Strengths of Contingency Approach

Northouse (2007, p.117) highlights the major strengths of the Contingency Approach:

  • Contingency theory has survived over the decades as a a valid and reliable approach how to achieve effective leadership because it is grounded in empirical research. Researchers who have followed Fiedler have validated contingency theory with their own research.
  • Contingency theory has broadened the scope of leadership understanding from a focus on a single, best type of leadership (e.g., trait approach) to emphasizing the importance of a leader's style and the demands of different situations.
  • Contingency theory has also been proved to have 'predictive powers' in determining the type of leadership that is most likely to be effective in particular contexts.
  • Contingency theory suggests not to expect leaders to be equally effective in all situations and therefore organizations should consider leaders in optimal situations according to their leadership style.
  • Contingency theory supplies data on leadership styles that could be useful to organizations in developing leadership profiles for human resource planning.



Sirje Virkus, Tallinn University, 2009