The can be predicted as either a “match

The phenomenon of leadership is complex. Over the years, studies to understand leadership have developed numerous perspectives, approaches, models and theories (Peretomode, 2012). Distinguishing between two schools of thought on leadership – situational versus contingency – will be defined, discussed, compared and contrasted in this paper. The Contingency TheoryIn the 1960’s, social psychologist Fred Fiedler studied the behavior, personality traits and leadership styles of leaders in business finance and politics. As a result of this work the Fiedler Contingency Theory was developed, which states that there are two types of leadership styles – Task Oriented and Relationship Oriented – and the leadership is measured based on the Least Preferred Co-Worker (LPC) Scale (Fiedler, 1964). A leader is considered either Task Oriented if they score low on the LPC scale, or Relationship Oriented if they score high (Northouse, 2007).  The model also predicts which leadership style will perform more effectively depending on (or contingent upon) the situation (i.e., very favourable, intermediate favourableness, or unfavourable) (Small, 2004).   How favorable a situation is depends on three factors: (1) leader-member relations, (2) task structure, and (3) position of power (Northouse, 2007).When you combine the leadership style and situational favorableness, leader effectiveness can be predicted as either a “match (predicted to perform effectively) or out of match (predicted to perform less effectively)” (encyclopedia, p. 1429,). Fiedler concluded that Task Oriented leaders were more effective than Relationship Oriented leaders in the extreme situations (i.e., very favorable  and unfavorable), while Relationship Oriented leaders were more effective in situations with intermediate favorableness compared to their counterparts (Peretomode, 2012). Although both types of leaders can be effective, the Contingency Theory argues that effective leadership depends less on the leadership style than it does on the situation in which a leader finds themself (Hanks, n.d.). Although the Fiedler Contingency Theory changed the way social psychologists understood the traits of leaders and predicting situational effectiveness, the theory is based on the premise that leadership style is innate and fixed, and a leader cannot change from Task Oriented to Relationship Oriented (or vice versa) even if the situation calls for it (Peretomode, 2012). With these limitations came a new wave of leadership research and focus. EXAMPLESituational TheoryHersey and Blanchard (1977) believed that since each task (or situation) is different, effective leaders should adapt their leadership style to the demands of the situations at hand. This was the premise for the Situational Theory and this model studies leadership behavior and how it should be modified in response to the behavior of followers. Building on previous research, Hersey and Blanchard (1977) also identified four leadership styles that were: directive behaviors (or Task Oriented) and supportive behaviors (or Relationship Oriented). From this, Hersey and Blanchard identified four additional leadership categories: Directing (high directive-low supportive), Coaching (high directive-high support), Supporting (low directive-high supportive) and Delegating/Empowering (low directive-low supportive)(1977). In addition to the new leadership styles, Hersey and Blanchard introduced a new dimension to leadership – maturity or  development level (1977). According to Tang (2011), development levels categorize subordinates on their degree of competence and commitment to the task: