Theories of Leadership Strategies

Introduction to Leadership Theories

There are two parts of this report. In the first part the definition, comparison, and contrast of each of the leadership styles of Shared, Integrated, Transformational, Strategic, etc. leadership are done. Here each of the theory of the leadership in an organization is being critically analyzed to choose the one most fitting in a particular case. The part II of the report deals with making the integration of the theories bring in the perspective of the theory in the areas of practice. Therefore, the theories are being understood, compared and evaluated to find the best fitment in the case of bringing the leadership practices in any case that is particularly distinct in any of the given cases or practice areas.

Types of Leadership Theories

Leadership Theories

This part deals in explaining, comparing and contrasting between the leadership theories like the Shared, Integrative, transformational, Strategic, Social change, Complexity, comprehensive and Multiple Organizational level theories. The definition is as follows:

Definitions of types of leadership theories

Shared Leadership: The style of leadership which is broadly distributed and where the people within a team and organization lead each other is the Shared leadership. This has widely been referred to as distributed leadership and collective leadership where the leadership resides in a group over the individual or hierarchical form of leadership (Nye, 2013).

Transformational Leadership: The theory that suggests the form of leadership where the leader works with the subordinate to identify the needed changes, creating a vision to guide the change through inspiration and executing the needed changes with effective group involvement (Hutchinson and Jackson, 2012).

Integrative leadership: The emergent leadership approach which fosters collective actions across many types of boundaries to attain the common good. There is a variation of such kind of leadership theory with the focus group like the business, society, organizational, cultural change in the perspective (Bolden, 2011).

Strategic Leadership: This leadership is based on strategies for the long term benefits of the organization. Thus, this leadership style depicts the quality that enhances the leadership style of one where they can take decisions for long-term success keeping the long term financial stability in mind (Beatty and Quinn, 2010).

Social Strength Leadership: The business functions in a social environment where it faces social challenges like scarcity of water, access to education and rising cost of health care. This needs the business, government and non-profit sectors to work together creating a lasting solution for the society that the business is serving (Harvard Business Review, 2013).

Complexity Leadership: The complexities of a market are studied, and the leadership functions are taken based on the market situations like enabling, adaptive actions to go forward with the changes in a particular market to meet the end and means. The organization of the modern day is going to various places to be competitive in a global business atmosphere where this adaptive approach is much needed to cope with the challenges in a new environment or changing the environment (Mitstifer, 2014).

Comprehensive leadership: Comprehensive leadership deals in giving an overview of the people in workgroups, teams, and the organization does and think about those actions. The leadership deals in accessing the bundles of potential that would have the energy to affect the environment and thus outcome of the process. Intellectual ecology needs the help of the leadership to develop the traits needed to be competitive to bring on the desired outcome.

Multiple organizations Levels Theory: The multiple Organizational Level theory of leadership suggests the hierarchy of the leaders in a multi-layered organization. The trust and level of competence needed in each of the levels of the process are well defined which gives the trust factor on each level of the organization (Lichtenstein and Plowman, 2009). The interpersonal, team and organizational perspective of the leader are given in such a theory for any business organization at each level (Fulmer and Gelfand, 2012).

Comparison of Various Leadership Theories

The traits of each type of leadership with the strengths and weaknesses are being placed so that the contrast of each kind of leadership is seen from a strength and weakness perspective.

