Synthesis Paper – Leadership Style

Synthesis Paper – Leadership Style




Capture interest:          Not everyone can be an effective leader. Leadership is a crucial aspect in businesses and in the general life. It requires certain behavioral traits, takes different styles and influenced by many different leadership theories.

Context:          Antonakis, Fenley and Lietchi (2011) concentrate on a specific leadership behavioral trait-charisma. They sought to establish whether changes in charisma influenced the consequences of leadership. In their discussion, they delineate several leadership theories such as leader categorization theory which support their postulations. To establish the influence of charisma, these authors also look at the different leadership style which relate to their context.

Cavazotte, Moreno and Hickmann (2012) seek to examine the outcomes of emotional intelligence, personality traits, and intelligence on transformational leadership and the organizational leadership performance. From this objective, it is clear the authors revolve around transformational leadership theory, leadership behavioral traits and transformational leadership style. Lumby (2013) takes on distributed leadership style and distributed leadership theory by looking at the use and abuse of power in leadership.


Podsakoff et al. (2000) fixates on leadership and leadership theories and a keen interest on organizational citizenship behavior. Spector (2014) fixates on leadership theories to echo the importance of leadership behaviors and relationships with their subordinates. To accomplish this, the author also looks at various leadership styles such as transformational leadership style.


Statement of common themes:           Leadership is a broad element which entails many varying theories, styles and behaviors. The three common themes from the five articles relating to leadership include leadership styles, leadership behaviors and leadership theories. Style relates to the way of providing leadership. The many leadership theories aim to determine why and how certain people become leaders. Leadership behaviors are the specific traits and characteristics that make one an effective leader. All the three themes highly influence leadership and leadership outcomes.

Thesis statement:         The five articles delineate the concept of leadership by accentuating the theories, styles and behaviors which influence leadership and leadership outcomes.

Theme One      Leadership Behaviors

Antonakis, Fenley & Lietchi (2011)   In the pursuit of whether can charisma can be taught, these authors point to the importance of charisma as a leadership behavioral characteristic. The control variable in the study is communication skills which the authors identify as another crucial trait for leaders to possess. They posit that charisma is a critical tool for leaders that helps them influence the emotions and feelings of their followers. They also note that charisma yields from a wide array of charismatic leadership traits.  They conclude from their study that charisma can be taught. Hence, training and development is crucial in instilling and nurturing proper leadership behavioral traits.

Cavazotte, Moreno & Hickmann (2012)        These authors concentrate on leadership traits and behaviors. Specifically, Cavazotte, Moreno and Hickmann (2012) look at emotional intelligence, personality and intelligence as crucial character traits for leaders. They connect the aforementioned traits to transformational leadership and organizational performance. The authors indicate that transformational leadership has the following behavioral dimensions, individualized consideration, motivational inspiration, charisma/idealized influence and intellectual stimulation.

Intelligence is the ability that helps a leader think complex ideas and easily comprehend things. It thus enables a leader to quickly and easily learn and also gives the leader problem-solving capabilities.


Leadership personality must encompass set of behavioral characteristics that enable a leader to exercise influence and be productive. These include openness to experiences, agreeableness, conscientiousness and neuroticism. Emotional intelligence gives the leaders cognitive intelligence to emotional questions.


Lumby (2013).            This author concentrates on the use and abuse of power. Distributive leadership calls for effective leadership traits so as to avoid misuse of power. Distributed leadership relies on shared vision team work, systems and organizations to be successful. It takes a leader with good behavioral traits to promote distributed leadership. According to this author, this is how leaders can effectively use their power to enhance organizational effectiveness and efficiency.

Podsakoff et al.(2000)            These authors take keen interest in leadership behaviors fixating on organizational citizenship behavior. They indicate that organizational citizenship behavior is highly connected to extra-role behavior, organizational spontaneity, prosocial organizational behavior and contextual performance.

They outline the types of organizational behavior as helping behavior, organizational loyalty, sportsmanship, civic virtue, self-development, individual initiative and organizational compliance. These are all desirable traits that accrue from organizational citizenship behavior. They explain that leadership behaviors include different forms of transactional and transformational leadership behaviors. They conclude that appropriate leadership behaviors influence the effectiveness of the organization.


Spector (2014)            This author emphasizes that behavior of leaders is as equally important as their relationship with their subordinates. This article does look at leadership theories and echoes the important of morals and values of a leader. The behavior of a leader influences the way the leader uses power. Effective leadership behavioral traits help avoid the possibility of the leader ever misusing or abusing power.

