Leadership is defined as the ability to influence a group toward the achievement of a vision or set of goals. (Robbins and Judge 2005). Leaders have the task of planning, organizing, solving problems, motivating, supporting, delegating, rewarding, networking and rewarding their employees or group members, among numerous other tasks. Consequently it can be said that the performance and effectiveness of an organization is directly related and depends upon the leadership that it has. With reference to Fiedler’s Contingency Model/ Theory, Hersey and Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory, Path-Goal theory and Participative Leadership Model, the validity of this statement shall be proven.
Task-oriented leadership is most effective in law enforcement, disaster management companies, manufacturing assembly lines and other structured organizations. Relationship-oriented leaders focus more on supporting and developing persons on their various teams or in their organizations. This style of leadership enhances teamwork and communication skills. Relationship-oriented leaders prioritize the welfare of everyone in the group and will make sure every member’s needs are met. This drives the group or organization’s members to be motivated and as a result, motivated workers become very productive. Effective leaders should know when to utilize the task-oriented leadership style and the relationship-oriented leadership style for maximum performance of an organization.
Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Theory or Model focuses on the “followers”. (Robbins and Judge 2005) This theory, created by Dr Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard illustrates that leadership depends on selecting the appropriate leadership style contingent depending on the followers’ readiness, or the extent to which they are willing and able to accomplish a specific task. This theory should aid leaders to place more or less emphasis on the task or the relationship with the people they are leading, depending what is needed at the particular time to complete the job successfully. A leader should choose one of four behaviors or styles depending on follower readiness; telling, selling, participating or delegating. Knowing when to use each style depends on the maturity level of the person you are dealing with. (Center of Leadership Studies n.d.)
The application of this theory depends strongly upon the recognition of the maturity level of the follower and matching it with the appropriate style. If the leader matches the correct style with the maturity level of a member, this will guarantee that the organization’s effectiveness and performance will be boosted in the long-run. Implemented, the members will have a clear idea of what goals they have to achieve and how to achieve them. Also correctly identifying the maturity level of the members will push teaching and bonding between the leader and the employee or follower, development of skills and confidence as after a certain level of maturity leaders tend to gain confidence in its members and in return the members feel motivated to progress and work to the best of their ability.
Robert House developed what is known as the Path-Goal Theory. This theory states that it’s the leader’s job to provide followers with the information, support, or other resources necessary to achieve their goals. Leaders guide employees by clearing the path for them, so that they are able to reach their goals. Whether a leader should be directive, supportive, participative or achievement orientated or should demonstrate some other behavior depends on complex analysis of the particular situation. Directive leadership capitulate greater...