Contingency Theories of Leadership
Leadership is considered by psychologists and organizational researchers as one of the most multifaceted and complex phenomena (Field & Seters, 1990). As a result of its complexity, leadership is one of the most misconceived phenomenon in the whole world. This prompted the researchers to come up with various foundational theories which helped to shed more light about leadership (Burns, 1978). Thus, it is impossible to analyze and evaluate leadership theories without going back to their origins (Field&Seters, 1990)
There are several leadership theories that have been researched, developed and discussed by various researchers. They include;
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Path-Goal emphasizes on behavior and suggests that effective leadership should focus on matching the needs to the position in which the subordinates are working. The theory suggests that the involvement of a leader to impact positive behavior in a situation is likely to raise the follower’s satisfaction and motivation levels. This attribute always makes it possible for tasks to be done (Robin, 1997). Additionally, focusing on effective behaviors might be the only way of having full control to a situation at hand. However, leadership behavior and performance depends on the follower’s ability and the leader’s immediate work environment (Fiedler, 2001). Even though Path-Goal theory has a number of strengths, it has several notable weaknesses. First, the theory is so complicated and consolidates many attributes of leadership that makes interpreting it confusing. For instance, path-goal theory makes projections about which of the four distinct leadership styles are appropriate for duties with contrasting degrees of structure, for employees with varied strata of ability and for institutions with varied degrees of authority.
Unlike Fiedler’s and Goal-Path theory which at most times emphasize on the effectiveness with regards to team satisfaction and group performance, Normative decisions theory of leadership concerns itself with the processes of decision making. The theory provides the necessary channels the