Fiedler's contingency model proposes that effective group performance depends on the
proper match between the leader's style and the degree to which the situation gives control to the leader. The model consists of three steps. The first step is identifying the leadership style. To find out the leadership style Fiedler created the least preferred co-worker questionnaire. The questionnaire measures whether a person is task oriented or relationship oriented. The test requires the test taker to think about all the co-workers they have ever had and to describe the one person they least enjoyed working with by rating him/her on a scale of 1 to 8 of 16 sets of contrasting adjectives. If the least preferred co-worker is describe in positive terms then the respondent is a relationship oriented leader. And if the least preferred co-worker is describe in negative terms then the respondent is a task oriented leader. The second step is defining the situation. Fiedler stated three contingency dimensions that define situational factors that in turn determine leadership effectiveness. These three contingency dimensions are leader-member relations, task structure and position power. The last is matching leaders and situations. Fiedler says that task oriented leaders perform best in situations of high and low control. And relationship oriented leaders perform best moderate control situations. Fiedler and an associate also came up with the cognitive resource theory. The theory states that stress unfavorably affects a situation and that intelligence and experience can lessen the influence of stress on the leader. [continues]
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