University of Phoenix Material

Leadership Theory Matrix

Complete the Leadership Theory Matrix by providing a detailed description and an example or examples. See the Example provided in the first row.

Note. Answers shown in red are provided for example purposes only.

Theory Focus Theory Description Example(s)
Heroic or charismatic leaders. “Great man” theories.
The capacity for leadership is inherent. These theories held the underlying concept that great leaders are born, not made (Northouse, 2014) Based on the study of people who were great leaders in history “focused on identifying innate qualities and characteristics possessed by great social, political, and military leaders (Northouse, p 19) and making assumptions about all based on a few.
Personality characteristics otherwise known as “trait theories” Personality Characteristics or “trait theories” is known as personal tendencies when a manager works with their staff. While everyone’s personality is different, these tendencies are viewed and tested when the manager is applying for a job This is the type of person they have grown to be. A personality characteristic could ne determined by a work place test to show which department they would work best in. A good example would be using many staff with similar personalities will generally show better production rates.
Focuses on skills and abilities that can be learned and developed “skills” approach The Skills approach is when a manager uses their developed skills to achieve a goal These are the abilities that were learned over the years from one or multiple jobs. Example for this is a manager works in three different companies performing the same duties. From the first to the third, they will learn the same skills and practice until they perfect their skill style.
Emphasis is the behavior of the leader, known as “style” approach The Style approach is the behavior (task or relationship) that leaders use to provide action towards its staff. Each manager or leader will have their own style. One manager may use the”My way or the highway” approach in managing their staff while another will use the gentle “it’s ok” way of managing that allows staff to be more productive.
Focuses on leadership in situations or “situational” leadership theorie. With the Situational leadership roles, managers find themselves changing their managing traits to coinside with the issue or situation at the specific moment. There are times when a manager will need to act fast when a situation arises. Each manager who uses this method will change their “style” or “trait” to match the change in evenironment in their work place
Leader–match theories look at how well the leader’s style fits the context known as “Contingency” theory Contingency theory provides the framework for what identifies the situation and what leader would be best for it. The contingency theory is built around the framework of having that specific backup plan for a situation gone wrong. When a staff member causes havoc on the customers file, this brings their business to a screeching hault. The manager will need to go to “plan b” as an alternative direction to fix the situation.


Northouse, P.G (2013). Leadership Theory & Practice (6th Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.