Leadership Theories

this assignment, you will compare and contrast 1 other contemporary leadership
theory to one of the theories mentioned in Dunbar & Winston’s, chapter 1.
Use at least 3 book/journal references to support your paper. Please include
headings in your paper to assist in organizing your thoughts. 2 pagesOper
aditional reading through the chapter arning activities. The applica
enhanced with the development of these specific competencies
Through this at various leadership Theories will be described and
health care Theories describe explain, and predict behavior and
hac Some of the most common leadership theories include toate
and exploration of these purular theories and their potential relato
and formal Specific chapters are design
patalpe However, current literature includes less common and new and
leading them. The reader is invited to continue exploration and application of the
leadership that are described in this chapter, including pha theory theory U.and are
ries in academic and clinical realms, following this introduction
Path-Goal Theory
in pa
The path goal theory emphasizes the accomplishment of follower goals through the
vational efforts of the leader. Georgopoulos et al, Evans, Dessler, and House are among the be
known authors on this theory. Although this theory dates back a few decades, its applicat
ccupational therapy profession is a timely effort, based on the significant needs of employ
premise that employees need to be motivated in order to perform well and experience job sati
ces in the changing economic health care policy context. The path-goal theory is based on the
tion. In addition, considerations need to be made regarding the specific work task, the structure
to the
the task, and how this influences an employee’s overall motivation
With situational approaches to leadership, the leader takes an adaptive approach and shift,
his or her style based on the readiness aspects of the follower. The path-goal theory recognizes
the style of the leader and the follower as well as environmental factors, but it focuses the atten.
fion on what motivates the employee. The leader’s role is to provide the incentives or means for
the employee’s path to be clear to reach his or her goal.”? The leader offers something, and, in
exchange, the follower produces something 20 Barriers that limit an individual’s goal attainment
are analyzed and removed so that the employee can more easily move forward to accomplish tasks
in the work environment.
There are 4 main types of leadership behaviors offered by the path-goal theory: directive,
supportive, participative and achievement-oriented. Each of these is stated to have a particular
impact on the motivation of an employee or follower, but the degree of influence will depend on
the characteristics of that follower. The directive approach is, as its name suggests and entails, just
telling subordinates, with specific parameters, what they need to do. Supportive leadership, in this
theory, is characterized by a friendly and respectful approach to employees, even to the point of
considering followers equal to management. Participative leadership goes another step and invites
the followers to actually be a part of key decisions within the work environment. Achievement
oriented leadership is described as a style that promotes optimal performance of followers through
appropriate high-level challenges and high expectations.”
In path-goal theory, any of these leadership styles may be used with a variety of individu-
als. A leader needs to assess what is preventing an employee from achieving his or her goals,
mal job performance
and then implement strategies using the most appropriate style to remove the barriers to opti-
Similar to situational theory, which is discussed further in Chapter 2 path-goal theory sug.
egests a need to understand subordinate characteristics and consider styles that match the sub
ardinate’s needs. For instance, if a worker is unsure of his or her tasks and when to do them, a
rship there
d for the
aches to
chochwedle sheds to know the structure of the sand
s to provide an environment that will increase an employees motivation, action, and per
to have his or her puth bloded. Again, havet, the focus in the path-goal theory
formance is path-goal approaches the leader will only provide what is needed by the wordinate
inciding the vironmental factors, and the specifics regarding the
Occupational Therapy Application of Path-Goal Theory
Occupational therapists are able to relate to the specific expects of the path goal
describes the transactional relationships among person, occupation, and environment, outlines
ation. The model recognises and celebrates the complexity of performance of occupations within
different environmental contexts. Occupational performance is a result of an optimal fit between
the person, his or her occupation, and his or her environment. 4
In path-goal theory, the path may be parallel to occupational performance Barriers to per
formance in everyday functions are analyzed by an occupational therapist in the same way that a
leader might try to decipher what prevents satisfaction and motivation in an employee. The tasks
in path-goal theory may be related to the specific occupations one must engage in for fulfillment
and productivity. An analysis of these parts will lead to a plan that will enable a person to be more
successful. This plan in path goal theory may be likened to treatment plan that
variety of therapist styles to reach certain goals. At times, the occupational therapist will
have to
incorporate incentives, remove barriers, or even provide clearer instructions in order for the client
to reach success. This comparison to our familiar theoretical roots may assist us in recognizing key
points in leadership that are feasible for application in various environments.
