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Quiz News Fiedler’s Contingency Theory Path Goal Theory

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Presentation on theme: "Quiz News Fiedler’s Contingency Theory Path Goal Theory"— Presentation transcript:

1 Quiz News Fiedler’s Contingency Theory Path Goal Theory Team discussion of case example

2 Fiedler’s Contingency Theory of Leadership: Situational Factors
Task structure Goal clarity Path simplicity/multiplicity Solution singularity/multiplicity Solution verifiability Position power Appointed by authority Direct/recommend action Affect promotion/demotion, hire/fire Leader expertise/knowledge Conduct performance evaluation Formal title Leader-member relations Co-worker cooperation/conflict Reliability, trustworthiness Harmonious climate Leader-worker cooperation/conflict Initiative by workers Fred E. Fiedler

3 Least Preferred Co-Worker Scale
Pleasant Friendly Rejecting Tense Distant Cold Supportive Boring Quarrelsome Gloomy Open Backbiting Untrustworthy Considerate Nasty Agreeable Insincere Kind Unpleasant Unfriendly Accepting Relaxed Close Warm Hostile Interesting Harmonious Cheerful Guarded Loyal Trustworthy Inconsiderate Nice Disagreeable Sincere Unkind Scoring >72 Relationship 65-71 Mixed <64 Task

4 What are the factors that determine fit between style & situation?
Relationship-oriented Task-oriented Task-oriented

5 Since the quality of leader-member relationships is essential to a well-functioning organization, if you had a leader who needed to improve such relations, what would you recommend?

FIEDLER'S LEADERSHIP CONTINGENCY MODEL: STRUCTURAL CHANGES IN THE SITUATION To Improve Leader-Member Relations: Clearly understand group problems and try to alleviate them. Become more available to workers (e.g. consultation, feedback). Provide accurate information on the organization so their confidence and trust is earned. Hold feedback (and gripe) sessions. Hold regular meetings to keep people more informed and involved. Promote brown bag lunches, socials, leisure activities. Provide celebrations for task completion. Accept assignments to work with more difficult individuals ("problem people," motivation, etc.) Organize off-work activities such as picnics, softball, excursions. Request particular individuals to work on projects. Suggest or effect transfers in/out of unit. Raise morale by obtaining positive outcomes for subordinates (e.g. special bonuses, time off, attractive jokes, etc.)

7 In other cases, the task is unclear or too rigid and constraints mature workers. What recommendations could you make to increase or decrease structure?

8 Changes to Task Structure
To Increase Task Structure: Request more structured tasks or more detailed instructions. Request more tasks; learn all you can through training and experience about the task so you can develop more detailed plans. Break a task into smaller subtasks. Volunteer for structured tasks; avoid unstructured ones. Develop procedures, guidelines, SOP, diagrams, outlines, descriptions of previous jobs. Keep records, systematic observations, note patterns, cycles. To Reduce Task Structure: Request new, unusual problems with permission to figure out how to do solve them. Involve the group in problem solving and decision making on the task or problems. Leave the task in vague form. Increase the time horizon (which usually increases ambiguity or complexity). Volunteer for unstructured tasks and avoid structured ones. Involve people with different viewpoints. Work on tasks that have path multiplicity (multiple ways of approaching or solving them).

9 Finally, if a new leader had little influence due to low position power, what would you recommend to improve such power:

10 Structural changes to position power
To Decrease Position Power: Be one of the gang, socialize, joke, self disclosure, play down trappings and rank. Share decision making by involving others in planning. Give others access to your boss. Let information from the organization quickly reach all group members. Delegate and distribute power. Promote team and individual development and expertise. To Increase Position Power: Demonstrate authority by exercising full authorized powers. Quickly become an expert. Evaluate subordinates' performance. No not depend on others to assert yourself in informing, planning, and organizing. Arrange for information to be channeled through you. Use the cultural trappings of power (desk, secretary, wardrobe, etc.)

11 Evaluation of Fiedler’s Contingency Model
Weaknesses Difficult to understand and use LPC test Questionable whether LPC measures T/R, motivation, or cognitive complexity LPC measure is unstable, with low validity & reliability coefficients Other important contingencies are left out Fiedler believed you had to change the situation and not style because style was not changeable– he has moderated– all factors can change None of correlations between LPC and group performance were statistically significant, although 34 of 45 groups tested (76%) were in the predicted direction Wide variations in the specification of situational favorableness Fiedler proposed that L-MR, TS, & PP should be on 4:2:1 ratio, but no experimental evidence to support this

12 Strengths Considers interaction of different styles and different contingencies Emphasizes change or “engineering” the situation and suggests specifics Recognizes changing/dynamic nature of situations Recognizes leader success is a function of style-situation match Unique idea on combination of factors producing favorability Conclusion OK for simple situations (clear extreme & middle) Important starting point for learning about and experimenting with contingencies, but should consider other variables present Don’t use LPC scale Emphasize leader change as much as situational change

13 Robert House & Martin Evans
Path-Goal Theory of Robert House & Martin Evans Key question: How to choose the best path to reach the goal (based on expectancy theory of motivation) Follower characteristics: locus of control & self efficacy Environmental characteristics: situational demands such as task structure, level of authority, & work group Vary leadership style depending on contingencies Ensure subordinate goals are consistent with organizational goals Enhance work satisfaction & productivity How would you create a model out of these building blocks?

14 Path-Goal Theory In the early 1970’s House & Evans proposed path-goal theory Specifies what a leader should do to achieve high productivity & satisfaction This is done by clarifying the path to the work/performance goal The leadership style should consider needs of the worker and task demands, and match efforts accordingly It identifies four worker needs and corresponding leader styles


16 Sample Locus of Control Scale Items

17 Subordinate Self-Perception factors in Path-Goal
Outcomes are influences by luck, fate, chance, or powerful others Outcomes are influenced by oneself, motivation, skill and effort

18 Subordinate Self-Efficacy & Path-Goal

19 Study showing variance accounted for (R2) by self-efficacy in remote workers in virtual organizations Staples, D. S., Hulland, J. S., & Higgins, C. A. (1998). A Self-Efficacy Theory Explanation for the Management of Remote Workers in Virtual Organizations. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 3(4),

20 You prefer what you are…

21 Team Task Identify a leadership situation that was working well or poorly. Use Path-Goal Theory to: Describe it using terms of that theory Explain why the leadership did or did not work well Make recommendations for changes in the leader and/or situation according to the theory

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