Comparing Two Leadership Theories Essay

Comparing Two Leadership Theories Essay

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There are different leadership theories developed throughout the history. Most popular ones are trait theories, behavioral theories, contingency theories, and leader-member exchange (LMX) theory. The author of the post will briefly discuss two theories, Fiedler contingency theory and Leader-Member Exchange (LMX), and compare and contrast their strengths and weakness.

Fiedler’ model is considered the first highly visible theory to present the contingency approach. It stated that effective groups depend on a proper match between a leader’s style of interacting with subordinates and the degree to which the situation gives control and influence to the leader (Fiedler, 1967). Fiedler argued that the leadership style could be indentified by taking a Least Preferred Co-worker (LPC) questionnaire he designed. When evaluating a least enjoyed co-worker, a relationship oriented leader scores high in LPC, while a task oriented leader scores low. Fiedler identified three contingency or situational dimensions: leader-member relations, task structure, and position power. A leader will have more control if he has better leader-member relations, high structured job, and stronger position power. The task-oriented leaders perform best in situations of high and low control, while relationship-oriented leaders perform best in moderate control situations. Feedler views an individual’s leadership style as fixed. To assure leader effectiveness, either situation needs to change to fit the leader or the leader needs to be replaced to fit the situation. But in reality, a leader can not use a homogeneous style to treat all their followers in a similar fashion in their work unit (Robbins & Judge, 2011, p. 382).

Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) theory, on t...


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... over 25 years: Applying a multi-level, multi-domain perspective, Leadership Quarterly, 6(2):219-247.

Gils, S. v., Quaquebeke, N. v., & Knippenberg, D. v. (2009). The X-Factor: On the Relevance of Implicit Leadership and Followership Theories for Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Agreement European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM).

MindTools (n.d.) Fiedler's Contingency Model. Retrieved November 16, 2010 from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/fiedler.htm

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2011). Organizational behavior (14 ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.


Mao Zedong (n.d.). in Wikipedia. Retrieved November 16, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mao_Zedong

Zhou Enlai (n.d.) in Wikipedia. Retrieved November 16, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhou_Enlai

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