Creating a logical and consistent picture of the state of leadership theory and research is a difficult task (Hernandez, Eberly, Avolio, & Johnson, 2011). Attempts to describe leadership studies occasionally include words such as “paradox,” “inconsistencies,” “contradictions,” and “messy” (Brungardt, 1996; Klenke, 1993). These adjectives flow from many diverse ways of thinking about leadership (Bass, 2008; Grint, 2000; Northouse, 2015; Ruben, 2012). This paper presents an alternative view of leadership theory providing practitioners, educators, and students with an additional-and perhaps a singular-conceptual framework for their toolbox. It also provides leadership studies students with a unifying perspective of leadership theory without taking anything away from individual theories.

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