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A theory is an explanation for how something works.  Theories are derived from investigations using the principles of the scientific method.  Organizational researchers have studied the processes and pieces of productive and effective workplaces for more than a century.  There is value in studying, learning, questioning, making sense of, and applying those theories to particular workplaces.

For the past several decades, business and management majors have been some of the most popular among students on colleges campuses across the United States.  In fact, somewhere between 20-25% of all undergraduate and graduate degrees earned over recent decades have been in business and management.  

The organizations that hire business and management graduates value the experiences that those students gained while in school.  A major component of management education programs comes from the teaching, learning, and application of organizational theories.  There is value to be gained from leadership, management, organization, and economic theories--they give explanation of how things work; things that are important to organizational functioning and effectiveness.


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Many of the leadership, management, and organization training programs around today mimic the writing styles of leadership and management books--of which there are typically two types.

One is the college text-type book, filled with results of scientific research into the subject.  Terms such as experiments, control groups, theories, and statistical significance intermingle with leadership concepts.  While informative and useful in their own rights, many textbooks and writings derived from scientific and theoretical investigations lack the useful and practical insights that can be implemented by practitioners.

The other type is the one found in most popular bookstores.  These books typically borrow ideas from one or more leadership theories and rework them into terms and concepts that the masses of people can understand and relate to.  Often, however, these books are shallow and don’t provide much insight into the true processes and dimensions of the subject. 

There is value to be gained from both of those instructional approaches.  Ideally, the usefulness and practicality of the popular guides should be combined with the insight and scientific grounding of the theory-based works.  This combination of the best of both approaches would yield a product that is both useful and sound in principle.


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The Leadership Lens Model is an integrative metaphorical model for the components and processes of leadership--including individual differences, groups, attitudes, perceptions, power, environment, change, and performance.  Using a simple and understandable physical-model metaphor (using the ideas of light and lenses), learners can identify and easily integrate a vast set of leadership, management, and organizational topics.

The Leadership Lens Model was created by Coleman Patterson as a way to synthesize a vast array of leadership and organizational theories.  The model was the foundation of his doctoral dissertation and has been used to teach college students, colleagues, and people from a variety of organizations about ways that leaders foster and promote effective organizational performance.  The concepts contained in the model apply to all types of organizations and workers.  It makes theory relevant and easy to understand.

 

 

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2006, 2007  Coleman Patterson, All Rights Reserved