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Situational leadership and contingency theory

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1 Situational leadership and contingency theory
MBA syndicate 8 11 October 2014

2 Introduction to Situational Theory
Agenda Definition SL Model Contingency Theory Comparison Limitations Introduction to Situational Theory A closer look at Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Model

3 Situational Leadership Defined
Situational Leadership suggests that a leader’s success relies on his or her ability to adapt their leadership style to suite their follower’s levels of maturity. Thus it implies that there is no single optimal leadership style. The follower’s level of maturity is determined by his or her willingness and ability to do the job. The SL model identifies leadership styles that may be used to match follower’s varying levels of maturity. These leadership styles are: Telling, Selling, Participating and Delegating - Hersey & Blanchard

4 Hersey and Blanchard’s SL model
Then it became

5 Contingency Theory Defined
Fielder’s Contingency Theory recognises that successful leadership depends on the situation. He believed that both task-orientated and relationship-orientated leaders can be effective if placed in the correct situation. Also, according to him, leadership traits or orientations are personal traits and are not adaptable. - Fred Fiedler

Comparisons SIMILARITIES DIFFERENCES Both centred on the assumption that effectiveness of leadership is determined by internal and external factors of the organisation. A successful leader in a certain organisational environment might tend to fail if the environment changes. When it comes to leadership, there is no “one size fits all” as leadership styles are also dependent on the situation at hand. Situational leadership is regarded as flexible and this allows the leader to change and adjust their leadership style based on the changing situations. Therefore, effective and successful leaders are those that can change their leadership approach and style in order to fit the situation. On the other hand, contingency theories tend to take a broader approach, which includes “situational factors about leader skills and capability and other variables within the given situation”.

7 Blogs He was too old, it was time for him to go
Could only fulfil one purpose Outgrew his followers Was more of a Transformational Leader His style was more in line with Contingency Theory You cannot be called a leader if you cannot adopt your style to achieve results Proved adaptability throughout his leadership tenure (not just as President of SA)

8 Adaptability is what separates a manager from a leader
Some followers need more attention than others My philosophy therefore is you lead/manage the individual not the team

9 Limitations of SL Model
Some environments (i.e. sales) have other incentives that drives their performance and therefore do not necessarily rely on the manager’s leadership style. The perception of the subordinate of their manager’s leadership style may influence performance. Heterogeneity of the followers could adversely affect the ability of the manager to restrict their ability to the ones defined by the SL Model. This model has received mixed reactions from researchers. Empirically, very few studies have tested its validity. The SL Model is pitched at a manager-subordinate level which, of late, the appetite is waning. A lot of interest in this field seems to be at an organisational level which seems more applicable to the contingency model. The inherent weakness of the model is that it warrants that the leader be competent in practicing all four leadership styles, even though he or she may only the naturally good with just one.


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