Role of Situation Leadership

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By jimmy002
Words 6755
Pages 28
Arthur G. Jago University of Missouri—Columbia Leadership depends on the situation. Few social scientists would dispute the validity of this statement. But the statement can be interpreted in many different ways, depending, at least in part, on what one means by leadership. This article begins with a definition of leadership and a brief description of 3 historically important theories of leadership. The most recent of these, contingency theories, is argued to be most consistent with existing evidence and most relevant to professional practice. The Vroom, Yetton, and Jago contingency models of participation in decision making are described in depth, and their work provides the basis for identifying 3 distinct ways in which situational or contextual variables are relevant to both research on and the practice of leadership.
Keywords: participation, situational leadership, normative models, contingency theory
T
he term leadership is ubiquitous in common discourse. Political candidates proclaim it, organizations seek it, and the media discusses it ad nauseum. Unfortunately, research on leadership has done little to inform these endeavors. As Bennis and Nanus (1985) have noted,
Literally thousands of empirical investigations of leaders have been conducted in the last seventy-five years alone, but no clear and unequivocal understanding exists as to what distinguishes leaders from nonleaders, and perhaps more important, what distinguishes effective leaders from ineffective leaders. (p. 4)
Although this assertion is over 20 years old, our position is that any serious review of the more recent literature would reveal that the quote is as relevant today as it was then.
One of the problems stems from the fact that the term leadership, despite its popularity, is not a scientific term with a formal, standardized definition. Bass (1990) has lamented the taxonomic…...

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