Interactionist Theories of Leadership

Are leaders of groups or organizations “born” or “made”? That is, can an individual be trained to be an effective leader, or do some individuals naturally possess traits, skills, and abilities that predispose them to become group leaders? This classic question has been the subject of continuous debate and controversy among leadership researchers for decades. Interactionist theorists hold that a leader is both born and made. Thus, leadership is held to be a function of both personal and situational forces that are fundamentally inextricable from each other. This entry reviews the debate over “born” versus “made” theories of leadership, then looks at interactive perspectives, their models of leadership, and the future outlook for this vein of research.

The Person-Situation Debate

The idea of a connection between ...

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