The situational leadership (SL) theory, developed by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard, is one of the most widely known frameworks for explaining managerial effectiveness. Although the framework is particularly popular among practicing managers and professional trainers, it has not enjoyed comparable attention from the academic community of industrial and organizational researchers. Nonetheless, the theory is recognized among researchers for its intuitive appeal, though it is not considered a clearly valid or robust framework for the prescription of leader behavior.

Situational leadership theory continues to tie in with other contemporary views of what makes for effective supervision. For example, three contemporary workplace perspectives are completely in accord with SL’s essential principles: (1) Self-directed work teams (a popular performance-enhancement technique) advocate that supervision should be minimal when employees ...

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