Leadership Instructor

This week’s assignment is to create a Powerpoint presentation. This presentation should be 12 – 15 slides long in addition to a cover page and a reference page. Use bullets on most slides but each page should include a note section with at least 150 words in addition to the slide. Cite your work, limit quotes, and edit your work well for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Quotes should always be rare and properly cited. Slides or notes with excessive quotes will have deductions. Use your own words. Assignment – Examine Trait, Skills, Behavioral, Situational, and Path-goal approaches/theories of leadershipPrepare a presentation as if you were a leadership instructor. You are to prepare it so you will be able to teach a lesson to a class. Using the five approaches/theories of leadership we have discussed in the first three weeks of class, document what the approach or theory is based on, how it is different than the others, and when it is best used. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of each one. Give examples of when each theory would work best. For example, consider different positions like a construction plant manager or a school principal or a nurse. What approach would work best for different positions? Incorporate that into your lesson. Your goal is to have your audience (students) understand the five approaches and when to use them. Do not copy definitions from the book. Use your own words to get your students to understand the different aspects of the theories. Use the 12 – 15 slides for the five approaches/theories, approximately two- three pages for each one. Format:Title Slide – Include a title page with your name, student number, title of your paper, course number, course name, & date.Introductory Slide – Include a short introduction of your agenda/topics.Length – 12 – 15 slides plus the title page and citation page. Make sure you have at least 150 words in the note section of each page. Do not include any quotes in your notes. Reference Page – Include at least two outside sources in addition to your textbook and other course articles on a separate reference page. Use references with authors, not websites. All references must have citations within your paper. Wikipedia is not an acceptable reference. Proof read your work well to ensure spelling/grammar/punctuation and sentence structure are in good order.
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1
The Evolving Nature of Leadership
“We are the leaders we’ve been waiting for.”
GRACE LEE BOGGS
Copyright © 2017. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. All rights reserved.
You would be hardpressed at this particular time in history to find someone who does not
have an opinion about leadership. The media vacillates between showering praise on political
leaders and deriding their incompetence. The business community is alternately framed as
leaders in social innovation or criminals who abuse their leader roles. Contemporary social
movements are lauded as examples of collective leadership while simultaneously chastised for
lacking organization and a central leader. All the while social media provides an increasingly
powerful vehicle for individuals to quickly voice and disseminate their opinions about leaders
at all levels, from local to global, and across all sectors from industry to education. There is
no shortage of opinion on the state of leadership, the success or failure of individual leaders,
or the desperate need for more and better leadership—unless, of course, you talk to those who
are often, for very good reason, exhausted with or feel alienated from leadership altogether.
Love it or hate it, the concepts of leaders and leadership are ubiquitous in contemporary
society. This chapter begins with civil rights activist and feminist scholar Grace Lee Boggs’s
reframing of a Hopi quote that captures a central theme of these reactions to and feelings about
leadership … they often reflect an outward gaze. They illustrate the longing we have for
someone else to make the social structures we navigate (e.g., work, community, society)
function better and our deep disappointment when this does not happen. Sometimes they even
capture the ways in which we feel marginalized from the concept of leadership as traditionally
defined. But what would change if we turned our gaze inward? What if we came to realize our
own potential, our collective power, and our shared place in creating the world in which we
want to live? What if we positioned our family, our friends, our colleagues, and ourselves as
the ones for whom we’ve been waiting? This book is built on these very assumptions and
explores the role of leadership theory as providing the scaffolding to do just that.
WHY STUDY LEADERS AND LEADERSHIP?
Beyond the general fascination with the topic of leaders and leadership, what makes it worthy
of study? Why create entire classes on the subject, generate volumes of scholarship, and direct
so much attention? Our interest in leadership likely stems from the ways in which it evokes
issues we care about deeply. Heifetz (1994) underscored this when he reminded us “the
exercise and even the study of leadership stirs feelings because leadership engages our values”
(p. 13). If I care about the new business I’ve started, I likely want to make it as successful as
possible. If I’m concerned about the environment, perhaps I want to figure out ways to bring
community members together to improve recycling efforts. If I acknowledge that my place of
Dugan, J. P. (2017). Leadership theory. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com
Created from apus on 2017-06-22 08:14:16.
work is one in which I’ll spend a great deal of time, maybe I want to contribute to a culture that
is affirming and collegial. All of these examples force us to cross an implicit bridge that links
the things we care about with leadership. Heifetz and Linsky (2002) extend this notion when
they share that “exercising leadership is a way of giving meaning to your life by contributing to
the lives of others. At its best, leadership is a labor of love” (p. 223).
