Leadership Theories: Situational and Contingency Approaches example

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Leadership Theories: Situational and Contingency Approaches

Dear managers, having a stellar leader in an organization is very important for the smooth and effective running of operations. Good leadership is important since, in business, anything can happen at the most unexpected time and to be successful, the organization needs to react effectively. A leader’s input is essential to an organization since it ensures that the employees react appropriately to any upcoming situations that may pose threat to smooth operations. Today, however, a leader’s charm and skill is not enough as researchers have found out that different leadership styles are required for effectiveness.

Different styles of leadership are important since business is risky, and anything can happen at any time and place and these changes need to be challenged head-on. In this presentation, I will explore the contingency and situational leadership approaches and how they can be used to accomplish innovation and influence change in organizations.

1. Situational Approach to Leadership

Hersey and Blanchard proposed the situational theory of leadership that focuses on a leader’s involvement in an organization. The theory proposes that in leadership, the leader should be able to provide direction regardless of the situation and ensure that appropriate relationships with the employees are developed. In essence, the situational theory is based on the task behavior of a leader and the associated levels of maturity portrayed by the employees. The situational approach has several major components that include the directive and supportive behaviors of the leader and the maturity levels of the employees.

Directive behavior, which is also known as task behavior refers to the extent of a leader’s engagement in the employee tasks. Under this scenario, the leader’s operation is mainly one-way as he engages with the employees depending on their levels of maturity. The different levels of maturity range from low readiness level, moderate readiness level, high readiness level, and the very high readiness level (Papworth, Milne and Boak, 2009). Depending on the level of maturity, the leadership styles change for example when the employee has low readiness levels, the leader is more “telling” or “directing” while when their readiness is very high, the leader delegates. Supportive behaviors, on the other hand, refers to the relationship between the two parties. This type of leadership behavior focuses on the type of relationship that a leader cultivates with his employees. The leader in this scenario is more open to communication with other parties as he tries to counter the arising situations and employees. Through effective communication, the leader identifies the levels of maturity of the employees to make the appropriate decisions.

2. Contingency Approach to Leadership

Fred E. Fielder proposed the contingency theory that centers on the presumption that there is no exceptional method of leadership (Beersma et.al., 2003). In essence, contingency calls for liquidity in leadership since styles that may work in one scenario might fail in another. …

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