Contingency Approach To Leadership Research Paper

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Question :


1. What is the contingency approach how is this different to the situational approach? Provides example of each.

2. Choose a leadership style (with your lecturer) explain the benefits and deficits of this approach

3. What competencies do your need to become proficient in this style of leadership and how would you go about developing these competencies?

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Answer :

Background – what is the contingency approach how is this different to the situational approach? Provides example of each. 

In some cases, in order to be effective in terms of leadership, one has inevitably to be contingent since this approach of leadership intends to find the best resemblance that underlies within the condition and leader. In this regard, the leader of a certain segment of an organization need to opt the proper setting in order to ensure the effectiveness of their leadership skills (McCleskey, 2014). In accordance with the contingency theory of leadership, the absolute accomplishment of the leader happens to be the function of several contingencies that are typical to be appearing in the form of subordinate, task and many other group variables. On the other hand, since the functionality of a specific leadership theory or certain leadership traits are usually framed upon the urge imposed by a unique situation, Situational approach of leadership theories usually emphasizes on diverse leadership styles in accordance with the immediate organizational situation.

The fundamental difference that underlies between the situational approach and contingency approach of leadership is that situational approach intends to impart the majority of vehemence in the aspect of shaping the features of leadership in terms of situational idiosyncrasy (Engelen, Gupta, Strenger & Brettel, 2015). On the other hand, the rudimentary principle of contingency theory wishes to categorize the governing traits of leadership as; task motivated and relationship motivated. In the identical note, task leaders appear to be bothered about accomplishing a particular objective only whereas relationship leaders appear concerned about establishing deep interpersonal encounters. Furthermore, contingency theory appear to recommend, on the contrary of the philosophy that drives the pursuit of situational approach, that the immediate or any uncertain situation can be deciphered considering three governing factors and those are as follows;

  1. The interpersonal encounter that is prevalent between the leader and his/her immediate members typically intends to indicate the collective ambience and especially, to the proportion of confidence, faithfulness and attraction that make the followers feel on behalf of their leader. 
  2. The hierarchy of task arrangement that typically indicates the proportion where the prior requisite is to demonstrate the task with considerable clarity and that subsequently endow the followers with a transparent insight regarding the task requirements. Apart from that, since the contingent leader emphasizes on an exclusive critical trajectory, the destined path of success has been able to enjoy very few equivalent alternatives. It is also imperative for a contingent leader to introduce the task properly to their immediate followers due to the presence of constrained remedies.

 Fred E. Fiedler was supposed to develop the moot theories of contingency where he, apart from the aspects discussed previously have emphasized on the contingency of task structure.

            On the other hand, the framework of Hersey-Blanchard has been considered as the established model for the situational relationship theory and appears to be framed upon two governing factors such as task behaviour that intends to quantify the direction provided by the leader. The relationship behaviour intends to indicate the presence of socio-emotional support, which is supposed to back the immediate followers of a respective leader.

 Hersey-Blanchard’s Model

Figure: Hersey-Blanchard’s Model


Choose a leadership style (with your lecturer) explain the benefits and deficits of this approach. 

The governing trait of a Servant Leadership style appears to employ power-sharing frameworks of authoritarian nature and which is obliged to enable the immediate team of followers’ with the acumen to prioritize their demands while encouraging cumulative decision-making. Several research scholars appear to coin this particular trait of leadership as altruistic, which is potent enough to enhance diversity and instigate the morale of the followers. On the other hand, this style of leadership have also face some adverse remarks where the trait has been blamed about the gross absence of sound governance where the followers are inevitable to lack interest since they are prone to be engaged into something which is beyond the moot objectives of business. Thus, it can be commented hereby that the leader of the immediate happens to become an administrator instead of being a policymaker or a disciplinarian. In this regard, this particular trait of leadership can easily be obliterated from the paradigm since it has unable to usher their immediate followers properly. However, it has been discussed until now due to the advantageous aspects associated with it.


