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Write Term Paper On Leadership

Many leaders, past and present, have been identified as charismatic leaders. The author explains the history of charismatic leadership and its characteristics. Different charismatic leaders and their leadership characteristics are discussed. An explanation of the characteristics and behaviors of followers of charismatic leaders is discussed. Cultural and situational charismatic leaders are explained and why certain individuals originate as leaders. A comparison and relationship between transformational, transactional, and charismatic leadership styles is discussed.

Charismatic Leadership
Society is made up of many different types of leaders. One of these types is charismatic leadership. Charismatic leadership was introduced around the turn of the century and has been researched and studied ever since. The leaders that are defined as charismatic leaders display characteristics that followers relate to. Charismatic leaders’ posses’ characteristics that enable them to win follower’s respect and support for his or her beliefs or visions. Leaders from all walks of life both good and bad have been identified as charismatic leaders because of their ability to persuade others that their beliefs were right. The history, characteristics, charismatic leaders, and charisma related to other leadership styles will be discussed in this paper. Charismatic leadership can be a forceful leadership style that can be used to improve societies and organizations or it can also be used for detrimental purposes.

The German sociologist Max Weber is the person responsible for introducing the idea of charisma as being a type of leadership. Weber believed that leaders who possessed charismatic leadership qualities were highly esteemed persons. Due to his research on leadership, sociologist began to study the concept of charisma in both social and political walks of life in the early twentieth century.

Talcott Parsons is widely credited with importing Weber to the United States; Parson’s introduced his work The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism in 1937 which dominated American sociology for decades. Parson’s view of Weber’s ideas was challenged over the decades by famous sociologist such as Pope, Cohen and Hazelrigg. They believed that Parson’s views of Weber’s ideas were distorted by misinterpreting the German’s original ideas.

Lowell Bennion was the first person responsible for making available Weber’s original ideas in the United States. He translated Weber’s ideas and writings from German to English in a dissertation, Max Webster’s Methodology, where only a hundred copies were published in 1933. Bennion’s dissertation was written 13 years after Weber’s death and was influenced by scholars who were Weber’s contemporaries. (DiPadova, 1996)

According to DiPadova, Weber introduced the concept of charisma when viewing authority in regards to religion. In this he describes three types of power:
1) charismatic authority (“the external or internal rule over man made possible by the faith of the ruled in this supernatural power of the leader”)
2) traditional authority (“the traditionalistic rule of man is based on the faith in that which has always been”); and
3) rational-legal authority (based on impersonal rules and norms. Its typical representative is the bureaucratic rule made possible by the victory of the formal juridic rationalism of the Occident”) From these three types of power sociologist began to research Weber’s authoritative leadership ideas. Charismatic leadership was not researched strongly until the 1970’s where sociologists began to survey and experiment with charismatic leadership ideas. (DiPadova, 1996)

Since Weber introduced the idea of charismatic leadership into society, many charismatic leaders have been identified. Leaders that are considered charismatic leaders tend to have similar basic characteristics.

These characteristics are:
1) Self-confidence and self assurance
2) Need for power and low authoritarianism
3) Expert power
4) Referent power
5) Communications and rhetorical skills
6) Assertive, dynamic, outgoing, and forceful

Leaders such as John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Charles Manson, and Adolph Hitler were considered charismatic leaders. All four leaders possessed self-confidence and self assurance along with other charismatic characteristics. They believed in their “vision” whether good or bad. As leaders they were able to persuade others to follow and fight for the vision they essentially believed in. Many followers believed so whole-heartily in the vision that they committed murder and even suicide.

People that follow the charismatic leader possess many of the same characteristics as their leaders. Characteristics of followers:
1) Identify with the leader and the leader’s beliefs
2) Heightened emotional levels
3) Willing subordination to the leader
4) Feelings of empowerment

Followers of charismatic leaders often follow there leaders blindly because the leader is so confident in his beliefs that whatever the leader says or does is accepted by all without comment or thought. Leaders of religious cults and sects often attract followers that are lonely and insecure; these followers are looking for someone that will take control of their “pathetic” lives and many are looking for a place to belong.

