Fred Fiedler’s contingency model revisited: 30 years later
Keywords:Fiedler’s Contingency Model, situational leadership, leadership styles, leadership behavior, Least Preferred Co-Workers Scale
A historical review was conducted on Fred Fiedler’s Contingency Model to determine how this model has been used over the past 30 years since 1980. Fred Fiedler’s Contingency Model was created in 1967 to move the field of organizational research from analyzing traits and personal characteristics of leaders to assessing leadership styles and behaviors. The premise of the model is that the individual’s leadership style is the result of their life experiences, making it a fixed characteristic that is extremely difficult to change. Over the years, this model has been used with the aim of improving its validity and reliability in a multitude of national and international organizational settings. The article begins with a brief review of Fiedler’s background, progresses with a detailed description of Fiedler’s Contingency Model, and chronicles Fiedler’s Contingency Model’s use in the past and the present from 1980 to 2022. As a result, two major implications were found. The first implication was that the frequent use of the model had strengthened its validity and reliability, where it was one of the models that were readily used in studies focused on organizational leadership. The second implication was that the findings from these studies were used to address leadership problems that the organization needed to resolve. Based on these implications, it is safe to conclude that this model will continue to be used in future studies, where it will be fascinating to see how the results from Fiedler’s Contingency Model will benefit the organizations moving forward. Challenges facing many workplaces is the issue where supervisors’ leadership style may not fit specific work situation which leads to conflict with their employees. Fiedler’s Contingency Model provides a tool that can be used to identify and place supervisors in the best work situation where the supervisors’ leadership style can be the most effective.
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