6_HUL 204 - Leadership - Situational Approaches - Fiedler_s model by kawalpreet176


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       Fiedler’s contingency model

                     Snehlata Jaswal

        HUL 204 Leadership, Decision making, and Communication in Organizations
Attempt to determine the appropriate leadership style
for various situations.
   Contingency leadership theory
   Leadership continuum
   Path-goal theory
   Normative leadership theory
   Situational leadership theory
   Leadership substitutes and neutralizers

Eternal question:
“Should the leader change style or should the
situation be changed to fit the leader’s style?”

             HUL 204 Leadership, Decision making, and Communication in Organizations
 Contingency Leadership – Fiedler (1967)
– Posits a motivational style, defines situations, and describes the fit
  between these as they relate to the effectiveness of the group
– Leadership style
 • Task oriented or relationship oriented
 • The Least Preferred Coworker (LPC) scales measure a leader’s task or
   relationship orientation.
 • Style is an orientation (preference) – behaviour may not be necessarily
   consistent with it.
 • Style is relatively permanent and Fiedler does not advocate changing it, rather
   he advocates changing the situation
– Situational favorableness depends on:
 • Leader member relations (good or poor?)
 • Task structure (structured or unstructured?)
 • Position power (strong or weak?)
– Effectiveness is assessed to be the performance of the group – not
  related to follower satisfaction or morale
Contingency Leadership Model
     Contingency Leadership - Theory
– Defines leadership as any process in which the ability of a leader to
  exercise influence depends upon the group task situation, and the
  degree to which the leader’s style, personality, and approach fit the

– Basic postulates of the theory:
1. The group’s performance will be contingent upon the appropriate
   matching of leadership styles and degree of favourableness of the
   group situation for the leader.
2. Task oriented leader is best for very favourable and unfavourable
3. Since personality is relatively stable, the contingency model
   suggests that improving effectiveness requires changing the
   situation to fit the leader. This is called ‘job engineering’.
  Contingency Leadership – Advances
1. Fiedler, Chemers, and Mahar(1976) offer a self paced leadership
   training programme “The Leader Match Concept” designed to
   help leaders alter the favourableness of the situation, or gain
   situational control.
2. Cognitive Resource Theory (CRT) modifies Fiedler’s basic
   contingency model by adding traits of the leader (Fiedler and
   Garcia, 1987). CRT tries to identify the conditions under which
   leaders and group members will use their intellectual resources,
   skills and knowledge effectively. While it has been generally
   assumed that more intelligent and more experienced leaders will
   perform better than those with less intelligence and experience,
   this assumption is not supported by Fiedler’s research.
         Contingency Leadership - Criticism
– Model is based on a lot of research, but largely his own (From 1958 to the 90s)
– The validity of the LPC scale have been questioned (Schriesheim and Kerr, 1977)
   The LPC scale asks a leader to think of all the people with whom they have ever worked and
   then describe the person with whom they have worked least well, using a series of bipolar
   scales of 1 to 8, such as the following:
         Unfriendly          12345678            Friendly
         Uncooperative       12345678            Cooperative
         Hostile             12345678            Supportive
   Responses to these scales (usually 18-25 in total) are averaged: a high LPC score suggests
   that the leader has a human relations orientation, while a low LPC score indicates a task
   orientation. Fiedler assumes that people who are relationship motivated, tend to describe
   their least preferred coworkers in a more positive manner, e.g., more pleasant and more
   efficient, and thus receive higher LPC scores. People who are task motivated, tend to rate
   their least preferred coworkers in a more negative manner. Therefore, they receive lower LPC
   scores. So, the Least Preferred Coworker (LPC) scale is actually not about the least preferred
   coworker at all, instead, it is about the person who takes the test; it is about that person's
   motivation type. This method hinges on an individual's emotional reaction to people they
   cannot work with. However, critics point out that this is not an accurate measurement or
   only possible measure of leadership style.
– The model implies that the only alternative for an unalterable mismatch of leader
  orientation and an unfavorable situation is changing the leader i.e., the person.
         Thank you


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