The least preferred coworker (LPC) theory, developed by Fred E. Fiedler, has been at the center of controversy almost since its inception. Called the contingency theory or the contingency model of leadership by Fiedler and his associates, the debate over its scientific validity and practical usefulness has sometimes been quite spirited. However, the rate of published theoretical and empirical research on LPC theory has slowed to a trickle as the field has shifted its focus to theories of transformational and charismatic leadership and as Fiedler and his colleagues have turned to work on cognitive resource theory, a derivative of LPC theory.

The LPC theory refers to the central variable of the model, a measure of the esteem in which the leader holds his or her least ...

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