The Universal And The Contingency Leadership Theories

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 14 September 2016

The Universal And The Contingency Leadership Theories

9. Describe the differences between the universal and the contingency leadership theories. Explain your answer in sufficient detail to demonstrate your understanding. Be specific using the materials in your text and not a generalized or philosophical statement. Hint: both the trait and behavioral leadership theories were attempts to find the “one best leadership style in all situations”; thus they are called universal leader theories. According to Stogdill and Mann, it was illustrated that traits were considered a mutual concept after conducting several researches. The end result of those researches proposed that individuals were considered leaders dependent on the given situation that they were in. In my current duty position, the engineers are all subordinates, but when we are out on a field test, each one in individually recognized as a group leader. They acknowledge their roles as a supervisor or leader, and they take charge of the group. In this position they, do not need additional supervision from the organization to carry out the task. This concept falls under the contingency leadership theory.

The leader is charismatic and the group is willing to follow. In this same environment, when delegating on the spot individual tasking to subordinate group members, the leader is making universal leaders for different task to be accomplished. For example, I am assigned to a recovery team. All members of my team are on the parachute recovery detail for the Orion space capsule, and we are all lead by a subordinate engineer. Once we reach the impact zone, the engineer takes lead and appoints each one of us to a specific task. My task is to take a few guys and properly recover the drogue parachute using my expertise. Now that I’ve broken away with my own group, I’ve become a universal leader. I was allowed to conduct my recovery using my vision, and abilities to motivate my group to do it in an efficient manner. That was more of a transformational trait implied. I think there is not much of a difference, but the universal leader theory seems to be more trusted in several different areas not specific to a common task versus the contingent leader who are driven towards a specific task.

The contingency theory did not reflect a psychological profile, nor did it set persistent traits associated directly to effective leadership. The boundaries between distinct traits and the predominant conditions was what created effective leadership. The contingency theory clearly related effective leadership as being dependent on factors free of an individual leader. This concept signified that effective leaders were those whose personal traits matched the needs of the situations in which they found themselves. Fiedler’s contingency model of leadership focused on the interaction of leadership style and the situation (later called situational control). He identified three relevant aspects of the situation: the quality of the leader’s relationships with others, how well structured their tasks were, and the leader’s amount of formal authority (Boundless, Four Theories of Leadership, Boundless, 08 Dec. 2014).

Source: Boundless. “Four Theories of Leadership.” Boundless Management. Boundless, 08 Dec. 2014. Retrieved 10 Dec. 2014 from 10. What are the significant differences among the transformational leadership theory model, the normative decision model, and the charismatic leadership model? And under what conditions/situations might each of the three leadership models (transformational – charismatic – normative decision) be effective? Explain your answer in sufficient detail to demonstrate your understanding.

Dubrin stated that a notable aspect of charismatic and transformational leaders is that their influence extends beyond the immediate work group, and also beyond reporting relationships (Leadership. Andrew J. DuBrin, pg. 74). He also stated that charismatic leaders are possible under certain conditions in which the constituents must share the leader’s beliefs, and must have unquestioning acceptance of and affection for the leader (Dubrin pp. 74). DuBrin also explained that the normative decision model viewed leadership as a decision making process in which the leader examine certain factors within a given situation to determine which decision making style would be the most effective (DuBrin pg. 155). Both charismatic and transformational leadership are extension of the trait theory (DuBrin, pg. 72).

However, many charismatic leaders are considered not transformational (DuBrin, pg. 77), but all transformational leaders are considered charismatic (DuBrin, 93). The transformational leader brings about positive, major change to the organization (DuBrin, pg. 77). It is imperative to distinguish the trait of individual leaders prior to applying the normative decision making steps. The normative decision making model views leadership as a decision-making process in which the leader examines factor within the situation to determine which decision making-making style would be the most effective (DuBrin 155). There are five decision making styles listed in the text under the normative decision making model (DuBrin pg. 155).

During the decision making style process, I’m allowed to make a sole decision as a leader, and then try my best to sell it to the other group members. This is the “decide style “. My former supervisor preferred the “consult style” process in which he first consulted with each individual separately in order to gather non-bias information to aid his final decision. There are also the “facilitate style” in which the leader gathers a group of key personnel into a room and conduct what we call a “hot wash”. This is when the leader presents the problem to the entire group, and analyzes the facts to form a decision. Last is the “delegate style”, in which the leader allows the group freedom to make a decision within the group’s limit. All of the following styles fall under the normative decision model (Dubrin 155).

11. What modifications would you make to Dubrin’s basic formula for human behavior to account for why some leaders excel in creative positions and others do not? Present Dubrin’s basic formula and describe your proposed modifications, which then become your model, for creative leadership behavior as compared to the Dubrin model. Then explain why the changes you propose would be helpful. Dubrin lists five steps to the creative process on page 340.

