Pros and Cons of Leadership Theories

2107 words 9 pages
Introduction
After the Japanese "miracle" had come to be recognized within America and Total Quality Management (TQM) had begun making fledgling appearances in American manufacturing, W. Edwards Deming, the so-called "father of TQM" gave us his famous 14 Points for the purpose of enabling the manufacturer to operate under the principles of TQM and the participatory management style that it requires. Several of Deming's (1986) 14 Points conclude with the statement, "substitute leadership" (p. 26).
Even now, 20 years later, there is still confusion over the differences between management and leadership. There are several leadership theories, most of which are applicable to differing environments and situations. The purpose of this paper
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The basic idea is that there are certain steps required to reach any goal, "that in order to get desired organizational results, certain tasks must be performed. The results are the goal; the tasks are the path. When appropriate tasks are performed, the goals are achieved. When the goals are achieved, appropriate rewards for the individual should follow" (Price, 1991; p. 339). The leader's job is to ensure that workers clearly understand what the goal is; facilitate workers' ability to achieve the goal; and increase incentives for workers to want to achieve the goal (Price, 1991).
Price (1991) maintains that the "path-goal theory presents a very complex view of leadership. Consequently, most of the studies conducted have focused on some specific proposition from path-goal theory rather than attempt to fully test the theory" (p. 339). Most of these studies focus on the many possible environmental contingencies and how they affect the relationship between the behavior of the leader and the perspective of subordinates.

Application
In that circuit board production facility, the goal given the leader is to produce a certain number of specific circuit board designs each day. In keeping with Price's (1991) statement that most research into this theory focuses on environmental contingencies

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