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Posted on March 8th, 2013, by

Leadership is an essential component of effective management and functioning of any organization. The word “leader” means “master”. Despite the seeming simplicity of this concept, in modern science leadership has not received one common accurate and unified explanation.

Relevance of the topic of leadership is due to the current increased attention to this problem, which is determined by the increasing role of human factors in management, complexity of management of human resources and its increased dependence on the human factor.

In the history of management in general the question of the essence of leadership has been already considered by theorists for several decades. It was interesting at all times, and not lost its relevance today. The problem of leadership in the modern context is a priority in the study and development of management science.

In the history of study of leadership theorists had developed different numerous positions and theories on leadership, among which can be identified three major approaches to the study of leadership: an approach from a position of personal characteristics, behavioral and situational approaches. But none of these approaches has given integrity in the study of the problem.
The purpose of the paper is to review and study the phenomenon of leadership in the management system:

1. Give a definition of leadership;
2. Review and analyze the evolution of views on the understanding of leadership;
5. Study and analyze eight major theories of leadership.
General definition and understanding of the concept of leadership
Due to the complexity of the concept of “leader”, the existence of different types of leadership and different attitudes to those who embodies this concept, there are several definitions of what leadership is. Despite the fact that issues of leadership provoked the interest of people from ancient times, systematic, deliberate and extensive study of leadership began only since F. Taylor. Since that time both theorists and practices have made a lot of research on this topic. Nevertheless, there is still no complete agreement about what is leadership and how it should be studied. Stogdill (Stogdill, 1974) noted that there are as many definitions of leadership, as the people who tried to deal with this phenomenon. Though all researchers agree that the modern manager must be a leader, that is to be able to bring people together in common purpose, to persuade, motivate, set goals, build relationships with subordinates ”“ that are the main characteristics of a true leader.
That is, leadership can be explained as an administrative relationship between the leader and followers, based on an effective combination of different sources of power and aimed at encouraging people to achieve common goals. The mandatory requirement of leadership is to have power in the specific formal or informal organizations of different levels and scope ( from small groups, companies, local government, national and social groups and movements, government agencies, to the state and even groups of states). The power of the leader is not usually fixed by law or official documents, but in all cases the leader has a social, psychological and emotional support in the community or in communities of people who followed him. (Nohria 2010)

It is also necessary to distinguish between the concepts of “leadership”¯ and “management”¯ that are very closely connected. Filey, House and Kerr (1976) set the difference between management and leadership: “Management can be defined as mental and physical process tha tleads to the fact that subordinates perform their assigned official orders and certain tasks. Leadership, by contrast, is a process by which one person has an impact on members of the group. ” (Bryman 1986)

Manager becomes the head of the organization as a result of a deliberate formal act in the organization – the delegation of authority. Leaders, on the other hand, become not officially, although they could lead and influence people too, and the actions of leaders are not limited to any powers and structures. Very often the head is a leader without reference to his or her formal position in the hierarchy. So, being a manager does not automatically mean to be a leader in the organization, as the leadership is largely characterized by informal basis. On the other hand, a person who occupies the first position in the organization is not necessarily a leader. The process of influence through the ability and skills is called informal leadership.

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