BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Leadership is “organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal”. The leader may or may not have any formal authority, students of leadership across the world have produced theories involving traits, situation interaction, function, behavior, power, vision and value charisma and intelligence ,among others.
The search for the characteristic or traits of leaders has been ongoing for centuries. History’s greatest philosophical writings from Plato’s Republic to Plutrach’s lives have explored the question “what qualities distinguished an individual as a leader?”. Underlying this search was the early recognition of the importance of leadership and the assumption that leadership is rooted in the characteristics that certain individuals possess. This idea that leadership is based on individual attributes is known as the “trait theory of leadership”.
The trait theory was explored at length in a number in the 19th century. Most notable are the Thomas Carlyle and Francis Galton, whose works have prompted decades of research. In Heroes and Hero worship (1841) Cartyle identified the talents, skills and physical characteristics of men who rose to power. In Galton’s Hereditary Genius (1869), he examined leadership qualities in the families of powerful men. After showing that the numbers of eminent relatives dropped off when moving from first degree to second degree relatives Galton concluded that leadership was inherited. In other words, leaders were born, not developed. Both of these notable works lent great initial support for the notion that is rooted in characteristic of the leader.
Over the years the philosophical terminology of “management” and “leadership” have in the organizational context, been used both as synonyms and with clearly differential meanings. Debate is fairly common about whether the use of these terms should be restricted and generally rejects an awareness of the distinction make by Burns (1978) between “transactional” leadership (characterized by e.g. emphasis on procedures, contingent reward, management by exception) and “transformational” leadership (characterized by e.g. charisma, personal relationships, creativity).
However, leaders and leadership style are two aspects that both profitable and non profitable ventures analyze critically before adopting. In business particularly, the effect of management decision to a successful business cannot be over emphasis. To a certain extent, this affects the entire organization either directly or indirectly, everybody through strategic decision that the undertake.
The topic herein will be examined within the context of multinational firms in Nigeria and the ability of managers to influence the members of their organization through leadership that will go a long way in determining the extent to which both individuals and the organization as a whole accomplish their goals. Different leadership styles can be employed by different managers. A leadership style here refers to a leader’s behavior. It is the result of the philosophy, personality, and experience of the leader. Rhetoric specialists have also developed models for understanding leadership (Robert 1995).
Historically, various dimension of behavior have been identified as important leader behavior towards the group. In view of this an attempt to make a statement regarding the best style would be misleading. However every leader adopts a style peculiar to him though may be change when the need arises.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The problem with most leadership styles especially that association with have been how to identifying and adopt the suitable leadership styles to overcome its difficulties and attain its goals and objectives. However, three major problems prompted the urge to carry out this research.