Management Notes

Reference Notes for Management

The ________ theory is a contingency theory that focuses on followers’ readiness.

The ________ theory is a contingency theory that focuses on followers’ readiness.

A) Cognitive Resource Theory

B) Fielder Contingency Model

C) Path-Goal Theory

D) Situational Leadership Theory

The Correct Answer is 

D) Situational Leadership Theory

Why D) Situational Leadership Theory is Correct:

The Situational Leadership Theory (SLT) is a robust model that emphasizes the significance of adapting leadership styles based on the readiness or maturity level of followers.

Developed by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard, this theory contends that effective leadership hinges on matching the leadership style to the individual or group’s readiness to perform a specific task or function.

The readiness of followers is determined by their competence and willingness, which varies across different situations. SLT categorizes readiness into four stages: R1 – Unable and Unwilling, R2 – Unable but Willing, R3 – Able but Unwilling, R4 – Able and Willing.

In R1, individuals lack both the competence and willingness to accomplish tasks, requiring a directing leadership style, characterized by specific instructions and close supervision.

As followers progress to R2, where they are willing but lack the necessary skills, a coaching approach is employed, combining guidance with encouragement to boost their capabilities.

R3 indicates followers have the competence but lack the motivation, necessitating a supporting leadership style that involves providing encouragement and support. Lastly, in R4, where followers are both competent and motivated, a delegating leadership style becomes appropriate, allowing individuals the autonomy to execute tasks independently.

Why Other Options Are Incorrect:

A) Cognitive Resource Theory:

The Cognitive Resource Theory, proposed by Fred Fiedler, is primarily concerned with how stress impacts an individual’s cognitive resources and subsequently influences decision-making. This theory does not explicitly address the contingency of leadership styles based on followers’ readiness levels.

It focuses on the cognitive abilities of individuals and how stress can affect their decision-making processes. The theory is more centered on the individual’s cognitive capacity rather than the dynamic relationship between leaders and followers and the adaptability of leadership styles to followers’ varying levels of readiness.

B) Fielder Contingency Model:

The Fielder Contingency Model, developed by Fred Fiedler, assesses leadership style by categorizing leaders as either task-oriented or relationship-oriented. It places emphasis on the match between the leader’s style and the situation, considering factors like leader-member relations, task structure, and positional power.

However, this model doesn’t explicitly incorporate the readiness levels of followers as a primary determinant in adjusting leadership styles.

Instead, it revolves around the fixed personality traits of the leader and how they fit the situational context, making it less focused on the adaptability required for different follower readiness scenarios.

C) Path-Goal Theory:

Robert House’s Path-Goal Theory concentrates on how leaders motivate followers to achieve specific goals by clarifying the path to success and removing obstacles. While this theory acknowledges the importance of adapting leadership styles to followers’ needs, it does not explicitly emphasize the readiness levels of followers.

The primary focus is on the leader’s role in facilitating the achievement of goals by addressing followers’ needs for direction, support, or achievement of goals. Path-Goal Theory provides valuable insights into leadership behaviors that enhance motivation but doesn’t go into the granularity of followers’ readiness levels as the Situational Leadership Theory does.

In summary, while each of these theories contributes valuable perspectives on leadership dynamics, Situational Leadership Theory stands out for its explicit focus on the contingency of leadership styles based on followers’ readiness.

This theory recognizes the dynamic nature of followers’ competence and motivation, providing a nuanced framework for leaders to adapt their approaches accordingly.

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