Chapter 6 - Contingency Theory Leadership Chapter 6 - Contingency Theory Northouse, 4th edition Chapter 6 - Contingency Theory Overview Contingency Theory Approach Perspective Leadership Styles Situational Variables Research Findings of Leader Style Effectiveness How Does the Contingency Theory Approach Work? Chapter 6 - Contingency Theory Contingency Theory Approach Description Perspective Contingency theory is a leader-match theory (Fiedler & Chemers, 1974) – Tries to match leaders to appropriate situations Leader’s effectiveness depends on how well the leader’s style fits the context Fiedler’s generalizations about which styles of leadership are best and worst are based on empirically grounded generalizations Chapter 6 - Contingency Theory Contingency Theory Approach Description Definition Effective leadership is contingent on matching a leader’s style to the right setting Assessment based on: – Leadership Styles – Situational Variables Chapter 6 - Contingency Theory Leadership Styles Leadership styles are described as: Task-motivated (Low LPCs) – Leaders are concerned primarily with reaching a goal Relationship-motivated (High LPCs) – Leaders are concerned with developing close interpersonal relationships Leader Style Measurement Scale (Fiedler) Least Preferred Co­Worker (LPC) Scale High LPCs Low LPCs = Relationship­motivated = Task­motivated Chapter 6 - Contingency Theory Situational Variables/3 Factors Leader-Member Relations - Refers to the group atmosphere and the degree of confidence, loyalty, and attraction of followers for leader Group atmosphere – Good – high degree of subordinate trust, liking, positive relationship Poor – little or no subordinate trust, friction exists, unfriendly Chapter 6 - Contingency Theory Situational Variables/3 Factors Task Structure –Concerns the degree to which requirements of a task are clear and spelled out High Structure – • requirements/rules - are clearly stated/known • path to accomplish - has few alternatives • task completion - can be clearly demonstrated • limited number - correct solutions exist Chapter 6 - Contingency Theory Situational Variables/3 Factors Task Structure, cont’d. –Concerns the degree to which requirements of a task are clear and spelled out Low Structure – • requirements/rules - not clearly stated/known • path to accomplish - has many alternatives • task completion - cannot be clearly demonstrated/verified • unlimited number - correct solutions exist Chapter 6 - Contingency Theory Situational Variables/3 Factors Position Power –Designates the amount of authority a leader has to reward or punish followers Strong Power – • authority to hire or fire, give raises in rank or pay Weak Power – • no authority to hire or fire, give raises in rank or pay Chapter 6 - Contingency Theory Situational Variables/3 Factors 3 Factors - determine the favorableness of various situations in organizations Situations that are rated: – Most Favorable - good leader-follower relations, defined tasks (high structure), & strong leader position power Chapter 6 - Contingency Theory Situational Variables/3 Factors 3 Factors - determine the favorableness of various situations in organizations Situations that are rated: – Least Favorable - Poor leader-follower relations, unstructured tasks (low structure), & Weak leader position power – Moderately Favorable – Fall in between these extremes Chapter 6 - Contingency Theory Contingency Model Chapter 6 - Contingency Theory Research Findings of Leader Style Effectiveness LPC Score Low High Favorableness of Situation Very Favorable Very Unfavorable Moderately Favorable Definition Situations going smoothly Situations out of control Situations with some degree of certainty; not completely in or out of leader’s control Chapter 6 - Contingency Theory Research Findings of Leader Style Effectiveness Reasons for leader mismatch ineffectiveness: LPC style doesn’t match a particular situation; stress and anxiety result Under stress, leader reverts to less mature coping style learned in earlier development Leader’s less mature coping style results in poor decision making and consequently negative work outcomes Chapter 6 - Contingency Theory How Does the Contingency Theory Approach Work? Focus of Contingency Theory Strengths Criticisms Application Chapter 6 - Contingency Theory Contingency Theory Approach Focus By assessing the 3 situational variables, any organizational context can be placed in one of the 8 categories represented in the Contingency Theory Model After the nature of a situation is determined, the fit between leader’s style and the situation can be evaluated Overall Scope By measuring Leader’s LPC score and the 3 situational variables, it is possible to predict whether a leader will be effective in a particular setting Chapter 6 - Contingency Theory How Does Contingency Theory Work? Low LPCs – Task-Oriented High LPCs – Relationship-Oriented Middle LPCs Effective in Categories – 1, 2, 3, & 8 Effective in Categories – 4, 5, 6, & 7 Effective in Categories – 1, 2, & 3 If individuals style matches appropriate category in the model, leader will be effective If individuals style does not match appropriate category in the model, leader will not be effective Chapter 6 - Contingency Theory How Does Contingency Theory Work? How Does it Work?