The Leader's Mind: Contingency Theory

Paper Type:  Critical thinking
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1559 Words
Date:  2022-07-08


The ongoing changes in leadership represent the highly competitive and varying work environments that warrant competent leaders a critical asset to the future of an organization. The competency of a leader is arguably an essential factor for creating the ultimate organization in the growing competitive environment. Therefore, it is necessary to enhance the ability of leaders in understanding the external and internal working environments, their way of thinking and the leadership model to know how things are done. This paper discusses the intention, counterpoint and new insights of path-goal and decision-making contingency theories.

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Path-Goal Leadership Theory

The theory is based on identifying the behavior or style of a leader that appropriately suits their employees and the correspondent working environment with the aim of achieving the organization stated goals (Xue, Bradley & Liang, 2011). The purpose of the leadership theory is to increase employee's motivation, empowerment and fulfillment to increase employee productivity. Leaders increase the performance of employees by clearing the path to the goal by increasing the various rewards to the employees to attain the goal. The type of leadership is participative, supportive, directive and achievement oriented. An employee conducts himself or herself differently based on the expectations that the activity followed by a particular outcome that is attractive to the individual. Leaders opt for specific behaviors that are best fit for employees' working conditions and their needs to guide employees appropriately through their path with the aim of obtaining their goals (Belas, 2013).


State Einarsen and his team in Bergen in a period developed the destructive leadership through challenging the concept that leaders have often been at the zero scoring grid (DeCaro, 2005). They state that the thinking about both leaders and managers need to be inclusive of the negative, leaders can act against their organizations and staff. Conventionally, leaders are not just working from neutral to the wonderful and should be seen as destructive at some point in their leadership. The Path-Goal leadership theory is more leader-centered when something happens to the leader; it might lead to organization collapse. Too much dependence on the manager is risky for the growth and survival of the organization. Despite House's 1996 modifications of the theory, he admits that the whole idea should be tested further as it lacks quantification terms and it is context-free (Wronka-Pospiech, 2016). Nonetheless, the theory is undemocratic despite the modifications included hence limiting the application of the theory since the approach seem not to work in organizations where employees are intelligent, independently oriented and educated.

New Insights

Considering the House, it admits that more testing of the theory needs to be done regarding the effectiveness of the theory concerning other leadership theories. There are concerns on the correlating categories of behavior and quantifying variables and a scale measuring the efficacy of the approach used. Testing the applicability of the theory parts in the real-life situation has proved supportive, all-inclusive leadership is considerably related to the efficiency, and job satisfaction, that role clarification is essential in an unstructured. The level of occupation is critical in assessing the opinion of leadership, and the task structure is less significant as the theory states. In a situation described by the path-goal theory, where the manager has to adapt their style to the employee, feedback is essential for the employee to monitor the development towards their goal. Moreover, through feedback, the leader will receive information regarding the success of their leadership choice. Feedback is critical in situations where the association between goals and performance is precise.

Organizations need to be efficient in having a clear plan to improve the organizational leadership behavior between the manager and employees to continue to attain their goals through a path. The path-goal theory needs to put a plan in place that entails the development and improvements concerning leadership. This involves an avenue, which can boost the improvement through developmental counseling that both reports the leader and employees performance. The advice should focus on the events, performance and professional growth (Sarti, 2014). The plan for the attaining the organization goal should encourage employees to improve and advance not just as individuals but as a team as well. Good management consider that leaders develop and nature other leaders.

Decision-Making Contingency Theory

The decision making contingency theory states that organizational performance is contingent upon a suitable fit connecting the decision-making method, and the environment (Kulinich, 2016). It is assumed that there is no perfect way of organizing, and what works in an organization in accordance to a particular problem may not be effective in another organization. When an organization faces a problem, managers must decide on the way to solve the problem. They must decide on the strategies of making the decisions to come up with possible solutions. The contingency decision-making is founded on goal consensus and technical knowledge of cause-effect connection that lead to goal accomplishment. The theory enables the firm to respond to doubts in the environment through the identification of probable events that can arise. Besides, the method returns to doubts through the preparation of alternative approaches to deal with the uncertainties (Kayode, 2014).


