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Practical Application of Theory Research Paper

Pages:10 (3465 words)




Document Type:Research Paper


Theory is a set of ideas that once implemented become practice. When looking at theory, it is important to see how it can be developed into practice and what some of the drawbacks are how they may occur. Experience often disproves or proves a theory and provides validation or termination of theory-based practices. If a theory is riddled with negative experiences when implemented, the theory is then proven to be in effective and rejected. Many theories go into proper development of effective practices as theories are the beginning stage of successful and properly formed practices. Without theories, most practices have no foundation or basis to begin.

In an article by Mahadevan, the writer states the need for theoretical approaches to the problems experienced in China. They also explain how OFBs originate based on the need for development. "Prior research on OFBs in general, and on Chinese OFBs in particular, has underlined the cultural, sociological, institutional, and economic factors to explain their emergence and development" (Mahadevan, 2013, p. 5). Theories in this context help put into practice ways to solve issues experienced by the public.

These issues are often the catalyst for theory development as people formulate concepts in times of need as Mahadevan explains. "The singular focus on financially creative innovations, however, contributed to a major East Asian crisis in the late 1990s. This crisis served as an opportunity for Chinese OFBs to advance the next generation of successors into leadership positions, and to restructure their organizations and governance" (Mahadevan, 2013, p. 11). Restructuring ineffective practices invites innovation and creation of useful and efficient theories. These theories then promote continual improvement as they are tested to prove efficacy. People need to evolve and grow as times change and problems arise. Theories help fuel the innovation and creativity needed to promote that change.

Going more into leadership theories to serve as a discussion point for theories and practical application, leadership theories frequently contend that with the absence of followers, leaders would be non-existent. This is true but how is it important that followers exist and follow? How would this then be applied to evolving and modifying such theories? In an article by Howell and Shamir, they discuss the role of followers within noncharismatic leadership theories. "Fieler's contingency model specifies group atmosphere, which includes follower's loyalty, support, and cooperation with the leader, as an important situational determinant of the effectiveness of people-oriented vs. task-oriented leaders" (Howell & Shamir, 2005, p. 98). Howell & Shamir discuss in relative terms what consists of the dynamics explained in leadership theories. The close examination of the parts within theories allows for better execution of said theories in real world scenarios because it picks out the aspects of theories that seem illogical or incompatible with a desired outcome.

As Howell & Shamir state, from analysis of leadership theories, they derived what the theories are based on and why leaders need followers in order to implement decisions and develop identity. "These theories, however, focus on leader behaviors, such as the structuring of tasks, consideration and support of followers, and the inclusion of followers in leader decision making" (Howell & Shamir, 2005, p. 98).In essence, theorists perceive the part of followers from the perspective of their predisposition to certain leader comportments and styles.

In an article by Nelson, the author suggests use of theory in practice and its subsequent responses found within the children. "We found that if a child displays leadership aptitude, by the age of ten he or she is sufficiently developed cognitively to learn many of the sophisticated social skills required in leadership, such as team building, problem solving, and conflict resolution" (Nelson, 2010, p. 20). Nelson observed children based off information derived from a theory. Therefore theory helps not only to implement practice, but also implement evaluation. Evaluation sustains practice and promotes effectiveness. "The Pygmalion effect became evident as kids began being treated like leaders and experienced the training activities. Parents and teachers have reported behavioral and attitude changes after one of the module session" (Nelson, 2010, p. 23).

Murphy & Johnson also explores the dynamic of theory and youth development. "First, it is possible that development occurs more readily in childhood and adolescence than in adulthood because one's behavior, personality, and skills are more malleable at a young age than in adulthood" (Murphy & Johnson, 2011, p. 460). Theory promotes identification of important aspects of development and leads specialists, care-givers and institutions by giving examples of what could, does, and should happen concerning people and their environment. Certainly, researchers have contended for the probability that some abilities may be more significant to advance early on.

The prevailing theoretical hypothesis in leadership studies concentrates on the associations between leader physiognomies or behaviors and the postulated conclusions of these physiognomies or behaviors. As Shamir notes, "In fact, I am not aware of a single leadership theory that speci-es the time it takes for the leader characteristics or behaviors to have an impact on the theoretically speci-ed outcomes" (Shamir, 2011, p. 309). This is correspondingly correct of theories that are a little more multifaceted than other simpler paradigms which posit some of the conclusions as mediators of other effects. In order to understand any of them fully, they must be implemented in the real world. Often times these real world implementation become practices, fueling the cycle of theory and practice.


