Situational Leadership Theory

Essay by anna_horiUniversity, Master'sA-, August 2009

download word file, 6 pages 3.0

Leadership is the process of interaction of the leaders to his or her team members. An effective leadership is contingent upon a number of variables, such as traits, leading style, communications skills, conflict resolutions, and be able to motivate team members. Paul Heresy and Ken H. Blanchard have developed a leadership theory in the late 1960s, called "the life-cycle theory of leadership" (Hershey, P. & Blanchard, K., 1982), which has gained a strong following among management development specialists. This model is called situational leadership theory, and it focuses on how a leader fits into his or her leadership styles.

The situational theory of leadership separates leadership behaviors into two general categories: task behavior, which is the communication and management of the tasks that the group must accomplish by the followers, and relationship behavior, which is the creation and maintenance of personal or emotional connections between the leader and followers. Low maturity workers are seen as needing a high level of task-oriented supervision and a low level of relationship-oriented supervision.

High maturity workers are viewed as requiring a low level of both task and relationship supervision. Intermediate-maturity workers are believed to require medium task-orientation and high relationship - oriented supervision (Norris & Veccio, 1992).

In fact, the followers depend on their knowledge and their behaviors. The competence of the followers refers to followers' knowledge, experiences, skill and eventually has an ability to identify the outcome in working. The commitment of the followers refers to followers' confidence, promises, motivation and eventually willing to identify the outcome in working. Therefore, Situational Leadership defines four styles of followers.

First, the followers are both unable and unwilling to take responsibility for doing something. They're neither competent nor confident. This style of employees will need the leader to tell them how to do their job. In...