While the study on leadership can be traced back to Plato and Tzu, it is critical to note that it became a contemporary area of study in academics during the 1940s. In the past two decades, the area has record significant changes that are influenced by the need to adapt dynamic and effective leadership approaches. Leadership studies mainly cover areas such as leadership theories, functions, and styles.
The move to study leadership was based on the need to better understand human behaviors, thinking, and activities as a way of creating a stable society. During the 1940s, there are many political, economic and social changes that took places thus promoting many leaders to have a refocus on their leadership methods (Grint et al. 2016). On the other hand, there was also the need to improve the running of businesses as the period saw an increase in the number of factories. Leadership and management studies thus provided an ideal way through which leaders could better coordinate and relate with their employees. It is critical to note that human behaviors and values can be defined as being diverse; hence the need to come up with unique leadership methods.
Leadership can be defined as being influenced by the ongoing economic, political and social changes thus implying that it must be dynamic. In the past years, there has been increased contact with different cultural groups and countries. Examples can be traced in the high level of globalization and integration (Bird& Mendenhall. 2016). These events have led to new wants and challenges that must be tackled by the leaders. Currently, there is an improved level of collaboration as it can be seen in the planning of sporting activities like the World Cup or dealing with terror.
Additionally, leaders have also developed improved awareness levels of the values of the diverse ethnic, racial and religious groups (Donate, 2015). The concept is based on the need to promote equity at a global level and equally ensure that there is the upholding of human rights. There has also been the emergence of new theories that call for inclusivity as opposed to having dominant leaders. On the other hand, many businesses record high level of competition with other sectors being high dynamic. These changes have seen leaders adopt strategies that allow for improved productivity among employees. One of the ways that this has been attained by using leadership methods that promote the wellbeing of all workers.
Over the years there has been the development of new leadership styles with the need to conform to the changing culture, and other changes in the society. While the early years were marked by the use of authoritative leadership styles, it is critical to note that there has been a shift from these styles. An example is the introduction of the democratic and servant-leadership leadership styles. Through these styles, the leaders undertake it as their duty to guide the juniors as well as offer the needed emotional support (Hersey et al. 2007). There is also a growing need to ensure that there is improved collaboration at both regional and global levels. It implies that many leaders are embracing improved sharing of information and diversity of other people. Leadership has also become more responsive in dealing with the issues that affect the society such as global warming and terrorism. In short, there are improved levels of corporate social responsibility among the leaders.
Bird, A., & Mendenhall, M. E. (2016). From cross-cultural management to global leadership: Evolution and adaptation. Journal of World Business, 51(1), 115-126.
Donate, M. J., & de Pablo, J. D. S. (2015). The role of knowledge-oriented leadership in knowledge management practices and innovation. Journal of Business Research, 68(2), 360-370.
Grint, K., Jones, O. S., Holt, C., & Storey, J. (2016). What is leadership. The Routledge companion to leadership, 3.
Hersey, P., Blanchard, K. H., & Johnson, D. E. (2007). Management of organizational behavior (Vol. 9). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.