Leadership theories Strengths Weaknesses
Shared Leadership
  • The organization gives the people the space to think and develop the steps needed for best business outcomes,
  • The autonomy of the people in the business process is high
  • Since the autonomy is high, the strict hierarchy of people is missing,
  • The people are given more freedom in such case to develop the needed competence.
Integrative Leadership
  • The integration of all stakeholders and environment are kept as the key aspects of the competency development in such kind of leadership structure.
  • The stakeholder’s interest is primary in such a leadership style.
  • The different perspective may divert the needed changes go at stray since the control over such a diverse kind of integration is somewhat difficult to attain at all level.
  • The overall development of the business does not take the front seat in such a leadership style.
Transformational Leadership
  • The phase of transformation from one to another needs such leadership traits.
  • The smooth crosses over from one system to adoption of another are best executed in this form of leadership.
  • The transformation from one state to another in change management is the only benefits that this trait has.
  • Once the transformation or the needed changes are incorporated the best of competence of leadership style starts diminishing.
Strategic Leadership
  • The leadership keeps the decision making in such a way that it supports the transformation.
  • The strategies are based on the long-term objective setting.
  • The strategies are developed for a specific purpose and have lesser utility once the purpose is found.
  • The autonomy is a part of such leadership style thus the achievement of the autonomy for each staff member is important to see that the best is received from such approach.
Social Change Leadership
  • The social challenges are cause for such strategic leadership role where the social aspects are given more stress upon.
  • The scarcity of the environmental gifts like water, a social development like education and health care are the major components of such leadership style.
  • The need for social change is the key contributor to such style of leadership.
  • Once the social change is achieved, the leadership have little role to play in the organization as it is meant for the external benefits.
Complexity Leadership
  • The leadership style is best used for the management of the complex relationship between the leadership style and the social needs.
  • Adoptive actions to meet the changes are needed for such a style since it is meant to make the business adaptive in a particular business environment.
  • The new business needs such leadership to make the business settle in a different condition in the global market of opportunities.
  • Once the needed transformation of the business in the new business environment is done, the leadership style loses its importance.
Comprehensive Leadership
  • The leadership that is needed to make the needed changes in the organization in the change management phase.
  • It gives the business the needed ecology to develop the traits needed for the desired outcome.
  • The comprehensive leadership is ineffective once the desired ecology for the business is being set.
  • The leadership has to identify the potential of the people and their traits to achieve the needed mix and match to make the business successful, which if not done won’t let the leadership generate any desired value for the business.
Multiple organizational levels theory
  • The multiple organization level theory gives stress to the team, individual and inter-team coordination.
  • The trust generation in each of the levels of the organization is needed.
  • It's a complex process involving multiple layers of management.
  • Each of the levels of the organization needs to have the needed level of trust to make the relationship happen.

Comparison of leadership strategies

The contrast of each of the leadership traits is seen in its formulation where the Transformational, Social Change, Complexity of the leadership style are developed based on the specific needs of the organization apart from its daily functioning. The autonomy in each of the level attained or needed is different in each of the cases. Thus, once the needed changes are attained, the leadership style loses its comprehensive approach and in such a case the new leadership style comes in its place. The transformational leadership for one case may not be similar to other, and the leader in one situation may not be proper for others as well. The complexity of the style of management is different where the Strategic leadership seeks for autonomy to the people with lesser control for the long-term development of the business with an eye on the budget of the actions proposed for the cause (Rath and Mangaraj, 2012).

Once the changes needed are attained the leadership style loses its importance since the goals needed to be achieved are reached via this sort of leadership style chosen for the specific purpose. The organizations have multiple layers and the way the leadership affects each is different in each of the cases. The objectives are different for each case in the sought changes of leadership.

Integrating and applying theories of Leadership Strategy

The theories of the leadership as discussed above are best used in the case of execution by the need of the business. The business needs may be for one market is different to other, which is dependent on various aspects of strategies meant for leadership. Again, the leadership traits in each of the case have some organizational specification to be successful in the market. The research and practice area are the most important along with the man management skills and demands required for each one of the leadership above traits is different. The business which is already present in a market with people well accommodated in the process may have the strategic leadership styles coming in where the autonomy for each of the employees is different to others (Huinink, Kohli and Ehrhardt, 2015).

