Contingency theories suggest that there is no one best way of leading and that a leadership style that is effective in one situation may not be successful in others. Proposed by the Austrian psychologist Fred Edward Fiedler, the contingency model emphasizes the importance of both the characteristics of the leader and the favorableness of the situation in which that leader operates. Fiedler relates the effectiveness of the leader to aspects of the group situation.

Although these approaches have contributed to the understanding of leadership, none of the approaches have provided a completely satisfactory explanation of leadership and leadership effectiveness.

Sirje Virkus, Tallinn University, 2009