While the model has a specific process in decision-making, there are instances where there is insufficient time to implement the model, in case of emergencies or other activities that constrain time. Moreover, a majority of leaders are not inclined to the decision-making technique forced to implement in their organization. It is critical to understand that a well-defined method is of great assistance when presented to an organization, as an objective method, but it deem technical and impossible to implement. Group dynamics are involved, and it is not always apparent that they want to initiate the decision-making, and it is not still clear on how decisions are made or are required and maybe a group interaction may be required (Chitpin & Jones, 2014).. The validity of the model has not been tested adequately. The strength of a decision maker is leader-based, and there is insufficient attention granted to leader-led relations. Although provisions for decision-making are eventually for democratic participation, more emphasis placed on the decision by the leader.

New Insights

The last versions of the Decision-making contingency theory leadership model pay more attention towards expert systems methods for applying it. New techniques in artificial intelligence can be well thought-out including neural network, and it is possible that there can be complete automation of the theory. Moreover, considering other approaches, validation is more desired, and neuroscience methods, including brain scans, might confirm the human aspect of the opinions (Westaby, Probst & Lee, 2010). Essential steps in understanding the significance of setting and dynamism are taken. More work is conducted at a system level, and an extra effort will follow in a leader-led condition. The ability to assess how a leader-led state will be essential in preventing the occurrence of a disaster.

Nevertheless, without the appropriate validation techniques, the leadership model is exposed further to failure. There is an increasing dependence on the artificial methods in the decision-making process, which possess a future danger on overreliance to the systems in making critical decisions in an organization. Reliance on psychological assessment software to evaluate the competence of an individual to become a leader, there is no confidence that the system will assume a life of its own (Weiss & Weiss, 2008). Factors considered while finding the best-fit process that includes time constrictions, participation level of a group and the quality of the ultimate decision chosen.


The Path-goal theory is based on identifying the behavior or style of a leader that appropriately suits their employees and the correspondent working environment with the aim of achieving the organization stated goals. The decision-making contingency model analyses the decision-making process to get the appropriate method in making a decision based on a group characteristic, decision quality, and time availability. The model concentrates on various situations that require a different type of leadership. Therefore, appropriate questions asked to ascertain the proper decision making method.


Belas, J. (2013). The leadership style and the productiveness of employees in the banking sector in Slovakia. Journal of Competitiveness, 5(1) doi:

Chitpin, S., & Jones, K. (2014). Leadership in a Performative Context: A framework for decision-making. Educational Philosophy And Theory, 47(4), 387-401. doi: 10.1080/00131857.2014.976931

DeCaro, N. E. (2005). An investigation of the relationship of initiating structure, consideration and gender perception: An examination of the path-goal theory. Retrieved from, B. (2017). Leadership and Decision-making: A Study on Reflexive Relationship Between Leadership Style and Decision-making Approach. British Journal Of Education, Society & Behavioural Science, 4(4), 473-484. doi: 10.9734/bjesbs/2014/5514

Kulinich, A. (2016). Contingency, cognitive and semiotic approaches to decision-making in the organizations. Open Education, (6), 9-17. doi: 10.21686/1818-4243-2016-6-9-17

Sarti, D. (2014). Leadership styles to engage employees: Evidence from human service organizations in Italy. Journal of Workplace Learning, 26(3), 202-216. doi:

Weiss, J. W., & Weiss, D. J. (2008). The Theory of Decision Making. A Science of Decision Making, 3-32. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195322989.003.0001

Westaby, J., Probst, T., & Lee, B. (2010). Leadership decision-making: A behavioral reasoning theory analysis. The Leadership Quarterly, 21(3), 481-495. doi: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2010.03.011

Wronka-Pospiech, M. (2016). The identification of skills and competencies for effective management in social enterprises. A managerial perspective. Management, 20(1), 40-57. doi:

Xue, Y., Bradley, J., & Liang, H. (2011). Team climate, empowering leadership, and knowledge sharing. Journal of Knowledge Management, 15(2), 299-312. doi:

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The Leader's Mind: Contingency Theory. (2022, Jul 08). Retrieved from

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