Diversity: The servant leadership appear to prove its functionality in an exclusive workplace endowed with considerable amount diversity as the specific traits of the respective leadership model is supposed to adapt an authoritarian nature that is imperative to develop intellectual alienation within the employees (Yoshida, Sendjaya, Hirst & Cooper, 2014). This model of leadership traits is devoid of the inevitable consequences that the democratic version of leadership is very vulnerable to face since disparity in opinions sometimes cause distortion and might divert the employees from their absolute purpose. On the reverse of this philosophy, Servant leadership model is supposed to encourage cumulative thinking and decision-making. Furthermore, as the aspect of servant leadership has been able to cater individual causes of each of the employees, it assists the leader to retain the requisite cohesiveness within the team. 

Loyalty: The model of servant leadership is destined to prioritize the demands of the employees as compared to several other leadership model that take refuge of the vision and mission of the respective unit to put ahead the demands of the staff. 

Involvement: Instead of the majority to let rule the governing decisions of an unit, in a workplace that functions under a Servant leadership style has been permitted to opt as per the needs of the respective employees. 


False Promise: The principles associated with the notion of Servant leadership appear to be deceiving since, in practical cases, the leaders are supposed to pursue the interests of the owners and top management instead of the subordinates as promised.

Lack of Authority: Servant leadership might decline the status of an authority since the subordinates are prone to reject their leaders as an authoritative figure when they came across the fact that they are serving the concerns of the extreme management only (Houghton et al. 2015).

Limited vision: As it is an axiom for any leader to possess a little dimension of detachment in order to explore and produce brainstorming ideas, the models of Servant leadership inherently restrict their leaders to endow their immediate subordinates with such.

What competencies do your need to become proficient in this style of leadership and how would you go about developing these competencies?

As the famous adage goes in this context, the servant leader needs to be competent enough to stimulate the embedded skills out of their followers and immediate subordinates. The governing characteristic that the leader requires to develop is a task-oriented mindset and consciousness in order to empower their immediate followers regarding the accomplishment of desired objectives. The fecund academic articles in this discipline appear to suggest the fact that the servant leaders are supposed to develop a characteristic that have to be comprised of trust, credibility, influence and vision. Moreover, the servant leaders need to develop certain competency in order to be capable of encouraging emotional healing while functioning on the cumulative value of a community.

In this context, the requisite competencies that need to be developed in order to become a successful servant leader need to be categorization along with a succinct demonstration of how they can acquire such skills.

  1. Authentic Listening: The servant leader requires developing introspection regarding each of their subordinates in order to anticipate their inner voice, which, for several reasons, the subordinates have been unable to pose to their respective leaders Chen, Zhu & Zhou, 2015). Moreover, the servant leader needs to acquire the patience to listen to each of the opinions of their subordinates and simultaneously decipher the embedded intent sincerely.
  2. Empathy: The servant leader needs to exhibit empathy and insight regarding each of the individual remark posed by their followers. This is an essential quality towards the facilitation of the notion of empowerment within their followers, which might assist them to avail their assigned tasks. In this regard, it is prior to extract the good intention out of their employees.
  3. Healing: Servant leaders need to procure the ability to seek wholeness within their immediate followers while encouraging their ability to stimulate emotional healing.

  4. Self-Awareness: The servant leaders require developing an insightful self-awareness regarding all the underlying notions prevalent in work place such as values, power and ethics. They can develop it by procuring immense knowledge regarding these aspects from an exclusive perspective. 
  5. Persuasion: The servant leaders require earning the capability to convince their immediate followers, not in terms of authoritative docility but the ability they possess within themselves. Furthermore, this is the integral component that considerably distinguishes between the so-called authoritative framework of leadership and servant leadership (Parris & Peachey, 2013). In this regard, the servant leaders need to efficient to pursue the cumulative decisions without compromising with the individual aspects of each of the individual employee.
  6. Foresight: Servant leaders need to use their strategic intuition in order to anticipate the vulnerable outcomes of a project yet-to-be-availed. In this regard, they are required to develop an intuitive mind.
  7. Stewardship: Good servant leaders happen to be circumspect stewards in order to supervise all the paramount organizational concerns while shedding a considerable attention towards the emerging demands of their subordinates. 
  8. Establishing Community: Servant leaders require to develop an ability to establish a community while imparting a sincere attention towards every underlying individual opinion.