Some sociologist believes that a person becomes a charismatic leader if the situation arises. These situational charismatic leaders form characteristics similar to the following:
1) Crises
2) Task interdependence
3) Innovation
4) More receptive to change
5) Organizational downsizing

Lee Iacocca became a charismatic leader because of the situation at hand. He was able to pull the Chrysler Corporation back into being because of his charismatic leadership abilities. Cultural charismatic leaders often arise when cultures and their cultural values are threatened. These situational leaders promote unlearning and the search for new actions. Many arise when traditional authority cannot meet an organization’s need for leadership. Charismatic leaders often appear because the culture is expecting or prophesizing the leader’s arrival. When this happens certain characteristics contribute to charismatic leadership.

These characteristics are:
1.) Social crises
2.) Carries or spreads a “message”
3.) Stimulates guilt or shame
4.) Supernatural stature is assimilated

Charismatic leaders that evolve because of cultural unrest tend to be religious leaders that followers think of as “prophets” or “saints”, these leaders become the route to salvation.

Charismatic leadership can have both a negative and a positive impact on society and organizations. In the United States alone charismatic leaders such as John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King used there leadership abilities to make society a better place for all individuals and races to live and work. While on the other hand Charles Manson used his charismatic leadership abilities to persuade his followers to commit horrendous murders on random individuals. Hitler convinced millions that his beliefs were the only true beliefs; in turn his followers committed murders because they believed in Hitler’s vision. Few studies have been made on the impact of charismatic leadership on society and organizations. Charismatic leaders that impact society can be distinguished as ethical or unethical charismatic. The ethical charismatic wants what is good for society or the organization and its members, while the unethical charismatic is motivated by personal power and achievement and pursues anything which makes him or her look better and stronger.

Transformational leadership is the leadership defined by a work-based exchange relationship. In this relationship the leader promotes alignment by providing fair extrinsic rewards and appealing to the intrinsic motivation of the collaborators. Transactional leadership is the leadership defined by an economically-based exchange relationship. In this relationship the leader promotes uniformity by providing extrinsic (positive or negative) rewards to the collaborators. Transformational leadership is the opposite of transactional leadership. Transformational leaders tend to be concerned with values, ethics, standards, and long-term goals, while transactional leaders focus on exchanges between leader and follower. Many politicians are elected to office because they are transactional leaders; they promise the voters to change laws and policies in exchange for their vote. A person can be both transformational and transactional depending upon the situation. Evangelists for instance are transformational leaders when they are trying to convert followers to their religion and at the same instance they are transactional leaders when they entice their followers to contribute money in exchange for a new worship area or prayer book. Transactional leadership tends to be transitory; the leader is effective as long as the relationship between leader and follower is mutually beneficial. Transformational leadership tends to have a strong bond or hold on its followers, there is no need to “dangle” promises and gifts. Transformational leaders have followers because the followers believe in the same vision as the leader. The transformational leader places the follower on a pedestal almost as high as the one he or she is preaching from. The leader makes the follower feel important and that the follower is making a great contribution to the vision.

In transformational leadership, charisma plays a major role. Charisma is defined as a special personality trait that gives an individual superhuman or exceptional power. Leaders that possess charisma appear to be competent and have high expectations for themselves and their followers. They also articulate ideological goals to their followers. These characteristics that define a charismatic individual is the same characteristics or traits that a transformational leader possess. Some sociologist interchanges transformational leadership with charismatic leadership because the two are closely related. Charismatic and transformational leadership provide the followers with a vision and a sense of mission, they instill pride among their followers. Charismatic leadership, intellectual stimulation, and inspirational leadership are components of transformational leadership.

