When Your Own Situational Theory Of Essay Example
When Your Own Situational Theory Of Essay Example

When Your Own Situational Theory Of Essay Example

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  • Pages: 5 (1227 words)
  • Published: November 2, 2016
  • Type: Case Study
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Case Study Analysis: When should a leader be directive or empowering? How to develop your own situational theory of leadership Situational leaders are some of the most effective leaders according to Blanchard (2010), McShane and Von Glinow (2012), and Sims, Faraj, and Yun (2009). Blanchard refers to situational leaders as people who see potential that people can and want to achieve and are able to encourage and develop it. Sims and colleagues did research on a medical team and found that two of the five leadership styles they found the most common were directive and empowering.

Blanchard suggests that situational leaders empower their direct reports thought treating situations according to the current circumstances. The article by Sims and colleagues state that through these five leadership types you have to use situational leadership and jud


gment to know what type of leadership style works best. In the article, Sims, Faraj, and Yun (2009) expose five steps for approaching the task of fitting leadership types to the situation at hand.

The first is identifying the outcome (goal), the second is identifying the proper leader role (directive/ empowering), the third is acknowledging situational conditions (immediate action or overtime), fourth is matching the leader type to the condition (i. e. directive leader = immediate action needs to be taken), and last is verifying the right leader is in the position (is the right person in charge of the leadership type or is someone else more qualified).

Sims and colleagues examined this in the medical field through observing surgeons, patients and the direct reports. The combination of these encounters displayed all of the vital roles o

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leaders. These five steps are mirrored in Blanchard’s (2010) view of situation leaders. He states they need to be flexible, able to diagnose a situation, use multiple leadership styles when necessary, and performing communication for best results. These steps by Sims and Blanchard can be generalized to every area that leadership is involved.

For the situational leadership to be successful the authors of the article state that the leader must be flexible and be able to use all five types of leadership if necessary even though empowering and directive are the most used and are the most successful (Sims, Faraj, &Yun, 2009). The article presents the five leadership styles as aversive, directive, transactional, transformational, and empowering. An aversive leader uses punishment of reinforcement.

The directive leader uses a more diplomatic manager to subordinate role. A transactional leader establishes a system of rewards for motivation. The transformational leader leads by example motivating through a shared vision. The last type is the empowering leader which helps others realize and utilize their own potential which creates motivation. Blanchard’s (2010) Situational Leadership Model II has similar areas and also suggests that directive and empowering are also the best for results and success.

The article by Sims and colleagues (2009) was very clear that no matter what style of leadership was used it was clear situational leadership had occurred based on the evaluation and critique of the situation followed by the implementation of the proper leadership style. When immediate action needed to be taken on a more sever patient surgeons used directive leadership. This was in the form of direct orders and immediate action was taken. In

the case of less sever patients surgeons could be much less direct in their orders and empower their direct reports take action.

The article suggested the training of employees throughout all organizations to go through situation leadership training. This training would guide employees and employers alike to align themselves to a specific situation and determine the best style to accomplish the goals at hand. The only problem not addressed is the ability to teach this style. Blanchard (2010) states that most leaders have only one style and are semi-inflexible to change. Blanchard also states that only “great” leaders can properly use situational leadership which is the key to their success.

The problem is: How can everyone accurately implement one of five leadership styles when most are only good at one? Employee/ staff training would be vital and situational practice rounds could be a great source of teaching. Referring again to the Situation Leadership Model II by Blanchard (2010), the model uses supporting as a leadership style that is similar to that of the empowering style use by Sims and colleagues (2009) as well as the directing leadership style that is similar to the directive style. However this is just a model. Blanchard like Sims and colleagues refer to ituational leaders based on similar qualification. The situational leaders here have to have some sort of self-leadership ability (ability to know your strengths), relationship building behaviors (creating trust in direct reports), team leaders (the ability to not only direct or empower and individual but convey that to a team), and last a comprehensive leader (this leader can incorporate self-leadership as well as with individuals, teams

and multiple teams). This is not a strategy easily done. The article in its title asks the question: When should a leader be directive or empowering?

The article clearly summarizes the results as stated above, however the article does not say which is best even though it implies it. Blanchard (2010) does not hesitate to state what is best. Blanchard clearly puts empowering and motivating at its highest level of leadership. It is clear in the Blanchard text that through empowering employees, allowing information sharing, deliverance of concrete goals and creating a culture of motivation, situational leadership can be established. When employees know that in certain situations the type of leadership that will appears they can better prepare and are more receptive.

When the employee is not privy to this forethought they may seem attacked or left out of the organizational vision. Here again merging the ideas of Sims and colleagues (2009) and Blanchard, training of organizational teams in situational behavior for problem solving appears to be vital for success. The article provided a great example of how the situation of a team or organization can play a huge role on the type of leadership to be used. This can be used as a jumping board for organizations to value the importance of situational leadership.

In conclusion the situational leadership allows circumstances to play a role in organizations and their behaviors. However it suggests that situational leadership should be consistent across similar circumstances. The article concludes that of the five types of leadership aversive leadership should be a fallback plan and used rarely, directive leadership is best mostly when direct reports are

inexperience or under qualified, transactional leadership produce motivation but is not the best alternative to deal with failures, transformational leadership is best in situations where high performance is eeded, and lastly, empowering leadership motivate through skill development and revealing of potential. Based on these findings organizations could possibly save themselves a great deal of time if they simply assessed the situation before having to react to a problem unprepared in that situation. Set up the directive or empowering situations with teams and approach problems based on plans of action. References

Blanchard, K. (2010). Leading at a Higher Level. (11th Edition). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: FT Press. McShane, S. L. & Von Glinow, M. (2012). Organizational Behavior (6th ed. ). New York, NY: McGraw Hill. Sims Jr, H. P. , Faraj, S. , & Yun, S. (2009). When should a leader be directive or empowering? How to develop your own situational theory of leadership. Business Horizons, 52(2), 149-158.

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