There is no single right way to lead because the internal and external dimensions of the environment require the leader to adapt to that particular situation.(Greenleaf 1977)
This leadership approach is very good in a fast-paced business environment, where the organisation needs to respond to the external environment.Situational leaders must have the insight to understand when to change their management style and what leadership strategy fits each new paradigm.(Bass 1997)
Seminal work on situational leadershipLeadership should not be viewed as a ‘one size fits all’ – it is generally not effective to apply the same approach in all situations.Hersey and Blanchard (1969 and 1988) identified four core leadership styles: Telling: autocratic specific guidance and close supervision
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Leadership Theory: The Basics
StrengthsNorthouse (2013) identified the following:
- Well known and frequently used for training leaders
- Is a simple and practical approach as it affords the leader the ability to evaluate situations and apply the correct leadership style in order to achieve effectiveness
- It is an intuitively appealing approach as it is easy to understand and apply across a variety of settings and it supports change management
WeaknessesNorthouse (2013) identified the following:
- Limited research findings to support these situational assumptions and propositions
- Model does not address how demographic and cultural characteristics affect an individual’s preferences for leadership
- Does not provide guidance on how leaders can use this model in group settings
ReferencesBass, B. M. (1997) ‘Does the Transactional-Transformational Leadership Paradigm Transcend Organizational and National boundaries?’ American Psychologist 52, 130-139Hersey, P. and Blanchard, K. (1969) ‘Lifecycle Theory of Leadership’. Training and Development Journal (23), 26-34Hersey, P. and Blanchard, K. (1988) Management of Organizational Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice Hall InternationalGoleman, D. (2000) ’Leadership That Gets Results’. Harvard Business Review March-April, 78-90Greenleaf, R. (1977) Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist PressNorthouse, P. (2013) Leadership: Approach and Practice. 6th edn. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publishing
Leadership Theory: The Basics
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