The purpose of this paper is to conduct a literature review of Hersey and Blanchard’s leadership theory and model. The researcher will provide a brief description of the major points of the situation leadership theory/model. Also, the researcher will highlight the efficacy of the theory/model in its approach to leadership. Finally, the researcher will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the theory/model.
Major Points of the Situational Leadership Model
According to Hambleton and Gumpert (1982) the Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Theory is used to help leaders influence the behavior of others to be effective in their interaction with others. Cairns, Hollenback, Preziosi, and Snow (1998) states the situational leadership theory basic assumption is leader task and relationship behaviors are moderated by the level of follower readiness. In addition, the level of the follower readiness changes the amount of the leader task and relationship behavior should change to match the level of follower readiness (Cairns, Hollenback, Preziosi, & Snow, 1998). Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational theory implies that leaders should use more than one leadership style in order to be successful leaders. Also, the leadership style used by the leaders should be based on the present task (McLaurin, 2006).
Irgens (1995) identifies 4 quadrants of Hersey and Blanchard’s model as democratic, autocratic, laissez-faire, and charismatic which represents the four leadership styles. Furthermore, Irgens (1995) states directive and supportive behavior are 2 independent components of a leader’s behavior. Directive behavior is defined by Irgens (1995) as a leader who has total control over the decision-making process, determining how employees should work and when the work should be done. Leaders who possess characteristics of directive behavior micromanage employees’ work and this form of leadership behavior define the autocratic leadership style. Supportive behavior is embodies the same characteristics of the democratic leadership style in which leaders listening, communicates, recognize, and encourage input from employees. Leaders who posses this form of leadership behavior supports and encourage employees to be creative and innovated as well as reward them for successful contribution to the organization decision-making process (Irgens, 1995).
Efficacy of the Hersey and Blanchard Theory/Model in its Approach to Leadership
The efficacy of the Hersey and Blanchard theory/model in its approach to leadership allows for leaders to tailor their leadership style to fit the ability, skill, and knowledge of the follower (Cairns, Hollenback, Preziosi, & Snow, 1998). In addition, the theory/model enables leaders to control how and when things are accomplished in order to obtain the desire results. Furthermore the Hersey and Blanchard theory/model aids in matching leaders and followers based on readiness for change and have components...