11 Mar

Different types of leadership – for any situation?

Types of leadership

There are numerous types of leadership almost a leadership style for every situation! Ideas about different types of leadership for different situations have emerged as researchers paid more attention to leadership behaviours and how leaders interacted with their followers. It raised a question about how leaders behave in different situations.

Different types of leadership styles opened the door for the possibility that leadership could be different in every situation – allowing for complexity. What situations though need to be considered?

Different types of leadership – for any situation?

Researchers began to develop a situational approach to a growing number of differing contexts. Some of the main types of leadership theories that have emerged are:

  • Task or people – Whether the leader places more emphasis on the task or on the people carrying out the work (Blake and Mouton).
  • Influencing – effectiveness is the ease influencing followers, dependent on leader-member relations, task structure, and position power (Fiedler)
  • Interaction between the goals of leaders and their followers  – the path-goal theory where an individuals motivation is dependent upon expectations (House)
  • Aspects of a leaders decision : decision quality and decision acceptance determine a decision style (Vroom and Yetton)
  • How the leader involves the team in decision making. From being autocratic to delegating decisions to the team (Tannenbaum and Schmidt).
  • The individuals that are being led. For example whether they are competent and confident, or new or poorly trained (Hersey and Blanchard).
  • The different stages of a team’s development. It’s probable that most teams will face each of the different situations outlined above, at various stages of their existence. Teams therefore provide a good place to think about the types of  leadership that might be appropriate, yet there are few theories that focus on teams and leadership style. That is why we have developed a team leadership model.

Intuitively having a flexibility to apply different types of leadership styles makes some sense; different situations call for different approaches. The situational approach advocates you adopt a different leadership style dependent on the situation.

Whilst these types of leadership theory provides a means of deciding which style of leadership to apply, it also raises a significant number of questions. This diversity of possible situations is part of the problem. There are so many possible situations where a leader’s behaviour may need to be different, which situation or contingency do you choose?

With some of the contingency theories it is unclear how:

  • leadership styles vary according to situation
  • leaders can change their style or the situation
  • the leadership processes of interpreting the meaning of information, social interaction, social needs, strategic decisions is carried out

Whilst there are limitations to contingency leadership theory, there is much that can be learned.

Think about:

  • How you adapt your leadership style to different situations.
  • What style of leadership best meets the factors you currently face in your job?

For you have any query please feel free to talk to our Strategists’ Experts for their advise.

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