Contingency Theories of Leadership

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Contingency Theories of Leadership

Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa are just few of the names that come to mind whenever we think of great leaders. They have a vision of what they want and have the ability to communicate their vision in order to gain the support and cooperation of their followers. Often we find it easy to identify great leaders yet it is difficult to explain the qualities that make them great. In comparison, Nelson Mandela and Margaret Thatcher reinforce the fact that leaders have very different qualities and that leadership success is more complex than just identifying few traits or preferable behaviors. People who were studying the leadership phenomena then turned to the idea
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A good example is the Arthurian Legend – King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The leader and his chosen few share the same principle of living a life of chivalry and honor. They are first among equals and are always first in battle, always the most valiant. Camelot is an utopian democratic system because of this rule of the righteous. This happens only if righteous leaders choose equally righteous people.

The Path Goal theory states that it is the leader's job to assist followers in attaining their goals and to provide the necessary direction and/or support to ensure that their goals are compatible with the overall objectives of the group or organization. The Italian football that won the recently concluded World Cup owes their victory to the leadership of their coach. He designed his game strategies that made individual roles in the team clearly designed so that each player performed to his own strength.

The Leader Participation model is a leadership theory that provides a set of rules to determine the form and amount of participative decision making in different situations. This Model was developed by Victor Vroom and Phillip Yetton and has since been revised because of its complexity. From a practical point of view, the model is still too complicated for managers to use on a regular basis. Although a computer program has been developed to make it simpler for
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