Situational Approach to Leadership

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Situational Approach to Leadership

Situational Approach to Leadership

The study of leadership has been a popular topic for debate when people first recognized the impact leadership has on the success of an organization. Leadership is the essential element that holds an organization together while moving it forward.

Situational Approach

“The situational approach emphasizes the importance of contextual factors that influence leadership processes. Major situational variables include the characteristics of followers, the nature of the work performed by the leader’s unit, the type of organization, and the nature of the external environment” (Yukl, 2010, p. 14).

Situational influences constrain the leader and results in the adaptation of his or her style

of leadership to the situation at hand. A motivated leader in this approach realizes that the skills and motivation of any group member are unique and the mix of the leader's supportive and directive activities must be able to change with the situation.

Strengths of Situational Approach

The primary strength of situational leadership are that it is directive and teaches the leader what to do given different situations. “Situational leadership is applicable at both micro and macro scales, appropriate for simple or complex tasks and adaptable for followers of all developmental level” (Costanzo, 2005). Situational leadership recognizes the differences among members of the group and works to develop their weak areas. “Each time the relationship between the follower and the task changes, the situational model allows the leader to reframe their actions to meet new parameters” (Costanzo, 2005).

Weaknesses of Situational Approach

“Not everyone has the vision, character, perception, strength, tenacity, luck, or constituent buy-in, to lead in every situation, despite their traits, skills, or style” (Costanzo, 2005). Misunderstanding either the individual’s ability or willingness to complete a task...