More pragmatic rationales for the study of leadership exist as well. Bennis (2007) reminds us,
“In the best of times, we tend to forget how urgent the study of leadership is. But leadership
always matters” (p. 2). He goes on to share “the four most important threats facing the world
today are: (a) a nuclear or biological catastrophe, whether deliberate or accidental; (b) a
worldwide epidemic; (c) tribalism and its cruel offspring, assimilation; and finally, (d) the
leadership of our human institutions” (p. 5). You could add to Bennis’s list issues associated
with rapid globalization, persistent domestic and international human rights violations, and
growing resource scarcity to create a virtual perfect storm of leadership issues. There is no
doubt that these challenges necessitate the study of leadership and how best to operationalize
it. The truth, though, is that there are few times in history that are not characterized by a
conflation of social, political, and scientific issues that require leadership. Bennis reminds us
that individuals and groups have the power to leverage leadership as a vehicle to address
complex problems. The degree to which we are adequately prepared to do so is tied to the
degree to which leadership is studied and learned.
Copyright © 2017. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. All rights reserved.
WHAT IS LEADERSHIP?
That there is no shortage of opinions about leadership contributes at least in part to the vast
number of definitions that exist. One could question, however, the degree to which these
definitions actually add something meaningful to the knowledge base. Do they functionally alter
the ways in which we think about or engage in leadership? This book is going to take a bit of a
different approach. No singular definition of leadership will be advanced. I most certainly will
provide you with multiple definitions of leadership derived from a myriad of leadership
theories. I will not, however, be offering you my own definition nor positing a grand, unifying
theory of leadership. In a debate with a fellow leadership scholar, Day offered the term
“pizzled,” defining it as “simultaneously pissed off and puzzled” (Day & Drath, 2012, p. 227).
I realize that for some readers this lack of a singular definition may result in feeling “pizzled”
at this very moment. That’s okay, as the learning of leadership should invoke alternating
feelings of frustration and excitement if it is treated as the complex and deeply personal
phenomenon that it is.
The choice not to provide a definition for leadership is a purposeful exercise in restraint to
avoid adding yet another set of terms, another semantic differential to the pantheon of
preexisting definitions. I will most certainly provide a means of bracketing the core
components of leadership as well as encourage you to play with them, arranging and
rearranging concepts in ways that are meaningful to your understanding of what leadership is
and is not. I also want to be clear that this does not reflect indifference about definitional
clarity. Definitional clarity is essential to understanding a particular theory and its
Dugan, J. P. (2017). Leadership theory. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com
Created from apus on 2017-06-22 08:14:16.
underpinnings as well as how we engage in leadership practice. We are simply embarking on a
different approach that suggests learning leadership theory is less about the acquisition of
terminology and more about becoming a critical learner. It also repositions readers as having
the agency to author their own definitions of leadership that arise as an eclectic mix of
components from various theories and their own life experiences.
MAPPING THE DEFINITIONAL TERRAIN
Some of you may be ready to jump right into the leadership theory waters, but we aren’t going
to take a swim quite yet. My goal for you is to first begin developing the skills to be a critical
learner. Simply being able to rattle off the names of important theories or theorists is not
enough. It does not necessarily mean you know how to use theory any more effectively. I want
you to be able to examine a theory to deconstruct its assumptions, its areas of strength as well
as limitations, and then take from it the most useful components that resonate with your own
beliefs to apply in the unique contexts you are navigating. This is what a critical learner does.
However, to approach theory this way means we have to take a few steps back and first
explore some content about theory before looking at it directly.
Copyright © 2017. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. All rights reserved.
Exploring the inner mechanics of a theory is essential. This includes unpacking key
assumptions about its nature, clarification of terminology, and differentiation of core
considerations among theories. Taken together these three elements could be considered the
building blocks of understanding leadership. In fact, let’s use the process of building a home as
a metaphor here with assumptions, terminology, and core considerations representing key
elements of a building’s (or theory’s) architecture (see Figure 1.1). Your goal is to assess the
structure of the theory looking at how its architecture informs, constrains, or elevates the utility
of the content it presents.
