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Leadership is one of the most observed and
least understood
phenomenon on
earth---James Mcgregor Burns
Intriguing subject to sundry
Long roster of theories resulting in vast

According to Bass (2009), leadership is a widely

discussed and popular topic but when it comes
to defining this much
discussed concept, the
literature has not shed light on a
definition or its constitution (Burns, 1978; Jago, 1982;
Muczyk and Reimann, 1987; Rost, 1991, quoted in Gini, 1997)

Literature has produced almost as many

definitions as the
number of authors who
penned down about it (Stogdill, 1974)


NOT the incompetency of researchers or their

lack of research on the subject of leadership,
the different viewpoint adopted about what
creates a leader, what does he do and how to
become one if possible at all

Three leadership paradigms

Trait: Leadership capabilities are rooted in
possessed by individuals. Example:
intelligence, extroversion, conscientiousness
Focus: Leaders

Behavior: Leadership capabilities are rooted in what

individuals did-how they behaved
Focus shifted from leaders to leadership

Contingency: Effective leadership is contingent on

factors separate from an individual leader
Focus: Situation

The leadership labyrinth under the realm of

three main
scientific paradigms i.e.
Trait, Behavior and Contingency has
extended to various styles.
Literature search generated 39 leadership

List of 39 leadership styles

Leadership style

Key Characteristics

Referred by

1- Autocratic Leadership

Punitive, less concerned for Foels et al. (2000); Van

Vugt et al. (2004); De
dimension of group,
Cremer (2006) etc.
dominating, dictatorial,
unilateral decision making

2- Democratic Leadership

Considerate, participative, Gastil (1994); Foels et al.

concerned with
(2000); Woods (2004);
maintaining relationships
Bass (2009) etc.
with others, group decision

3- Laissez-Faire

Lack of involvement,
Bass (1997); Eagly et al.
avoidance of
(2003); Skogstad et al.
responsibilities, resistance (2007) etc.
in discussing critical issues

4- Transactional Leadership
Leader-Follower exchanges, clarification of subordinate responsibilities,
contingent rewards
Bass et al. (2003); Eagly et al. (2003); Van Eeden et al. (2008) etc.
5- Task Oriented Leadership
Planning and organizing work activities, clarification of roles, resolving workrelated problems, focus on goal achievement
Eagly and Johnson (1990); Bass (2009); Tabernero et al. (2009);Yukl (2012) etc.
6- Interpersonal Leadership
Tactful, enthusiastic, encouraging, confidence builder, morale booster, motive
arouser, honest, sincere, trustworthy, extrovert
Fleming (1992); Zander (1997); Brodbeck et al. (2000) etc.
7- Transformational Leadership
Vision, inspirational communication, intellectual stimulation, influence,
empowerment, high performance expectations
Bass (1997); Avolio et al. (1999); Jung and Avolio (2000); etc.

p style

Referred by

8- Charismatic

Strategic vision,
unconventional behavior,
agents of change, sensitive
to the needs of followers,
risk orientation, extrovert

Yukl (1999); Hunt

(1999); De Hoogh et
al. (2005); Bass
(2009) etc.

9- Distributed

Collaborative, intuitive
working relations,
institutionalized practices

Gronn (2002); Mehra

et al. (2006);
Mayrowetz (2008) etc.

10- Participative

Shared decision making,

values others input, seek
consensus, increased
autonomy and
empowerment to

Bass (2009); Rok

(2009); Huang et al.
(2010) etc.

11- Directive

Issuing instructions and

Muczyk and Reimann
commands, assigning goals, (1987); Pearce and

Leadership style

Key Characteristics

Referred by

17- Coercive Leadership

Conformity, repressed creativity,

Spector (1982); Goleman (2000);
aggressive, inflexible, use of threat, self- Skodvin and Andresen (2006)
centered, authoritarian, fear-driven

18- Team-oriented

Collaborative, team integrator, prefers

Kezar (1998); Javidan et al.
status quo, encourage diversity,
(2006); Day et al. (2006) etc.
democratic, supportive, conflict manager

19- Delegative Leadership Procedural fairness, low need for

dominance, shared power, motivate
subordinates, seek consensus, maintains

Leana (1986); Kuhnert (1994);

Krause et al. (2007); etc.

20- Autonomous

Individualistic, encourage novelty,

disrupts existing policies, facilitates
knowledge transfer, responsible for task

Elloy and Alan (1997); Taggar et

al. (1999); Patanakul et al.
(2012) etc.

21- Coaching Leadership

Facilitator, authentic, compassionate,

candid, interpersonally sensitive,
develop people for future, motivating

Hicks and McCracken (2011);

Nyman and Thach (2002);
Robertson (2009) etc.

22- Affiliative Leadership

Motivator in stressful time, creates

harmony among team, empathetic,
conflict reducer, low on consultation,
relationship oriented, visionary

Goleman (2000); Goleman et al.

(2002); Bennis (2003) etc.

23- Supportive Leadership Interpersonal trust, environment

conducive to psychological well-being
of followers, employee empowerment,
provides support to followers, caring

Rafferty and Griffin (2006);

Muller et al. (2009); Schyns et al.
(2009) etc.

24- Relationship-Oriented

Bass (2009); Tabernero et al.

Concern and respect for followers,

Leadership style

Key Characteristics

Referred by

26- Humane-oriented

Fair, altruistic, compassionate, modest, strong

labor representation, social welfare, benevolent,
motivational, interpersonal relationship

Brodbeck et al. (2002); Winston and

Ryan (2008); Paris et al. (2009) etc.

