In the last byte, we looked at the favorableness of a situation and its role in determining the leadership style. In today's byte, we look at how leadership effectiveness varies with situation.
Contingency theories claim that leader's effectiveness is influenced by the right situation. Studies indicate that, Low LPC (task-oriented) leaders are found to be more effective in situations that are very favorable or very unfavorable. On the other hand, leaders who have high LPC (relationship-oriented) leaders are found to be more effective in the intermediate range of situational favorableness.
Other researchers have also indicated that - relationship oriented leaders are found to be encouraging the team learning and innovativeness, which helps the product reach the market faster. An important cue in the role a relationship oriented leader could play in a new product development teams!
Very often, it’s possible that a misfit occurs - the leader's style might not suite the situation at hand. It is unlikely that the leader can be changed as the leader's need structure is considered an enduring trait according to the theory. In such situations, Fiedler recommends that the leader's situation would be reengineered to suit the leader's style.
In summary: The primary contribution of Fiedler's theory is the attention drawn towards the leadership situation.