As opposed to Taylorists who opined that there was a single way of proper management and leadership for that matter, Fred Fiedler (born 1922) stated that the efficacy of one as a leader was solely dependant upon situational contingency (DuBrin, 2009). Situational contingency according to him was broken down as to relate to the style of leadership and the favorableness of various situations.
This theory differs from the situational model which was first set out as the life cycle theory of leadership. In the latter theory, Ken Blanchard is of the opinion that an interaction between the maturity of the leader and the requirements of a task are important in establishing a superb leadership style (Blanchard & Johnson, 1982).
These two theories are similar in the sense that they both suggest that there is no specific one leadership style that is to be universally accepted as “the one.” Rather different situations will call for managers to operate in different ways. The two theories both negate the traits of the leaders, something that was previously theories majorly focused upon.
Forsyth (2009) expresses that Fiedler’s theory introduces situational control; something that is also present in the Blanchard’s Situational theory. However the latter incorporates directing, coaching, supporting and delegating as the key roles that leaders should utilize to influence their followers.
DuBrin (2009) states that in Fiedler’s model, he introduces the least preferred co worker scale that is used to identify the task orientation level s and friendliness of the leader. Basically, he categorizes leaders as being task oriented or people oriented. Bipolar scales of between 1 and 8 are utilized by Fiedler. In this, leaders are asked about the workers they have worked with and rank them in terms of cooperation accorded, friendliness and supportive levels among other traits. Results will establish whether a leader is people oriented or task oriented.
Blanchard on the other hand focuses on how well a leader tells, sells, participates and delegates tasks (Blanchard & Johnson, 1982). The higher the flexibility expressed in these tasks, the better the leader. Maturity levels are also relevant where Ken gives them a scale of M1 to M4. At M1 specific skills are absent and the willingness to work. As someone moves to M4, experience, skill and comfort at work will keeps increasing more.
An evaluation of Waldinc International shows that human relations leadership model is more applicable. This is because the organization being a management consultancy firm, more emphasis is given to serving our clients the best way we can be and be sensitive to their specific needs. Our staff therefore needs to be comfortable and in the correct mind state at all times so that service to our clients will be best. Human relations model is the best to achieve this.
As an organization we need to continually improve and this will call for a learning organization so that feedback from our employees will be high. We need to create an environment of innovation, creativity and free flow of information and so we consider that the human relations model of Fiedler would work best for our firm to achieve these.
Further for easier diagnosis of problem areas in our organization, we consider that by use of this style, the employees would be able to open up easily to us so that we can exchange more information and keep improving in our provision of management consultancy services.
DuBrin, A. (2009). Leadership: Research Findings, Practice, and Skills. New York: Cengage Learning Institute.
Forsyth, D. (2009). Group Dynamics. New York: Cengage Learning Institute.
Blanchard, K. & Johnson, S. (1982). The one minute manager. New York: Morrow.