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Distinction between Leadership and Headship or Domination


Leadership is different from headship or domination. Headship refers to people who are placed in their positions by virtue of official authority or historical accident, with little control over circumstances. For example, the head of a family or educational or military organisation may exercise authority, but may not necessarily be the leader of his subordinates because he may not be in position to significantly influence their activities.

Leadership is essentially an influence process, and the leader may be defined as the one who significantly influences the activities of a group toward achievement of stated goals. While it is true that is a group, every member exercise some influence over the others in the group, the influence exercised by the leader is quite significant and the group quite willingly allows him this authority, as it sees him as an effective instruments for fulfillment of its own goals. Thus, it may be said that a group only accepts a person’s leadership on its own terms.

To conclude, it may be said that while headship refers to the exercise of legal and formal authority at all levels in the organisation, leadership is concerned with the use of non-formal authority at the emotional – motivational level.