Situational Approach to Leadership and Management Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  903 Words
Date:  2022-09-07

There suffice to be myriad styles of leadership that leaders can utilize for effective management of activities and human resources at the workplace. Situational approach refers to the leadership style where leaders try to match their style to the commitment and competence of their subordinates. The situational approach emphasizes the application of directive and supportive dimensions for effective management. Also, the situation approach emphasizes the adaptive style where leaders analyze a situation and adopt the most appropriate style that suits the situation (Northouse, 2013). The case study presented showcases a scenario whereby a training specialist arranges a six-week training program on listening and communication skills for effective management of the pharmaceutical company. This paper utilizes the case study to discuss the issues relating to the situational approach to leadership.

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Situational leadership approach suffices to be one of the extensively used styles in organizational leadership training and development. As per the case study, Jim Anderson sets up the training program to facilitate the development of the listening and communication skills of the managers in the pharmaceutical company. During the training seminars, Jim goes out of his way to become friendly to the attendees, and actively engages them in socialization and networking. As such, the training specialist portrays a highly supportive behavior and a low directive character. He does not set out the strict guidelines concerning the program attendance which leads to some of them failing to attend while others come in late. Also, he does not focus on the achievement of the goals but instead tries to be supportive to the participants of the program (Reiche, Harzing, & Tenzer, 2018). As such, the leadership style that Jim utilizes is a supportive leadership style.

The initiation of the six-weeks training program was meant to improve the listening and communication skills of the employees of the pharmaceutical company. The primary goal of the program was to facilitate effective management of the company (Northouse, 2013). As such, the study began enrolling twenty-five middle-level managers as the first group. Although the group had advanced degrees and had previously attended similar in-house training programs, Jim was certain about the content of the seminars was innovative and substantive. The fact that the training program involved the middle-level managers, the process aligned with the primary goal of the training program of facilitating the effective management of the company. Therefore, the selection of the middle-level managers as the first group before the selection of other employees in the company was a strategic approach by the training specialist.

The leadership approach significant affects the ability to achieve the set goals of an activity (Collings, Wood, & Szamosi, 2018). As for Jim's training program, he had the idea of ensuring the attendees learn about the effective listening and communication skills. However, the number of attendees dropped as the training continued while others did not adhere to the appropriate time for attendance. Therefore, it is evident that Jim's supporting approach to leadership contributed to the failure of the program. However, Jim could have changed the situation by utilizing the coaching leadership style. In this case, he would have portrayed high supportive and directive behaviors. As a result, he would have set out rules and guidelines that the attendees were to follow. Additionally, the training specialist should have opted to change the leadership style from supportive to coaching for the middle-level managers to understand the seriousness of the program.

At the start of the seminar, all the twenty-five middle level managers attended the sessions. However, Jim was friendly and had focused on networking and socializing which was a kind gesture for a successful training program. However, the lack of regulations or the high directive behaviors influenced the managers to stop attending the sessions while others came in late. Jim could have made some significant improvements to make the program a success (Sikora & Ferris, 2014). The situation approach profoundly emphasizes an adaptive style of leadership where Jim could have changed his training approach to adopt a more effective strategy. First, he should have set rules about the time for attending the sessions. Further, he should have made it compulsory for all the middle-level managers to participate in the training. In such a case, he would have portrayed both supportive and directive behaviors to influence the participants of the program and make it a success.


To conclude, the leadership style that a person utilizes profoundly influences the achievement of the set goals and objectives. However, it is crucial for leaders to be conversant with various leadership styles to ensure that they apply specific techniques to different situations for improved outcomes. As per the case study, it is evident that Jim utilized a supportive leadership approach; high supportive and low directive behavior, which profoundly contributed to the failure of the program. Nevertheless, the training specialist should have been adaptive and changed the leadership style to cope with the situation. In this case, he should have been more directive and set rule of attendance for all the participants.


Collings, D. G., Wood, G. T., & Szamosi, L. T. (2018). Human resource management: A critical approach. In Human Resource Management (pp. 1-23). Routledge.

Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and Practice (6th ed.). Sage Publications.

Reiche, B. S., Harzing, A. W., & Tenzer, H. (Eds.). (2018). International human resource management. SAGE Publications Limited.

Sikora, D. M., & Ferris, G. R. (2014). Strategic human resource practice implementation: The critical role of line management. Human Resource Management Review, 24(3), 271-281.

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