Contingency Theory

situational theoryContingency theory is a behavioural theory of based on being no best way to lead an organization. In realization there is no particular correct type of leader but the effective leadership style is dependent upon the situation and their choice of theory, being people-oriented or task-oriented.

The Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory links leadership style with the maturity of individual members of the leader’s team involves, however all teams and team members are not equal.

leadership theory

Other contingency-based models include House’s Path-Goal Theory based on the leader showing the path to the subordinate to help them achieve their individual goals and the leader focusing on the expected rewards of the performance, although this is only achieved through the subordinate’s ability to cope with environmental pressures and workplace demands being emphasized (Mullins, 2013 p383).  

situational leadershipAnother contingency model was Fiedler’s, whereby the leaders effectiveness was measured through ratings given by leaders on who would work the least. The least preferred co-worker (LCP) consisted of a questionnaire of twenty questions for example pleasant/unpleasant, helpful/frustrating and open/guarded. However, the ratings could vary upon the interpersonal relationship between the leader and worker, and being a cause of uncertainty (Mullins, 2013:380).

Also the leadership process model indicates how situations can affect other factors that are important for effective leadership, and how, in turn these affect leadership (Mindtools, 2014).


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