Trait Theory of Leadership Trait Theory of Leadership The trait model of leadership is based on the characteristics of many leaders - both successful and unsuccessful - and is used to predict leadership effectiveness.
Galton found that leadership was a unique property of extraordinary individuals and suggested that the traits which leaders possessed were immutable and could not be developed.
Throughout the early s, the study of leadership focused on traits. Cowley commented that the approach to the research of leadership has usually been and should always be through the study of traits Cowley, This trait perspective of leadership was widely accepted until the late s and early s, when researchers began to deem personality traits insufficient in predicting leader effectiveness Stogdill, ; Mann, InStogdill stated that leadership exists between persons in a social situation, and that persons who are leaders in one situation may not necessarily be leaders in other situations.
This statement has been cited ubiquitously as sounding the death knell for trait-leadership theory. Subsequently, leadership stopped being characterized by individual differences, and behavioral and situational analyses of leadership took over and began to dominate the field of leadership research Bass, Zaccaro pointed out that even Stogdill's review, although cited as evidence against leader traits, contained conclusions supporting that individual differences could still be predictors of leader effectiveness.
With an increasing number of empirical studies directly supporting trait leadership Judge et al. In recent years, the research about leader traits has made some progress in identifying a list of personality traits that are highly predictive of leader effectiveness.
Scholars have also proposed new ways of studying the relationship of certain traits to leader effectiveness. For instance, many[ quantify ] suggest the integration of trait and behavioral theories to understand how traits relate to leader effectiveness Derue et al.
Context is only now beginning to be examined as a contributor to leaders' success and failure. Productive narcissistic CEOs like Steven Jobs of Apple and Jack Welch of GE have demonstrated a gift for creating innovationwhereas leaders with idealized traits prove more successful in more stable environments requiring less innovation and creativity Maccoby, In recent years, several studies have made comprehensive reviews about leader traits which have been historically studied Derue et al.
There are many ways that traits related to leadership can be categorized; however, the two most recent categorizations have organized traits into 1 demographic vs. Demographic, task competence and interpersonal leadership[ edit ] Based on a recent review of the trait leadership literature, Derue and others stated that most leader traits can be organized into three categories: For the demographics category, gender has by far received the most attention in terms of leadership; however, most scholars have found that male and female leaders are both equally effective.
Hoffman grouped intelligence, Conscientiousness, Openness to Experience, and Emotional Stability into this category. Lastly, interpersonal attributes are related to how a leader approaches social interactions.
According to Hoffman and othersExtraversion and Agreeableness should be grouped into this category. The hope is that emergence of proximal traits in trait leadership theory will help researchers answer the ancient question: Proximal individual differences suggest that the characteristics that distinguish effective leaders from non-effective leaders are not necessarily stable through the life-span, implying that these traits may be able to be developed.
Hoffman and others examined the effects of distal vs. Additionally, he found that the proximal individual differences of interpersonal skills, oral communication, written communication, management skills, problem solving skills, and decision making were also strongly correlated with leader effectiveness.
His results suggested that on average, distal and proximal individual differences have a similar relationship with effective leadership Hoffman et al.
The first premise is that leadership emerges from the combined influence of multiple traits as opposed to emerging from the independent assessment of traits. Zaccaro argued that effective leadership is derived from an integrated set of cognitive abilities, social capabilities, and dispositional tendencies, with each set of traits adding to the influence of the other.
The second premise is that leader traits differ in their proximal influence on leadership. This model is a multistage one in which certain distal attributes i.
However, the investigations of leader traits are always by no means exhaustive Zaccaro, Agreeableness Distal - Dispositional One dimension of Big-Five Personality Model; refers to the tendency to be trusting, compliant, caring, and gentle. The relationship between Agreeableness and leadership is still ambiguous.
Conscientiousness Distal - Dispositional One dimension of Big-Five Personality Model; it comprises two related facets, namely achievement and dependability. Openness Distal - Dispositional One dimension of Big-Five Personality Model; the disposition to be imaginative, nonconforming, unconventional, and autonomous.
Neuroticism Distal - Dispositional One dimension of Big-Five Personality Model; represents the tendency to exhibit poor emotional adjustment and experience negative affects, such as anxiety, insecurity, and hostility.
Charisma Distal - Dispositional Charismatic leaders are able to influence followers by articulating a compelling vision for the future, arousing commitment to organizational objectives and inspiring commitment and a sense of self-efficacy among followers.
Intelligence Distal - Cognitive Abilities Intelligence is regarded as the most important trait in psychology.The trait model of leadership is based on the characteristics of many leaders - both successful and unsuccessful - and is used to predict leadership effectiveness.
The resulting lists of traits are then compared to those of potential leaders to assess their likelihood of success or failure. Scholars.
The trait theory states that leaders have certain innate traits that enable them to lead, such traits as assertiveness, dependability, persistence and adaptability it is convenient to list the elements. Trait leadership is defined as integrated patterns of personal characteristics that reflect a range of individual differences and foster consistent leader effectiveness across a variety of group and organizational situations (Zaccaro, Kemp, & Bader, ).
The theory of trait leadership is developed from early leadership research which focused primarily on finding a group of heritable. The trait theory of leadership focuses on identifying different personality traits and characteristics that are linked to successful leadership across a variety of situations.
This line of research emerged as one of the earliest types of investigations into the nature of effective . Important Research on Trait Theory of Leadership Later research on the trait theory of leadership includes: —Ralph Melvin Stogdill's studies suggest that leadership is the result of the interaction between the individual and the social situation and not the result of a predefined set of traits.
Leadership trait theory is one of the earliest theories of leadership, which can be traced back to Thomas Carlyle’s assertion that “the history of the world was the biography of great men”.