Posted: February 27th, 2023

business homework for miss deanna

For the Module 2 SLP assignment, you will continue to apply the concepts from the background materials (Holsinger & Carlton, 2018, Chapter 4; Thompson & Glasø, 2018) to your own experiences in the workplace. Think carefully about Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership model and the four leadership styles of Directing, Coaching, Supporting, and Delegating. Then consider the styles of one or more of the supervisors you have worked with, and reflect upon whether or not their style changed depending on the situation.

After doing some reflecting on your own experiences, and reviewing the background materials, write a 2 full-page paper (excluding title and references pages) addressing the following issues:

Which of these levels best describes the developmental level of your supervisor’s full team?

How would you describe the tasks required of your supervisor’s full team? Are they structured or unstructured?

Overall, how well does your supervisor’s leadership style match with the developmental level of their team and the characteristics of the team’s tasks? Consider the Situational Leadership model for developmental level and the Path-Goal model for task characteristics in your answer.

Conclude with recommendations for how your supervisor could change their leadership style?

Be sure to cite and reference (using APA Style) a minimum of 2 scholarly sources listed in the Course Materials and Bibliography (Module 2 Required and Optional Reading List), or in the Module 2 Background Page: Required and Optional Readings.

Bauer, T., & Erdogan, B. (2012). Chapter 12.4: What is the role of the context? Contingency approaches to leadership. In Organizational behavior. Saylor Academy.

Chapter 4: The Contingency Model and Situational Leadership

Chapter 5: Path-Goal Theory and the Vroom-Jago Model of Leadership, in:

Holsinger, J. W., Jr., & Carlton, E. L. (2018). Leadership for public health: Theory and practice. Health Administration Press.

Thompson, G., & Glasø, L. (2018). Situational leadership theory: A test from a leader-follower congruence approach. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 39(5), 574-591.

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Table of Contents

12.4 What Is the Role of the Context? Con�ngency Approaches

to Leadership


Learn about the major situa�onal condi�ons that determine the effec�veness of different

leadership styles.


Iden�fy the condi�ons under which highly task-oriented and highly people-oriented leaders can be

successful based on Fiedler’s con�ngency theory.


Describe the Path-Goal theory of leadership.


Describe a method by which leaders can decide how democra�c or authoritarian their decision

making should be.


What is the best leadership style? By now, you must have realized that this may not be the right

question to ask. Instead, a better question might be: Under which conditions are certain leadership

styles more effective? After the disappointing results of trait and behavioral approaches, several

scholars developed leadership theories that specifically incorporated the role of the environment.

Specifically, researchers started following a contingency approach to leadership—rather than trying to

identify traits or behaviors that would be effective under all conditions, the attention moved toward

specifying the situations under which different styles would be


Fiedler’s Con�ngency Theory

The earliest and one of the most influential contingency theories was developed by Frederick

Fiedler.Fiedler, F. (1967). A theory of leadership effectiveness. New York: McGraw-Hill; Fiedler, F. E.

(1964). A contingency model of leader effectiveness. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental

social psychology, vol. 1 (pp. 149–190). New York: Academic Press. According to the theory, a

leader’s style is measured by a scale called Least Preferred Coworker scale (LPC). People who are

filling out this survey are asked to think of a person who is their least preferred coworker. Then, they

rate this person in terms of how friendly, nice, and cooperative this person is. Imagine someone you

did not enjoy working with. Can you describe this person in positive terms? In other words, if you can

say that the person you hated working with was still a nice person, you would have a high LPC score.

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This means that you have a people-oriented personality, and you can separate your liking of a person

from your ability to work with that person. On the other hand, if you think that the person you hated

working with was also someone you did not like on a personal level, you would have a low LPC score.

To you, being unable to work with someone would mean that you also dislike that person. In other

words, you are a task-oriented person.

According to Fiedler’s theory, different people can be effective in different situations. The LPC score is

akin to a personality trait and is not likely to change. Instead, placing the right people in the right

situation or changing the situation to suit an individual is important to increase a leader’s

effectiveness. The theory predicts that in “favorable” and “unfavorable” situations, a low LPC

leader—one who has feelings of dislike for coworkers who are difficult to work with—would be

successful. When situational favorableness is medium, a high LPC leader—one who is able to

personally like coworkers who are difficult to work with—is more likely to succeed.

