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An Integration of Theory and Practice in Management (Research Paper Sample)


the paper required an integration of theory and practice in management that is subdivided into 3 parts. The paper includes a clear structure with abstract, list of references, appendices, and diagrammatic representation where appropriate. It also contains the following in part one;
1. A critical literature review of key theories of the nature and exercise of leadership in organisations
2. A critical evaluation of the behaviour of selected leaders that you have encountered in the course of your career, in relation to a range of theories of leadership
3. A summary of the learning you can take from this assignment for your own practice and development as a leader
For part two of the assignment, you should include a brief explanation of how you know about the behaviour of the leaders you are discussing: for example, did you work for them? Or alongside them? If so, for how long? In order to enable you to undertake a thorough analysis, you are advised to discuss only two, or at most three, individuals. Make sure that you analyse their behaviour in relation to published theories of leadership.
For part three of the assignment, you should include specific points about what you will do to develop your leadership capabilities.


An Integration of Theory and Practice in Management
From governmental and organizational perspectives, leadership is often a crucial response to the challenges faced and opportunities encountered. Leadership is often regarded as part of the significant critical factors that contribute to the success or failure of organizations. for effective leadership. Leaders are required to understand how they impact their employees and the organization in general. Currently, the study of leadership in organizations has gained a lot of interest. Various scholars are opting to explore its nature and attempt to determine how it can be made effective. Early studies on leadership focused on behavioral and trait theories, emphasizing personality, values, motives, and motives. However, current leadership studies have gone deeper by understanding that no given feature would guarantee leadership success. Therefore, current researchers focus on the leaders’ behaviors and how they influence their followers. Basing on the recent studies, it is crucial to consider the nature of leadership and how it is exercised in organizations. This paper contains three parts, in which part one presents a critical literature review of the essential theories of the nature and exercise of leadership. Part two evaluates the leadership behavior of some identified leaders, while part three summarizes the learning obtained from the assignment.
Part 1: Literature Review of Key Theories of the Nature and Exercise of Leadership
Definition and Nature of Leadership
The nature of leadership revolves around its definitions, styles, and theories that explain it. Based on research, the definitions of leadership are numerous, with most of them aim to illustrate leadership in terms of individuals' behaviors, traits, and influence over others. From his research on the definitions of leadership. Aalateeg (2017) identified the following meanings;
Source: Aalateeg (2017)
Cabalsa (2016) defines leadership as a concept under which everyone is involved, and the parties utilize its different contexts. For instance, an individual in a family can develop into a leader or a follower as taught by the parents. Cabalsa (2016) also illustrates that leadership is an individual’s ability to influence others towards accomplishing a particular task. Specifically, leadership involves motivating people and persuading them to do something they want to do rather than coercing them to achieve it. According to the University of Cambridge, the best definition of leadership is obtained by determining the factors associated with leadership and the expected leadership traits.
Factors Associated with Leadership
Several factors are associated with leadership and are used to determine its effectiveness. The University of Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership illustrates several primary factors that are associated with the administration as shown in the table below;
Source: The University of Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership
Theories of Leadership
Various theories of leadership describe its nature and how it is applied. According to Cambridge University, the general theories of leadership are as shown below;
Source: The University of Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership
Aalateeg (2017) describes leadership to have evolved through various philosophies such as trait school, which focuses on the leaders’ dispositions, and behavioral philosophy, which emphasizes leaders’ behaviors. Other philosophies include contingency school, which is concerned with the leadership contingencies, neo charismatic or transformational school, and information processing school that focuses on cognition. The various theories of leadership have been studied and explored over the years, with researchers aiming at getting the best way of explaining the nature of leadership. The primary leadership theories are described as follows;
Great Man Theory of Leadership