Currently, there is limited research on leadership theory in direct application to occupational
therapy practice. Leadership theory and leadership behaviors can be effectively utilized to guide
therapeutic intervention and facilitate successful outcomes for our clients Table 1-3 provides an
example of path-goal theory when working with clients in a clinical setting
Theory U
Theory U emerged a few years ago, when Scharmer published a text that provided significant
detail about a new perspective on leading. This contemporary literature creates a way of viewing
leadership with an eye to the future, to enable leaders to create a vision that is able to adapt to the
ever-changing contexts in which we live and work. The recognition of economic and political
strife, as well as failures in education, business, and government, provides an opportunity for the
development of a new view on how to lead in changing times. Traditional ways of leading cannot
continue to be effective, with varying social and political shifts that continuously challenge us to
develop more effective ways to function within our communities and organizations
Scharmer proposes that we take the initiative to facilitate and support the needed changes
within our society and organizations, which will make us more accountable to each other for the
good of everyone. When we make intentional efforts to identify issues and improve conditions,
positive things can take place. Attending to needed change requires a concerted effort and deter-
mination that anyone can develop. This is done through the 3 main features of theory : an open
mind, an open heart, and an open
The open mind” experience relates to the identification that one’s assumptions may be taken
for granted and new knowledge may help to enlighten a perspective. For example, the occupational
therapist who is working with someone from another country with which he or she is unfamiliar
with have assumptions about that culture. The therapist may approach the client with stereo
types in mind and not really take the time to ask the client about their culture and understand
its relationship to occupational performance. An open mind will allow for new learning and new
expectations, and give
specific guidance on the
tasks to be accomplished
Education on precautions to adhere to following
se programs that are new to the client and
surgery energy conservation techniques, or home
important for safety or increasing participation
Sportive behind Show Establishing a therapeutic relationship by creating
occupational profile and getting to know the values
and goals of the client practicing from a perspective
weighed within the
the greater good and the
in the face of great chat
Occupational the
take action tempo
many occupational
necessary change
spreads that
Developing the
and lead in smo
client-centered and occupation-centered care.
concem and respect for
the followers needs and
preferences and create
a friendly supportive
Participative behavior
Cotos are with clients to
make decisions
Encourage and facilitate a collaborative process in
which the client guides the treatment sessions and is
an active partner in problem solving and setting goals
for therapy
Achievement behavio: Set Creating the “just-right challenge in intervention
challenging but realistic
to motivate the client to achieve his or her greatest
goals to push clients to potential being intentional in terms of choosing or
excel and have confidence guiding interventions that help to move the client
that they can attain goals forward toward his or her goals.
Pened with permission from Cleveland Winston K Bridging theory and practice through leadership
Poster presented at 93d Anal Conference of the American Occupational Therapy Association April
28 2013 San Diego, CA
combination of
he will become
As occupations
clients on a da
ership within
cesses along
to others an
ability to
cess. At the
to reflect
shape are
there is
is the
perspectives. A leader with an open mind will seek out new information in order to stay current
and competent, as well as to meet the demands of the changing environment. This is helpful when
planning for a department’s future with decreased reimbursement and a changing demographic,
or when helping employees to reach their professional goals.
An open mind can also be thought of in a broader sense, in regard to occupational therapy
becoming widely recognized. In order to lead in this century, occupational therapists must develop
an open mind to listen to our global communities, strive to eradicate occupational injustice, and
focus on authentic occupational therapy for meeting society’s needs.
Developing an open mind is an important aspect for leading into the future, but without the
reflective activity of an open heart.” action for change may be minimal. An open heart requires
process of deep attention to understand our part of a particular issue and take personal respon
ability for our feelings and thoughts related to it. An open heart is related to observing the status
quo and assessing whether change is actually needed. In addition, recognizing our part in inhib
iting needed change is another perspective of an open heart that is critical to pay attention to in
developing optimal leadership skills
Finally, an open will refers to the determination to make the actual change necessary for
betet organisation, country, and even a better world. Political uprisings in so many countries
within the past few years are a testament of an open will at work in a collective sense. People have
Leadership Theories
in the face of great challenges. I
weighed within their own minds through reflection what is needed to make necesary change for
the greater and then have made widespread efforts to over or ensure social changes, even
Occupational therapy practitioners have numerous opportunities to do reflective work and
take action to improve the lives of clients and the organizations in which they work. There are
many occupational therapy leaders who take this to the next step of an open will by ensuring
necessary change on community, national, and international levels to bring attention to wide
aforementioned concepts in theory U.
spread issues that impact more than a few clients. This type of exemplary leadership relates to the
Developing these core features enables occupational therapy practitioners to sense the future
and lead in a more visionary manner than ever imagined. Scharmer refers to presencing as the
ability to sense one future potential in the highest sens, making ewential things happen. This
combination of presence” and “sensing’ allows an individual to see herself or himself as she or
he will become, thus creating the path to goal attainment, based on the possibilities of the future.
clients on a daily basis. Imagining this process for ourselves could lead to far more powerful lead
As occupational therapy practitioners, we are actually expecting this type of presencing from our
ership within the profession.
