Fielder's Contingency Theory

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By jackcj
Words 3563
Pages 15
Fiedler's Contingency Theory of Leadership is regarded by many as the first situational theory of leadership. He broke with the behavioral theorists of leadership and hypothesized that their is no one right way for a leaders to behave in all situations. He went on to state that situations could be classified as most, moderately and least favorable to leadership based on three dimensions -- leader-member relations, task structure and position power.

Fiedler's Theory of Leadership is more complex than the behavioral theories of leadership. He said in took a pretzel shaped hypothesis to explain a pretzel shaped world. One of the contributions of his theory of leadership was the idea that not one form of leadership is appropriate for all situations. He continued to view most people as having a predisposition to be either task or relationship-oriented as a primary style of leadership. In addition, he recognized that people had a secondary style of leadership which they could use in low stress situations. For task-oriented leaders, their secondary style was relationship-oriented. For relationship-oriented, the secondary style is to look for new challenges.

To understand the situation, Fiedler said that the following three factors had to be considered:

Leader-member relations - Degree to which a leader is accepted and supported by the group members.
Task structure - Extent to which the task is structured and defined, with clear goals and procedures.
Position power - The ability of a leader to control subordinates through reward and punishment.
He further said that leader-member relationships had twice the impact on the favorableness of the situation than task structure and that task structure had twice the impact as the position power.

In the least favorable situation, the task-oriented leader by using her primary form of leadership was more effective because…...

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