Mastering Organizational Leadership: Exploring the Four Key Leadership Behaviors in Contingency Theory

Question : 

The contingency /Situational theories of leadership identify four (4) types of leadership behavior with specific examples from your organisation, list and explain these four types of leadership behaviour.



The contingency/situational theories of leadership propose that effective leadership behavior depends on the specific circumstances or situations that a leader faces. These theories suggest that different leadership styles or behaviors may be more effective in certain situations. Four types of leadership behaviors commonly identified in contingency/situational theories are:

  1. Directive Leadership: Directive leadership involves providing clear instructions, guidance, and expectations to followers. Leaders who exhibit directive behavior tend to be task-oriented, telling their subordinates what needs to be done and how to do it. They provide specific instructions and closely monitor progress. This style is effective in situations where tasks are ambiguous, and employees need clear direction. For example, in an organization, a project manager may demonstrate directive leadership when leading a team of new employees in a complex project with strict deadlines.
  2. Supportive Leadership: Supportive leadership focuses on creating a positive work environment and maintaining good relationships with followers. Leaders who exhibit supportive behavior are attentive to the needs of their subordinates, show empathy, and provide emotional support. They foster a sense of trust and collaboration. Supportive leadership is effective in situations where employees require encouragement, motivation, and a supportive atmosphere. For instance, a team leader may demonstrate supportive leadership by actively listening to team members’ concerns, offering assistance, and providing positive feedback.
  3. Participative Leadership: Participative leadership involves involving subordinates in the decision-making process and seeking their input and feedback. Leaders who adopt a participative style encourage employee involvement, empowerment, and engagement. They value the opinions and ideas of their team members and incorporate them into decision-making. Participative leadership is effective in situations where complex problems require diverse perspectives and creative solutions. For example, in a marketing department, a manager may practice participative leadership by involving team members in developing marketing strategies and seeking their input during brainstorming sessions.
  4. Achievement-Oriented Leadership: Achievement-oriented leadership emphasizes setting high standards, challenging goals, and expecting excellence from employees. Leaders exhibiting this behavior have high expectations for performance and encourage their subordinates to achieve and surpass targets. They provide feedback, recognize achievements, and foster a results-driven culture. Achievement-oriented leadership is effective in situations where employees are skilled, motivated, and capable of meeting challenging objectives. For instance, a sales team leader may demonstrate achievement-oriented leadership by setting ambitious sales targets, providing training and resources, and motivating the team to achieve exceptional results.

Remember that these leadership behaviors are not mutually exclusive, and effective leaders often adapt their style based on the specific needs and circumstances. Additionally, examples from your own organization will help provide context and enhance your assignment.

Asonya Gh

Asonya Gh is an entrepreneur, an entertainment and lifestyle blogger based in the Upper West Region of Ghana. He is also the CEO of OneMuzikGh.Com, a website that covers news and updates about music, events and celebrities in Ghana. He has won several awards for his blogging work. He also has a Twitter account and a Facebook page where he posts his content and interacts with his followers.

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