Research on leadership is a subject that has been approached in many different ways. Theories on leadership can be classified according to the type of variable that is emphasized the most. Three types of variables relevant to these theories include (1) characteristics of leaders, (2) characteristics of followers, and (3) characteristics of the situation (Yuri, G., 2010). In the textbook Leadership in Organizations, Yuri, G. classifies these theories into the following five approaches: (1) the trait approach, (2) the behavior approach, (3) the power-influence approach, (4) the situational approach, and (5) the integrative approach. This paper briefly discusses the situational approach of studying leadership. Method Description
Situational Leadership Theory (SLT) evolved from the Life Cycle of Leadership Theory developed by Hersey and Blanchard (1969). Hersey and Blanchard’s theory has four major situational variables: (1) task behavior, (2) relationship behavior, (3) follower (or subordinate) maturity, and (4) effectiveness (Johansen, B. P., 1990). Task behavior refers to the extent leaders are likely to organize and explain what activities each of the subordinates is to perform and when, where, and how tasks are to be accomplished (Johansen, B. P., 1990). Relationship behavior is defined as the extent to which leaders are likely to maintain personal relationships between themselves and members of their team and provide socio-emotional support, psychological "strokes," and facilitating behavior (Johansen, B. P., 1990). Maturity is defined as "the willingness and ability of people to take responsibility for directing their own behavior . . . considered only in relation to a specific task to be performed” (Hersey and Blachard, 1982, p. 151). Effectiveness refers to the use of effective leadership behavior which is appropriate to the situation. Effectiveness is a continuum; thus leadership behaviors are more or less effective...
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