Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Theories, Use of
A theory is essentially a set of assumptions from which a set of empirical laws (or principles) may be derived. What makes a theory a theory? For a proposal to be a theory, it must be descriptive, analytical, and predictive. To be descriptive, it must point to the phenomenon being described, such as a series of behaviors being described by a leadership theory. Next, it must analyze relevant phenomena. For example, some leadership behavior may be classified as structuring tasks, while others as concern for subordinates' wellbeing. Last, ...