This theory holds that leaders are born, and men endowed with heroic potentials have high chances of becoming leaders. According to Hunt and Fedynich (2019), the theory focuses on exploring common leadership traits and has lasted for several centuries as every society strives to have leaders or heroes to define its success and justify its failures. Nawaz and Khan (2016) state that the grand man theory follows the concept that the history of man’s accomplishments in the world depends on the history of the great men that have ever lived. Khan also discusses the eventful man versus the event-making man. He points out that the eventful man maintains his complexity in a historical situation but does not determine the situation’s course. However, the even-making man highly influences the course of events that would have been very different if he had not been part of the process. According to Khan et al. (2016), the role of the event-making man is founded on the results of his outstanding capabilities of intelligence, character, and will rather than the actions of distinctions.
However, further research illustrates that the Great Man Theory was naturally flawed. The cases of several great men such as Hitler and Napoleon were used to challenge the theory's credibility since they became irrelevant with the growth of the organizations being stifled Nawaz and Khan, (2016). Additionally, other great men rose presided with dictatorial powers while heading the growing organizations, which to the democratization being retarded. This led to the belief that leaders are born or destined by nature to rule at a specified time to reflect various traits that envisage leadership potential. Therefore, the research on the nature of leadership changes its focus from the greatness of men to their character traits to prove their effectiveness, thus the birth of the trait theory of leadership.
Trait Theory of Leadership
The trait theory focuses on the leaders’ attributes and traits such as values, motives, personality, values, and skills. Additionally, the theory identifies the specific characteristics leaders should possess, which are also used to distinguish leaders from their followers. Aalateeg (2017) states that the research on the trait theory of leadership focuses on various factors which include; (a) physical factors such as health, physique, appearance, weight, age, and height, (b) personality factors such as self-confidence, integrity, popularity, and emotional control, and (c) ability factors such as intelligence, speech fluency, judgment and decision making, academic performance, integrity, initiative-taking, and insight. The trait theory requires that an individual possess the above traits to be regarded as an influential leader.
Numerous studies have been conducted to ascertain the accuracy of trait theory, with most of them show different sets of traits that can separate effective leadership from ineffective. According to Yukl (2012), some traits that were proved to be essential for effective leadership in one study would not be validated in others. The survey by Nawaz and Khan (2016) illustrates that leadership requires more than studying the individuals since it is also influenced by the situations in which leadership is applied. Various researchers also state that no specific trait guarantees leadership success, and thus the attributes should be related to leadership behaviors and effectiveness. The trait theory also ignored the determination of whether leadership traits are acquired or genetic. According to Malik and Naeem (2016), people born with some characteristics such as intelligence, confidence, and idealism have the great inclination to become leaders. However, there is an insignificant difference that offers the distinction between a leader and a follower. Additionally, leaders’ traits would not explain the nature of leadership, although they would help train and develop future leaders.
Behavioral Leadership Theory
The failure of the trait theory made researchers focus on the behavioral aspect of leadership to explain its nature. This theory states that the behavior of leaders impacts work and their followers’ effectiveness. Therefore, the research on behavioral theory focuses on leadership behavior to determine the best and most effective leadership. According to Kumar (2018), behavioral leadership theory involves concepts from Michigan, Ohio, and the Managerial grid. Aalateeg (2017) discussed the Iowa State University Studies as a fourth study in addition to the three studies that explain the behavioral theory of leadership as mentioned by Kumar (2018). According to Aalateeg (2017), the Iowa studies identified three leadership styles which include democratic, autocratic, and laissez-faire. Autocratic leaders tend to centralize their authority and derive power from coercion, control of rewards, and position. Democratic leaders delegate to their followers, thus encouraging participation and depending on their followers’ respect for influence and knowledge to complete tasks. Finally, Laissez-faire leadership is regarded as the avoidance or absence of leadership and is termed the most ineffective style (Malik, Saleem & Naeem, 2016).
The Michigan research center’s contribution to leadership behavior focuses on the aspects of job-centered and employee-centered behaviors. Precisely, leaders with a job-centered behavior focus on their followers’ activities paying attention to their performances and ensuring that they follow the laid practices and procedures Kumar (, 2018). On the other hand, leaders with employee-centered behavior develop a cohesive work group that encourages employee satisfaction. ...

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