Discussion: Contingency, Situational, And Path-Goal Theories Of Leadership

Early leadership theories identified traits, skills, and behaviors associated with effective leadership, but they did not account for specific contexts in which each might be most effective. In the 1960s and 1970s, contingency, situational, and path-goal theories addressed this gap in leadership theory, suggesting that certain contextual factors, such as a leader’s authority, follower competence, and task demands dictate which leadership approach is most effective.

In this Discussion, you will apply contingency, situational, and path-goal theories to the selection of leadership styles, traits, skills, and behaviors given a specific set of contextual factors described by your colleagues.

Post a response to the following:

Respond to the statement, “There is no one effective leadership style,” using one of the following theories: contingency theory, situational theory, and path-goal theory. Then describe a leadership position and related contextual factors at the organization in which you currently work or an organization in which you have previously worked. In your description, be sure to address the following questions:

  • Does the leader have a formal position of power, and can he or she deliver rewards and punishments?
  • Overall, how would you characterize the relationships between leaders and followers? Are the relationships good or poor? Provide specific examples to illustrate your response.
  • Overall, how would you describe the work tasks followers complete? Are the tasks simple or complex? Structured or unstructured?
  • Overall, how would you characterize followers in terms of their competence, confidence, locus of control, and need for affiliation?

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