Leaders use their aptitudes and skills to guide their followers. Successful project managers understand the importance of using the most desirable leadership theory. Each leadership model has its unique strengths and weaknesses that must be clearly understood by project managers. I personally believe that a contingency approach is appropriate towards delivering the most desirable project outcomes (Leadership theory, 2015). This theory is relevant because it creates room for managers to focus on the deliverables of the targeted project.
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Contingency theories make it easier for leaders to analyze the existing situations and empower their employees accordingly (Leadership theory, 2015). This is the case because human beings tend to have diverse traits, competencies, expectations, and goals. Project managers should lead their workers in accordance with the existing situations. For instance, some workers require specific situations in order to function optimally. Such individuals will deliver undesirable goals if their sources of motivation are ignored (Yang, Huang, and Wu 2011). Managers can use this theory to support more individuals throughout the implementation process.
Behaviors Associated with Contingency Theory
The contingency theory supports specific behaviors thus making it applicable in different settings. Projects attract many people from diverse backgrounds. Kiss, Dainty, and Tuuli (2013) believe that different phases of a project require specific instructions and support. The theory can therefore support managers to express their authorities. This move makes every follower responsive and productive.
The theory provides ‘a more holistic consideration of everything outside the leader that affects a situation’ (Key concept, 2015, p. 4). The structure and complexity of the targeted task is considered whenever designing the best leadership approach. The contingency theory supports the need to change leaders throughout the project life. This knowledge makes it easier for project managers to use customized leadership techniques. Such approaches address the existing problems and eventually deliver tangible results.
Benefits and Limitations
This theory makes it easier for leaders and workers to work together, make common decisions, address the existing problems, and promote the best organizational practices. The theory empowers project managers to select team leaders depending on the complexity of the targeted tasks or phases. The current wave of diversity in many companies explains why a single leadership approach might not deliver the most desirable results (Tyssen, Wald, and Spieth, 2014). Consequently, contingency theory becomes a powerful alternative towards delivering quality results. The contingency theory makes it easier for leaders to offer personalized guidance to individuals with diverse needs (Key concept, 2015). The leader can examine the unique conditions of the targeted team and adopt the most desirable motivational style.
On the other hand, contingency theory lacks enough scientific research to support its effectiveness in project management. The theory fails to outline the best strategies to motivate different participants in a project. The theory can create misunderstandings especially when managers want to select new leaders. This model might not address some uncertainties affecting a project. Landis, Hill, and Harvey (2014) argue that individuals using the contingency theory might be misadvised by their followers. Despite such weaknesses, the theory empowers leaders to change in accordance with the situations affecting their organizations.
Key concept (2015) Baltimore: Laureate Education Press.
Kiss, J., Dainty, A. and Tuuli, M. (2013) ‘Examining the role of transformational leadership of portfolio managers in project performance’, International Journal of Project Management, 31(1), 485-497.
Landis, E., Hill, D. and Harvey, M. (2014) ‘A Synthesis of leadership theories and styles’, Journal of Management Policy and Practice, 15(2), pp. 96-100.
Leadership theory (2015) Baltimore: Laureate Education Press.
Tyssen, A., Wald, A. and Spieth, P. (2014) ‘The challenge of transactional and transformational leadership in projects’, International Journal of Project Management, 32(1), 365-375.
Yang, L., Huang, C. and Wu, K. (2011) ‘The association among project manager’s leadership style, teamwork and project success’, International Journal of Project Management, 29(1), 258-267.