How does Fiedler determine whether a situation is “favorable,” “medium,” or “unfavorable”? There

are three conditions creating situational favorableness: leader-subordinate relations, position power,

and task structure. If the leader has a good relationship with most people and has high position

power, and the task at hand is structured, the situation is very favorable. When the leader has

low-quality relations with employees and has low position power, and the task at hand it relatively

unstructured, the situation is very unfavorable.

Figure 12.9 Situational Favorableness

Sources: Based on information in Fiedler, F. E. (1967). A theory of leadership effectiveness. New York:

McGraw-Hill; Fiedler, F. E. (1964). A contingency model of leader effectiveness. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.),

Advances in experimental social psychology, vol. 1 (pp. 149–190). New York: Academic Press.

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Research partially supports the predictions of Fiedler’s contingency theory.Peters, L. H., Hartke, D.

D., & Pohlmann, J. T. (1985). Fiedler’s contingency theory of leadership: An application of the

meta-analysis procedures of Schmidt and Hunter. Psychological Bulletin, 97, 274–285; Strube, M. J.,

& Garcia, J. E. (1981). A meta-analytic investigation of Fiedler’s contingency model of leadership

effectiveness. Psychological Bulletin, 90, 307–321; Vecchio, R. P. (1983). Assessing the validity of

Fiedler’s contingency model of leadership effectiveness: A closer look at Strube and Garcia.

Psychological Bulletin, 93, 404–408. Specifically, there is more support for the theory’s predictions

about when low LPC leadership should be used, but the part about when high LPC leadership would

be more effective received less support. Even though the theory was not supported in its entirety, it is

a useful framework to think about when task- versus people-oriented leadership may be more

effective. Moreover, the theory is important because of its explicit recognition of the importance of the

context of leadership.

Situa�onal Leadership

Another contingency approach to leadership is Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey’s Situational

Leadership Theory (SLT) which argues that leaders must use different leadership styles depending on

their followers’ development level.Hersey, P.H., Blanchard, K.H., ‘ Johnson, D.E. (2007).

Management of Organizational Behavior: Leadership human resources. Upper Saddle River, NJ:

Prentice Hall. According to this model, employee readiness (defined as a combination of their

competence and commitment levels) is the key factor determining the proper leadership style. This

approach has been highly popular with 14 million managers across 42 countries undergoing SLT

training and 70% of Fortune 500 companies employing its use.


The model summarizes the level of directive and supportive behaviors that leaders may exhibit. The

model argues that to be effective, leaders must use the right style of behaviors at the right time in each

employee’s development. It is recognized that followers are key to a leader’s success. Employees who

are at the earliest stages of developing are seen as being highly committed but with low competence

for the tasks. Thus, leaders should be highly directive and less supportive. As the employee becomes

more competent, the leader should engage in more coaching behaviors. Supportive behaviors are

recommended once the employee is at moderate to high levels of competence. And finally, delegating

is the recommended approach for leaders dealing with employees who are both highly committed and

highly competent. While the SLT is popular with managers, relatively easy to understand and use, and

has endured for decades, research has been mixed in its support of the basic assumptions of the

model.Blank, W., Green, S.G., ‘ Weitzel, J.R. (1990). A test of the situational leadership theory.

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Personnel Psychology, 43, 579–597; Graeff, C. L. (1983). The situational leadership theory: A critical

review. Academy of Management Review, 8, 285–291; Fernandez, C.F., ‘ Vecchio, R.P. (2002).

Situational leadership theory revisited: A test of an across-jobs perspective. Leadership Quarterly, 8,

67–84. Therefore, while it can be a useful way to think about matching behaviors to situations,

overreliance on this model, at the exclusion of other models, is premature.

Table 12.1

Follower Readiness



Competence (Moderate
to High)




Commitment (Variable)

Recommended Leader



Suppor�ng Behavior

Situational Leadership Theory helps leaders match their style to follower readiness levels.

Path-Goal Theory of Leadership

Robert House’s path-goal theory of leadership is based on the expectancy theory of motivation.House,

R. J. (1971). A path goal theory of leader effectiveness. Administrative Science Quarterly, 16(3),

321–338. The expectancy theory of motivation suggests that employees are motivated when they

believe—or expect—that (a) their effort will lead to high performance, (b) their high performance will

be rewarded, and (c) the rewards they will receive are valuable to them. According to the path-goal

theory of leadership, the leader’s main job is to make sure that all three of these conditions exist.