Scharmer’s theory Uls is illustrated by an actual Ushape that incorporates movement pro
cesses along the path of the U. At the top left of the US co-initiating which is the ability to listen
to others and follow one’s own life passions. Just below this movement is co-sensing which is the
ability to understand one’s own fullest potential, using an open mind and open heart in the pro
cess. At the bottom of the Ushape is co-presencing, which is providing oneself the opportunity
to reflect and allow one’s new knowledge and understanding to emerge. On the right side of the U
shape are co-creating and co-evolving movement processes. Co-creating” is exploration of the
potential action one could take in the future. A trial and error process will allow a person to see if
is the actual participation in growth experiences that include the sensing, understanding, and
realization of optimal plans that support and enhance leader contexts.
Occupational Therapy Application of Theory U
An occupational therapist in an academic setting was asked to consider a newly created
administration position. This position entailed the formulation of continuing education for area
clinicians and professional development initiatives for the faculty in the college, which included
multiple disciplines in the health professions
The open mind of this process included the envisioning of a new way for occupational therapy
to make a significant difference in an academic setting. The opportunity of helping to create the
role was an unexpected challenge, but the occupational therapist sought out information from
other universities and developed knowledge about similar roles as a way to feel more comfortable.
The open heart approach to this work-role transition included a mindfulness of past mistakes
in administrative roles and a deep reflection on what leadership strengths could add to the position
and what skills needed improvement. Adjustment to different support staff and administrators
within the same college posed new challenges. Different personality styles and work expectations
resulted in difficult interactions. Further reflection revealed that former patterns of interacting
primarily with occupational therapists in a work setting would not be as effective with the varying
roles present in the new position.
The open will aspects of this work-role transition included a vision of a successful depart
ment with the development and implementation of creative professional development activities
(co-sensing). With that in mind, different strategies were integrated for action to achieve this goal.
Discussions were held with key people to clarify roles and expectations (co-initiating). Goals were
set for the professional development initiatives (co-creating). Now, after 1 year in the role, the
growth between work partners is evident, and outcomes are positive (co-evolving)
herder is de continue to explore this contemporary
The theory a window into a
pand totalt his or her leadership exploration and growth
his theory and
Attributional Theory of Leadership
Arrital theory actually dates back to Fritz Heider who described
pics that individuals use to understand cause and effect in peace
reclective interactions in the context in which we
hry has gained more attention in recent years, with notable applications
These contributions to the heature have included the identification of strategies
ons such as consensus and consistency of subordinate behaviors, as well as
and descriptions of attributional processes
Occupational Therapy Application of Attributional Theory
tive leader
om with
to recognise the
Occupational the
Leadership there
areas. Informal
spectives us the
as we found
occupational the
tes. As the per
its leadership
To illustrate how attributions play a role in everyday leadership consider
behaviors, has failing to document moles on clients in a timely manner. The leaders
w onderstand the failure to follow through on tasks. The leader may ascertain a
more severe response to the subordinate. This lack of understanding the multiple factors
cffort on the part of the subordinate, rather than an inability to perform, and therefore we
apparent poor performance presents a need to more fully understand the completa
The cognitive process of assessing cause and effect is an ongoing mental exercise in leader
of performance
Tier 1
1. Explore
2. Descue
3. Re
contexts. There is difficulty in assessing thought processes, motivational levels, and the ration
for certain behaviors. This example provides a view of the many challenges of attribution research
clearly identify. In addition, there are numerous factors that impact a leader’s decision making
in managing employees that may be unrelated to attributions, such as departmental policies, costs
and administrative expectations. Gender, experience level, culture, age, and personality traits also
influence attribution and must be considered in evaluative processes.
Regardless of the challenges to researching this aspect of leadership, there continues to be a
consistent effort to use attributional theory to understand and explain leader decision making and
actions. Martinko et al even argue that attributions are a significant reason for the observed vari
ance in leadership behaviors, and they clearly identify this area of study as critical for understand
ing the dynamics of leadership. A distinction is made between perceiving attributions as related to
personal characteristics versus the more in-depth causal approach that uses information sources
to lead to conclusions. Both approaches have been linked to attribution theory, but it is the latter
that provides the leader with a more substantive approach to analyzing his or her everyday leader
ship by considering the impact of gender, context, race, and experience, among many other factors.
Lakshman’s provides a critical analysis of previous literature on attributional theory, indicat
ing the negative influences, such as the view of a poorly performing subordinate, on attribution
processes. He proposes a more positive approach by identifying desirable leader behaviors and
perceptions based on a positive attributional model of leadership. When leaders use “attributional
accuracy, it leads to high-quality performance from subordinates. This is the more correct assess
ment of attributes based on multiple factors that may impact an individual’s job performance.
Expert attributional processes, including the use of more complex cognitive processes, involve
a more in-depth evaluation of the potential reasons and influences on decision making and
actions. Rather than concentrating on an individual’s weaknesses and how to fix them, this newer
that create high-performing individuals.
approach involves the identification of the subordinate’s strongest qualities and the causal factors

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