Howell, J.M., & Shamir, B. (2005). The Role of Followers in the Charismatic Leadership Process: Relationships and Their Consequences. Academy of Management Review, 30(1), 96-112.

Lerner, R.M., Bowers, E.P., Geldhof, G.J., Gestsdottir, S., & Desouza, L. (2012). Promoting positive youth development in the face of contextual changes and challenges: The roles of individual strengths and ecological assets. New Directions for Youth Development, 2012(135), 119-128.

Mahadevan, S., Gupta, V., & Levenburg, N. (2013). Technological Exchange Perspective on Transnational Corporations: Theoretical Propositions and Exploratory Evidence Technological Exchange Perspective on Transnational Corporations: Theoretical Propositions and Exploratory Evidence. VIJBIT, 6 (1), 4-9.

Murphy, S., & Johnson, S. (2011). The bene-ts of a long-lens approach to leader development: Understanding the seeds of leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 22, 459-470.

Nelson, A.E. (2010). In focus/-Stepping in early to grow great leaders. Leadership in Action, 29(6), 20-24.

Part 2

Positive Youth Development or PYD is a view of youth based on strengths. The theory's origins can be found within the ecological systems theory. Additionally in recent times, it shares some theoretical space with positive psychology principles (Gavin et al., 2010, p. S75). Important to its philosophy, PYD implies reciprocally advantageous relations with establishments and people within their social world can positively impact youth and lead them to an optimistic future. This future can then manifest into positive influences to the self, family, public, and civil society. Additionally PYD denotes to deliberate exertions of other adolescence, grownups, people, government organizations, and schools to offer prospects for adolescence to augment their securities, skills, and capabilities (Lerner et al., 2012, p. 119).

"The positive youth development approach aims at understanding, educating and engaging children in productive activities rather than at correcting, curing or treating them for maladaptive tendencies or so-called disabilities" (Peterson, 2004, p. 15). In adding, PYD is typically utilized in systematic collected works and by specialists who work with adolescence to refer to programs intended to enhance progressive development. It is well-known from child improvement or teenage improvement in its application on the dynamic advertising of optimum human growth, rather than on the technical education of age related transformation or as exclusively a means of circumventing dangerous comportments. Rather than establishing its progressive methodology in the occurrence of hardship, hazard or challenge, a PYD method contemplates the prospective and capacity of every separate young person.

A trademark of these kinds of programs is their bases on the notion that youngsters and youths have gifts and capacities distinctive to their developing stage and they are not simply insufficient or immature adults. PYD's goal ultimately is promotion of positive consequences. The concept is in divergence to a viewpoint that places emphases on chastisement and the knowledge that adolescents are damaged. PYD is together a visualization, a philosophy and a new terminology for interacting with the efforts of youth development.

Its doctrines can be systematized into the 5 C's. The 5C's are: competence, connection, confidence, character, caring. When all C's are present, they then help to realize the 6th and final C', contribution. Competence is defined as possessing the ability to perform a task well. Connection suggests building good relations with peers, adults, family and society in order to foster a connection that instills positive values, interactions, and identity.

Competence and connection then foster confidence. Confidence comes successful past experiences and the knowledge of knowing one can achieve something. Experiences, especially positive ones build character. Not to be confused with easy, positive experiences can come from adversity and challenges as long as these experiences produced a positive end result. When a youth feels confident, connected, and has a strong sense of self, then caring can take place as…

Sample Source(s) Used


Bowers, E.P., Li, Y., Kiely, M.K., Brittian, A., Lerner, J.V., & Lerner, R.M. (2010). The Five Cs Model of Positive Youth Development: A Longitudinal Analysis of Confirmatory Factor Structure and Measurement Invariance. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39(7), 720-735.

Duerden, M.D., & Witt, P.A. (2010). The Impact of Socialization on Youth Program Outcomes: A Social Development Model Perspective. Leisure Sciences, 32(4), 299-317.

Shek, D.T., Sun, R.C., Chui, Y.H., Lit, S.W., Yuen, W.W., Chung, Y.Y., et al. (2012). Development and Evaluation of a Positive Youth Development Course for University Students in Hong Kong. The Scientific World Journal, 2012, 1-8.

Shek, D.T., & Yu, L. (2011). A review of validated youth prevention and positive youth development programs in Asia. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 23(4), 317.

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