With leadership tactics being so prevalent in today’s professional world, multiple scholars attempt to define leadership, as well as the appropriate approach to effective management and or leadership. Although leadership can be defined in many ways Fiedler’s contingency model is one that focuses on styles and situations (Northouse, 2013). This paper will analyze leadership case studies: "Coach Knight: A Will to Win" and "Coach K: A Matter of the Heart" in regards to Fiedler’s contingency model; evaluating whether each coach’s style matches their situation and also whether their leadership style impacted their effectiveness.
Fiedler’s Contingency Model
Fiedler’s contingency model is described as a “leader-match theory” (Northouse, 2013, p.123). This model is concerned with matching one’s leadership style with the right situation, using the least preferred coworker questionnaire (LPC) (Northouse, 2013). This model suggests that the level of a leader’s effectiveness is contingent upon how well the leader is matched with the right setting (Northouse, 2013).
“Coach Knight: A Will to Win”
Coach Knight, of Indiana University (IU) , identifies with being mismatched to his situation based on Fiedler’s contingency model. Coach Knight applied directive (task) behaviors in his leadership style which are defined as the facilitation of goal accomplishment, giving directions and setting guidelines (Northouse, 2013, p.75). Coach Knight demonstrated these behaviors with his “meticulously planned and flawlessly executed drills” (Snook, Perlow, & Delacey, 2005b) and his perfectionist attitude. He believed if the players followed his rules, games would be won (Snook, et al., 2005b).
Coach Knight’s strained coach-player relationships indicates poor leader-member relations, being known for his profanity and hostile behavior (Snook, et al., 2005b). He sought to coach “his game of basketball” which premise was to win games (Snook, et al., 2005b), indicating high task structure...