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Leaders  is an important for every society, institution, organization and country. The leader is held responsible for its operation and organization at each level of the social organization. The leader is also a member of the group. He influences the group to a greater extent through his characteristics and behaviours. How does a leader do this? Who is the leader? On what does the behavior of the leader depend? Extensive studies have been done in the context of all these questions.


The leader is the person who exerts the greatest influence over the group as compared to the others, and the process by which he achieves the goal of influencing the group is called leadership behavior (Beran and Byrne, 1987). The relationship that a leader has with other members of the group is called a leader-following relationship. The leader directs the thoughts, behavior and actions of his followers very effectively. If we want to identify the leader of a group, we have to see which member of the group has the most influence on the group. In this way, each member of the group is somewhat of a leader. Leadership is not a qualitative but a quantitative variable. At the same time it is also clear that the leadership behavior being interactive is not one-sided. Leader and Follower: Both influence each other. From this point of view the formal leader would not be the real leader; If it does not have an effect on the followers (Krutch, Crutchfield and Balecki, 1962).


While discussing in the context of the group, it has been said that with the expansion of the group, there is a differentiation of positions and roles. This position refers to the ability to influence different individuals. It was also found that leadership is needed when there are obstacles in achieving the goals of the group or there is a threat from outside to the existence of the group. Leadership behavior arises if there is discord within the group, instability or the formal leader does not do his job properly. How many such needs are there in the members of the group, the fulfillment of which depends on the situation and the characteristics of the members of the group. It will not be appropriate to consider the leader as a separate person because all the members of the group exercise social power over the members in leadership behavior and various theories have been presented to understand the leadership by influencing them and taking them in a certain direction. . Three types of approaches are prominent in these theories –

personality theory,
circumstance theory and
Finally done theory.


Personality theory


When we look at great leaders, it seems that they were not ordinary people. In today’s era, the ability of Mahatma Gandhi, dressed as a half-baked mystic, certainly looks incredible. The early principles of leadership were based on the belief that leaders have some characteristics that others do not. This theory believes that leadership is a general characteristic of personality i.e. a person, who is a leader, becomes a leader in every situation. The fact that leadership behavior is similar in different situations is only partially confirmed. There is not enough evidence to accept leadership as a general characteristic. This theory connecting leadership with great personality also believes that the leader is unique. But history shows that good leaders have also been good tyrants.

As a result, the personality theory of leadership does not seem to be very suitable. Staghill (1974) and Mann (1969) conducted a comparative study on physical attributes, personality and acquired characteristics, analyzing about 250 studies on the characteristics of leaders. From their analysis it is clear that the leader is slightly older, taller, healthier and more active. This generalization is not found in other areas except the field of sports. For example – Gandhi, Napoleon and Hitler were neither taller nor stronger than their followers.

Therefore, no clear difference is obtained on the basis of these characteristics. In the study of personality characteristics, two characteristics have been found to be important: intelligence and eloquence. Perseverance, interpersonal sensitivity and self-confidence have been found to be important for leaders in some studies. Another characteristic that has been associated with leadership is charisma. This is considered a supernatural attribute. This aura has been associated with many leaders, but it cannot be considered the cause of leadership. Laswell (1948) and Wolfenstein (1947) analyzed the psychohistory of many great leaders to show that many great leaders suffered from power, motivation and conflicts of various kinds. Therefore, his greatness was an attempt to compensate.




Situational theory.


Dissatisfied with personality theory, some psychologists have proposed situational theory. According to this, the characteristics of the situation decide what kind of leadership is required. In the beginning, the exponents of this theory even said that who will lead the person in the given situation? It is a matter of coincidence (Kapoor and Megaf, 1968). Many factors related to the situation affect leadership. It has been found in many studies that the size and nature of the group determine the type of leadership that will develop. For example, larger sized groups have higher expectations. Similarly, the person in the group who gets the opportunity to communicate more with the other members of the group, his chances of leading than the other members are increased (Yutko, 1968). This is probably also because the person who is more communicative feels that other members of the group depend on him. The selection of leadership also depends on what are the needs of the members of the group. And who else can help them to do it in a creative way? This also has the effect that changes in the needs or functions of the group also lead to a change in leadership (Bernland 1962). Thus, the characteristics of the situation affect the leadership. The possibility cannot be ruled out that a member who wants to be a leader creates situations in the group that give him the opportunity to lead the group (Raby and Bebers, 1976). The factors of the situation may include the characteristics of the group members. For example – Followers with autocratic personality would like to choose an autocratic leader. Therefore, according to this theory, being a leader depends on what are the characteristics of the leader and the limitations of the situation.


Interactional theory:


In both the theories discussed above, an important aspect of leadership behavior: the attitude of neglect towards the follower was adopted. As has been indicated in the interpretation of leadership behaviour; There is a difference between a leader and a follower in terms of their ability to influence. Therefore, it is necessary to give importance to the role of followers in understanding leadership behaviour. While considering this question, Hallender (1978) has mentioned the Reciprocal Influence. We also find in our experience that a successful leader is one who can represent the thoughts and feelings of his followers powerfully. Leaders who are unable to pay attention to the needs and wants of their followers, their followers walk away from them. Thus, leadership depends on the interaction between the individual and the situation. There is no universal form of leadership. Anyone can be a leader in a given situation. not in the other. The effectiveness of the leader depends on the personality of the individual and the harmony of the situation. Labin, Lippitt and White (1939) studied the behavior of children by placing them in conditions of autocratic, democratic and independent leadership. The autocratic leader did not maintain his association with the group. The democratic leader gave the opportunity to the group to decide the policy, gave freedom to the members to work and participate in the work of the group. The independent leader gave complete freedom to the group and did not participate in the activities of the group.