Values aid the comprehension of leadership behavior.




Theme Two     Leadership styles

Antonakis, Fenley & Lietchi (2011)



These authors fixate on charismatic leadership style. They indicate that organizational charisma signifies leadership styles such as tack-focused leadership and transactional leadership. These are styles which emphasize on leaders and their subordinates sharing values and ideas based on leaders’ use of symbolic power.

In their study, they investigated the leadership style applied by the participants. They posit that leadership styles are affected by many different factors and influences such as culture.


Cavazotte, Moreno & Hickmann (2012)        These authors take keen interest in transformational leadership style. This is because this particular style of leadership relates to personality and intelligence of leaders. Transformational leadership style promotes organizational effectiveness. Transformational leadership style brings about transformational leadership behaviors which in turn promote leaders’ effectiveness.

Lumby (2013) This author takes on distributed leadership style. This leadership style is inclusive and enables leaders to be team players. Distributed leadership style is helpful in addressing contemporary issues such as discrimination and abuse of power. Distributed leadership style stipulates how power is enacted. This can come in handing in facilitating proper and effective use of power by leaders.

Podsakoff et al.(2000)            These authors are concerned with the leadership styles which align with the concepts of organizational citizenship behavior. The leadership style must promote organizational citizenship behavior. According to these authors, the leadership style adopted affects the outcomes witnessed from the followers. To the authors, leadership styles are one of the antecedents and predictors of organizational citizenship behavior. Organizational citizenship behavior and leadership styles highly interrelate and influence each other.

Spector (2014)            According to this author, there is a new breed of leadership styles emergent from the contemporary leadership theories. These contemporary leadership styles echo on the importance of a humanistic approach in leadership. The contemporary leadership styles emphasize on the feelings and emotions of both the follower and the leader. These modern styles are not fixated only on the achievement of the goal but also on morality and values of leadership.

Theme Three   Leadership Theories

Antonakis, Fenley & Lietchi (2011)



These authors posit that the theory of charisma is one which stipulates that leaders who by force of their individual strengths and capabilities are able to have excellent and profound effects on their subordinates/followers. They note that leadership categorization theory indicates that observers conclude on their implicit circumstantial prototypes then they compare the targeted leader to that prototype. The extent of overlap between the targeted leader’s design and that of the prototype determines the granting of leadership status.

The goal-setting theory enables leaders to create explicit developmental goals and give direction on the implementation and execution of the given goals. They also link charisma to cognitive-behavioral theory. They postulate that cognitive-behavioral theory can generate productive and strong outcomes.


Cavazotte, Moreno& Hickmann (2012)         By looking at the concepts of emotional intelligence, personality and leadership intelligence, these authors take a keen interest in transformational leadership theory. They explain the importance of transformational leadership theory and link this to the overall effectiveness of an organization.

Cavazotte, Moreno and Hickmann (2012) agree that transformational leadership theory enables translate the effectiveness of the organization in to the overall effectiveness of all the followers.


Transformational leadership theory emphasizes that leaders must be agents of change-both organization and social change. Transformational leadership theory also holds that transformational leaders are visionary who help their followers share the same vision and work towards it effectively. Transformational leadership theory, according to these authors, is consistent with the stipulation that leaders must possess emotional intelligence, leadership intelligence and have impeccable personalities.


Lumby (2013) This article is in regards to the theory of distributed leadership. Lumby (2013) explains that this theory has evolved to comprehend the ecology of leadership to a widely stipulated practice. The theory of distributed leadership has spread and gained popularity and extended its applications.

This theory is discussed as highly political which can aid the discerning of the thin line between misuse, abuse and proper use of power. Distributed leadership theory looks at the persistent structural organizational barriers. Distributed leadership theory emphasizes on inclusivity and even the equal inclusion of staff members. They conclude that the outcome of the distributed leadership theory is to sustain the power status quo.


Podsakoff et al.(2000)            This article involves a critical theoretical review of leadership. In their analysis of organizational citizenship behavior they echo to the leadership theories such as path-goal theory and leader-member exchange theory. They elucidate that leadership behaviors are influence by the different forms of leadership theories. Podskaoff et al. (2000) explain that theory development is crucial for the determination of the antecedents and outcomes of the varying forms of organizational citizenship behavior.



Spector (2014)            This author concentrates the focus of the research article on leadership theories. Specifically, it looks at the modern leadership theories and their challenges and capabilities. The author indicates that modern theories now fixate on leadership behaviors.  In the past, the theories of leadership were fixated primarily on the relationship of the leaders with their followers.

