Contingency model of Leadership

Introduction: Lawrence and Lorsch (1967) proposed the theory of contingency after analyzing the complex organizations and their ability to coupe up with the external demanding environment. The two elements proposed are differentiation and integration. The theory starts from the level of the organization and then slowly it moves down to the subsystems. In accordance with Miner (2005), the theory of contingency has high value and importance as far as organization level analysts are concerned and is of extreme importance for scholars. (Miner, 2006). Now according to Abell (2006), leadership indeed plays a very critical role in modern organizations, as he or she possesses that view which will help the organizations to coupe with the changing situation and altering the internal processes at the same time. The role of leadership is significant as a leader has the potential to influence the members of the organization on a whole. (Northouse, 2010). Contingency Model: This model definitely has contribution in the recent literatures in three most critical ways. Firstly the model importantly integrates the contingency factors, the leadership approaches and outcomes into a single model. (Houghton & Yoho, 2005). Secondly the model also makes practical contribution by providing the various practitioners in the field with a proper framework to work on. But most importantly this model definitely provides the basis on which it can be decided when or where the concept of self-leadership can be implemented. Self-leadership is a process wherein the individual himself/herself inspires and influences themselves to achieve direction in their individual goals. (Houghton & Yoho, 2005). This concept is related to the theories in the form of self-regulation and self-control. According to this form of eldership theory, the employees are less likely to be influenced by an autonomous leader and will indulge more on self-development. There are three contingency factors which dictate four leadership approaches. These approaches are called the Directive where the leader is expected to provide the direction towards completing tasks. Secondly there is the transactional leadership approach wherein the leader is focused on providing reward contingencies for the employees. The third form of leadership is the transformational leadership wherein the leaders create high level of vision. The fourth stage is the most important wherein the concept self-leadership comes. This stage is called the Empowering stage wherein the leader encourages the others to lead themselves. (Houghton & Yoho, 2005). Adapting any of these leadership methods certainly provides results in the form of predictable follower outcomes. Manz & Sims (2001) in their study have suggested the fact that the model is relevant to the leadership approaches described. Though, it is a fact that many theories which are being proposed here contain relationships which can be again combined into a single practical framework. Contingency Factors: The first key factor of contingency is the follower development. (Houghton & Yoho, 2005). The subordinates mainly operate according to the contract of employment but at the same time can be contributed by the supervision imposed by the leader

especially in the case of the unstructured tasks and volunteering for the extra work or taking on additional responsibilities. (Houghton & Yoho, 2005). There are more than a few characteristics that a person has to possess and adopt to establish him/her as a true and inspirational leader within a firm and when they achieve to establish their position. In order to that the, supervisors of the organizations must exchange both their personal as well as their positional resources, which mainly comprises of inside information thereby influencing the decision making process, tasking the assignments and providing support and attention. (Houghton & Yoho, 2005). It makes him likely enough to be accepted as a man who leads from the front, not only in terms of decision making but also in terms of knowledge and awareness. This credibility factor is the first necessity to be a leader in the accurate sense of the word. But it is also a fact that in some of the cases likes contractual workers; the short term efficiency becomes a major concern rather than long term involvement. In some of the cases more directive leadership approaches is much more desirable. (Manz & Sims, 2001). On the other hand when the leader is aiming to inspire or motivate the subordinates, then transformational or empowerment leadership style becomes applicable. This approach may also be regarded as investment behavior on the part of the leader as it will fetch him or her returns at a later stage. This concept is related to the theories in the form of self-regulation and self-control. According to this form of eldership theory, the employees are less likely to be influenced by an autonomous leader and will indulge more on self-development. In this theoretical context the organizations have better control over their employees. It is in fact that particular ability that an individual posses which enables him or her to influence the activities of an organization and guide it towards the goal. (Grint, 1997). The second key factor is the situational urgency. Especially during crisis situations there is not enough time available to create a perfect contingency which will reflect on the reward or selfleadership. In such cases the leadership styles are highly directive or transformational in style. (Manz & Sims, 2001). The last factor which influences the contingency style is the task environment. This is nothing but the degree to which the environment of task for the follower is structured or in some cases unstructured. (Manz & Sims, 2001). A structured environment is the one where every activity falls under routine framework and thus there are very low levels of uncertainties or risk factor associated with it. In contrast to this the unstructured task environment is the one which is mostly associated with high level of uncertainties. The processes of tasks are mostly unspecified and these are the works which are mostly creative, analytical or highly intellectual in nature. Conclusion: Transactional leadership style is more appropriate in structured framework work environment while in the case of unstructured work, transformational leadership style is demanded. Thus we can see how different situations and work environment actually demands different roles out of the leaders with different style and approach and for that reason the contingency model is so important.

Reference: Manz , C, C. , & Sims H.P. Jr. (2001). The new Superleadership: Leading others to lead themselves. San Francisco, Berrett-Koehler Northouse, P.G. (2010) Leadership: Theory and practice 4th ed. London: Sage. Grint K. (1997). Leadership: classical, contemporary, and critical approaches: Oxford University Press, UK Houghton, J.D., & Yoho, S.K. (2005) ‘Toward a Contingency Model of Leadership and Psychological Empowerment: When Should Self-Leadership Be Encouraged?’, Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 11 (4), pp. 65–83, C. C., & Lawrence, P., & Lorsch, J. (1967, June). Differentiation and Integration in Complex Organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 12(1), 1. Retrieved May 21, 2011, from EBSCOHost database Miner, J. (2005). Organizational Behavior 1: Essential theories of motivation and leadership. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe

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