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Evolution of Contemporary Leadership Theories


The contemporary leadership theories include some recent leadership theories that developed after 1995. Leadership and Management skills are two inevitable expectations in the contemporary world contexts; these two skills have enormous scopes in the professional and academic career. Leadership and management have a long history of developing particular theories regarding technological context, social context, economic context, and other theoretical development systems. In management studies, there are almost four vital points that cover the whole area of management including, organizing issues, the power of motivating employees or workers, organization controlling power, and effective planning for the organization. So, motivation management theory covers some approaches regarding the change of human needs. Motivation theories are equity theory, expectancy theory, goal theory, and Hertzberg’s motivation theory.

Evolution of Contemporary Leadership Theories

The contemporary leadership theories include some recent leadership theories that developed after 1995. The first modern theory indicates the paternalistic leadership theory. The paternalistic leadership theory covers those leadership skills where a leader can choose freely which will be better for the subordinates. But this theory is the opposite of the authoritarian style of leadership.

Digital Leadership Theory

Digital leadership theory was developed in the late 1990s and this theory includes modern perspectives of leadership thoughts regarding micro and Nanotechnology-based information systems and the use of social media.

Tribal Leadership Style

Tribal leadership styles are available in many regions over the world including Native American, South American, and Canadian as well as Amazon tribal leadership style.

The Disruptive Leadership

The disruptive leadership style emphasizes building a real connection with people within a team, the positive thinking power that brings positive change, creating a diverse environment through cultural invention, and executing the rules and norms effectively in the society.

Authentic Leadership Theory

Authentic leadership theory focuses on creating strong worth and to a very diaphanous target. This theory also emphasizes individual discipline and building up a potential connection between leaders and subordinates. The trajectory of leadership shows how was the situation of previous leadership theories and styles and how is the condition of leadership in the present time and in the future which factors can be developed in the leadership practicing track.

In previous, leadership style was authoritative rather than motivating people. The complexities were present in the leadership style as well as the practice of giving punishments due to the errors by the subordinates. Sometimes leaders were used to enforce the people to do any particular task. In the present world context, leadership styles are improving gradually and leaders are trying to be more effective than in the past. In past the leadership style was authoritative than in the present leadership style is more motivated and effective.

Evolution of Management Theories

Management is the process of maintaining an organization or company by effective planning, commanding subordinates to end a task in an organized way, and the capability to control all of the existing components in a particular working area. The features of traditional management approaches are lucidity of organizational objectives, the usefulness of organizational composition, proficiency in a practical area, the fission of labor in working section, limpidity in responsibilities in all levels of the organization. Traditional approaches include those theories that were developed between 1800 to 1900 and there were three most effective approaches.

Scientific Management Theory

The first traditional approach of management theory was scientific management theory that was developed by Frederick. The most significant parts of this theory are the capability of production analysis, the power of motivating to find better outcomes by proficiency. Many companies and organizations are now using scientific management theory such as; the fast-food manufacturing company McDonald’s uses this theory.

Administrative Management Theory

Administrative management theory is the second theory of classical approach that was developed by Henri Fayol. This theory emphasizes an organized effort to sketch the organization. Nowadays, this theory is using in many organizations such as; General Motors.

Bureaucratic Management Theory

Bureaucratic management theory was the last theory of classical approach. Max Weber developed this theory, who was born in Germany. This theory includes five features as; provision of the working sector, specialization of working role in the organization, maintaining the organizational hierarchy, improvement of formal regulations in the organization, and the fair recruitment system to include employees in the organization. At present, this theory is using in many organizations and companies such as; Police departments and the prison system as well as in business organizations, for example, this theory is using in the academic area including universities and schools.

Machine Bureaucracy

Machine Bureaucracy is another bureaucratic management theory that is more formal and more special than Max Weber’s theory but the main objectives of this theory are relatively the same as Max Weber’s theory. Mintzberg developed this theory in 1983.

Kaizen- Japanese Management Theory

In Japanese culture the management theory also developed. In 1986 Masaaki Imai developed a management theory that is familiar as Kaizen- Japanese management theory. The main objectives of this theory are Kai and Zen that are two Japanese words that stand for Change to better and together these two words refer to the gradual improvement of the condition. Kaizen management theory is using in many organizations such as nestle, Lockheed Martin, and Toyota.

The Behavioral Management Theory

The behavioral Management approach is a set of some effective theories that focus on motivation to the worker. Human relations theory is another pivotal theory in management. And, the main features of this theory are the person-to-person relationship building and analysis of their behavior.


Every organization and company follows a specific theory of leadership and management. Contemporary leadership theories have long history and leadership theories are developing day by day. Besides practicing leadership theory, an organization must need a particular management theory. Management theories have also a vast journey from the beginning of these theories. The management and leadership theory helps to run the organizations properly. So, Management and leadership theories are very important in socio-economic and technological perspectives.

Prepared By: ATM Qutayba, Student, University of Dhaka

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