Application: Situations and Styles

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In the Discussion this week, you explored the degree in which you exemplify task and relationship behaviors and considered how each might contribute to your leadership style. You also described professional situations in which you might excel and be challenged. Now you will further explore the situational approach to leadership. According to the situational leadership approach, leaders must adopt different leadership styles depending on situational factors, such as employee competence. For instance, suppose you are a leader within a secondary school system. You might supervise some teachers who are highly experienced and others who are just beginning their careers. For those teachers who are highly experienced, you might use a “hands off” leadership style. However, for those teachers who are just beginning, you might use a more supportive leadership style. In this Application, you will review a case study and consider how various leadership styles might be applied, based on situational factors.

To prepare for this assignment:

  • Review Chapter 5 in the course text, Leadership: Theory and Practice. Reflect on various leadership styles and situations in which each is appropriate.
  • Review Case 5.1 on pages 105-107 in the course text, Leadership: Theory and Practice. Think about the competence and commitment of each manager described in the case study. Then consider the leadership style you might use with each manager.
  • Think about how you might use the leadership style(s) to discuss the implementation of new procedures with each manager.

The assignment: (12 pages)

  • Describe the leadership style(s) you might use with each of the three managers in the case study and explain why.
  • Explain how you might apply each style(s) to the managers in the case study. Be specific.

Course Text: Northouse, P. G. (2019). Leadership: Theory and practice (8th ed.). Thousand Oaks: CA: Sage Publications.

    • Chapter 4, “Behavioral Approach”
    • Chapter 5, “Situational Approach”

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