Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Analysis Research Paper

Martin Luther King, Jr.: Leadership Analysis Research Paper

Modern researchers vary in their opinions on the most effective management types and approaches to turning into role models for other people. By studying the exercise of distinguished activists of the previous and the key prerequisites to their success, it is possible to study more in regards to the artwork of leading others. This essay is devoted to the diverse management experiences of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the underlying beliefs guiding this person’s behaviors.


The chief analyzed on this paper is Martin Luther King, Jr., a well-known American activist who contributed to African Americans’ battle for civil rights and desegregation. His leadership traits may be analyzed concerning two organizations because he stood at the origins of the Montgomery Improvement Association and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (Garrow, 2015; SCLC, n.d.). The most necessary points discovered so far include this person’s capacity to specific political wants utilizing spiritual terms and his readiness to take dangers to succeed in the goal.

Alignment to Universal Principles of Leadership

Bearing responsibility for other people’s actions has never been an easy task, and a few rules are anticipated to be strictly observed by efficient leaders. As one of many most outstanding religious and civil rights leaders of the 20th century, King, Jr. paid close attention to such values as duty, integrity, compassion, and forgiveness. As for duty, according to the man’s confessions, his extent of accountability increased along with the growth of his reputation among the many Black Christian population (Garrow, 2015). In his practice, he demonstrated both duty and compassion by encouraging his followers to struggle for the purpose for justice without the use of physical aggression (Garrow, 2015). It was as a end result of he understood that violence would cause extra violence instead of constructive outcomes for the oppressed social teams.

Regarding integrity, King, Jr. was committed to his ideas and wished his followers to do the same. For occasion, as a deeply non secular person, he supported the ideas of non-violent resistance persistently and never departed from his words (Garrow, 2015). Modern researchers record fidelity to principles among the many basic things making King, Jr. an effective consultant of the gentle management style (Rao, 2017). Finally, speaking about forgiveness, he demonstrated this high quality many instances, including the case when Mr. Fields, certainly one of his former colleagues, accused MIA led by Martin of misappropriating the acquired funds (Garrow, 2015). When Fields supplied an excuse in public, King, Jr. accepted his apology and, regardless of the crowd’s resentment, asked everyone to forgive the person (Garrow, 2015). Therefore, judging from this person’s management decisions and approaches to communication with followers, Martin Luther King, Jr. adhered to the rules of efficient leading.

Bases of Power

The concept of the basis of power helps to higher understand the sources of a person’s influence on others. Based on the mentioned leader’s biography and analysis devoted to his outreach activities, Martin Luther King used referent, skilled, and information energy to contribute to social change. The use of reward and coercive power by the chosen leader stays questionable since his most known beliefs included the inappropriateness of violence, which could apply to adverse reinforcement in management as properly (Garrow, 2015). As for referent power, it’s associated with the presence of well-developed communicative skills, and King, Jr. used them to turn into extra engaging as a pacesetter. For instance, his oratory expertise together with the willingness to take risks reworked King, Jr. into a task mannequin for many of his peers from dissimilar social groups (Garrow, 2015). Thus, the right software of his rhetorical talents and private strengths enabled him to seek out favor in the eyes of the African-American inhabitants.

In his political exercise, King, Jr. additionally used professional and information power to form different people into one physique able to initiating change. Being a professional skilled in theology, he managed to align non secular philosophical ideas with the ideas of political struggle, thus making use of his professional energy (Burrow, Jr., 2012). Speaking about informational energy, he made use of it when collaborating with his followers and supporters to organize protest events, together with the famous March on Washington in 1963 (Garrow, 2015). Thus, the leader’s activity was profitable since he had power coming from dissimilar sources.

Beliefs Peculiar to Leadership

As a specialist within the subject of theology, Martin Luther King, Jr. was committed to his beliefs about society, life, and rules helping to guide different people’s activities. He was one of many leaders of MIA formed in the mid-1950s to live performance the efforts of multiple small teams tasked with expediting the top of the racial segregation period in the United States (Garrow, 2015). Concerning his beliefs about folks in the organizations, King thought that taking risks was justified if it could be helpful to different members of MIA after which SCLC (Garrow, 2015). He expressed that viewpoint after being provided the place of the association’s president (Garrow, 2015). Also, about folks outside MIA and SCLC, it seems that the leader’s beliefs did not depart from the essential Christian moral values (Garrow, 2015). It means that he respected other people’s dignity and was able to forgive offenses.

