Contingency Theories Leaderships Styles and Decisions Making

Leadership: Contingency Theory

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Page 1: Leadership: Contingency Theory

Contingency Theories

Leaderships Styles and Decisions Making

Page 2: Leadership: Contingency Theory

Contingency Theory

Contingency theory is a behavioral theory based on their views that there is no “one best way” to lead an organization, organize a cooperation or to make a decision. Contingency theory states that these actions are dependant (contingent) to the internal and external factors. Thus it states that there is no single theory of contingency management.

Some important contingencies for organizations are:

Technology Suppliers and Distributers Customers and Competitors Consumer Interest Groups Government Unions

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Researchers of contingency theory states that the decision making process depends on a number of variables. These variables are:

The importance of the decision – is the decision a strategic or difficult decisions to reverse.

The amount of information available to the leaders and subordinates- has a similar decision been made before and is there available information on the results.

The relationship between leaders and subordinates more leaders are likely the greater support they will have from subordinates.

The likelihood of subordinates accepting on autocratic decision or cooperate with taking a few good decisions if allowed to participate- how well motivated are the staff?

The amount of disagreement among subordinates with respect to the preferred alternative- the greater need for an autocratic approach, perhaps.

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Theorists of the Contingency Management Theory

Fred Edward Fiedler Kenneth Blanchard Paul HerseyVictor Vroom Philip Yetton Arthur Jago

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Fred Edward Holder Fred Edward Fiedler (1922) is one of the leading experts

on the study of leadership and organizational performance and thus has had a profound impact on social organizational and industrial psychology. Before he even entered his teen years, Fiedler decided to be a psychologist. Fourteen years later, he graduated from the University of Chicago and started his research into changing the way that people think of leadership. Beginning in 1954, Fiedler began studying leadership in high school basketball teams. This lead to the development of the Least Preferred Co-worker scale. The result of his research, in 1967 lead to the publishing of his famous book, ‘A Theory of Leadership Effectiveness.” This book proposed his contingency model of leadership, the first leadership theory to measure member- leader relationships.

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Kenneth Blanchard

Kenneth H. Blanchard (May 6th 1939), born in Orange, Ney Jersey attended New Rochelle High School, graduating in 1957. He completed his BA in government and philosophy in 1961, a MA degree in sociology and counseling in1963 and a PhD degree in education administration and leadership in 1967. In the 1960’s he developed the Situational leadership theory and model with Paul Hersey.

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Paul Hersey

Paul Hersey born in 1931, is a behavioral scientist and entrepreneur. He is known for his work on Situational leadership theory with Kenneth Blanchard. They published Management and Organization Behavior.

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Victor Vroom

Victor H. Vroom is a business school professor at the Yale School of Management, who was born on 9 August 1932 in Montreal, Canada. He holds a PhD from University of Michigan. Vroom's primary research was on the expectancy theory of motivation, which attempts to explain why individuals choose to follow certain courses of action in organizations, particularly in decision-making and leadership. His most well-known books are Work and Motivation, Leadership and Decision Making and The New Leadership.

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Contingency Theory of Leadership:Fred Edward Fiedler Contingency theory of leadership emphasizes that the

effectiveness of leadership is dependant (contingent) on matching its leadership style to right situations. This theory was originally developed by Fred E. Fiedler after studying various leaders in different context. It is contradictory to “situational leadership” which stress for leaders to adapt to the situation. Situation in this context may have different meanings. As it relates to the development/readiness level of the organization, it also relates to three factors in contingency. These factors are:

Leader- Member- Relations- it is a measure of leadership acceptance between the organizational hierarchies. If the subordinates have trust, confidence and feel adequately motivated by their superiors, it is positive.

Task Structure- it is a measure of the clarity of the projects or tasks, their methods to achieve the end product. There are clear guidelines to follow and progress can be easily tracked.

Positional Power- it is a measure of the amount of authority the leader has to influence the productivity of the followers, whether he rewards or punishes them. The positional power can be weak if subordinates do not directly report the leader.

