Situational/Contingency Models Overview
This sub-group of leadership models - which might be called 'situational' or 'contingency' leadership models - are based on an important assumption, that:
There is not one single ideal approach to leading because circumstances vary.
I am grateful to James Scouller, an expert coach, thinker, and writer on leadership, for the contribution of most of the technical content on this article, and for the collaboration in editing it and presenting it here. Aside from what follows here, Scouller's expertise in leadership theory is evidenced particularly in his 2011 book " The Three Levels of Leadership ", which I commend to you.
So, situational leadership theory says, effective leaders must change their behaviour according to the situation.
These particular 'situational' or 'contingency' models offer a framework or guide for being flexible and adaptable when leading.
There are several models in this sub-group, so it is helpful to list them again:
- Kurt Lewin's Three Styles model
- Tannenbaum and Schmidt's Leadership Behaviour Continuum model
- The Fiedler Contingency model
- Path-Goal theory
- Hersey & Blanchard's Situational Leadership model
- Bolman & Deal's Four-Frame model
- Reddin's 3D Leadership Model
N.B. When we use the word 'situational' in the sense of referring to this sub-group of models it is with a lower case 's'. This is because the Situational Leadership model(s) of Hersey and Blanchard are proprietary brands, properly shown with the registered trademark identifier, i.e., Situational Leadership®.
James Scouller Biography
I am grateful to James Scouller for his help, patience, and expert contribution in producing this leadership guide.
James Scouller is an expert coach and partner at The Scouller Partnership in the UK, which specialises in coaching leaders. He was chief executive of three international companies for eleven years before becoming a professional coach in 2004. He holds two postgraduate coaching qualifications and trained in applied psychology at the Institute of Psychosynthesis in London.
James Scouller's book is called " The Three Levels of Leadership: How to Develop Your Leadership Presence, Know-how and Skill ". It was published in May 2011. I commend it to you, and his thinking too.
You can learn more about James Scouller's book at three-levels-of-leadership.com .
Details of James Scouller's executive coaching work are at TheScoullerPartnership.co.uk .