This study empirically tested Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership theory (SLT) among 151 senior executives within service and manufacturing businesses of a large Fortune 100 company. SLT focuses on the interaction of the leader’s behaviour and follower readiness to determine leader effectiveness. SLT suggests that the appropriate level of task and relationship behaviour is the one that “matches” the level of follower readiness. A variety of statistical techniques were used to test the central hypotheses of SLT and the matching concept. The study produced 18 matches and 126 mismatches. One statistical technique, the partitioned test, was found to provide the most insight about SLT and the concept of matching. The researchers recommend its utilization in future research of SLT. The researchers conclude that SLT remains intuitively appealing and empirically contradictory. The concepts of SLT and matching are engaging and further research is recommended.
Leadership & Organization Development Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 1, 1998
Keywords: Individual behaviour; Manufacturing industry; Service industries; Situational analysis; Theory
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