Traditional Leadership Theories
Though the scientific study of leadership has offered numerous definitions of leadership, the traditional perspectives tend to fall under three general frameworks: traits, behavior, and situation. Scholarship has recognized the value of each perspective for understanding a part of the leadership puzzle. However, isolating perspectives limits understanding of a specific realm; this methodological myopia seriously stifles leadership effectiveness. By combining the perspectives, methodological integration provides a more complete understanding of leadership. It paves the way for leadership adaptability in dynamic contexts.
A review of the contributions and limitations of the traditional perspectives offered by the scientific study of leadership will conclude by arguing that isolating traits, behaviors, or situational variables provides an incomplete picture of a dynamic process. Leadership is not traits, behavior, or situation, it is an interaction among these elements and more.