Situational Leadership Theory

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The Situational Leadership Theory was developed by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard. The model shows that leadership of employees must be adapted to the skills and job maturity of the individual employee, and that there is no single "best" style of leadership. By using the situational leadership theory model, leaders can adapt their leadership according to the needs of the employees, and conduct an effective leadership based on the situational context. The essence of the model is that leaders should support their followers based on the followers' needs and capabilities. By doing this, followers will evolve their skills, and will over time become more skilled, mature and independent. The model consists of 4 leadership styles and 4 maturity levels, which will be described below. Four leadership styles:

S1
The leadership style "Telling" is characterized by a strong leader categorizing roles for the employees, and who conducts his leadership with one-way communication. This leadership style is very autocratic, and is based upon followers being told what to do. S2

The leadership style "Selling" is still characterized by a strong leader providing direction, but there is more communication with followers. Leaders are trying to sell their messages to the followers, so that the followers understand the importance of their duties, and understand why different processes are important for the organization. S3

The leadership style "Participating" is characterized by two-way communication and shared decision making. Leaders include followers in job related aspects and in how task are to be accomplished. S4

The leadership style "Delegating" is characterized by a leader leaving much of the decision making power to the followers. Leaders are still monitoring progress, but are not as heavily involved in decision making processes. Once again, it is important to remember that none of the leadership styles are better than others. The essence is that leaders should be flexible,...
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