The Dynamics of Power - Part 2 - The Models of Leadership

in psychology •  last year  (edited)

Social Reality: Violence, Power and Change
The Dynamics of Power - Part 2 - The Models of Leadership

In the last post, of the series on the Dynamics of Power - Part 1 -The Legitimacy of Authority- we started with the subject of the Dynamics of Power, and in this one I started a series of five articles are about one of my favorite topics -Leadership- analyzing its Models(this post), Characteristics, Relation and Decision-making processes.

1 - The Leadership

"Culture is the Past of the System, the Political, Economic and Organizational Climate is the Present, while Leadership and People are the Future"
Thus, Leadership and people are the focal point for the transformation of reality in the institutional and organizational economic climate, as a way of transforming culture that agglutinate, unify and normalize society.
In culture and in organizations, Leadership is essential because of its inventive and creative flexibility and ability to allow rapid and adequate adaptation to new external and internal realities.

In social psychology the studies of Leadership have brought to reality the fundamental and inseparable element of Power.
The Leadership in its first investigations studied the phenomenon of the influence of an individual on the others in function of their personality and / or their behaviors.
The Power exercized in Leadership, may be held informally or formally in hierarchical and centralized organizations and institutions.

The big problem is that the early studies of Leadership only focused on the personal aspects and behaviors of leaders to explain the phenomenon of social dynamism and ignored the variables of the organizational culture and the capacities of the leaders.
This central focus philosophy on the individual level misrepresents the very conceptions and results of studies and at the same time yields to the already established common sense and masks the way of thinking about Power.

2 - Leadership Models

Let us then begin in this post by analyzing the Models of Leadership of social psychology for the coming analysis of its Characteristics, Interactionism of the situation, and what happens in the processes of Decision Making.
Basically, we have four models to look to the social phenomena of Leadership.


2.1- Trait Theory approach (Type I)

This approach is centered only on the personality traits of the leader as a global explanation for the phenomenon of Leadership.
Prior to World War II, Leadership was defined in terms of personality characteristics that permits the identification of the leaders.
In this perspective, Leadership is something that is natural and born with the person, as an intrinsic property of having a series of characteristics, such as sociability, verbal fluency, intelligence, initiative, sensitivity to the needs of other people, and self-confidence.

At the time it seemed very easy to understand Leadership as a matter of traits, so they simply tried to measure the person's capacities to be a leader using questionnaires, personality, and ability tests.
So the Leader was born a ruler and power was seen as a personal gift and there was no other influences like the situation, organization or culture.


The study of Winter in 1975 wanted to find what were the differences of people in relation to need and motivation for Powe,r and found out that the black students with strong aspiration for power and had higher scores in the tests where the leaders that had political activity in the Campus.
In this theories, there was no concept of changing the Style of Leadership because it was an internal static property of the individual.

2.2 - Behavioral Theory Approach (Type II)

In later approaches it was found that Personal Trait Theory didn't define the nature of leadership because it is dependent on factors external to the leaders in each situation, through the observation of group behaviors and opens the possibility of changing leadership behaviors.
Many studies have been done on the style of behavior of the leaders such as those of the universities in Ohio and Michigan.
  • In Ohio they aimed to identify the dimensions of leader behavior that could be described in two categories, the structure (objectives and task execution) and considerations (mutual trust, healthy relationships and listening to the member's ideas.
  • In Michigan, they identified two categories of behavior, task orientation, or people's orientated.
    People-oriented leaders achieved better productivity, results, and higher job satisfaction in the group.
    Production-oriented leaders led to lower group productivity and lower job satisfaction, with a fundamental focus on task performance and less on interpersonal relationships.
However the most publicized model in this theory was the Leadership grid of Robert Blake and Jack Mouton.
They divided these leaders into five types of Management Style : The Impoverished, Country Club, Task, Team, and Middle of the Road.


2.3 - The Situational Model (Type III)

Fiedler studied this approach and identified the two main factors of the situation or context that determines the behaviors of the leaders.
In one side we have the group's organization and structure, the objective of the tasks, the actual norms and process of decision-making.
On the other side the relationship between the leader (personality, experience, motivations) and the people (personality traits and knowledge).


This new vision on Leadership without being focused on the personality characteristics, analyses the adequacy of the actions of the leader in terms of the situation as a constraint.
Fiedler isolated three variables of contingency in the situation conditioning the leader's behavior and capacity:

  • The formal authority of the leader is related to the hierarchic position.
  • The way the task is organized linked to the structure and means involving the activities.
  • The interrelationship between the leader and the people observable in the acceptance of his/her Leadership and the climate generated in the group.

2.4 - The contingency model (Type IV)

Another model of situational Leadership that was developed by Ken Blanchard and Paul Hersey that refers to the adequacy between the type of leadership exercised and the stage of development of the subordinates, and that show the possible changes of behavior in the leader and that will allow to develop the people until that they can, want and have control over their work.


In the next post on the Characteristics of Leadership we will also learn how each leader can improve and develop their abilities to lead and at the same time enable the development of people.
Last posts in this series on Social Reality: Violence, Power and Change
Social Reality: Violence, Power and Change

A - Violence:

An Introduction to Violence
The Concepts of Violence, Aggression, and Aggressiveness
The Theories on Violence
The influencers of Violence -Part One - Culture and Social Context
The influencers of Violence -Part Two - Social , Cognitive and Environmental Factors
The ascend of Today's Violence

B -Power:

What is Power? - Introduction
The Nature of Power The Dynamics of Power:

Articles from the next series of posts about Social Reality, Violence, Power and Change:

  • Part 3 - Characteristics of Leadership
  • Part 4 - The Relation in Leadership
  • Part 5 - Decision-making and Leadership
The Effects and Consequences of Power

C - Change:

Change and Culture
The Theories and conceptualization of Change
Factors determining Change
The ways of Change
Social Change

References consulted:

Les concepts fondamentaux de la psychologie sociale - Gustave-Nicolas Fischer
La psychologie sociale - Gustave-Nicolas Fischer
The social-violence dynamics, Power, change - Gustave-Nicolas Fischer Planeta / ISPA, 1980
Gustave-Nicolas Fischer is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Psychology Laboratory at the University of Metz.
French, J. R. P., & Raven, B.H. (1959). The bases of social Power.
Raven, B. H. & Rubin, J. Z. (1976). Social psychology: People in groups
Castel, R. The metamorphoses of the social question. Voices, 1998.
Moscovici, S. (1976). Social influence and social change. London: Academic Press
Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison
Festinger, L. (1954). A theory of social comparison processes.
French, J. R. P., Morrison, H. W., & Levinger, G. (1960). Coercive Power and forces affecting conformity
Dahl, R.A. (1957), The Concept of Power.
Giddens, Anthony, Capitalism and Modern Social Theory: An Analysis of the Writings of Marx, Durkheim and Max Weber, 1971.
Grabb, Edward G., Theories of Social Inequality: Classical and Contemporary Perspectives,1990.
Weber, Max, Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology, 1968.

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Yeah, incredible how many leaders all over the world have this war advocating attitude. Of course especially in the economically leading countries. In combination with the people's manipulation into the worshipping of their leaders as their rescuers, no wonder that the emulation of the leaders' war mindset creates a violent society..

When the country has a popular independence over the system of government
The country will develop a high cadence pattern
But when there is no independence of the system of government, the state becomes a very paragraph

Decision-making can be regarded as an outcome or outcome of a mental or cognitive process that leads to the selection of an action path among several available alternatives. such as using the approach of intuition, experience, fact, authority, logic or rational. Using this method every decision-making process always produces a final choice.