212). Fiedler developed this theory by studying hundreds of groups and teams', ranging from basketball teams to military unit, to examine leadership style and its effectiveness in different situations (Forsyth, 1999, p.355; Elkin and Inkson, 2000, p. 212).
The theory suggested "That successful group performance relies upon the appropriate match between the leader's approach of interacting with his or her followers as well as the extent to which the circumstances gives control and authority to the leader (Robbins, 1993, 372).
In Fiedler's model, he utilized a measure called the LPC (least preferred co-worker scale) to measure between task-orientated and people- orientated leadership. People who scored high on LPC were considered 'people- orientated' whereas people who scored low on the LPC was considered 'task-orientated'. Individuals' LPC scores would determine the type of situation for which they were best suited. Furthermore, the situation was defined and measured through 3 important variables,
Thus in theory, the "better the leader-member relations; the more structured the task, and the higher the position power, the more favourable the situation is to the leader" (Elkin and Inkson, 2000, p.213). ...
However, if a leader's style did not fit the group- task situation, there are two remedies Fiedler suggested, one, it is to change the leader to fit the situation, alternatively, change the situation to fit the leader (Keyton, 1999, 295). Fiedler did not conduct this model to determine which leadership style is better, but Fiedler's theory predicts that task- orientated leaders are most effective in situations that are either extremely unfavourable or extremely favourable; conversely relationship- oriented leaders are most successful in intermediate situations (Forsyth, 1999, p. 371).
Fiedler's study has been the object of much controversy, providing sound evidence for and against the theory. In one side, his study falls short of providing additional contingency variable but on the other hand, his study is recognized for its integration of ideas of personal and situational factors and providing a comprehensive study on leadership effectiveness (Robbins, 1993, p. 376).
In conclusion, process of leadership is broad and multi- stranded. The topic of leadership certainly doesn't lack for theories; theories related to leaders and leadership are broad, intense and contradicting in some cases. However, leadership is an essential element of society and in everyday groups to lead, direct, guide, motivate and to influence others.
A good example of the Contingency theory of leadership would be the leadership theory which James parker followed. James Parker, CEO of southwest airlines, appears to use them to facilitate daily operations within the company. Parker has worked diligently at maintaining a company where employees are encouraged to interact