The need of the market and the business objectives of a market set its agenda for the kind of leadership it is looking for. The placement of the business in one area which suggests what is needed for one business in the specific market. Once the goal of the business is achieved the form of leadership becomes redundant and the next step for leadership may come in to see that the established processes are followed and developed for best operational and business objective attainment. The shared leadership demands a high degree of mutual faith and trust so the business has to be well established and the people are well versed in the area that they are given to work upon. The Integrative, on the other hand, has to manage a group of people with special desires (Lindebaum and Cartwright, 2010). The transformational as the name suggest having to see that the aims of the business are achieved. This is the leadership style which is best used when the business is changing its operations or processes by the business needs. The need for social change for the long term existence of the business brings in the Social change leadership model in the forefront. Each of the leadership traits as identified and expressed by the leadership theory are based on the need of the business as per its market exposure, challenges in the market, solutions aimed for and thus the goal setting for the business in new markets or in challenging times of competitive business atmosphere (Schriesheim, 2015).

Therefore, the business of the modern-day world sees all these challenges in its growth phase where it ventures for new pastures and settles in with the social, cultural integrations with the business. Each of the traits is different and has its needs and phase of operations. The business needs to choose the right man in the right place as the leader who is competent in achieving the goals underlining each phase of business growth, integration, expansion, diversity management like very vital social approach. The understanding the social benefits and striving to achieve them is different from production targets to managing the complex supply and distribution chain developed in a specific market needs a different trait of chain management. The autonomy generation is the next phase where the people are settled with a good complexity leadership trait that integrates all the stakeholders in the business in tandem. With the inclusion of the comprehensive leadership the overview of the interpersonal, inter-departmental and business to market communication is shaped. The levels are then determined and the multiple organization Level theory of leadership they come in with the needs of the business (Uljens, 2015). This may be focused on strategic leadership development platform which relies more on interaction with others. The moot point is that all these have to be brought to gather in a fashion that best suits the business needs. This theory and its chronology of being put into the business or practice area is to be well researched further.


The traits of the leadership are critically analyzed in the first part with its meanings and differences if attributes regarding strength and weaknesses. This gives an idea of the variances in each of the theory and its need in the business. This develops the second part of the report where the need of the traits of leadership in a new business, business going to a new environment, long-term strategic application of strategies by giving the people the autonomy to suggest changes of leadership with the development of business and change in its objectives with time.

References for theories of Leadership Strategies

Beatty, K. and Quinn, L. (2010). Strategic command taking the long view for organizational success. Leadership in Action, 30(1), pp.3-7.

Bolden, R. (2011). Distributed Leadership in Organizations: A Review of Theory and Research. International Journal of Management Reviews, 13(3), pp.251-269.

Fulmer, C. and Gelfand, M. (2012). At What Level (and in Whom) We Trust: Trust Across Multiple Organizational Levels. Journal of Management, 38(4), pp.1167-1230.

Harvard Business Review. (2013). Why the World Needs Tri-Sector Leaders. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Jun. 2016].

Huinink, J., Kohli, M. and Ehrhardt, J. (2015). Explaining fertility: The potential for integrative approaches. Demographic Research, 33, pp.93-112.

Hutchinson, M. and Jackson, D. (2012). Transformational leadership in nursing: towards a more critical interpretation. Nursing Inquiry, 20(1), pp.11-22.

Lichtenstein, B. and Plowman, D. (2009). The leadership of emergence: A complex systems leadership theory of emergence at successive organizational levels. The Leadership Quarterly, 20(4), pp.617-630.

Lindebaum, D. and Cartwright, S. (2010). A Critical Examination of the Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Transformational Leadership. Journal of Management Studies,

Mitstifer, D. (2014). Comprehensive Leadership Competencies. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Jun. 2016].

Nye, J. (2013). Transformational and transactional presidents. Leadership, 10(1), pp.118-124.

Rath, S. and Mangaraj, S. (2012). Leadership Trends in Changing Business World. Trai. and Deve. Jrnl., 3(1), p.29.

Schriesheim, C. (2015). The Leadership Quarterly Yearly Review for 2015: Advances in leadership theory and research. The Leadership Quarterly, 26(6), p.909.

The changing information world. (2012). Business Information Review, 29(3), pp.145-147.

The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World by Ronald Heifetz, Alexander Grashow, and Marty Linsky. (2010). Personnel Psychology, 63(1), pp.255-258.

Uljens, M. (2015). Curriculum work as educational leadership – paradoxes and theoretical foundations. Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, 1(0).