The Situational Leadership model is based on the assumption that leadership behavior should be guided by the elements affecting the situation. The three primary elements affecting the of the Situational Leadership model as identified by Changingminds.org are follower readiness, factors affecting the situation, and factors affecting the leader (as cited in Tannenbaum & Schmitt, 1958 pp.95-101) Follower readiness is the most important element. Where there is no readiness to follow, there exists no leadership. Readiness is how ready a person is to accomplish a particular task. Readiness is measured in respect to a specific objective or task. Thus, a marketing vice president may be very adept at devising new marketing strategies for the company, but may very inept at budgeting for the costs of supporting the programs. According to Hersey (2000), follower readiness is comprised of both follower willingness, the extent of motivation or confidence a follower has to complete a particular task, and follower ability, the “…knowledge, experience, and skill…” a follower brings to a particular situation (Hersey, 2000, p.176). At readiness level 1 (R1) the follower is described as both unable and unmotivated to accomplish the task. R1 can also be described as the follower is unable to accomplish the task and insecure in attempting the effort to accomplish the task. Readiness level 2 (R2) describes the follower as lacking the ability to accomplish the task but willing or confident in making the effort as long as guidance is provided. Readiness level 3 (R3) describes the follower with the ability to accomplish the task but lacks the willingness or confidence to make an effort to accomplish the task. Finally, Readiness level 4 (R4) describes the follower with both the ability and confidence or willingness to accomplish the task. Situational Leadership styles should be adapted to suit the appropriate stage in the readiness development continuum that best describes the follower...
References: Carrington, Keith. Leadership page. (2007). [Graphic illustration of Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Model 2008] Retrieved from http://www.keithcarrington.com/leadership.html
Harvard Business School (2002). Organizational behavior cases: Jeanne Lewis at Staples, Inc. (A) (Abridged). The McGraw Hill Companies
Hersey, Paul, Blanchard, Kenneth H., & Johnson, Dewey E. (2001). Management of organizational behavior: Leading human resources (5th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education
Tannenbaum, A. S., & Schmitt, W. H. (1958). How to choose a leadership pattern. Harvard Business Review, 36, March – April, 95-101
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