Compare and Contrast of Hersey and Blanchard's Situational Theory Frederick Herzberg Two Factor Theory Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Herzberg and Blanchards' Theory

Leadership and Motivation

Comparison of Situational Theory against the Two Factor Theory


Hersey and Blanchard's Situational Leadership Model

Leadership / Behavior of the leader

Development Level of the Follower

Steps in the Situational Leadership Strategy

Strengths of the Situational Leadership Strategy

Drawbacks of the Situational Leadership Strategy

Assumptions of Situational Leadership Conditions

Fredrick Herzberg's Theory of Human Motivation

Hygiene Factors of the Two Factor Theory

Hygiene / Maintenance Factors

Motivating Factors of the Two Factor Theory

Limitations of the Two Factor Theory

Contrast between the two theories



What do we mean by leadership? It can be identified as the process through which a person is capable of influencing people's thoughts, attitudes, behavior and making an impact by what they say and how they act. A leader sets out the pattern for others to follow and lead on. A leader may guide his followers of what lies in the future, help them gain success, guide them to achieve the best, and also to inspire and motivate them. A leader has the ability to solve disputes and resolve conflicts that may not be solved otherwise (Mills, 2005). It is the ability to convince someone to follow what you say and influence their decisions and actions. A leader needs to have followers in order to exercise that power and control. This particular concept is outlined in the theory of Hersey and Blanchard's Situational Leadership Theory. The fact that a leader also motivates the followers is explained by Fredrick Herzberg's two factor theory.

There are various leadership qualities that a person needs to possess in order to make an impact on the people and make them follow him. There are certain needs that a leader needs to take care of for his followers and those under him. A leader can be in different aspects and arenas of life and sometimes the responsibilities of that role differ with the environment and situation that the power is exercised in. A leader at an organization for instance, may lead the employees and workers under him and hence be someone who they look up to for orders. In order to get the best out of the employees, a leader may need to motivate them, build a circle of trust, and also cater to their needs on time. There are various leadership and motivation theories that can be found. However, the focus of this report is Hersey and Blanchard's situational theory and Fredrick Herzberg's two factor theory.

Hersey and Blanchard's Situational Leadership Model:

Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard (1988) came up with the Situational Leadership strategy which focused on the various styles of leadership used by the managers depending on the circumstances that arise. This theory of leadership mainly outlines the need for the manager to recognize the problem and the situation and then deal with it accordingly rather than having a fixed response. It is important for the manager to be able to analyze the employee's needs and the specific areas of specialization and competence of the person. An effective leader knows how to handle different kinds of people according to their nature. Not everyone can be dealt with in the same way. It may also be seen that a person is dealt with differently in different situations.

Blanchard and Hersey have come up with this leadership strategy in terms of the level of direction and support extended by the leader towards his followers and thus come up with a matrix or hierarchical kind of structure.

Leadership / Behavior of the leader:

S1- Telling / Directing- high focus on the task, lower focus on the relationships- the leaders are usually the ones who layout the tasks that the followers are supposed to complete, and then they are closely monitored to ensure that they complete what they have been told to. The decision making process is usually the leader's department and he/she delegates people to perform different tasks (Matt, 2009). There are people who lack competence and are not able to make decisions on their own; hence they need a source of guidance and leadership which proves to be one of the most important roles of the leader.

S2- Selling / Coaching- high focus on the task along with high importance laid on the relationships- Under this the leaders withhold all the main responsibility and control, they outline all the roles and tasks to be performed but they encourage their followers to add in their opinion and suggest their ways of performing tasks. The basic power lies with the leader but the interaction level is higher and the followers feel more important when their opinion is needed. A two way communication process like this one would encourage the flow of better ideas and the increase of efficiency levels. The followers may be less experienced and lack the self-esteem needed to carry out decisions and tasks. This need is therefore fulfilled by the leader by being an upper hand and making the workers is a part of the decision making. This sort of an involvement would make the followers feel more wanted and would make them more committed towards their work (Matt, 2009).

S3- Participating / Supporting- Low focus on the task with a high focus on the relationships involved- The leaders may pass on the daily decisions and may delegate the tasks to the workers but at this level, the leader only takes part in the process of decision making and leaves the final decision with the follower or worker. They have the power to decide on things as well as implement them according to their own thinking. Here the worker feels privileged to have a certain level of power to him, but in case the follower needs any sort of guidance or is unsure about a decision, the leader is there to provide that assistance. This increases the follower's confidence and motivation and creates an effective workforce and a healthy working environment.

S4- delegating- Low focuses on task with low relationship focus- The leaders are still a huge part of the decision making process and are solving procedure, but the control lies with the follower. It is up to the follower to decide when and where to involve the leader. Some people are competent and have a certain commitment to do everything themselves. Such people prefer little involvement in their work and like to depend on themselves with as little support as they can get.

Effective leaders possess the quality of molding themselves according to the need of the situation. They do not stick to one solution, instead they devise a strategy to deal with the circumstances in whatever way they feel fit. This is exactly what Hersey and Blanchard suggest in their situational leadership strategy. Their main focus is how good leaders adapt to situations and deal with their followers accordingly (Hersey, 1984).

The competence and adaptation of the follower can be analyzed and sorted in to four quadrants:

Development Level of the Follower:

D4- High commitment on part of the follower as well as high competence- the follower in this case is highly skilled and experienced at the job and believes that he has the ability to do it perfectly himself without any interference or need of help. The worker may even be more skilled than the leader and have perfect knowledge about the job.

D3- High competence level and a nominal commitment- At such a level, the worker is experienced and possesses the capability to flourish with the task but his lack of focus and confidence leads to lack of motivation and inefficiency. The worker may think that he is not capable to make the decisions and fulfill the task alone, which leads to lower productivity and efficiency (Hersey, 1984).

fully involved in the problem D2- Nominal competence level and low commitment- In such a case, the worker has a certain knowhow of the task and has certain skills but it won't do him any good because to do a job successfully there has to be certain commitment and motivation to work, without which the work even if finished will lack quality. At such a stage, the task or job may even be new to the follower and thus needs training and guidance from the leader.

D1- High commitment towards the job but low competence level- In such instances, the worker may lack the skills and experience for the job but he has the driving force to make him learn and polish the skills needed for the job. If the worker has the motivation and determination to work hard and learn, that makes him go far ahead and successful in future.

As mentioned above that there are different stages for the leadership, so is the case with the development level of the follower. A person could prove to be highly skilled and motivated at one part of the job, while he may be inexperienced and lacking interest in another aspect. Hence the leadership and development varies…

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"Compare And Contrast Of Hersey And Blanchard's Situational Theory Frederick Herzberg Two Factor Theory" (2011, July 06) Retrieved January 17, 2018, from

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