The leader’s opinion on power and different concepts also sheds mild on his approaches to leading others. King believed that true energy could not exist without love for others and the willingness to respect justice (Garrow, 2015; Kahane, 2010). However, as for political processes, he thought that folks might contribute to vary by stating their position on important questions explicitly and organizing mass protests with out resorting to physical violence (Garrow, 2015). Speaking about policies, King proposed a number of initiatives expressing his supporters’ place on justice, equal rights, and opportunities for racial minorities (Garrow, 2015). As for his primary beliefs, he protested in opposition to aggressive enlargement, participation in wars, demonstration of navy energy, and injustice in any form (Burrow, Jr., 2012; Garrow, 2015). At the identical time, utilizing the existing research, it might be quite troublesome to generalize on King’s beliefs regarding income since he didn’t participate in enterprise actions.

Impact on Organizational Culture

Apart from his function in MIA, Martin Luther King, Jr. is named essentially the most famous member of SCLC. The regional rights organization was founded in 1957 to unite the members of MIA and other teams, and King, Jr. grew to become its president (Garrow, 2015). His attitudes to totally different social problems and resulting actions formed his followers’ pursuits and actions. For instance, when he avoided discussing the Vietnam concern in public due to the threat of dropping focus, his followers supported his warning (Fairclough, 2001). Martin’s willingness to focus on home issues impacting the African-American population and categorical the organization’s vision by giving public speeches have been among the behaviors that impacted followers and attracted new supporters (Fairclough, 2001). Serving because the president of SCLC, he could set the tone in political battle.

Leaders’ credibility is among the many predictors of success and assets which are constructed over time and may be lost easily. Martin Luther King, Jr. earned it even before the start of his political career when he was broadly supported by common people as a pastor (Burrow, Jr., 2012). Numerous posts that he was supplied also converse in favor of his credibility. As an example, in the Nineteen Fifties, he was nominated as a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Executive Committee (Jackson, 2008). With that in thoughts, his private qualities and loyalty to ideas turned him into a very trusted person.

King, Jr. was an moral leader since he respected such things as human dignity and equity. The evidence supporting the purpose may be present in his texts and his contemporaries’ memories. For occasion, within the leader’s well-known Nobel Peace Prize speech, he expressed dedication to telling the “unarmed truth” and respecting “unconditional love” to humanity (Bridges, 2019, para. 3). As for his common impact on ethics, it is potential to say that his hieratic expertise and fidelity to values from Biblical teachings informed the selection of ideas to guide the activity of SCLC (n.d.). After sixty years of labor, the organization nonetheless exists and pursues new goals associated to social improvement, however Christian values supported by King, Jr. stay the important thing reference level for its members.


To sum it up, Martin Luther King, Jr. demonstrated alignment to the universal principles of leadership and utilized a number of bases of power to provoke constructive social change. His assumptions regarding leading others referred to the values of Christianity. This person didn’t believe in actual power without love and promoted the ideas of non-violent resistance. Commitment to Christian morals and some values outside faith, for example, justice and honesty, made him an ethical and credible chief revered by many generations.


Bridges, F. (2019). Five leadership classes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Forbes. Web.

Burrow, Jr., R. (2012). God and human dignity: The personalism, theology, and ethics of Martin Luther King, Jr. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.

Fairclough, A. (2001). To redeem the soul of America: The Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Martin Luther King, Jr. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.

Garrow, D. J. (2015). Bearing the cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. New York, NY: Open Road Media.

Jackson, T. (2008). Becoming King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the making of a national leader. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky.

Kahane, A. (2010). Power and love: A concept and follow of social change. San-Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Rao, M. S. (2017). Soft management: An progressive leadership perspective. The Journal of Values-Based Leadership, 10(1), 1-12.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference. (n.d.). SCLC historical past. Web.

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