Theories and Concepts in Leadership and Management

Theories and Concepts in Leadership and Management

Behavioral theories

Behavioral theory focuses much on the behavior of the leaders rather than their physical, mental, or social characteristics. In behavioral theory, it is easier to measure the cause and effects relationship of human behaviors among the leaders. In this theory, it is believed that leaders are made and not born. This theory divides leaders into two categories that are, the leaders who were a concern with the people, and the second group was the leaders who were a concern with tasks.

The behaviors that focus on the tasks include giving rewards to the followers, providing direction, and developing a structure that will enhance the achievement of goals and objectives (Storey, 2016). On the other hand, the behaviors that influence the relationship between the leaders and the followers include empowering the followers and enhancing the development and enabling the followers. In general, the behavioral theory provides a structure in which the organizations can conduct effective leadership.


It applies scientific research methods, making the experiments to be observable, measurable, and objective. Second, according to (Kumar & Khiljee, 2016) this theory supports the idea that leadership is learned through practice and experience such that leaders are not born; instead, they learn. Lastly, the design that leader are made have to increase the research that is being conducted on the methods of developing leaders to achieve the required results.


It assumes that behaviors are affected by environmental impacts such as operant conditioning, making behavior to be deterministic while at times, behavior can be indeterminist. It is difficult for people to behave in the manner expected of them to act in a particular situation, although it is easy to learn behavior (Kumar & Khiljee, 2016). Lastly, it is difficult to identify the behavior that can suit different cultures and workplaces. This is because a particular behavior that works in a specific situation may not be applied in the other condition.

Contingency theory

The contingency theory states that there exist several ways of leading, which means that there are no identified single means of leading. Every leadership style is assessed depending on the situation at which performance is being done. In particular, the job and places people perform maximally than other people. The same people can perform poorly when taken to a different area of work, and the entire situation is changed. According to (Freeman,2015), human behavior is related to the situation in which they are, and leaders portray the diverse characteristics when they practice leadership in different situations. Besides, most leaders have higher chances of expressing their leadership prowess when their followers are responsive to their leadership influence. Besides, contingency theory has enhanced the thinking and different perspectives concerning the understanding of leadership. This has caused a shift from a single mindset to a broad view of leadership styles and various situations that enhance and affect leadership.


Contingency theory focuses on the style of leadership, which is essential in the growth of the leader and their profiles. Secondly, the longevity of this theory is one of its strengths because contingency theory has survived for several years now since 1960. Its durability is being perceived as a valid and most reliable theory that enhances the achievement of leadership that is effective and rooted in research (Freeman, 2015). Besides, this theory has a reliable predictive power in determining the next thing that can happen in leadership hence can be used to predict the future of leadership.


The theory does not give an alternative solution to leaders who do not fit into the leadership situation. Since leaders can produce the best results in different cases, an organization which uses this type of leadership theory needs to fix every leader into their best working condition. This is difficult at times, especially where there are limited human resources such as the health care system.


Freeman, J. (2015). Contingency theory. Wiley Encyclopedia of Management, 1-1.

Kumar, R. D., & Khiljee, N. (2016). Leadership in healthcare. Anaesthesia & Intensive Care        Medicine, 17(1), 63-65.

Storey, J. (2016). Changing theories of leadership and leadership development. In Leadership in Organizations (pp. 17-41). Routledge.



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