Fiedler’s Contingency Theory
Fiedler's Contingency Theory of Leadership
Managerial leadership has influenced organizational activities in many ways. These influences include motivating subordinates, budgeting scarce resources, and serving as a source of communication. Over the years researchers have emphasized the influences of leadership on the activities of subordinates. This emphasis by researchers led to theories about leadership. The first and perhaps most popular, situational theory to be advanced was the “Contingency Theory of Leadership Effectiveness” developed by Fred E. Fiedler. This theory explains that group performance is a result of interaction of two factors. These factors are known as leadership style and situational favorableness. These two factors will be discussed along with other aspects of Fiedler's theory. In Fiedler's model, leadership effectiveness is the result of interaction between the style of the leader and the characteristics of the environment in which the leader works.
According to Fiedler,
Leader Effectiveness = f (leader style, situation favorability)
Group performance is a result of interaction of two factors.
1. Leadership style
2. Situational favorableness
1. Leadership style
The first major factor in Fiedler's theory is known as the leadership style. This is the consistent system of interaction that takes place between a leader and work group. According to Fiedler, an individual's leadership style depends upon his or her personality and is, thus, fixed. In order to classify leadership styles, Fiedler has developed an index called the least-preferred coworker (LPC) scale.
The LPC scale asks a leader to think of all the persons with whom he or she has ever worked, and then to describe the one person with whom he or she worked the least well with. This person can be someone from the past or someone he or she is currently working with. From a scale of 1 through 8, leader are...