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Situational Leadership Essay

822 words - 4 pages

Situational Leadership
Research on leadership is a subject that has been approached in many different ways. Theories on leadership can be classified according to the type of variable that is emphasized the most. Three types of variables relevant to these theories include (1) characteristics of leaders, (2) characteristics of followers, and (3) characteristics of the situation (Yuri, G., 2010). In the textbook Leadership in Organizations, Yuri, G. classifies these theories into the following five approaches: (1) the trait approach, (2) the behavior approach, (3) the power-influence approach, (4) the situational approach, and (5) the integrative approach. This paper briefly discusses the ...view middle of the document...

Effectiveness is a continuum; thus leadership behaviors are more or less effective depending on the situation (Hersey and Blanchard, 1982, p. 157).
The theory asserts a curvilinear relationship (Figure 1) between the variables and prescribes a path through the quadrants that indicates the most effective leadership style. For example, when a subordinate (or group of subordinates) is immature, little concern is given to relationship behaviors and more focus is given to task behavior. As the follower gains maturity, less task behavior is required and more relationship behavior is appropriate. When the follower rates high in maturity the follower requires neither task nor relationship behaviors from the leader (Johansen, B. P., 1990).
Figure 1
Relationships and Variables of Situational Leadership Theory

Source: Paul Hersey and Kenneth H. Blanchard, Management of Organizational Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources (5th ed.). 01988, p. 188.
The SLT has an advantage above other theories of leadership, that is, it attempts to study the extent to which leadership processes behave across different organizations and identifies aspects of the situation that “moderate” the relationship of leader attributes (Yuri, G., 2010).
The theory has received a number of criticisms throughout the years. Johansen (1990) concluded the following:
The theory fails to consider the interactive nature of leader-subordinate relationships. It does not address the effect of the subordinate on the leader's performance and maturity. Nor does it make provisions for the leader's needs for affiliation or involvement with subordinates. (p. 83)
Many of the publications on the review of the theory conclude that it has consistency issues and that there is...

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