Charismatic leadership throughout this century has development into a strong, forceful leadership style. The charismatic leader must possess characteristics that make him or her almost superhuman and mystical. Leaders and followers must share the same visions and goals for the charismatic leader to survive. Charismatic leadership qualities are mutually shared by other leadership styles such as transformational and transactional leadership. Charisma is a trait that a successful leader should have to become an effective leader. As spoken by Bass in 1985 he states that, “Charisma is in the eye of the beholder and, therefore, is relative to the beholder. Nevertheless, the charismatic leader actively shapes and enlarges his or her audience through energy, self-confidence, assertiveness, ambition, and opportunities seized.”

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Tags: business essays, leadership essay, leadership research paper, leadership term paper, sample research paper

Aleadership essay is an assignment that may be required, for example, in a business course—particularly a business course that focuses on management.  Leadership essays are intended to explore one or more styles of or ideas related to strong leadership and explain why or how they're successful approaches in the business world.  A leadership essay isn't a research paper; therefore, though it will likely include research on various leadership-related concepts, it should ultimately present the writer's individual interpretation and opinions on leadership rather than simply recounting what others have said.

Leadership reports should focus on a narrow topic.  They shouldn't attempt to tackle a book-length concept of leadership such as "what makes a good leader," as this is far too broad.  Rather, it would be best if it explored in detail one specific aspect of leadership, such as a certain theory on leadership or a specific dynamic of leadership in the workplace.  Once a topic such as this has been decided upon, the writer must construct a thesis—the writer's opinion or interpretation regarding the specific topic.  The thesis is the main point or argument ; therefore, it should be presented somewhere within the first 1/4 of the text.

A leadership report should make use of illustrative examples to make its point.  This means that in addition to theoretic and analytic discussion, it should present real-life scenarios.  Such examples clearly display how theory and analysis can be put into practice, and the ultimate aim of all leadership study is to put theories and analysis into successful practice.  It isn't necessary to present an example for every point the writer is making, but it's helpful to provide an example for each major aspect.

Some leadership essays may be personal rather than analytical.  This means that it will require the writer to discuss his/her own observations or experiences regarding leadership.  Such assignments may call on the writer to write about a strong leader they know and that person's particular style of leadership.  Others may require the writer to discuss their own approaches to leadership.  In these types of assignments, the writer should recount his/her own experiences while tying in leadership concepts that have been discussed in the course or course readings.

Most business classes place importance on the professional presentation of writing.  This is because in the business world, presentation matters, and therefore writing should be clear and error-free.  Therefore, a leadership report should be thoroughly proofread for grammar, spelling, and style mistakes.

What is a Term Paper on Leadership?

A term paper on leadership is a likely assignment in a business course that focuses on management and management practices.  Term papers on leadership are in-depth, typically researched explorations and examinations of a specific leadership method, practice, or theory.  They are often different from essays on leadership in that rather than focusing on the writer's personal experiences with and opinions of leadership, they will ask the student to approach the text in a scholarly, sophisticated, and more theoretical way.

Term papers on leadership are typically the culminating assignments of a term of study focused on leadership.  Therefore, they're intended to not only explore a specific aspect of leadership in a very thorough way, but also to contextualize that specific topic within the scope of existing knowledge regarding leadership and leadership practices.  To this end, the student should contextualize the topic of his/her assignment on leadership by demonstrating how that particular topic fits into, builds on, or is derived from other scholarship on leadership to indicate how his/her topic has arisen from a progression of scholarly and theoretical work in the field.  To do this effectively requires the student to mention previous studies that contribute to the understanding of his/her topic and to comment on trends and practices in the evolving study of leadership.

A report should assume an authoritative voice and should seek to be an authoritative text.  To this end, term papers on leadership must present relevant and compelling thesis statements, and defend those thesis statements with illustrative examples, critical thinking, and extensive secondary research.  The incorporation of respected and valid secondary research contributes to the authority of any text.  A term paper on leadership should seek such research from contemporary scholarly and authoritative sources that are commonly accepted and well-regarded in the field of leadership.  Often, these sources will be more readily located in a library or on a library database rather than on the internet.  Students should carefully assess the credentials of the authors of all such studies and should also be careful to ensure that the sources they use are peer-reviewed.