Dugan, J. P. (2017). Leadership theory. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com
Created from apus on 2017-06-22 08:14:16.
FIGURE 1.1 The architecture of leadership theory
Copyright © 2017. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. All rights reserved.
So, what are the elements of the architecture of a home or a theory? Assumptions about the
nature of leadership provide critical footings on which theory is built, undergirding and
supporting ideas. When building a house, concrete footings are often taken for granted but bear
the entire weight and structure of the home along with keeping it level. They serve as an
essential grounding on which the foundation and the rest of the home are constructed.
Key assumptions provide the footings for terminology, or the major concepts associated with
understanding the nature of leadership. The terminology employed in a theory is essential as it
is akin to the foundation of a home drawing on the strength of the footings to offer further
support in bearing the weight of the structure. Foundations are also designed to resist external
threat such as moisture and cold by tailoring the design to fit its context. Similarly, terminology
bolsters the parameters used to define leadership and adjust to the shifting contexts that
influence it.
Finally, the differentiation of core considerations among theories could be likened to the
framing of a house. Framing provides the skeleton of the building offering greater structure
while demarcating unique spaces. In leadership theory, framing engages with a number of
considerations that vary from theory to theory, shaping what it emphasizes in terms of content.
Per author: I didn’t actually want figures 2, 3, and 5 to be formatted with a figure title but begin
the section almost like what one would see where the first letter of the first word in a new
paragraph is larger and more graphic.
Dugan, J. P. (2017). Leadership theory. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com
Created from apus on 2017-06-22 08:14:16.
Assumptions About the Nature of Leadership
Let’s start by exploring four core assumptions that provide critical footings for understanding
leadership and its very nature. By nature, I mean the essence that informs how we come to
understand any definition of leadership regardless of its unique properties. A clear definition
of leadership will anchor a theory and serve as the springboard from which its assumptions are
derived. Note that different theories may stress each of these assumptions to varying degrees.
Copyright © 2017. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. All rights reserved.
Leadership Is Paradigmatically Derived
The primary footing on which leadership theory rests reflects its paradigmatic assumptions.
You might be wondering what the heck it means for something to be paradigmatically derived.
A paradigm reflects the basic lens through which a person views the world and consists of
concepts, assumptions, values, and practices. Let’s use an example to illustrate this. In the
United States, if you were to reference football it would immediately call to mind a specific
sport with clearly articulated rules. The paradigm through which we understand football is
highly specific, so when the term is mentioned people immediately think of things like team
affiliations and particular types of equipment. However, if you were to mention the same term
in most of the rest of the world it would cue what we refer to in the United States as soccer,
which has an entirely different set of rules and practices. Here is how a paradigm operates. If
you were in the United States and told U.S. friends to meet you at the football field and to bring
equipment, the dominant paradigm for football would likely kick in for them. They would show
up at the U.S. football field, not the soccer field. They would likely bring a U.S. football, not a
soccer ball.
In his now classic albeit often contested work, Kuhn (1962) defined a paradigm in the
scientific sense as a set of beliefs and agreements commonly shared about how best to
understand and address problems. Paradigms serve as the lens through which research is
conducted and the theory derived from it is understood. Understanding the significant impact of
a research paradigm is critical because it helps us identify takenforgranted assumptions
that may be embedded in a theory. It also contributes to a more accurate perspective on
strengths and limitations. As such, paradigms set boundaries around what is and is not valued
along with the most “appropriate” ways in which leadership should be studied.
Table 1.1 offers definitions of four key research paradigms (i.e., positivism, constructivism,
critical theory, and postmodernism). Every theory is born out of a paradigm that carries with
it particular assumptions that shape perceptions about the nature of leadership (Kezar,
Dugan, J. P. (2017). Leadership theory. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com
Created from apus on 2017-06-22 08:14:16.
Carducci, & ContrerasMcGavin, 2006). A critical learner must take these into account when
considering how to interpret and use a theory.
TABLE 1.1 Research paradigms and their influences on leadership
Paradigm
Meaning
Positivism
Believes in the existence of objective and
absolute/universal truths that can be discovered
through confirmation and prediction using
systematic scientific observation, reasoning, and
measurement and elimination/reduction of bias in
research
Copyright © 2017. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. All rights reserved.
