Fiedler's Contingency Model

The first comprehensive contingency model for leadership was developed by Fred Fiedler. His model argues that group performance or effectiveness is dependent upon the interaction of leadership style with certain characteristics of the situation. It is important, then that the manager's leadership style matches the situation.

Effective leadership is really judged by the interaction between the leader's personality what he or she brings to the situation and the degree to which the situation gives the leader control and influence. Effective leadership requires that you match the situation to your particular leadership style ... If your leadership style and the situation are properly matched, your performance as well the group's output should be good. If they are mismatched, the results will be less than successful.

Situational Factors

Fiedler's model suggests that the situation in which a leader operates can be characterized by three factors:

Leader - member relations
This refers to the degree of confidence, trust, and respect followers have for the leader.
Task structure
the degree to which the job assignments are procedurized (that is, structured or unstructured).
Position Power
the degree of influence a leader has over power variables such as hiring, firing, discipline, promotion, and salary increase.

The classification of these three individuals according to Fiedler would be as shown in Table 42 .


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