Leadership Theories: the Evolution of Context

In: Business and Management

Submitted By dchesley
Words 1610
Pages 7
Leadership Theories: The Evolution of Context
April 2, 2013

Abstract
This paper defines “context” as it relates to leadership and the inclusion of context in leadership theories. I will show examples of different leadership styles and how they relate to the context of leadership. In closing, I will reflect on the challenges of contextual theories and how these challenges can be met in the current environment.

Meaning of Context and Treatment in Leadership Research
Different types of leadership often need to be applied in a distinct manner, depending on the context and who is involved. Osborn, Hunt, & Jauch (2002) indicated leadership theory and research needs to expand to the complex levels of leadership. The authors further posited leadership theory needs to explore the dynamism involving the context in which leadership takes place, rather than to study leadership taking place in a vacuum. Here, the authors referred to context as the circumstances or parameters that cause effective leaders to emerge.
Leadership in context takes on many different characteristics and certain circumstances can cause different actions. A closer examination of the linkages between components of theory increases one’s understanding of individual differences in leadership development (Allen, Shankman, & Miguel, 2012). Authors Osborn, Hunt, & Jauch (2002) illustrated four contexts of leadership; stability, crisis, dynamic equilibrium, and edge of chaos.
Stability takes into account surrounding external circumstances involving the composition of organizations, scopes, and skill sets. Stability examines the various measures of leadership to improve and to develop objectives for anticipated circumstances. I worked with a leader who demonstrated stability in a position; however, that same leader transferred to a different position and she became unstable. In the…...

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