27- Expressive Leadership

Anti-authoritarian, interpersonally sensitive,

grant autonomy, relationship motivated
leadership, socio-emotional

Rossel (1970); Rees and Segal (1984);

Southwork (1993) etc.

28- Visionary Leadership

Emotionally expressive, interpersonally

sensitive, foresight, proactive, inspirational,
guides and empowers followers, changes status

Westley and Mintzberg (1989); Brown

and Anfara (2003); Groves (2006) etc.

29- Pacesetting Leadership

Sets high standard and expects excellence from

subordinates, authoritative, high on

Goleman (2000); Bennis (2003); Giritli

and Oraz (2004) etc.

30- Narcissist Leadership

Self-centered, status conscious, conflict

inducer, unsympathetic, haughty, exploitive,
seek attention, aggressive, unforgiving nature

Rosenthal and Pittinsky (2006); Brunell

et al.(2008); Ouimet (2010); etc.

31- E-leadership

Swift, more towards autonomy, flexible in

dynamic environment, expertise in building and
leading networks

Avolio and Dodge(2001); Kissler

(2001); Pulley and Sessa (2001); Gurr
(2004) etc.

32- Achievement-Oriented

Maintain high level of performance, set

challenging goals, strive for excellence, show
confidence in followers, high internal locus of

Griffin (1980); Dragoni (2005); Muller

and Turner (2009) etc.

33- Authentic Leadership

Morally courageous, pro-social behavior,

reliable, honest, social justice and equality,
optimistic, self-disciplined, self-expressive

Avolio and Gardner (2005); Cooper et

al. (2005); Hannah et al. (2011) etc.

34- Servant Leadership

Steward, follower-centric, altruistic,

commitment for growth of people, strong
spiritual values and beliefs

Russell and Stone (2002); Beazley and

Gemmill (2006); Pekerti and Sendjaya
(2010) etc.

Leadership style

Key Characteristics

Referred by

35- Citizen Leadership

Egalitarian, commitment for growth of people,

bring constructive change, democratic,
inspirational, innovative, team oriented

Perreault (1997); Langone (2004); Booker

(2006) etc.

36- Aversive Leadership

Relies on coercive power, authoritarian, cynical,

exploitive, engage in intimidation and dispensing
reprimands, aggressive

Pearce and Sims Jr. (2002); Bligh et al.

(2007); Thoroughgood et al. (2011) etc.

37- Empowering Leadership

Concerned with employee performance and

satisfaction, grant autonomy, share power,
agreeable, team-oriented, encourage selfdevelopment

Pearce and Sims Jr. (2002); Sims Jr. et al.

(2009); Vecchio et al. (2010); Martin and
Liao (2013) etc.

38- Opinion Leadership

Dominant, persistent, social; confident, high

degree of social maturity innovativeness,
withstand powerful social inhibitors

Robertson and Myers (1969); Myers and

Robertson (1972); Chan and Misra (1990)

39- Self-Protective Leadership

Status-conscious, self-centered, conflict-inducing,

procedural and face-saving

Javidan et al. (2006)

The constituent leadership styles of the three

frequently discussed and
comparatively well-articulated in the literature,
Laissez-faire and

Scattered and long list of leadership styles!
Long list of styles makes it impossible to effectively link
discussion on leadership styles with other
frame of reference such as
Existing literature is brimming with leadership styles
without catering to their mutual exclusiveness
Need of representative styles

Devising representative
leadership styles-WHY
Thirty nine leadership styles which stemmed from scrutinizing the
literature are placed in four distinct groups in order to
an unequivocal model of symbolic leadership styles
Such an effort can identify the overlapping as well as mutually
exclusive areas to streamline the discussion on this topic
The proposed assortment will also aid to eliminate the existing
controversies in the past literature
Four representative styles, which are non-mutually exclusive, will
bring more consistency in the leadership literature

Devising representative
leadership styles-HOW
The representative styles have been developed
utilizing a
common frame of reference i.e.
focus on leader and
centralization of
decision making.
The leadership styles (LS1 to LS4) can be seen
along a
continuum of focus and centralized
decision-making gradually shifting from leader to

Representative leadership
Leadership style 1 Leadership style 2 Leadership style

Leadership style 4

Role of Leader

Clearly define instructions

and performance standards

Encourage participation

Seek highest standards of


Assist followers

Leaders concern for others




Very High

Distance from followers





Leaders decision making



Shared decision making

through followers

Shared decision making by


Shared decision making in

the interest of followers

Followers motivation

Followers are incapable of

performing tasks
themselves and are

Followers are equal with

the leader and are highly

Followers identify with the

leaders and are highly

Followers try to reach

their level of selffulfillment

Focus on followers growth

None as leader emphasizes

followers only to follow

Moderate as leader
provides training and
development to the

Moderately high as leader

focus on the competence
development of followers

High as leaders top

priority is to help others
achieve their goals

The four groups are indicative of four distinct

leadership style
The six critical areas have been selected to see the
difference in four different styles. i. e.

role of the leader,

leaders concern for others,
distance from followers,
his decision making style,
followers motivation and
leaders focus on followers growth;

as they all are essential components of the leadership pie.

Based on these characteristics of representative

leadership styles, an amalgamation of the 39
leadership styles identified in four distinct
clusters is proposed.

Leadership styles clustered into four

leadership styles

Leadership style 1

Leadership style 2

Leadership style 3

Leadership style 4






































Addition to literature
The several leadership styles scattered in the
leadership literature were identified
and grouped in four
groups based on their
common characteristics.
This amalgamation presents a more practical
configuration of leadership and
Fills the void in the leadership literature which needs
culmination into symbolic leadership styles.
Representative leadership styles can now be linked
with other structured frameworks (such as personality
dimensions) to see their relation.


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