Friday, January 17, 2014

Contingency Theories of Leadership

In the last byte, we looked at a comparison between the leadership grid and the Ohio State Research. In today's byte, we begin our discussion on the Contingency Theories of Leadership.

The roots of Contingency Theory of Leadership arises from the belief that leadership style must be appropriate to a particular situation. The way one could interpret these theories is - "IF the situation is ____, then the appropriate leadership behavior is _____ ". We shall begin our discussion on these theories with an introduction to Fiedler's Contingency Theory in this byte and continue this further.

Fiedler's Contingency Theory assumes that leaders are either task-oriented or relationship oriented, depending on how the leaders obtain their major gratification. The theory thus, proposes the fit between the leader's need structure and the favorableness of the leader's situation determine the team's effectiveness in work accomplishment.

Task-oriented leaders are primarily gratified by accomplishing tasks and getting work done, while relationship-oriented leaders are primarily gratified by developing good, comfortable interpersonal relationships. Thus, the effectiveness of the type of leaders depends on the favorableness of the situation.
The favorableness of the situation has three components:
  • Leader's position power.
  • Structure of the team's task
  • Quality of the leader-follower relationship.

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