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Organizational Performance: Results through Situational Leadership

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situational leadership  

Situational leadership is a model. It provides prescriptive and anecdotal applications that leaders and supervisors can grasp. It is straightforward and uses a variety of guidelines for both leaders and followers alike.

Situational leadership has good attributes; however, many people over the years have opined that it has not been empirically tested yet. Scholars look at it as a passing, fancy myth, or a schematic diagram that has not been tried and thus become true. Unfortunately for scholars, this is not quite the reality of the situation.

Over the years, millions of managers were trained in situational leadership and it has advanced into law-enforcement, parenting, and customer service.

Basically, situational leadership was developed to highlight the importance of organizational factors and how they can build leadership performance within companies. Leadership is naturally situational; that being said, this is a fundamentally sociological viewpoint, not a psychological one.

Leadership does not reside in a uniform model. It is a result of the whole situation or a particular situation. This is why situational leadership highlights that there is no best single leadership style for all situations, and conversely encourages leaders to consider the impact that situational variables can have on the effectiveness of certain behavior.

The question then arises – how can this style of leadership make use of organizational factors and nurture performance within companies?

Scholars, to date, have failed to provide a comprehensive framework which incorporates all of the contextual factors that may impact leadership performance.

Exploring these organizational factors and how they may impact practical implications for top executives, to improve outcomes at the organizational level and meet their business objectives, may provide an avenue into identifying the catalysts of leadership performance.

Centralization inhibits true leadership

situational leadership

The absence of a systematic approach toward this challenge inhibits leadership performance as a vital driver of firm performance. Therefore, it becomes apparent that a systematic approach toward leadership would provide practical guidelines for executives.

Leaders inspire followers to generate new solutions and a better environment. A highly centralized structure has a negative impact on leadership performance, while decentralization positively contributes to leadership building, in developing a more innovative climate.

This can be further enhanced by the crucial role of decentralized structures in facilitating the exchange of ideas and the implementation of more innovative solutions, based on trickling down the power of decision-making at all levels of the organization.

Highly formalized structures are more bureaucratic, and this negatively contributes to leadership performance in changing the existing situations and creating a better environment.

Thus, leadership is more effective in more informal structures when compared to bureaucratic structures. Hence, a formalized and centralized structure is negatively related to leadership performance.

Learning to trust your employees

Another aspect that can lead to leadership performance is trust. It represents an important component of a collaborative culture, which could positively contribute to developing and maintaining organizational communication.

Both of the cultural aspects of collaboration and trust can be critical for leadership performance, which is strongly based on developing relationships with subordinates. A leader’s ability to build a more innovative environment is also highly dependent on the extent to which their subordinates trust them.

Therefore, a culture that instills trust in subordinates enables leaders to mobilize support toward their vision for overcoming current challenges, whereas distrust will impair the performance of leadership. Therefore, both cultural aspects of collaboration and trust can positively contribute to leadership performance.

Networking – positives all around

Inter-company social networks also improve leadership performance in developing a more innovative climate. Moreover, these social networks can positively impact a leader’s outlook, motivating them to expand connections with their subordinates.

At the same time, they can also positively contribute to leadership performance by effectively empowering employees, as they receive a boost of confidence when a stronger tie to the leadership team is forged.

One potential source that provides positive reinforcement for this idea is the fact that firms linked together by through inter-company social networks are, on average, more capable of effective learning. Hence, inter-company social networks can have a positive influence on leadership performance.

Final thoughts

Situational leadership has many facets, can fit many environments and will rise when the necessary elements are in place. Various organizational factors can have a direct or indirect impact on leadership performance within companies, however as long as a leader is focused on producing a consistent vision, makes good use of their environmental features and adapts to the situations they are facing, anything can be overcome.

Leadership does not always necessarily have to emerge in one single scenario. It emerges whenever an individual recognizes the situation they find themselves in and decides to make the best out of it.

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