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The situational leadership style can be used to solve problems on what a leader can do if group members disagree with newly introduced changes (Spector, 2005, p.3). The situational leadership style is based on a combination of task behavior, active listening, relationship behavior, constant interactions, leadership flexibility, and communication to find the best possible solutions to problems (Tang, 2007, p.5).
On the other hand, behavioral leadership focuses on the behavioral traits of a leader to stimulate certain behavioral responses by people who are led by the leader to develop quality, dedication to duty, and talent enhancement to stimulate and enhance employee performance (Walker et.al, 1998, p.1).
Here, behavior can be conditioned to achieve the anticipated response. Psychologist agree that leadership capabilities of men of old was due to their masculine traits and innate personal qualities which inherently influenced the most effective group (Watson, Hubbard & Wiese, 2000, p.2-9). Born leaders are characterized by innate drive, motivation, ambition, self-confidence, creativity, integrity, charisma and flexibility. On the other hand leadership can be promoted, because leadership can be taught (Vrba, 2007, p.3-5).
The transactional leadership style defines a leader who focuses on task responsibilities, motivates followers by their own self-interest, strives to fulfill goals based on a system of contingence rewards, and exchanges wages for the work done (Wong & Law, 2002, p.2-9). Such leaders lead by reward and punishment, issuance of directives. The leaders are action oriented, think inside the box to solve problems, very passive, and practice management by exception (Sosik & Megarian, 1999, p.5).
The methodology used in this study was to gather qualitative data based on a survey, interview, and personality test on Thomas Vo. Thomas was selected to represent the class because of his diverse leadership experience in different settings. Preparations were made early and the interview started at 10:00 am. Surveys were conducted online and questionnaires were administered to the respondents directly.
The qualitative research method was used based on the interview which focused on the situational, great man and transactional leadership questionnaires to collect objective answers. The class ensured Thomas provided credible explanations by providing holistic explanations with class’s consensus in the natural setting of the class.
The findings could be made transferable because the results could be generalized in any leadership situation based on judgment by the class and the professor, dependable because the results on the interview and the questionnaires on leadership theories could be replicated, and confirmed because each member of the class contributed to the findings. The personality test was conducted to identify the critical characteristics of Thomas as a leader draw on psychoanalytic study of introverts and extroverts.
Results due to the situational leadership questionnaire showed Thomas to a proactively listener to team members’ opinions, and used the results after careful evaluation to maintain and control implementation of decisions if team members disagreed with the action imposed.
That was in agreement with Thomas’s statement in the interview where he actively listens keenly to others before making decisions. That was also consistent with the situational leadership theory. In addition, Thomas’s option in the case of a member who tried to skip a meeting by taking a sick leave confirmed that he could have to talk with the member and explain the importance of the meeting, a trait consistent with the situational leadership style.
Thomas’s response to self-evaluation showed the behavioral leadership style components, which were elements consistently found in the survey, questionnaire, and interview statements. However, not all the elements that define behavioral leadership were present; implying the kind of leadership traits characterizing Thomas’ leadership style is a combination of different leadership theories.
The great man’s leadership theory characteristics lacked because the basis of the theory is that leaders are born. Thomas acquired his leadership skills through training and experience, which refuted the presence of the traits of the great man theory. Thomas agreed that he was not born a leader, but made a leader, which implies leadership can be learnt and made.
The interview and survey showed that transactional leadership traits were inherent in Thomas, who agrees that bonuses were given to members at the end of the year based on their productivity, a situation that is defined on a reward and punishment basis.
Thomas agreed that imposing the maximum penalty corresponding to the severity of a mistake further showed the inherent characteristic of the transactional leadership element. Personality test showed Thomas’s leadership style to combine both extrovert and introvert characteristics. Thomas conducts self-evaluation on a daily basis in the evening after work to identify areas of improvement.
An analysis based on the evidence from different leadership theories, survey data, interview data, and personality test showed that Thomas to be an extrovert in combination with some introvert personality traits. That was because Thomas alludes to be energetic, reflective, intuitive, talks much, is lively, and is patient. Further analysis of the sources of information revealed Thomas to widely borrow leadership traits from different leadership theories.
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