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Major Differences between Behavioral and Contingency Leadership Theories

The behavioral theory highlights the nature and complexity of the work that a leader handles. The behavioral theory tests the capacity of the leader whether he is efficient enough to handle tasks or not. The contingency theory tests the impact of the load ad nature of the work on the leader, effect on followers, and the environment of the leader.

The behavioral theory assesses the whole organization by splitting the whole system into different compartments. Every component is assessed for the appropriate management framework. The contingency framework identifies the variables for the appropriate leadership style in the given situation.

The behavioral theory of leadership attempts to find out the best leadership style for all situations while the contingency theory says that there is not any compatible leadership style for any situation. It focuses on the leaders, followers, and the situation.

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The behavioral theory identifies the specific behavior of the leader and deal behavior as the best predictor for effective management. The behavioral theorist believes that the behavior of the leader in the predictor of leadership success. The main behaviors that categorized in the behavioral assessment of the leader are two types. One is task-oriented leaders and the other people-oriented leaders. Task-oriented leaders focus on the motivation of the staff along with the standard operating procedures. They will assess behavior in relevance to initiating, organizing tasks, and data collection. The people-oriented leaders pinpoint the interaction among people for motivation. The highlighted behavior under focus is encouraging the staff, observation, listening to concerns, and training of the staff members.

The contingency theory identifies and assesses the particular situation of the leader. The focus of this theory is the leader –led situation. It emphasizes that there is no particular leadership format for the leaders and there are different styles of leaders in different situations. The theory tests the leader led situation through assessment of tasks assigned, the behavior of the leader under pressure, the integrity of the system, and environmental influence. Furthermore, contingency theory says that a leader is dependent on the situation and he has to adjust accordingly.

Behavioral contribution to contingency theory

Behavioral theory contributes to the contingency theory because the leadership styles are used in the contingency leadership model. The element of behaviorism is involved in the application of contingency theory where the leadership led by the person assessed on the basis of the behaviorism that he projects on leadership post. Behavior is the style used in a behavioral framework which is also the base of the contingency leadership framework. The behavior would add to the organization in form of outcomes and thus, determinant of a successful leadership approach. Behavior and contingency are integrative in relevance.

Author: Academic Master

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