Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 350–500 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear and use examples to reinforce your ideas.
This week, the discussion will focus on contingency theory. This theory has been most recognized by the work of Fiedler. Research the work of Fiedler on contingency theory, and respond to the following questions:
- What is your understanding of contingency theory?
- Why is authentic leadership important to contingency theory?
- Describe the differences and similarities of path-goal theory, Blanchard’s situational theory approach, and Fiedler’s contingency theory
In addition to addressing all requirements of the assignments, model answer includes the following:
- Contingency theory is based on the premise that leaders understand the situation in which that they would be most effective. Authentic leadership requires a commitment to undertaking a journey to better understand oneself and leadership style.
- Your answers may vary. However, theories are measuring different things. Where Blanchard is measuring the overall effectiveness of a leader’s ability to address each situation with the style needed to be successful, Fiedler is measuring where the leader is most effective and states that a leader is not effective in every situation.
- There are similarities in the approach of assessing a situation and recognizing potential gaps in subordinates and then applying the leadership that would fill those gaps. Path-goal theory focuses on 4 varieties of leadership that are different from situational theory: directive, supportive, participative, and achievement-oriented. Where Blanchard focused on how situational theory provided the best leadership for a specific situation, path-goal theory describes the influence on the subordinates’ performance.
- Path-goal theory includes motivational theory, which is important but is not an emphasis on Blanchard’s situational leadership theory.
- If leaders want to be effective, they must be able to give subordinates what they need to compensate for the gaps in subordinates’ abilities (these gaps are found in the subordinates’ characteristics) and make changes based on the type of tasks. The goal is to use the leadership style that best motivates the employee to be effective in his or her job.
- Bayan, Y. F. (2018). Application of path-goal leadership theory and learning theory in A learning organization. Journal of Applied Business Research, 34(1), 13-22.
- Bickle, J. T. (2017). Developing Remote Training Consultants as Leaders-Dialogic/Network Application of Path-Goal Leadership Theory in Leadership Development. Performance Improvement, 56(9), 32–39.