Requests for reprints or further information should be sent to Dr. Michael D. Mumford, Department of Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332.
Leadership in the Organizational Context: A Conceptual Approach and its Applications1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 16, Issue 6, pages 508–531, September 1986
How to Cite
Mumford, M. D. (1986), Leadership in the Organizational Context: A Conceptual Approach and its Applications. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 16: 508–531. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1986.tb01156.x
The author would like to thank Drs. Edwin A. Fleishman, T. Owen Jacobs, William W. Haythorn, Earl C. Pence, and Arthur L. Korotkin for their comments and encouragement, as well as to acknowledge the support of the Army Research Institute.
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
The present research reviewed the literature on leadership, and noted the lack of a well-founded theoretical conception of leadership that would provide a general, cross-situational approach to leadership identification and develoment. Subsequently, it was suggested systems theory might be used to gain some understanding of leadership as it occurs in bureaucratic organizations. This led to the hypothesis that formal leadership activities will always be focused on the attainment of certain goals specified in the leadership role, and so will represent a form of problem-solving activity. The literature supporting this hypothesis was reviewed. The personal characteristics of a leader which would be likely to facilitate goal attainment and problem solving across situations were outlined as well as certain problem-specific processes. Finally, some implications of this approach to leadership identification and development were considered.