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Theory of Political Leadership. UNU/ILA. Leadership: a Generic Concept. Importance: In society and group activities we seek to avoid chaos and to feel a sense of belonging and purpose Leadership emerges in the process of learning to relate to one another

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Leadership a generic concept l.jpg
Leadership: a Generic Concept

  • Importance: In society and group activities we seek to avoid chaos and to feel a sense of belonging and purpose

  • Leadership emerges in the process of learning to relate to one another

  • These individuals are more involved, have certain values, have vision, and initiate change

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Evolving Definition

  • Our definition of leadership changes as we perceive and construct reality in new ways

  • Ancient societies: leaders = heroes, prophets, philosophers

  • Middle Ages: popes and kings

  • Machiavelli: clever and amoral “princes”

  • Early modern: rational-bureaucratic and authoritarian models of leaders

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Contemporary View

  • New leadership resulting from complex economic and social changes, globalization, and democratization

  • Leaders are judged on their effectiveness, style, service, cultural-sensitivity, adaptive-capacity, ethics, wisdom, participation, personal judgement

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Current Scholars

  • Burns Wren

  • Heifetz Rost

  • Bass Ciulla

  • Kellerman Greenleaf

  • O’Toole Gardner

  • Hollander Fiedler

  • Nanus

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Types of Leadership

  • Religious

  • Political

  • Corporate

  • Societal

  • Knowledge-based

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Political Leadership

  • “Distribution of values and resources of a political society”

  • Conceptual development:

    • Authority

    • Power

    • Influence

    • Participation and Democracy

    • Ethics and Wisdom

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Evolution of Political Leadership

  • Authority:

    • Exclusive; closed system; eliminate autonomous and independent sources of leadership

    • Rational-legal framework described by Max Weber

  • Power

    • Behavioral and mobilizational construct

    • Ambition theory: high motivation for domination

    • Channel for social mobility and economic transformation

    • Lasswell’s Political man, Politics, and Personality

  • Influence

    • Interpersonal relations and communications

    • Leadership-followership relationship

    • Exchange, motivation, rewards, ideological inspiration, moral authority, charisma

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    Evolution, cont.

    • Participation: Democratic leadership

      • Interactive process

      • Involves individuals, groups, parties within societies

    • Ethics and Wisdom: Future Political Leadership

      • Emphasis on leaders, constituencies, local, state, national, and international

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    Knowledge-based Leadership

    • “leaders to create new contexts, which breakdown organizational boundaries and encourage a variety of cognitive styles”

    • Democratic and communitarian

    • Strategic planning, information management

    • Change mindsets and methods

    • Create large, wide, deep, fast networks

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    • Leaders are needed to create and manage change in the 21st century

    • More eclectic approach necessary incorporating political, corporate and social leadership

    • Need for new styles in the face of rapid social and economic changes resulting from globalization and new technologies