What are the five management theories

Leadership theories

Statement systems to explain leadership success. Five main lines of development in leadership theory approaches can be distinguished. In this context, the leadership concepts based on traits, behavior and situation theory are considered to be classic approaches to employee management. The leadership concepts based on interaction and evolution / transformation theory are referred to as newer approaches to leadership (see figure).

Figure: Selected leadership theories (Bartscher / Nissen 2017)

Property theories (property theory of leadership) explain leadership success with personality traits of managers, whereas behavioral theories place their behavior towards employees at the center of their considerations (e.g. theory of maturity level; managerial grid; leadership styles; leadership behavior). The situational approaches, in turn, tie in with the non-personal behavior control. They point out that the effectiveness of leadership qualities and behavior is largely situational, i.e. dependent on the context in which leadership takes place (situation theories of leadership).

In the further development of the leadership concepts based on characteristics, behavior and situation theory, the theories of interaction abstract from the manager and their characteristics, behavior and situational integration. Rather, they focus on the interaction between the manager and direct employees, colleagues, superiors, customers and interest groups. The interaction theories therefore do not regard leadership as an individual, but as an interactive event. Leadership success therefore depends on the quality of the interaction, the properties and characteristics of the interaction relationship (interaction theory of leadership). The design of change and the leadership and management tasks required for it are ultimately in the foreground of the leadership concepts based on evolutionary and transformation theory.