Thus, leaders will create satisfied and high-performing employees by making sure that employee

effort leads to performance, and their performance is rewarded by desired rewards. The leader

removes roadblocks along the way and creates an environment that subordinates find motivational.

The theory also makes specific predictions about what type of leader behavior will be effective under

which circumstances.House, R. J. (1996). Path-goal theory of leadership: Lessons, legacy, and a

reformulated theory. Leadership Quarterly, 7, 323–352; House, R. J., & Mitchell, T. R. (1974).

Path-goal theory of leadership. Journal of Contemporary Business, 3, 81–97. The theory identifies

four leadership styles. Each of these styles can be effective, depending on the characteristics of

employees (such as their ability level, preferences, locus of control, and achievement motivation) and

characteristics of the work environment (such as the level of role ambiguity, the degree of stress

present in the environment, and the degree to which the tasks are unpleasant).

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Four Leadership Styles

Directive leaders provide specific directions to their employees. They lead employees by clarifying

role expectations, setting schedules, and making sure that employees know what to do on a given

work day. The theory predicts that the directive style will work well when employees are experiencing

role ambiguity on the job. If people are unclear about how to go about doing their jobs, giving them

specific directions will motivate them. On the other hand, if employees already have role clarity, and if

they are performing boring, routine, and highly structured jobs, giving them direction does not help.

In fact, it may hurt them by creating an even more restricting atmosphere. Directive leadership is also

thought to be less effective when employees have high levels of ability. When managing professional

employees with high levels of expertise and job-specific knowledge, telling them what to do may

create a low-empowerment environment, which impairs


Supportive leaders provide emotional support to employees. They treat employees well, care about

them on a personal level, and they are encouraging. Supportive leadership is predicted to be effective

when employees are under a lot of stress or performing boring, repetitive jobs. When employees know

exactly how to perform their jobs but their jobs are unpleasant, supportive leadership may be more


Participative leaders make sure that employees are involved in the making of important decisions.

Participative leadership may be more effective when employees have high levels of ability, and when

the decisions to be made are personally relevant to them. For employees with a high internal locus of

control (those who believe that they control their own destiny), participative leadership is a way of

indirectly controlling organizational decisions, which is likely to be appreciated.

Achievement-oriented leaders set goals for employees and encourage them to reach their goals.

Their style challenges employees and focuses their attention on work-related goals. This style is likely

to be effective when employees have both high levels of ability and high levels of achievement


The path-goal theory of leadership has received partial but encouraging levels of support from

researchers. Because the theory is highly complicated, it has not been fully and adequately

tested.House, R. J., & Aditya, R. N. (1997). The social scientific study of leadership: Quo Vadis?

Journal of Management, 23, 409–473; Stinson, J. E., & Johnson, T. W. (1975). The path-goal theory

of leadership: A partial test and suggested refinement. Academy of Management Journal, 18,

242–252; Wofford, J. C., & Liska, L. Z. (1993). Path-goal theories of leadership: A meta-analysis.

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Journal of Management, 19, 857–876. The theory’s biggest contribution may be that it highlights the

importance of a leader’s ability to change styles depending on the circumstances. Unlike Fiedler’s

contingency theory, in which the leader’s style is assumed to be fixed and only the environment can be

changed, House’s path-goal theory underlines the importance of varying one’s style depending on the


Figure 12.10 Predictions of the Path-Goal Theory Approach to Leadership

Sources: Based on information presented in House, R. J. (1996). Path-goal theory of leadership: Lessons,

legacy, and a reformulated theory. Leadership Quarterly, 7, 323–352; House, R. J., & Mitchell, T. R. (1974).

Path-goal theory of leadership. Journal of Contemporary Business, 3, 81–97.

Vroom and Ye�on’s Norma�ve Decision Model

Yale School of Management Professor Victor Vroom and his colleagues Philip Yetton and Arthur Jago

developed a decision-making tool to help leaders determine how much involvement they should seek

when making decisions.Vroom, V. H. (2000). Leadership and the decision making process.