The results showed that children working under an autocratic leader showed a greater degree of resentment than a group with a democratic leader. The unity of the group was more in the democratic group. The creativity of the work decreased when the autocratic leader was removed. This did not happen in a democratic group. as far as productivity is concerned.


Under autocratic leadership its quantity was more than other groups. From later studies it became clear that the effectiveness of leadership is not due to the style of the leader but the circumstances . The demands of the group and the goals of the group determine which leader will be more capable.


Fiedler (1964 – 1971) developed the Contingency Theory of Leadership, which incorporates both these elements. In fact, the contribution of leadership in the context of a group is of many types. Some leaders make an impressive contribution to the morale and performance of the group, while others do not. Some leader is more capable and some less. Modern psychologists have received special attention towards these questions. Fiedler ( 1978 ) and Fiedler and Garcia ( 1987 ) have recognized in their theory that the contribution of the leader to the successful performance of the group depends on the characteristics of both the leader and the situation . To fully understand the effectiveness of leadership, both types of factors have to be considered. Fiedler considered the most important Esteem of the person with the least preferred co-worker (LPC). It refers to how the leader evaluates the person who in his view is not fit or very less suitable to work with.

The leader who does not like such a person, he mainly gives importance to the successful execution of the work. On the other hand the person who receives such associate positively



J. NS . P Sinha (1980) has found the leadership style of nurturing task master to be appropriate in Indian conditions. This style does not oppose participation, it expresses a transitional leadership according to cultural expectations. In Indian environment where dependency is found in abundance, people tend to build personal relationship with the leader. From this point of view, if the leader wants to get the approval of the persons or group members under him, then he can do so only by adopting the form of nurturer towards them. In this model, with the help of nurturing techniques, the leader can get the work done by his assistants. This style of leadership was found to be prevalent in Indian organizations (J. B. P. Sinha, 1984). Perhaps this style of leadership is an image of our mind (Verma, 1985). In fact, there exists a substantial gap between the actual behavior and the values ​​expressed. Most of the leaders working in organizations mention nurturing task-oriented leadership at the verbal level but do not use it in practice. Organizations of administrators who actually adopted this were actually found to be more efficient. It is clear from later studies that this type of leadership is applicable to middle level managers. Pioneer innovative style is effective in high level managers (Khandwala 1988)


Pandey (1975) has done an experimental study of the effects of leadership style, personality characteristics and method of leader selection on the behavior of leader and group members. It is clear from this study that leadership style, which gives importance to relationships, gives rise to more ideas in group members than action-oriented leadership. The behavior of the elected leaders and those who acted as leaders in turn was more democratic. of leaders


Primary functions



Task Completion:

It is the responsibility of every leader to get the group completed by dividing the work among the different members of the organization.


Leaders have to plan the actions. In particular, by what methods and sources will the group be able to achieve the goal? What will be his short term and long term work? The leader also has to decide this.

Policy making:

The leader sets the policy for the group’s programs. This policy has to be decided by the colleagues or the above officials or the leader himself.


The leader is considered to be knowledgeable of information and groups. This information makes him more powerful.


Representation of groups:

The leader makes decisions about establishing the relationship of his group with other groups; represents his group. It also acts as a medium for transmitting external information to the group.


Controller of internal relations:

The leader also acts to control the mutual relations of the members of the group.

System of Rewards and Punishments: The leader gives appropriate rewards and punishments to the members of the group based on their performance. It also changes the positions of the members.



The leader acts as a judge for the group members keeping their goals in mind. It also protects the middle.


secondary function


Example for the group:

Through his actions and thoughts, the leader sets a real example of role model for the members of the group.

Symbol of the group:

The leader provides a cognitive center for maintaining strong relationships within the group; Provides continuity to the group.

Distribution of Workload:

The leader gives opportunity to his members to be free from personal responsibility. For every good and bad action, not the members of the group, but the leader is considered responsible.

Determinant of ideology:

The leader sets a framework of values, norms, and beliefs of the group; and provides a direction to the approach.

Function of parent:

A leader is a person who provides emotional brainstorming for the group. One finds himself in a good state of mind for identification with Him. The leader earns the trust of the group by doing this type of work and becomes more powerful.

Becoming a scapegoat:

Where in good situations the members of the group do bamakaran with the leader, while being dissatisfied and frustrated, the leader also has to become the object of frustration, anger of all the members of the group. The more the leader fulfills the responsibility of the group, the more he is blamed for failure. The above-mentioned functions of leadership are important to leaders in varying degrees. Which of these will be important? It depends on the spatial size, goal and structure of the group.


Dimensions of Leadership Behavior

Several studies have attempted to find out how to explain the differences found in leadership behaviour. In this context Halpin and Biner (1957) have proposed two dimensions – (1) Consideration and (2) Initiative and direction. Of these, caring is related to such behaviors which are related to the motivation, internal balance and satisfaction of the members of the group and initiative is related to the search for such means which are related to achieving the goals of the group.



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