His model divided creative thinking into the five stages below. I also listed my five steps based on the lessons I’ve learned in chapter 11. My steps depicts that immediately after identifying that there is a problem in step one, a person should also understand why that problem initially occurred. This thought process would allow creative thinkers to consider and forecast constraints and aversions that may prevent investors from becoming skeptical later on.

DuBrin’s Model:

1. Opportunity or problem recognition,
2. Immersion
3. Incubation
4. Verification and application
5. Insight

I propose the new model below which reflects an insertion between steps one and two. If applicable, the missing is step I would consider is “Identifying Constraints and Aversion”. This step would follow immediately after step one; Opportunity or problem recognition. Dubrin stated in step five that, “Application requires tenacity because most novel ideas are first rejected as being impractical” (DuBrin pg. 341). The application of tenacity in the fifth step is not as effective as it would have been be in the second step. Since Novel ideas are rejected in the beginning, application of tenacity would be too late.

My proposal:

1. Opportunity or problem recognition
2. Identifying Constraint and Aversions
3. Immersion
4. Incubation
5. Verification and application
6. Insight

12. What would be the potential disadvantages (at least two) of selecting a team leader who is highly charismatic and visionary? Clearly label your two disadvantages. DuBrin depicted that effective leaders sells people on visions to elevate their spirits (DuBrin, pg. 80). He also stated that creating a vision is one of the major tasks of top management, yet quite often vision statement fails to inspire constituents (DuBrin, pg. 81). DuBrin expressed concerns about the validity and misdeeds of charismatic leadership followed by the dark side of charismatic leadership on page 97 in the text. Robert Tucker also warned about the dark side of charisma (Dubin, pg. 97). Charismatic visionary leaders are like entrepreneurs, they operate in accordance with their vision versus the organizations goal. Subordinates trust their judgment, and are most likely to follow them even if they become deceptive. They are readily assume risk outside the parameters Selecting a team leader who is highly charismatic and visionary could lead to the “Dependency” and “future lack of successors and visionaries”.

A charismatic visionary leader can easily win over the employees of the company with his motivational leadership style. While employees may find inspiration in this type of leadership, they may also rely too heavily on the person in charge. This can cause them to follow him down a wrong path inevitable causing the organization to fall. Also, when the employees associate the success of the company solely with the leader, this usually sets them up for failure. All employees should have the opportunity to be a valuable part of making the company a success. Being dependent on the leader retains a huge responsibility for both keeping the company running and motivating the staff. Then there is that leader who promotes the Lack of Successors and Visionaries after he is selected.

Sometimes a charismatic leader retains the majority of the control in the office, because he believes in himself so much that he doesn’t trust anyone else. He may have difficulty turning over control to others because he enjoys having the control or doesn’t feel that anyone else is capable to handle the duties as he could. This type of situation potentially leaves the company without any knowledgeable successors should the charismatic leader leave the company. Without giving others the authority and freedom to take some of the control, the company’s vision for the future is limited to the ideas of the leader. This type of environment may also squash some of the creative problem solving from other employees in the company, particularly if any ideas presented are pushed aside by the leader

13. Throughout this course, you have studied leadership models, strategies, concepts, techniques, skills; in fact, the areas studied have been broad and extensive. In a clear, logical, linear manner, discuss which, in your opinion, are the most applicable (1) leadership model or models, (2) strategies, (3) concepts, (4) techniques and (5) skills for the 21st century manager? Explain your answer and make your case in sufficient detail to demonstrate your understanding. Hint: this question has five separate parts.

In my opinion, the most applicable leadership model preferred is Dubrin’s five steps to the creative process listed on page 340-341. This model proved successful in the past, and will continue to be a useful concept considering the applicability of tenacity (the insertion of step two listed earlier). I also prefer the normative model to illustrate the leadership decision-making process in which the leaders examine certain factors within situations to determine the most suitable and effective decision-making style (Dubrin, pg.510). The transformational charismatic leadership style suits my profession best. The strategies best suited for me is the ones in which tactics are aimed at building relationships. This approach has helped me to raise people’s awareness, help them look beyond their self-interest, search for self fulfilment, understand the need for change, build trust, and commit to a level of greatness etc. (Dubrin pg. 91).

For the past 14 years, serving as a leader has continuously allowed me to synchronize leadership efforts to foster positive growth within organizations. Being a part of the in group has also kept me informed, and is a preferred method for broadening my knowledge base. I find that I can achieve more using a collaborative method when I am in charge of a group. Knowing when to use the avoidance theory has helped me to avoid conflicts, retain, trust, and maintain good relations between departments. I am also supportive of the cross –cultural leadership and diversity in order to promote expansion and enhance teamwork. As for reaching out to the 21st century, social networking is the wave of the future. According to Dubrin, Social Networking might be regarded as the most far-reaching technology for enhancing teamwork because so many workers can exchange information with each other, and thereby collaborate more effectively (DuBrin, pg. 286).


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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 14 September 2016

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