Before talking about the situational leadership theory, let’s see what is meant by the leader. The leader is a person in the organization who has the ability and power to influence other employees. Basically by assisting them in establishing their goals and by supporting them to accomplish those established goals effectively. The process through which the leader performs his functions of assistance and support is called leadership. There are many roles that a leader plays at one time. The leader not only performs the function of a supporter in the accomplishment of the goals of other employees. However he also Motivates his subordinates along with the tackling of conflicts and other issues of other employees. The potential leader gives a vision about the future direction of the organization to the employees. So that the employees feel positive emotions for the achievement of such future direction.
Researchers are trying to find a certain group of traits that are essential for the success of leadership in the organization for many years. Recently, certain basic traits are ascertained that are important for the success of the leader in the organization. These influential traits of the leadership are as follows.
- The desire to lead
- Honesty and Integrity
- Cognitive ability
- Knowledge of the organization
The Leadership Behavior
Studies have been made in the area of leadership to find the most suitable behavior that a leader should show for his success. The main focus is on the conduct of the leader that can influence his followers. Moreover the studies also concentrate on the important functions of leaders. So like how to effectively complete the tasks and how the needs of the group members should be satisfied.
Initiating Structure and Consideration
The leadership behavior has two important descriptions which are initiating structure and consideration. The studies made in Ohio University provide these concepts. Initiating structure includes the organization of job into different activities, specification of the roles or relationships, the communication channels. Along with the methods of accomplishing the activities. The consideration behavior of leadership is related to the friendship, mutual trust, respect, support and warmth. In certain cases although the subordinates of the considerate leader are more satisfied but the employees’ performance is not affected consistently by the considerate leadership. Similarly the initiating structure cannot affect the performance of the employees consistently.
Participative and Autocratic Styles
The leader in the organization can show either participative or autocratic style of behavior. The autocratic leader makes decisions and solves problems with him with the help of the currently available information. So the participative leaders share the issues with their group members or subordinates. Moreover he works together with other members to find alternative solutions and agree on any one by consensus.
Transformational Leadership Behavior
Transformational leader is the one who encourages and gets the performance of the employees above the established standards by rooting vision in his subordinates. Hence inspiring them to pursue the vision, develop the motivation and commitment in the employees. In fact for the vision and showing the employees a broader picture. The transformational leader is said to be considerate, charismatic, inspirational and stimulating. Another style of leadership is transactional. So in which the leader concentrates on the completion of the available task. Moreover maintains pleasant working relationships with other employees. Actually by giving rewards to the good performers in the organization.
Situational Leadership Theory
Following are the important situational theories of the leadership.
Fiedler’s Contingency Theory of Leadership
Fiedler employed a scale of a least preferred coworker (LPC) for the measurement of the leadership potential. Basically by considering the lenient leader who softly evaluates the performance of all his coworkers. Just to obtain a high producing group as compared to another leader who is more discriminating and demanding. Following are three components that determine which leadership style is more effective.
- Position power
- Task Structure
- Leader-member relations
The Fiedler gave the conclusion that when there is unfavorable or favorable situation for the leader, the low LPC, more task oriented leader is suitable. When the situation lies in the middle of the extreme, then a leader with high LPC and more people oriented behavior is more suitable. However, these findings are doubted on the basis of recent researches.
Path-Goal Leadership Theory
This Situational Leadership theory is presented by the house and it is based on the theory of expectancy. According to this theory, the motivation of an employee for any specified task is based on the perception of that employee. Actually which he possesses the potential to accomplish that task along with his desire also. This theory explains that the leader in the organization should give the rewards to the employees. Specifically who perform very well and the path of performing the effective performance should be made easier. The style of the leadership should be based on the available situation. So the leader should have flexibility in them to adopt any particular style.
Leader-Member Exchange Theory
According to this situational leadership theory (LMX), the leader in the organization adopts different styles of leadership for different members of the same group of employees. All the followers or members of the group are categorized as out-group members or in-group members by the leader. The perception of the leader about the similarity of attitude and extroversion of the followers provides the basis for maintaining the quality of leader-member exchange. This theory shows that the in-group should be kept more inclusive by the leader; the followers of the leader should concentrate more on the similarity of their attitudes so that they can be categorized into the in-group members.
Hello everyone! This is Richard Daniels, a full-time passionate researcher & blogger. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics. He loves to write about economics, e-commerce, and business-related topics for students to assist them in their studies. That's the sole purpose of Business Study Notes.
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