Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory – Annotated Bibliography Example

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The paper “ Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory" is a meaty example of an annotated bibliography on management. Graeff, C. L. (1983) with his "The situational leadership theory: A critical view" (Academy of Management Review, 8(2): 285-291) starts the discourse. In the journal article, Graeff points out at the origin of the situational leadership theory. According to Graeff, the theory was designed to build a better view of the leadership framework designed by Reddin in 1967. This theory was designed based on leaders’ behaviors. Graeff notes that situational leadership is also largely dependent on the job and psychological maturity of subordinates.

Job maturity in this sense is a factor of the individual’ s ability to work and their level of education and experience. Psychological maturity, on the other hand, is dependent on the level of confidence of an individual. Graeff argues that although the theory is applicable in many cases, it does not adequately provide room for real determination during a low performance. During the low performance, maturity and ability have very little influence on outcomes and the theory cannot define the causes clearly. Such things can be defined by normative and prescriptive models.

According to the prescriptive model when all subordinates are involved in decision making, they mature faster and consequently perform better. Graeff concludes by stating that performance is affected most by the ability and maturity of subordinates in line with the situational leadership theory. This source is relevant in that it provides a background to situational leadership and confirms its general validity. Peretomode, O. (2012). Situational and Contingency Theories Of Leadership: Are They The Same? Journal of Business and Management, 4(3): 13-17 http: //www. iosrjournals. org/iosr-jbm/papers/Vol4-issue3/C0431317.pdf In the journal article, Peretomode views situational leadership theory as an improvement of the Schmidt and Tannenbaum leadership style.

He notes that the theory was derived from four leadership styles. The four styles of leadership, in this case, include; selling (coaching), telling (directing), participating (supporting) and delegating. Later Hersey and Blanchard introduced the concept of subordinates’ maturity level. Maturity, in this case, is defined as the ability and readiness to work. They came up with four levels of maturity or readiness which were M1, M2, M3, and M4.

M1 represented low level, M2 represented a moderate level, and M3 represented a high level while M4 represented a very high level. The four levels of readiness are matched with selling, telling, participating and delegating styles of leadership. Each of the four is applied depending on the level of maturity of subordinate, their motivation and willingness to perform their duties. By comparing situational and contingency leadership, this source is relevant in that it specifies the differences and similarities between the two leadership styles. Walter, J.E. , Caldwell, D.S. & Marshall, J. (2001).

Evidence for the validity of situational leadership Theory. Educational Leadership, pp 618-621. http: //people. wku. edu/richard. miller/Graeff. pdf According to Walter, Caldwell, and Marshall, situational leadership theory is used to explain the dimensions of leadership. In the journal article, the authors note that leadership in the organization is concerned with performance and people’ s social-emotional needs. Walter argues that for the leadership of an organization to be effective the social-emotional needs of the organization should be emphasized more than other factors affecting performance. What this means is that leaders should take into consideration the level of maturity of their subordinate subordinates.

Well defined organizational behavior and roles of subordinates improve performance as each one knows what is expected of them. In his article, the author defines the four levels of maturity that is exhibited by subordinates and evaluates the validity of situational leadership. Based on a study involving teachers and principals, the researchers conclude that the balanced use of relationship and task encourage personal satisfaction and organizational productivity. Application of situational and leadership theories helps to improve subordinates’ satisfaction as well as organizational productivity.

This source is important in that it puts focus on the importance of considering the social-emotional needs of subordinates by leaders as emphasized by situational leadership. Hersey P., Blanchard K. H. & Dewey E. J. (2004). Management of Organizational Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources, 8th and, Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Prentice-Hall, pp. 188-223. This book shows that situational leadership theory is based on the assumptions that forms of leadership have to change so as to accommodate subordinates’ levels of maturity and readiness. It also details the four leadership styles that are highly considered in the situational leadership theory.

According to the source, telling leadership style applies when the subordinates are incompetent and unwilling to work. In this case, they require proper guidance on what they are going to do on a daily basis. In this case, constant supervision is necessary as a lack thereof affects performance negatively. Selling applies where the subordinates lack competence but are willing to work. In this case, the subordinates require guidance only and the leadership should be ready to provide direction to the subordinates. The other form of leadership style is participative leadership.

This is applied to subordinates who are capable of performing tasks but have a feeling of insecurity.   This leadership is done to foster a good relationship between all people in an organization. The last style of leadership is delegation. This leadership style is applicable where subordinates are capable of doing work in addition to being motivated. In this case, the employees take responsibility for their work and consequently are able to work without supervision.   Generally, the authors peg their arguments on the notion that performance is a factor of motivation and ability as noted by Campbell and Pritchard (1976).

This source is important in that it outlines the different situations that demand different leadership styles that together make situational leadership.

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