Friday, January 17, 2014

Contingency Theories of Leadership 2

In the last byte, we began our discussion on Fiedler's Contingency Theory. In today's byte, we explore it a bit deeper in this attempt.

Fiedler classifies leaders using the Least Preferred Coworker (LPC) Scale. This scale asks the leader to describe the least preferred coworker using a sixteen eight point scale bipolar adjective sets. The leader would mark the bank that is most descriptive of the least preferred coworker.

The leaders are then classified - one who describes their least preferred coworker in positive terms (ex: pleasant, efficient, cheerful etc) is classified as high LPC, or relationship oriented; and those who describe their least preferred coworker in negative terms (ex: unpleasant, inefficient, gloomy etc) are said to be having a low LPC, or task-oriented, leaders.

Note that, this technique is a projective technique which asks a leader to think about the person whom he or she can work least well (the least preferred coworker or LPC). This itself makes the score controversial element of the theory as the projective technique would have an extremely low measurement reliability

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