Contingency Leadership Theories and Effective Leadership

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Contingency Leadership Theories and Effective Leadership
Contingency leadership theories attempt to define leadership style, the situation, and answer the if-then contingencies. Situational leadership theory is a contingency theory that focuses on followers’ readiness: the extent to which people have the ability and willingness to accomplish a specific task. Path-goal theory states that it is the leader’s job to assist followers in attaining their goals and to provide direction or support needed to ensure that their goals are compatible with the organization or group goals. Each theory was developed as a separate model for leaders to determine which leadership style to use in different contexts or situations. However, both models can be related to each other and may be even more effective when used together. Effective leaders will recognize that they must adjust their styles and behaviors according to their followers and the environment. By accurately assessing their team’s stage while minimizing redundancies in the environmental structure leaders can improve their team’s performance and satisfaction.
Styles and Behavior
In situational leadership theory and path-goal theory, both theories assume that leaders are flexible and can display any or all styles depending on the situation or environment. Situational leadership theory emphasizes the importance of adjusting leadership style based on the needs of the followers. Path-goal theory leaders help followers along their path and are more effective if they adapt their behaviors to the current environment. Each leadership theory describes four different styles or behaviors to use for effective leadership. The style of telling, selling, participating, and delegating are used in STL...

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...-goal theory focuses on the personal characteristics of the follower in addition to factors in the environment that are outside the control of the follower. Environmental factors determine the type of leader behavior required and personal characteristics of the follower determine how the environment and leader behavior are interpreted. Both theories acknowledge the importance of followers and effectively compensating for their ability and motivational limitations. There is never just one way to succeed as an effective leader. It is a continual process of assessing and reevaluating the team and environment while adjusting the leadership style and behavior to maximize the performance and satisfaction of the team.

Works Cited

Coulter, M., Decenzo, D. A., & Robbins, S. P. (2013). Fundamentals of Management (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
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