Situational Leadership Theory Analysis

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Leadership has been described as a “complex process having multiple dimensions” (Northouse, 2013). Over the past 60 years, scholars and practitioners have introduced a vast amount of leadership models and theories to explain this complex field and examine its many perspectives. Numerous leadership theories and models have attempted to define what makes a leader effective. From the early 1900s, the trait paradigm dominated leadership literature, focusing on inherited traits of leaders and suggesting that “leaders are born, not made”. However, during the 1950s, the trait approach lost enthusiasm as focus shifted to the behavior of leaders. Similar to the trait theory, the behavioral paradigm was based on general effective leadership behaviors …show more content…

A leader's situation or environment plays a critical role in his or her success or failure, especially in today's ever-changing organizations and marketplace. The contingency and situational leadership perspectives, such as Fiedler's Contingency Theory of Leadership and Hersey and Blanchard's Situational Leadership Theory, proposed that a leader's effectiveness is influenced by situational factors as well, rather than simply traits and behaviors. Both leadership theories introduced a pragmatic approach to leadership by recognizing leadership as an interactive process involving the leader, the follower, and other internal and external organizational factors. Fiedler and Hersey and Blanchard's theories broke ground in the leadership field by departing from the “one style fits all” leadership …show more content…

However, Fielder's theory provides useful implications for understanding the complex leadership process. First, Fielder's theory demonstrates that it is unrealistic for an organization to require a leader to be effective in every situation. Fielder argues that leaders should be placed in situations which match their style in order to optimize success. He proposed that organizations “build an organizational environment in which the leader can perform well” (Koontz, 2009). Fielder stressed that placing leaders in “mismatched” situations places a tremendous amount of pressure on a leaders which ultimately results in decreased organizational performance (Northouse, 2013). Second, Fielder's theory provides useful information to organization to help them in determining which leaders are better suited for certain situations. Using the Fielder's theory information, an organization can determine the likelihood of success before placing a leader in an a certain

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that leadership is a complex process with multiple dimensions. the trait paradigm dominated leadership literature in the early 1900s, but the behavioral paradigm was based on general effective leadership behaviors.
  • Explains fielder's contingency theory, which is based on matching the leader’s style to the right situation.
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