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Least Preferred Co-worker ScaleTask Oriented Score Relationship


Unfriendly 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Friendly

Unpleasant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pleasant

Rejecting 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Accepting

Tense 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Relaxed

Cold 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Warm

Boring 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Interesting

Backbiting 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Loyal

Uncooperative 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Cooperative

Hostile 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Support

Guarded 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Open

Insincere 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Sincere

Unkind 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Kind

Inconsiderate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Considerate

Untrustworthy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Trustworthy

Gloomy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Cheerful

Quarrelsome 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Harmonious

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Leadership Styles (Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hershey)

Leadership Styles S1: Telling / Directing Follower: R1: Low competence, low commitment / Unable and unwilling or insecure Leader: High task focus, low relationship focus When the follower cannot do the job and is unwilling or afraid to try, then the leader takes a highly

directive role, telling them what to do but without a great deal of concern for the relationship. The leader may also provide a working structure, both for the job and in terms of how the person is controlled.

S2: Selling / Coaching Follower: R2: Some competence, variable commitment / Unable but willing or motivated Leader: High task focus, high relationship focus When the follower can do the job, at least to some extent, and perhaps is over-confident about their

ability in this, then 'telling' them what to do may demotivate them or lead to resistance. The leader thus needs to 'sell' another way of working, explaining and clarifying decisions.

  S3: Participating / Supporting Follower: R3: High competence, variable commitment / Able but unwilling or insecure Leader: Low task focus, high relationship focus When the follower can do the job, but is refusing to do it or otherwise showing insufficient commitment,

the leader need not worry about showing them what to do, and instead is concerned with finding out why the person is refusing and thence persuading them to cooperate.

  S4: Delegating / Observing Follower: R4: High competence, high commitment / Able and willing or motivated Leader: Low task focus, low relationship focus When the follower can do the job and is motivated to do it, then the leader can basically leave them to

it, largely trusting them to get on with the job although they also may need to keep a relatively distant eye on things to ensure everything is going to plan.

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Maturity Levels According to Hersey and Blanchard, knowing when to

use each style is largely dependent on the maturity of the person or group you're leading. They break maturity down into four different levels:

M1 – People at this level of maturity are at the bottom level of the scale. They lack the knowledge, skills, or confidence to work on their own, and they often need to be pushed to take the task on.

M2 – at this level, followers might be willing to work on the task, but they still don't have the skills to do it successfully.

M3 – Here, followers are ready and willing to help with the task. They have more skills than the M2 group, but they're still not confident in their abilities.

M4 – These followers are able to work on their own. They have high confidence and strong skills, and they're committed to the task.

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The Hersey-Blanchard model maps each leadership style to each maturity level, as shown below:

Maturity Level Most Appropriate Leadership Style

M1: Low maturity S1: Telling/directing

M2: Medium maturity, limited skills

S2: Selling/coaching

M3: Medium maturity, higher skills but lacking confidence

S3: Participating/supporting

M4: High maturity S4: Delegating

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Situational Leadership Model

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Contingency Theory of Decision Making:Victor Vroom, Philip Yetton and Arthur Jago

Understanding the Model: When you sit down to make a decision, your style, and the degree of participation you

need to get from your team, are affected by three main factors: Decision Quality – how important is it to come up with the "right" solution? The higher

the quality of the decision needed, the more you should involve other people in the decision.

Subordinate Commitment - how important is it that your team and others buy into the decision? When teammates need to embrace the decision you should increase the participation levels.

Time Constraints – How much time do you have to make the decision? The more time you have, the more you have the luxury of including others, and of using the decision as an opportunity for teambuilding.

  Vroom and Yetton defined five different decision procedures. Two are autocratic (A1

and A2), two are consultative (C1 and C2) and one is Group based (G2). A1: Leader takes known information and then decides alone. A2: Leader gets information from followers, and then decides alone. C1: Leader shares problem with followers individually, listens to ideas and then decides

alone. C2: Leader shares problems with followers as a group, listens to ideas and then decides

alone. G2: Leader shares problems with followers as a group and then seeks and accepts

consensus agreement.

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The Vroom-Yetton-Jago Decision Model

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The EndDone By: Travis SeepersadNirvana MadooBharat RoodalJaishree RamdineMareena Manmohan Christopher Kamal