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Exploring Leadership and Management Theories- A Self-Reflection on Personal Beliefs and Practices

Exploring Leadership and Management Theories- A Self-Reflection on Personal Beliefs and Practices

Leadership Theories

Contingency Theory

The contingency theory is rooted in the assumption that earlier management theories ignored the influence of social factors or situations on organizations. One of the principles of the theory is that the leader-member relationship must be cohesive to ensure the leader gets the members’ support (Donaldson, 2001). That saves the leader from using their energy trying to control the group. Second, task certainty should be possible to allow the leader to guide members about their tasks (Donaldson, 2001). Thirdly, the position power the organization grants the leader based on their position is also crucial. The authority gives a sense of situational control by the leader.

I align with the contingency leadership theory because it values flexibility and open-mindedness. A leader has the right to change their mind based on circumstances. The theory operates on the principle that a one-fits-all solution to any problem does not exist (Donaldson, 2001). As a result, leaders should experience different solutions based on the situation. Also, the contingency theory aligns with my belief in respecting individual differences. I believe people have different abilities, which means they will have different needs. Detracting from these values may occur if the leader is not open-minded and lacks respect for diversity.

Transformational Leadership Theory

Transformational leadership is a leadership style where leaders inspire deep change by inspiring and motivating followers to pursue a common vision. One of the critical values in transformational leadership is integrity. Integrity, in this case, involves accepting other people’s perspectives while having the audacity to implement one’s roles regardless of how unpopular they are (Hay, 2006). Transformational leadership also encompasses humility. A leader puts their ego and expertise aside and listens to others’ experiences.

One damaging weakness of transformational leadership is the lack of patience. While the leader knows what needs to be done, they may get frustrated if followers do not fall in line quickly (Hay, 2006). Cross-cultural limitations may also limit the practice of transformational leadership. For instance, in Eastern culture, where hierarchy is valued, offering opinion as a follower may be considered disrespectful.

Management Theories

Human Relations Theory

The human relations theory focuses on individual needs and the behaviors resulting once such needs are fulfilled. The central focus of the human relations theory is the individual as the main source of motivation (Omodan et al., 2020). The theory looks at how individuals interact with the group to produce results for the company. Therefore, the objective of the human relations theory is to focus on improving the individual. Among the elements of the human relations management theory I align with is the focus on people instead of economics and machines (Omodan et al., 2020). The focus on individuals ensures that their interests take the front seat over other organizational considerations such as profit and cost reduction.

The detractors of implementing the human relations theory include cultural biases. In some situations, the organization’s culture may be biased toward a specific group, yet the organization has diverse individuals. The theory is also not applicable in industries where collaboration and teamwork are not required. That means the transformational leadership theory is ineffective in situations demanding individual brilliance over group work.

Management by Objectives Theory

The management by objectives theory emphasizes setting goals first before aligning organizational and individual performance with the objectives. Among the values of management by objectives that align with my beliefs is the importance of goal setting. Once employees grasp what is expected of them, they will be more creative in pursuing the organization’s objectives (Antoni, 2005). Another crucial value of this management theory is adaptability. Leaders may adjust organizational theories based on circumstances.

However, setting unrealistic goals may hinder the attainment of the goals because employees will focus on chasing the organizational objectives and refrain from improving themselves (Antoni, 2005). Besides, the theory over-emphasizes goal setting, ignoring crucial operational issues. For instance, the theory does not pay attention to the circumstances in which goals are applicable. Also, the rigidity characterized by the management by objectives theory discourages an organization’s adaptability (Antoni, 2005). For instance, a global corporation such as Google may greatly impede its adaptability if it pursues the management by objectives theory. That is because the organization will have a limited opportunity to implement changes necessary to adapt to the environment.


Antoni, C. (2005). Management by objectives–an effective tool for teamwork?. The International Journal of Human Resource Management16(2), 174-184.

Donaldson, L. (2001). The contingency theory of organizations. Sage.

Hay, I. (2006). Transformational leadership: Characteristics and criticisms. E-journal of Organizational Learning and Leadership5(2).

Omodan, B. I., Tsotetsi, C. T., & Dube, B. (2020). Analysis of human relations theory of management: A quest to re-enact people’s management towards peace in the university system. SA Journal of Human Resource Management18, 10.


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SLO9: Understand the nature of leadership and leadership models –contingency and transformational through critical thinking.

CO4: Introduces leadership concepts and management dynamics through critical thinking to improve personal and corporate effectiveness.

Exploring Leadership and Management Theories- A Self-Reflection on Personal Beliefs and Practices

Exploring Leadership and Management Theories- A Self-Reflection on Personal Beliefs and Practices


Select two leadership theories and two management theories to exercise a self-reflection on your managerial and leadership skills. How do these theories align with your personal beliefs, and how would you detract from them? Prepare a5 page research paper with 3-5 references to support your analysis.

Each question must be in an APA format.

Write original; do not paraphrase more than 20% of your content.

As required, this is a research paper based on the case analysis and requires academic references (specifically your textbook and from the STATISTA database)

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