Sample Essay

Words 1,312

“The contingency approach is based on the assumption that the relationship between leader behaviors and traits and effectiveness depends on characteristics of the particular situation the leader is in. The task of a leader, according to the contingency approach, is to first “read” the situation to determine what behaviors would be most appropriate. Once this is determined, the leader has to adjust his or her behavior to the meet the demands of the situation.” (Jex 2002, p. 273) This theory highlights what a leader should do to take control of the situation and how to handle it best for overall improvement of the organization.

James D. Thompson said that, “organizations that experience similar technological problems will engage in similar behavior.” (Barnat) The contingency approach is entirely different from the normal approaches of management. “The classical, behavioral, and management science schools assumed a universal approach. They proposed the discovery of “one-best-way” management principles that applied the same techniques to every organization.” (Barnat) This is a fallacy because today the world has become so complex that the same principles cannot be applied to each problem and “experienced managers know that not all people and situations should be handled identically. Therefore, the contingency approach holds that universal solutions and principles cannot be applied to organizations.”(Barnat) Basically the contingency report teaches us to mold our actions according to a particular cause. This approach helps an organization perform better because it is not limited to specific functions. Unlike the universal approach which presents one way to tackle everything the contingency approach looks into the situation and then the decision is made on how to handle the situation. “In simple terms, the contingency theory suggests that what managers do in practice depends on, or is contingent upon, a given set of circumstances – a situation.” (Barnat)

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