These theories discussed different styles of leadership also which include leadership styles such as situational, transformational, servant-leadership etc.
The topic of this essay is to discuss the contingency model of leadership and the subsequent changes which took place over the period of time in the concept and theoretical foundations of the concept. However, before discussing the concept, it is important that a comprehensive look at what the leadership is and how it emerges must be taken into account.
As discussed above that there were different attempts being made in defining the process of leadership and how it emerges. Leadership has typically been defined as the process of influencing others in order to accomplish some objectives through others. Leaders often achieve this through their personal attributes such as values, knowledge, ethical considerations as well as character. However, on an organizational level, leadership is more concerned with organizational functioning as well as coordination of various activities in order to achieve the intended objectives.
Recent advances in the literature however, clearly indicate that leadership is not just limited to the concept of accomplishing tasks through personal attributes rather it is more of a collaborative effort which does not rely on the leader but on followers also. This leadership is therefore a two way concept involving both the leaders and followers to accomplish any given task.
A historical look at the development of leadership theories would suggest that it started with the emergence of Great Man theories which emphasized the in-born capabilities of the leaders. Such theories highlighted that great leaders are born leaders and leadership is something which cannot be acquired or developed over the period of time.(Horner,1997).
The next generation of change in leadership theories focused on the contextual relationship of the leadership with the organization. The situational leadership theories therefore concentrated on studying the influences of external environment on the behavior of the leaders and attempted to define external environment as an influential factor on the overall shaping of the leader. Situational theories are based on the assumption that leaders emerge either due to the economic condition of the country, group dynamics, threats which are external to the organization as well as the different organizational culture prevailing in organizations. The situational leadership is therefore considered as the result of a leader's reaction towards the different external settings and influences faced by the organization. (Hollander, 1971). Fiedler's contingency model is part of this school of thought about leadership.
Fielder's Contingency Model
Fielder's contingency model is based on the assumption that the group performance is "contingent upon favorableness of the group -task situation for the leader" (Fishbien et. al, 1969). This assumption suggested that a leader is bound to perform better if the situation is favorable to the leader otherwise leaders may not deliver.
The contingency model put forward by Fiedler was based on two major assumptions. It assumed that Group performance is dependent on:
1. Leadership style
2. Situational Favorableness
Fiedler's basic assumption was that the leadership style is dependent on the situational contingency.
A leader will perform better if