Aside from scholarly research, a term paper on leadership should often present illustrative examples in order to provide the reader with scenarios in which the leadership topic at hand may be relevant.  This may involve the creation of hypothetical examples, or could possibly include examples from current events or even the writer's own experience.  These examples are used so that the reader can envision the practical application of the often theoretical ideas discussed in the project itself.

Term papers on leadership should close with a conclusion paragraph or set of paragraphs that suggest how the information presented in the work can be applied to or contribute to leadership scholarship and practices.

Writing Leadership Term Papers

Students may have to write leadership term papers for any course and any grade level.  A leadership term paper provides students with an opportunity to research different leadership methods and to observe these leadership methods in practice.  Therefore, many professors regard leadership term papers as important assignments that help a student develop lifelong leadership skills.

In order to effectively complete a leadership term paper, students need to first understand what a term paper is.  A term paper is a lengthy project that a learner will generally write as the last assignment for a semester.  Most term papers also account for a large percentage of a student's overall grade for a course.  

The first thing that students need to do in order to write their documents on leadership is to learn as much as possible about the requirements.  Some professors will require learners to perform experiments in order to research their topic.  Other professors might want students to conduct interviews.  Additionally, the project requirements for reports on leadership will let students know how long the document should be.  

Once a student understands the projects, he/she should develop a topic.  The topic may be assigned by a professor.  However, students may also be able to select a topic that specifically interests them as long as that topic is related to leadership.  No matter what a student decides to write about for his/her assignment on leadership, he/she needs to plan a method to research that particular topic.  

Research for leadership term papers may incorporate a variety of different methods, including reading magazines and books, conducting interviews, observing people in action, and performing experiments.  Students should decide which methods work best for their topic and paper goals.  

After a student has completed his/her research, he/she can begin to complete an outline for the document.  The outline should include the format and general content , which will help the student to be organized as he/she begins the drafts.  

It is important for students to be aware of the different types of academic writing assignments they will need to complete.  A term paper is very different than an paper, for example.  A term paper is an objective document that's based on research and serves as the final document for a course.  An essay is usually written from a point-of-view and can be assigned many times over the course of a semester.

Management Term Paper

A management term paper is a long, usually investigation-based text composed as the culminating assignment in a course of study focused on management.  Term papers have two key features: research and synthesis.  They present research on a particular topic, and then synthesize that research and topic with the body of knowledge gained throughout the term of study.  This is how a management term paper differs from a management reference project.  In management research papers, learners will likely use secondary sources to explore a particular aspect, theory, or practice of management in a thorough way.  In management term papers, learners will need to do this in addition to discussing how that particular aspect, theory, or practice of management fits in to the body of thought on management practices and theories that the student has become familiar with through the course readings and lectures.

In order to successfully incorporate both the research and synthesis components required for a management term paper, the learner will need to be engaged with his/her research question and research sources.  This means that throughout the process of investigating his/her assignment subject, the learner will need to challenge the ideas and materials he/she discovers using the expertise he/she has gained throughout the term.  A term paper isn't intended to be a report on research, but a critical discussion.  This means that the student should assume an authoritative position and challenge and engage the ideas of others.  During a term of study in management, a student gains an abundance of skills and knowledge to help him/her assess scholarly opinions and develop opinions of his/her own.  Therefore, whenever the writer includes a secondary source, the writer should comment on that source and discuss what he/she thinks about the source idea.  

Management term papers may also require that the writer include mention of his/her own observations on or experiences with management in the workplace.  This will require the writer to reflect on his/her own actions and ideas and determine how those actions and ideas correspond with particular management theories or practices that have been discussed in class.  This displays that a student has learned how those theories or ideas play out in the real world.

All management term papers must be thoroughly and properly cited according to the citation style preferred by the course instructor.  The reports should also be scoured for grammar and spelling mistakes, as many business professors are very critical of such presentation errors.

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