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Situational Leadership Theory

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Tia Thistlewood

on 27 October 2013

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Transcript of Situational Leadership Theory

Situational Leadership Theory

Internal Structure
External Validity
Effectiveness of external validity is dependent on the leader and how appropriately they respond to the characteristics of their follower's maturity levels and choice of leadership style.
Research shows practicing managers often feel that more guidance would be helpful when applying the theory.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Created by Dr. Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard
Provides information about leading depending on circumstances
No one "best practice" for influence/leading
Follower's behavior determines the most appropriate leadership style
Stages based on task behavior and relationship behavior.
Task Behavior
How the leader defines responsibilities they assign to an individual or group, such as what task to complete and how to correctly perform it.
Relationship Behavior
The extent to which the leader engages in communication with the followers.
Examples: listening, praising, collaborating, counseling, consulting
Task behavior and relationship behavior together help to define the four main leadership styles that make up Situational Leadership Theory
Situational Leadership Model
Understanding readiness is another key element of Situational Leadership Theory
People will be at different levels of readiness as they face different tasks and assignments
Ability and willingness are the two main factors that determine an individual's readiness.
Different levels of readiness: R1 (unwilling and unable), R2 (unable, but willing), R3 (able, but unwilling), and R4 (able and the willing)
Ability refers to the knowledge, experience, and skill of the individual, and what they bring to the activity.
Willingness is the degree to which the individual shows confidence, commitment, and motivation to accomplish the assigned task.
The degree to which the individual shows confidence, commitment, and motivation to accomplish the assigned task

Situational Leadership Curve
"Prescription curve" shows how leader's style changes in response to readiness level.
Hershey and Blanchard argue for curvilinear relationship between readiness and relationship behavior; however, model shows measurement of task behavior and readiness on a horizontal axis.
Indicates an inverse, direct relationship between task and readiness.
Prescription Curve
Theory places a large amount of responsibility on leader, while allowing followers to give up their autonomy if they choose. It is important that leader is continually aware of their surroundings and where their followers lie on the bell curve. SLT places responsibility on the leader to move the followers to a higher level when personal advancement should be placed on followers instead.
SLT allows for a more cohesive and team-like feel to a group aspiring to achieve a common goal and creates the room for a more personal and intimate relationship between leader and follower.
By: Tia Thistlewood, Lauren Prince, Adrienne Johnston, and Maddie Wilson
Leadership you do "with people", not "to people"
Leadership relates to follower's Readiness and maturity levels
Promotes open communication and partnerships between leader and followers
Literature shows this leadership style is efficient and is positively correlated with quality of work
Popular among practicing managers
Not explicit for all situations
Lack of explicit framework
Largely dependent on open communication, readiness levels, and ability of followers to adapt to change
Too much responsibility on leader effectiveness
Occasional loss of follower autonomy
Based off evidence from the literature...
Situational leadership, when used correctly, has been shown to be useful and popular among leaders, and correlated to quality of work and positive job satisfaction.
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Style 1, directing, is a high task/low relationship style with leader using lots of task behavior and below average amounts of relationship behavior.

Style 1: Directing
Style 2, coaching is a high task/high relationship style with leader using more than average amounts of both task and relationship behaviors
Style 2: Coaching
Style 3, or supporting, is a high relationship/low task style where the leader uses more than average amounts of relationship behavior and below average amounts of task behaviors.
Style 3: Supporting
Style 4, or delegating, is a low relationship/low task method that uses below average amounts of relationship and task behaviors.
Style 4: Delegating
No clear validation for how the curve was developed.
Based on the curve, a person is more ready when they are unwilling but able than when they are willing but unable.
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