The contemporary theories, according to this author, include ethical, authentic, servant, character-based, spiritual leadership and esthetic leadership. The commonality of these modern theories lies in their emphases on moral, ethics and values. Modern theories also hold that how the leaders treat their followers have significant influence on their productivity as well as the overall productivity. This aligns with the principles of the other older theories.


The modern theories look at how the leaders ought to motivate their followers. This is crucial as it helps the employees be proactive, take individual initiatives and thus become productive and effective. Some critics posit that these contemporary leadership theories are over simplified only focusing on ideologies and values. They believe the addition of charismatic and transformational theories could help correct the shortcomings of the modern leadership theories. Notwithstanding, modern theories fill the niche of past theories in regards to expansion in to morality, emotions and inspiration. Spector (2014) concludes that these contemporary theories give insight in to real leadership situations unlike the other normative leadership theories. In addition, the contemporary theories include the aspect of the much needed morality in leadership. Also, they offer effective leadership scales which are inclusive of the leaders’ feelings. The contemporary theories also offer a platform to address the employee self-goals conflicting with the overall organizational goals. They emphasize on the feelings and emotions of the followers as well not just that of the leaders. Finally, the contemporary theories offer a more humanistic approach unlike the old normative theories which only echoed on performance and getting the work done.


Statement of Conclusion        Leadership relies on different styles, behavioral traits and theories to be effective and productive. Leadership is crucial for every organization hence must be effective. Leader must possess given and impeccable quality traits which will make them effective. To Antonakis, Fenley and Lietchi (2011), the emphasized quality trait is charisma. Charismatic leader bring forth productivity, efficiency and effectiveness in an organization (Antonakis, Fenley & Lietchi, 2011). Leaders must also have emotional intelligence, leadership intelligence and great personalities so as to lead effectively (Cavazotte, Moreno & Hickmann, 2012). Leaders must always be visionary team players who help their team members to work towards a common goal (Lumby, 2013). According to Podskaoff et al. (2000), organizational citizenship behaviors makes leaders effective as they are able to be compliant, proactive loyal and help others at all times.

Leadership styles vary from organizations and from individuals. Transformational leadership styles enable leaders to be change agents and be innovative (Cavazotte, Moreno & Hickmann, 2012). This style of leadership is also hailed by Podskaoff et al. (2000) that it gives leaders a platform to promote achievement of common goals and to be intellectually stimulated. Lumby (2013) concentrates on distributed leadership style which helps in the proper use of power by the leaders. Spector (2014) emphasizes on new leadership styles which promote a humanistic approach and integrate moral, values and feeling in leadership. Antonakis, Fenley and Lietchi (2011) echo on the leadership styles that closely align with charismatic leadership such as transactional and task-focused leadership.


Leadership theories also dictate the outcomes of leadership. Antonakis, Fenley and Lietchi (2011) link charisma to cognitive-behavioral theory. These authors also posit that leadership categorization theory and goal-setting theory closely resonates with charismatic leaders. Spector (2014) looks at a set cotemporary theories emphasizing they are more humanistic and realistic in nature as compared to normative theories. Lumby (2013) points to distributed leadership theory as the core of visionary leaders who use their powers effectively. To Podskaoff et al. (2000), path-goal theory and leader-member exchange theory complement organizational citizenship behavior. Transformational leadership theory is also another theory of leadership which facilitates great personality and intelligence in leaders making them productive (Cavazotte, Moreno& Hickmann (2012). The three concepts of leadership styles, behaviors and theories influence the effectiveness of a leader thus determine their productivity and effectiveness.





Antonakis, J., Fenley, M., & Liechti, S. (2011). Can charisma be taught? Tests of two interventions. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 10(3), 374-396. doi: 10.5465/amle.2010.0012


Cavazotte, F., Moreno, V., & Hickmann, M. (2012). Effects of leader intelligence, personality and emotional intelligence on transformational leadership and managerial performance. The Leadership Quarterly, 23(3), 443-455. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2011.10.003


Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Paine, J. B., & Bachrach, D. G. (2000). Organizational citizenship behaviors: A critical review of the theoretical and empirical literature and suggestions for future research. Journal of management, 26(3), 513-563. DOI: 10.1016/S0149-2063(00)00047-7


Lumby, J. (2013). Distributed leadership:  The uses and abuses of power. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 41(5), 581-597. doi: 10.1177/1741143213489288


Spector, P. (2014). Introduction: The problems and promise of contemporary leadership theories. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 35(5), 597-597. doi: 10.1002/job.1930



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