Fiedler’s contingency theory

Fiedler’s contingency theory is also one of the contingencies theories which tell us that leadership is not only dependant on the way or the style you lead but it rather states one’s control over a situation. It states that there is the need of a good relation between the leaders and the members of an organization, all the tasks that are to be performed should be clearly stated with all the procedures, and most importantly to mete out rewards along with punishments. If it lacks the above three combinations it will lead to failure in leadership. To make this simpler and clear to everyone Fiedler created the least preferred co-worker scale (LPC), in which the leader is asked to ascribe traits to the least liked co-worker. Let us understand this with the help of a table:

Not co-operative 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Co-operative
Not Friendly 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Friendly
Hostile 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Supportive
Reserved 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Frank
………… 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ………….

Now fielder’s contingency theory is a kind of standard or qualification type of contingency theory, but what is contingency theory? In general, contingency theories states the dynamics of leadership depends upon the current situation. There are number of factors such as the Nature of the task he’s given, personality of the leader, and the process of the group being led. Just to be more focused and have a clear understanding of Fiedler’s contingency theory, we need to take one of the aspects of a leader led situation. Fiedler paid more attention on the leader’s personality, psychological disposition to judge his/her ability to lead a group and also check how the group takes their leader in command, tasks involved, whether the leader can exercise control over the team are some of the most important principles in determining how successful the leader lead analysis will result. Therefore, the scores from the least preferred co-worker is added and averaged to produce the result. Thus, a high LPS score means a good relation with humans, it also means that the leader gets along with his/her group. During the analysis the nature of the task is paid least attention but rather the issue related in doing may be subjected for good human relations. When a leader is working in an environment where all of his team members are independent likewise in a scientific setup where the given tasks may not be clearly defined, in such cases the leader must rely on his/her own personality to achieve his target.

Now vice versa when there’s a lesser LPC score means that the leader is reliable more on the nature of the task to gear up his leadership. It means that the given tasks should be clearly stated with no ambiguity or else the leader will face problems. There are situations which involve natural calamities and disasters or a survival situation, in such cases human relation plays a pivotal role.

Read More about Strategies of Leadership

Important topics related leadership strategies

Fiedler's Contingency Model

Hersey and Blanchard's situational theory

Leader Member Exchange Theory

Path Goal Theory