Leadership: Structural and Functional Aspects.
TEXAS UNIV AT AUSTIN
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This study will develop a conceptual model of leadership based on an analysis of leadership functions. In broad outline, I will argue that an essential function of a leader is to develop and maintain social bonds among group members. In fact, I will conclude that this is a function of paramount importance, which has been neglected by most research. I will argue that analysis of the bond-building function can provide significant insight into the nature of leadership, regardless of context. The specific features of social bonds and how they are developed and maintained will vary in different groups and situations, but an essential leadership function in every case will be their development and maintenance. Such a model would be readily open to empirical confirmation, would provide theoretical insights into leadership processes within groups, and would have useful practical consequences for leadership development and training as well.