Constructivism Positions reality as subjective and constructed
through the experiences and perspectives of the
individual; reality is uncovered only through
interaction and interpretation and the
acknowledgment that bias is inherent in research
Presumptions About
Leadership
Universal truths exist
about leadership.
The goal of
leadership research
and theory is to
provide prescriptive
answers.
How leadership is
understood is
dependent on
individuals’ life
experiences and can
differ significantly
based on one’s
culture and context.
Leadership is
relational and as
such greater attention
is paid to
interactions between
people in processes
with one another.
Critical
Theory
Suggests multiple, constructed realities
characterized by the interplay of power relations
with the goal of identification and transformation of
socially unjust structures; research as a vehicle to
call into question values and assumptions as well
as cocreated between researchers and participants
Dugan, J. P. (2017). Leadership theory. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com
Created from apus on 2017-06-22 08:14:16.
Understanding power
is central to
leadership, which
can be abused as a
tool to maintain
social stratification.
Leadership often is
defined by and
reflects the values
and beliefs of
dominant groups.
Post
Modernism
Views the world as complex, chaotic, ambiguous,
and fragmented, with reality as transitional and
constructed by how the social world is represented
and meaning produced; stresses the importance of
questioning anything framed as truth because
objectivity and universality are impossibilities
The concept of
leadership, along
with its relative
value, are challenged
as a means to disrupt
the status quo.
Leadership is
understood as a
phenomenon built on
contradictory
concepts that merit
examination.
Leadership Is Socially Constructed
Copyright © 2017. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. All rights reserved.
With the exception of positivism, most research paradigms acknowledge that leadership is
socially constructed. To suggest that something is socially constructed means that it does not
naturally exist (i.e., it cannot be touched or explicitly seen) but is identified, named, and
understood based on social interactions among people. It is cocreated in terms of meaning.
Furthermore, because social constructions represent often takenforgranted beliefs they
function as powerful framers of reality for people and can be difficult to change. An excellent
example of a social construction is money. In and of itself, money has no real value; in most
cultural contexts it is simply printed paper or metal coins. However, individuals are socialized
to symbolically ascribe value to money. In the United States this is why we understand “the
value of a dollar,” can differentiate between types of currency and their relative value, and
readily recognize that just because paper bills from a board game like Monopoly are also
called money does not mean that they carry any inherent value.
The same assumptions of social construction apply to leadership. Leadership does not
functionally exist. It represents an abstract set of concepts derived by people to explain and
make meaning of observations from the world. The assumption that leadership is socially
constructed is critical to understanding theory as it acknowledges the fluidity of the concept. It
explains why each of us may have varying reactions to and interpretations of leadership.
Furthermore, social constructions are bound by time, context, and culture. Applying this to the
example of money, we understand that the relative value of $100 today is different than in, say,
1850. Similarly, you might find that what you can purchase with $100 differs based on location
(e.g., in a city versus a rural area). Finally, although the concept of money is generally
transferable across cultural contexts, how it is named, the form it takes, and its relative value
can shift enormously from country to country. Again, when we apply these same assumptions to
leadership we begin to recognize that what is deemed leadership is constantly evolving to keep
pace with shifting norms in the sociopolitical systems in which we exist. How we understand
leadership also becomes culturally contingent. That is, organizational, domestic, and global
cultural differences will contribute to norms that in turn shape how leadership is understood,
experienced, and enacted.
Dugan, J. P. (2017). Leadership theory. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com
Created from apus on 2017-06-22 08:14:16.
Leadership Is Inherently Values Based
If leadership is socially constructed, then how it is constructed represents the value norms that
a particular group of people endorse at a given point in time whether good, bad, or somewhere
along the continuum. However, this particular footing is one that is sometimes contested in
fascinating ways. Some argue that leadership is value free or neutral and simply about
effectiveness and/or goal achievement. Classic examples of these arguments typically focus on
horrific leaders such as Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, or Joseph Stalin, using their effectiveness in
achieving goals as examples of how leadership can be absent of values. Others suggest a
danger in this thinking, instead explicitly infusing concepts like ethics and justice into theory as
a means to se …
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