Situational Leadership Approach

In: Business and Management

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Situational Leadership Approach in Organizations
Trina J. Hill
LDR 531 - Week 2
January 22, 2013
Dr. Devona Smith-Fink

Situational Leadership Approach in Organizations
Management theorists Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard developed the situational leadership approach. This methodology supports the notion that there is not one leadership style more important or ideal than another. Rather, the leader must apply an adaptive manner by judging the impact of contextual information along the path of leadership processes. Military organizations have recognized the importance of the contextual factors involved in the situational leadership approach.
The Situational Life Cycle Theory of Leadership
The theory requires the leader to examine the maturity level of their subordinates and fuse the task-oriented and relations-oriented behavior. Leadership style is also emphasized; and a delicate balance with maturity and style materializes to successfully lead based on the situation. Hersey and Blanchard modeled four leadership styles: telling, selling, participating and delegating with four maturity levels: low, medium (low skills), medium (high skills), and high maturity. “Four degrees of maturity (quadrants M1-M4) are distinguished… segments of a continuum ranging from immature to mature” (Yukl, 2010 p 233). The cycle is progressive as relationships and behaviors are directed, coached, delegated and supported from leader to subordinate, as exhibited in the figure. A high-maturity employee possesses the ability and confidence to perform the task, while a low-maturity employee lacks the ability and self-assurance. The situational leadership theory has a significant limitation. “Leadership behavior is not defined in a clear and consistent way from quadrant to quadrant, and sometimes task and relations behaviors are defined in terms of decision styles…” (Yukl, 2010 p…...

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