of followers in leadership process. Chaleff felt a moral imperative to seek answers as to why people follow evil leaders. He suggested followers must be more responsible, and change their estimates of abilities and influence on others. Followers should be courageous. 

    Kellerman Typology, which focuses on political backgrounds. It suggests leader importance is overestimated. Importance of followers underestimated. Followers are not empowered, have no authority and no influence. 

    Additionally, there are multiple new perspectives on followership, including:
    Followers get the job done
    Followers work in the best interest of the organization's mission
    Followers challenge leaders
    Followers support the leader
    Followers learn from leaders


    This strong model gives recognition to followers as an integral part of the leadership equation while forcing people to think in a different way about leadership. Additionally, it shows how to be an effective follower.


    Despite the model's strength, it has seen little methodological research, and is based mostly in personal observations. Additionally, leader-centric orientation may stifle followership. 

  • Leadership occurs as a process: 

    The process of leadership in followership happens through a joint effort as followers and leaders set goals and attain them.

  • Leadership Involves Influence:

    The influence of followership is slightly reversed, as followers impact leaders in the path to goal completion.

  • Leadership Occurs in a Group Setting:

    The group concerning followership is both followers and the leaders as they set out on a path to achieving a goal.

  • Leadership Involves Goals:

    The ultimate point of bringing together a group of followers and considering their input is to more easily and efficiently attain a goal. 

Team Leadership Theory

  • A team is a group of organizational members who are interdependent, share common goals, and coordinate activities to accomplish those goals. Teams can be flexible, but challenges come with new/increased flexibility. Great teams have increased productivity, more effectively use resources and have better innovation. Organizational culture needs to support member involvement, as many organizations don’t support decisions coming from lower-levels. 

    Team effectiveness is paramount to Team Leadership, and is benefitted by several parameters set by leadership, including: 
    1.    Clear, elevated goal
    2.    Results-driven structure
    3.    Competent team members
    4.    Unified commitment
    5.    Collaborative climate
    6.    Standards of excellence
    7.    External support and recognition
    8.    Principled Leadership

    Leadership can also make certain decisions as barriers are encountered, such as: 
    1.    Goal focusing 
    2.    Structuring results
    3.    Facilitating decision making
    4.    Training team members in task skills
    5.    Maintaining standards of excellence
    6.    Coaching team members in interpersonal skills
    7.    Collaborating
    8.    Managing conflict and power issues
    9.    Building spirit
    10.    Satisfying member needs
    11.    Modeling ethical and principled practices.


    The strengths of team leadership outweigh the cons. Team leadership focuses on real life organizations and needed leadership, and provides a cognitive guide to help leaders maintain effective teams.

    In addition, it helps select and determine the roles of teams and leaders. 


    Despite team leadership being a powerful model, it is extremely complex, isn't favored by all leaders, and only utilizes skills necessary by some leaders. 

  • Leadership occurs as a process: 


    In a team setting, a leader sets a goal, puts in place parameters for teamwork and sets the team to work in achieving a goal. 



  • Leadership Involves Influence:

    Leaders influence team members to be comfortable in team settings, remove barriers to comfortability and ultimately guide the team to goal completion. 

  • Leadership Occurs in a Group Setting:

    A team is by its very nature a group. Leaders help guide groups to goal completion by facilitating their comfort, training and more. 


  • Leadership Involves Goals:

    Leaders set goals for teams to follow and achieve, and facilitate their completion through decision making, training and elevating those followers with specific skills to aid in goal completion. 


Leadership Ethics

  • Leadership ethics, while not a model of leadership, should be considered integral to each and every model of leadership, as without ethics, leadership is likely to devolve into a toxic triangle of negative leadership. 

    Research on the topic of leadership ethics has led to several findings, including Kohlberg's stages of Moral Development, which suggests these stages of leadership:

    • Preconventional, involving self-interested reasoning
    • Conventional, which is following society’s rules
    • Postconventional, which is internalized concepts of justice and rights

    There also exist three Ethical Theories, which include: 

    • Ethical egoism, which is acting for the greatest good for one’s own self (High interest for self, low interest for others)
    • Utilitarianism, which is acting in the greatest good for the greatest number
    • Altruism, which is always acting in the interest of others, even when it goes against self-interest

    Unfortunately, leadership can also be contorted into a toxic triangle for negative purposes when three conditions exist. Those conditions are destructive leaders, susceptible followers and conducive environments.

  • Leadership occurs as a process: 

    The process of leadership is central to ethics, as it provides the boundaries for goal setting and process creation. 

  • Leadership Involves Influence:

    Influence is a dangerous part of leadership. When utilized in an ethical way, it allows a leader to guide followers to an altruistic goal. It can, however, also be used in a toxic manner.


  • Leadership Occurs in a Group Setting:

    When multiple people's futures are at stake, ethics should be integral to the leadership process. Groups involve the collective future of not just organizations, but also people. 



  • Leadership Involves Goals:

    The end goal of leadership should always be a positive outcome involving ethics. However, when leaders have toxic ideas at heart, they can bring negative goals to the table. 

Gender & Leadership Theory

  • When you meet first meet a person, it's likely that your first determination about that person is whether they are male, female or any other gender identity. The Gender & Leadership model asks the question: Do men and women lead differently? 

    What was once called a ceiling is known now as the gender Labyrinth:, and there is data to back that up. While women earn more than half of the secondary degrees in the U.S., women are still underrepresented in the top US corporations and political circles. 

