Essay Sample: Behavioral and Contingency Theories of Leadership

Published: 2022-06-14
Essay Sample: Behavioral and Contingency Theories of Leadership
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Leadership style
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 566 words
5 min read

Behavioral leadership refers to the leadership model that attempts to use a single leadership style to solve all situations. Contingency leadership theories, on the other hand, work on the principle that there exists no one leadership style that works best for kinds of situations. Therefore different styles are the best fit to serve a particular situation (s) in which it is best suited, and a solution that is best for one case may not be necessary as effective to another. Therefore according to the contingency model, how effective a leader is based on their ability to implement the appropriate styles in dealing with the various scenarios.

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Behavioral leadership theories play a significant role in contingency model as their basic leadership styles are also used in the contingency theories. The behavioral theories of leadership work on the basics that people react to things based on their past experiences or adopted. These experiences will elicit their responses since it has been registered in their minds that certain aspects are dealt with in a specific manner. Both positive and negative outcomes play a significant role in influencing the behaviors of individuals. However, rewards also play a significant role in ensuring a repeat of the same choices that led to the reward. An excellent example of reward influence in behaviors is the case of Chang. The designers under Chang had been used to performing their tasks differently to attain efficiency to the extent that her proposed way of working as being ineffective and faced with rebellion (Lussier and Christopher, 2013). Therefore under behavioral theories, the traits of the leader are the best determinant of how successful they are in providing the needed problem-solving solutions.

The contingency theories work on the principle that a leadership style has to conform to various internal and external factors of an organization. These internal and external factors are the situations and the style of the followers and the tasks at hand (Lussier and Christopher, 2013). These entails but not limited to resource availability, employees capabilities and preferences, organizational size and operation mechanisms; technology used in the organization and many others. All these factors and how they are integrated to accommodate both personal preferences and those of others in a leadership orientation is where the contingent model merges with the behavioural model. The latter can also be explained using two leadership task styles. These are task-oriented leadership and relationship-oriented leadership. The task-oriented leadership being more concerned with the tasks at hand to be completed than the relationship with the employees as the relationship-oriented concentrating more on the employee's relations. Under the contingency model these two leadership styles can result to either high. Low or medium performance of an organization with regard to attaining its goals. The task-based leadership style may be useful in organizational structures with high control situations as the style easily develops a positive working relationship necessary for the completion of tasks. The case may not be the same with moderate control situations. Relationship-oriented style, on the other hand, can be successful in moderate control situations as it thrives under cases where the management can feel challenged. From the two scenarios of a contingency model the efficiency and sustainability of the styles in an organization requires first to understand the behaviours of the employees by the leader.


Lussier, R. N., & Achua, C. F. (2013). Leadership: Theory, application, & skill development. South Western, Cengage Learning.

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