Contigency Approach to Leadership

3951 words 16 pages
Statement of Understanding
Contingency and Situational Theories of Leadership

Successful organizations have one thing in common that sets them apart: dynamic and effective leadership (Hambleton, 1982). So what is it that makes them dynamic and effective?
Before diving into the different theories of leadership, I decided to spend some time understanding what exactly leadership is. To understand what leadership is I had to start with the root of the word “lead”. The definition of lead according to is to go before or with to show the way. This definition originates from the Anglo – Saxon lad or leadan meaning a path, a way, to lead, or to give a sense of direction (Peretomode, 2012). Nothing in this definition states
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(Fiedler, 1972) Leader member relations. If leaders have a good relationship with their members then they will have more power and influence over them. The power comes from the fact that they are well liked, respected by others and are trustworthy (Fiedler, 1972). This can also account for the amount of tension coming from interpersonal relationships between the leader and their members (Utecht et al., 1976). If a leader has strong relationships with their members then the tension will be less and their powers influence will be greater. Task structure. A leader has more influence over tasks that are structured, explicit, and repeatable than they do over tasks that are vague, lacking in structure or implicit (Fiedler, 1972). Structure can be defined as a task having step-by step instructions as opposed to unstructured being a task with no certain way to do them (Utecht et al., 1976). It can be much easier to lead when there are step by step instructions, good documentation and well defined task than it is to lead in a situation where you are asked to formulate a new process or procedure. Position power. The power and influence given to a leader’s position allows that person to have direct input over hiring, firing, rewarding and punishing their members. In the military a officer has more power than his enlisted men (Fiedler, 1972). In the same way, a school principle has more power than a teacher and a