    Women occupy 51% of management positions, but only occupy 5% of fortune 500 CEO positions, and only 20% of fortune 500 board seats and congress/senate seats. 

    There are multiple possible explanations for the existence of the labyrinth, including differences in human capital investment, leave sand family situations and barriers to mentorship situations.

    Ultimately, with research, the resounding opinion is women are no less effective at leading than men. 

    Women face many difficulties, including prejudice and discrimination, and more change is needed to allow women the same access to leadership tools and advancement as men.


    More research on the matter can only benefit women and benefit institutions through more diverse representation. Additionally, more research will shine lights on the myths of gender and leadership, and allow men and women tools necessary to combat inequality. 


    It's not easy to criticize such an equitable model, and the only available criticisms are that current research is very western and that the model can be tackled in the buckets of diversity. 



  • Leadership occurs as a process: 

    The process of leadership for a woman is no less effective from that of a man, although their styles may differ.

  • Leadership Involves Influence:

    Leadership is concerned with how a leader impacts their followers via influence, and women are proven to be no less effective than men in this regard.

  • Leadership Occurs in a Group Setting:

    Women are proven to be able to lead a group of people as effectively as a male can, and leadership occurs in a group setting. 


  • Leadership Involves Goals:

    Leadership is concerned with the achievement of outcomes by a group of leaders and followers. 

Culture & Leadership Theory

  • Increased globalization has created many challenges, including multinational organizations, selecting effective leaders and managing communication. The Culture & Leadership model meets the need of global leaders to adapt to cultural differences and enact cross-cultural competencies. 

    The following competencies will help leaders as they seek to adapt to a diverse world:

    1.    Accept business, political and cultural environments worldwide.
    2.    Learn the perspectives, tastes, trends and techs of other cultures.
    3.    Work simultaneously with people from many cultures
    4.    Leaders must be able to adapt to living and communicating in other cultures.
    5.    Learn to relate to people from other cultures from a position of equality. 
    6.    Add-on: Skilled in creating transcultural visions. 

    As researchers sought to define this model, they derived two concepts to highlight bias:

    * Ethnocentrism
    A tendency for individuals to place their own group at the center of observations of others and the world. 
    * Prejudice
    This is a fixed attitude, belief or emotion held by an individual about another person or group based on faulty or unsubstantiated data. 

    With that in mind, researchers sought to assess the dimensions of culture and found the following nine dimensions:


    * Uncertainty avoidance
    This is the reliance upon norms, rituals and procedures to avoid uncertainty.
    * Power distance
    This is the degree to which members of a group expect and agree that power should be shared unequally. How do leaders exercise power? 
    * Institutional collectivism
    This describes the degree to which an org or society encourages institutional or societal collective action: Does it identify with broader interests than individual accomplishment. 
    * In-group collectivism
    This refers to the degree which people express pride, loyalty and cohesiveness in organizations or families. Concerned with how much people are devoted to the broader group.
    * Gender egalitarianism
    This minimizes gender role differences. Promotes equality.
    * Assertiveness
    How confrontational/aggressive are the people in this org/culture?
    * Future orientation
    How much do people live in the now vs planning for the future. 
    * Performance orientation
    How much does an org or society encourage and reward members for performance. 
    * Humane orientation
    Does the culture reward or push forward being altruistic? 

    Additionally, it was found that there are certain clusters of culture which follow certain traits:
    * Anglo
    High in performance orientation, low in-group collectivism
    * Confucian Asia
    * Modern Asia – Singapore, hong kong, Taiwan china, SK, Japan. 
    High-performance orientation, institutional collectivism, in-group collectivism
    * Eastern Europe
    High assertiveness, in-group collectivism, gender egalitarianism. Low on performance orientation, future orientation, uncertainty avoidance. 
    * Germanic Europe
    Low in humane orientation, institutional collectivism, ingroup collectivism. High on performance orientation, future orientation, assertiveness, uncertainty avoidance.
    Latin America
    High on in-group collectivism, low on performance orientation, future orientation, institutional collectivism and uncertainty avoidance. 
    * Latin Europe
    More moderate and fewer high scores. Low on humane orientation and institutional collectivism. 
    * Middle East
    High on in-group collectivism, low on future orientation, gender egalitarianism, uncertainty avoidance. 
    * Nordic Europe
    High on future orientation, gender equality, institutional collectivism, uncertainty a=voidance. Low on assertiveness, in-group collectivism, power distance
    * Southern Asia
    Humane, in-group collectivisism. 
    * Sub-saharan Africa


    While there are no unified theories on this style of leadership, the scope of the model provides strength. Due to mass interest, there are developed research efforts, and cultural dimensions are more fleshed out than they have ever been.



    Unfortunately, there is no clear unified theory, as previously mentioned, leaving certain aspects of the model vague. Many ideas are outdated, and the limited scope may need to be updated. 

  • Leadership occurs as a process: 

    Different cultures offer different thoughts on what leadership should be, and the leadership process changes based on what culture is involved and how different cultures should be managed and communicated with.

  • Leadership Involves Influence:

    In order to influence mass groups of people, leaders in this method must be ready to accept and adapt to other cultures, ensuring widespread buy-in of goals and ideas.

  • Leadership Occurs in a Group Setting:

    This group setting is one that embraces diversity and inclusion, and a leader prepared to welcome and work with groups of diverse people will benefit from teams with greater skillsets.

  • Leadership Involves Goals:

    In order to accomplish goals, leaders must be ready to lead multicultural workforces to ensure maximum buy-in and comfortability of followers.