Business theories help managers and executives create business structures and manage their organizations in certain ways. Some theories predict how people can or should behave in a business environment. Others show how businesses relate to society and the effect of marketing techniques. Leadership models are theories that suggest effective leadership styles and qualities for business managers.


A leadership model is literally a theory on how to govern employees. These models sometimes include organizational theories that propose ideas on how employees react to command, but they all at least suggest a type of response of style most useful for leading a business. They are models because they propose a specific scenario where certain types of leadership practices are most useful.

Trends in leadership models have been subject to frequent change, but the early 2000 model, one of the most popular in the business world, focuses most on organic employee behavior and how to encourage innate talents. This view looks at coaching and helping. It is where managers show employees how to increase their independence and skill sets. It is also the most valuable form of management, and the leadership model that those in business should strive to achieve. Independence increases business flexibility and the ability to grow without a particular leader.


Bass leadership model, adopted in the early 1990s, is one of the more popular specific models and deals with how people enter leadership roles. Bass states there are three main paths: trait, crisis, and learning. Trait leaders enter their positions because of a particular talent they have innately. Crisis leaders assume leadership in times when desperately needed, and a person who would not otherwise be a leader discovers unknown abilities. Learning leaders choose the leadership path and teach themselves the necessary skills.

Four Framework

The four framework approach suggests there are certain scenarios where particular leadership styles will be effective, and other scenarios where they will not. In a structural framework, the leader develops social organization and manages environment, implementation, and adaptation. A human resource framework requires a leader willing to work on the behalf of others or inspire people to form a team. The political framework requires a leader who excels at making contacts and negotiation, especially financially. A more symbolic framework requires a visionary leadership who is creative and can come up with new ideas and future goals.

LPC Model

The LPC contingency model is a more mathematical leadership model that assigns employees values based on how well they work with the leader. Close relationships contribute to a high LPC, or Least Preferred Coworker scale, showing the leader has respect and can work well with others.