In 2011 the authors Muijen en Schaveling published an theoretical overview on leadership in the Dutch magazine M&O. This article provides an overview of definitions and leadership styles present in science.
Many different definitions exists, but three common aspects are recognised in all these definitions.
Various trends can be found in the history of leadership research.
|End 40's||Trekbenadering||Leaders are born|
|End 70's||Stijlbenadering||What leaders do; centred around behaviour|
|End 80's||Contingency approach||What leaders have to is determined by the context|
|End 90's||Transformational, visionary, inspiring and charismatic, ethical, authentic, servant, spiritual||Charismatic vision, inspiring, empowerment, integrity, credibility|
Leadership is a quality you are born with. Research focused on the physical, personality and capability attributes that separated leaders from non-leaders. Lack of consistent, empirical support lead to the move to new approaches to leadership.
In this approach the behaviour of the leader is key. What is it that leaders do and how do they act. Research focuses on the difference between task- or relation approach. Successful traits from a leader in with the task approach are: setting goals, employee allocation and sanctioning. Relation approach requires leaders that are focused on the personal relationship with employees.
In this approach the context is the key factor. It describes leaderships techniques that are effective in certain situations and in which situations they don't. The situational approach allows for adjustment of style given the situation.