Organizational Dynamics, 68, 82–94; Vroom, V. H., & Yetton, P. W. (1973). Leadership and

decision-making. Pittsburg: University of Pittsburg Press; Jago, A., & Vroom, V. H. (1980). An

evaluation of two alternatives to the Vroom/Yetton Normative Model. Academy of Management

Journal, 23, 347–355; Vroom, V. H., & Jago, A. G. 1988. The new leadership: managing

participation in organizations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. The model starts by having

leaders answer several key questions and working their way through a decision tree based on their

responses. Let’s try it. Imagine that you want to help your employees lower their stress so that you can

minimize employee absenteeism. There are a number of approaches you could take to reduce

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employee stress, such as offering gym memberships, providing employee assistance programs, a nap

room, and so forth.

Let’s refer to the model and start with the first question. As you answer each question as high (H) or

low (L), follow the corresponding path down the funnel.

Decision Significance. The decision has high significance, because the approach chosen needs to

be effective at reducing employee stress for the insurance premiums to be lowered. In other

words, there is a quality requirement to the decision. Follow the path through H.


Importance of Commitment. Does the leader need employee cooperation to implement the

decision? In our example, the answer is high, because employees may simply ignore the resources

if they do not like them. Follow the path through H.


Leader expertise. Does the leader have all the information needed to make a high quality

decision? In our example, leader expertise is low. You do not have information regarding what

your employees need or what kinds of stress reduction resources they would prefer. Follow the

path through L.


Likelihood of commitment. If the leader makes the decision alone, what is the likelihood that the

employees would accept it? Let’s assume that the answer is low. Based on the leader’s experience

with this group, they would likely ignore the decision if the leader makes it alone. Follow the path

from L.


Goal alignment. Are the employee goals aligned with organizational goals? In this instance,

employee and organizational goals may be aligned because you both want to ensure that

employees are healthier. So let’s say the alignment is high, and follow H.


Group expertise. Does the group have expertise in this decision-making area? The group in

question has little information about which alternatives are costlier, or more user friendly. We’ll

say group expertise is low. Follow the path from L.


Team competence. What is the ability of this particular team to solve the problem? Let’s imagine

that this is a new team that just got together and they have little demonstrated expertise to work

together effectively. We will answer this as low or L.


Based on the answers to the questions we gave, the normative approach recommends consulting

employees as a group. In other words, the leader may make the decision alone after gathering

information from employees and is not advised to delegate the decision to the team or to make the

decision alone.

Figure 12.11

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Vroom and Yetton’s leadership decision tree shows leaders which styles will be most effective in different


Source: Used by permission from Victor H. Vroom.

Decision-Making Styles

Decide. The leader makes the decision alone using available information.

Consult Individually. The leader obtains additional information from group members before

making the decision alone.

Consult as a group. The leader shares the problem with group members individually and makes

the final decision alone.

Facilitate. The leader shares information about the problem with group members collectively, and

acts as a facilitator. The leader sets the parameters of the decision.

Delegate. The leader lets the team make the decision.

Vroom and Yetton’s normative model is somewhat complicated, but research results support the

validity of the model. On average, leaders using the style recommended by the model tend to make

more effective decisions compared to leaders using a style not recommended by the model.Vroom, V.

H., & Jago, G. (1978). On the validity of the Vroom Yetton model. Journal of Applied Psychology, 63,

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The con�ngency approaches to leadership describe the role the situa�on would have in choosing the

most effec�ve leadership style. Fiedler’s con�ngency theory argued that task-oriented leaders would

be most effec�ve when the situa�on was the most and the least favorable, whereas people-oriented

leaders would be effec�ve when situa�onal favorableness was moderate. Situa�onal Leadership

Theory takes the maturity level of followers into account. House’s path-goal theory states that the

leader’s job is to ensure that employees view their effort as leading to performance, and to increase

the belief that performance would be rewarded. For this purpose, leaders would use direc�ve-,

suppor�ve-, par�cipa�ve-, and achievement-oriented leadership styles depending on what employees

needed to feel mo�vated. Vroom and Ye�on’s norma�ve model is a guide leaders can use to decide

how par�cipa�ve they should be given decision environment characteris�cs.


Do you believe that the least preferred coworker technique is a valid method of measuring

someone’s leadership style? Why or why not?


Do you believe that leaders can vary their style to demonstrate direc�ve-, suppor�ve-,

achievement-, and par�cipa�ve-oriented styles with respect to different employees? Or does each

leader tend to have a personal style that he or she regularly uses toward all employees?


What do you see as the limita�ons of the Vroom-Ye�on leadership decision-making approach?3.

Which of the leadership theories covered in this sec�on do you think are most useful and least

useful to prac�cing managers? Why?


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