Fred Fiedler provided a ‘Contingency Model of Leadership’ based on a situational theory that “emphasizes the relationship between leader characteristics and the situation” (Howell et al. , 2001). Though born in the 1960-s, this concept took more than thirty years to come in shape at the hands of the Ken Blanchard, the management guru and author of “One Minute Manager” series of books, along Paul Hersey (Famous, 1999). Blanchard and Hersey took the amount of direction and support as the guiding force of their model like below:
Directing: Leader would determine and define the roles of the followers after analyzing the situation, besides monitoring the outcome. This model uses one-way communication between the leader and the followers. Coaching: Leaders would add more to the above by allowing the followers to air their ideas and suggestions before making the decision. Supporting: Leaders would pass on the routine decisions to the followers and allow the followers to control the proceedings in presence of the leaders.
Delegating: Leaders would pose as a mere party to the proceedings, further releasing control to the followers, such as to let them decide when they need to involve the leader. This model depends much on the quality of the followers rather than the leader, where the followers would believe that “success is not achieved totally by leadership alone” (Yaverbaum, 2004). The two models, representing leadership style (S1-S4) and development level (D1-D4) provides anyone to act according to the situation.
As for example, if a Leader asks a follower belonging to Category D4 and adopts S1 style (Directing), then it would be a mismatch, as it would be the same if leader adopts S4 pattern in the dealing with a follower belonging to D1. On the contrary, if the leader adopts S4 to D4 or S1 to D1, the outcome would be the best out of the situation. This model has the scope of elevating a follower from D1 to D4, and subsequently be in the position of a leader him/herself. Participative Leadership
This model involves team members in making decisions to add more creativity to solve complex problems (McCrimmon, 2007). One of the prominent proponents of participative leadership, Yukl earmarks four decision procedures that carry a leader from autocratic state of decision making to a collaborative state, involving the process of delegation in the end. Autocratic decision: The nascent stage of the process, when the leaders start with non-participative mode and takes decisions all by him/herself.
Consultation: It’s when the leaders develop openness and consult with the followers, exploit their suggestions while making the decision. Joint decision: It’s when the leaders adopt more democracy in the decision-making process by utilizing collective discussion, brainstorming and decision formulation. Delegation: Here the leaders practice total democracy by empowering the individual or group to make decisions, of which the leader may or may not suggest any addition or alteration (Yukl, 1998, pp 123 – 125).
Participative leadership can be counted as a little more elaborated version of situational leadership and can be beneficial in many ways, such as Enhancement of the self-esteem of the followers. Followers’ enculturation of decision-making process Sharpening the followers’ skills of decision-making. Enhancing commitment of the followers. Facilitating conflict resolution. Contribute to team building.