Basic Leadership Styles

In the continuing quest to find the best leadership style for all situations, by the late 1940s, most leadership research focused on the behavior of leaders rather than on analyzing their traits. Behavioral leadership theorists attempt to determine styles used by effective leaders. Leadership style is the combination of traits, skills, and behaviors managers use.

Note that behavioral theorists focus on the leaders’ behaviors. However, behaviors are based on traits and skills, and the leader’s behavior affects others’ behavior. In the 1930s, before behavioral theory became popular, research was conducted by Kurt Lewin and associates at the University of Iowa on the managerial leadership style. The studies identified three leadership styles: autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire.
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