Theories and Models of Leadership and Management

There are many definitions of leadership, but in general it can be seen as a central feature to manage people effectively (Mullins 2005). Some models state that there are only born leaders, and on the contrary, some state that people have to work hard to attain qualities of a leader.

In this section, a critical analysis of John Adair’s Action centered leadership model is done. It consists of overlapping circles, namely Task needs, Team maintenance needs and Individual needs (Mullins 2010: 378).

The overlapping circles emphasize on the fact that they are interdependent and the leader must have all the three qualities in proportion. And failure in any one will affect the team members (Mullins 2010: 379).

Leader with any background, following any style of leadership can adopt Adair’s model, as it is easily practicable. For example, any leader who has adopted transformational leadership can apply this model to attain a balance between team and individual perspective of reforms and ensure that their tasks will bring the objected change in the organisation. The effectiveness of Adair’s model also depends on the style of leadership used. This model can also be used in any organisational culture.

The Adair’s model is also an integrated approach as he stated that a leader should follow functions like planning informing, evaluating etc. and should train according to the principles to be effective.

Critical analysis of this model shows that it cannot face the complexity of leadership. For instance, comparison of this model with the transformational approach shows that Adair’s model only enlightens the leader’s actions, but not the personality of the leader, which is an important part of leader’s ability to attain loyalty amongst employees. Secondly, the Adair’s model suits a formal environment but fails to consider the constantly changing climate. So, I would consider Adair’s model as a useful management tool instead of leadership as it does not focus on development in the leadership skills of an individual. It enhances the qualities of the leader in order to manage members from diverse cultures and working environments.

On the contrary, some situational theories were introduced with considering variable situations, cultures and organisations (Bolden et al, 2003). The Tannenbum & Schmidt’s leadership model elaborates the behavior of leaders into both, democratic and autocratic leadership styles. Autocratic leadership means that the leader will take decisions and expects the team members to follow him. Irrespective of the diverse cultures of the team members, leaders influence them to follow his directions in order to meet the objectives. This is in contrary to the statement provided. Persuasive leadership style is when leader makes the decision but believes that persuasion is needed for the team members to make them follow him. Another is Consultative leadership, in which decision is taken in the presence of the members but that decision is given less importance. Finally, Democratic Leadership is when the problem is laid before the team members and leader allows it to be solved by group discussions.

I would like to conclude by saying that different leadership theories and models fit suitable for different environments. Hence, it is important for a leader to be knowledgeable and trained in all aspects and should understand the team members thoroughly.


Adair, J. (1979) Action-Centred Leadership, Gower Press.

Bolden, R., Gosling, J., Marturann, A. and Dennison, O (2003) ‘A review of leadership theory and competency frameworks’ [available at]

Mullins, L. J. (2010), Management & Organisation Behaviour, 9th Edition, Prentice Hall.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s