Self-Awareness Activities
Section I
Section II
Section III
Section IV
Section V
Section VI
Section IV - Situational Approaches to Leadership

Activity #9

Relevant Reading:
  • Contingency Theory of Leadership
LPC Scale


Low LPCs (score of 57 or below) are task motivated. They are individuals whose primary needs are to accomplish tasks and whose secondary needs are focused on getting along with people. In a work setting, they are concerned with achieving success on assigned tasks, even if at the cost of having poor interpersonal relationships with coworkers. Low LPCs gain self-esteem through achieving their goals. They attend to interpersonal relationships, but only after they first have directed themselves toward the tasks of the group.

Middle LPCs (score of 58-63) are socio-independent leaders. In the context of work, they are self-directed and not overly concerned with the task or with how others view them. They are more removed from the situation and act more independent than low or high LPCS.

High LPCs (score of 64 or more) are motivated by relationships. These individuals derive their major satisfaction in an organization from getting along with people-inter- personal relationships. A high LPC sees positive qualities even in the co- worker she or he least prefers, even though the high LPC does not work well with that person. In an organizational setting, the high LPC attends to tasks, but only after she or he is certain that the relationships between people are in good shape.

Because the LPC is a personality measure, the score you get on the LPC scale is believed to be quite stable over time and not easily changed.

As noted in the readings, the LPC measure considers leadership style on one continuum with task behavior at one end and relationships behavior at the other. The only assessment you have taken that treats style in a similar manner is the autocratic/democratic scale in Section I. You may want to compare your results on these two self-awareness suggestions.

Leadership Styles and Other Contingency Approaches

Leadership style in the Tannenbaum and Schmidt model is depicted along one continuum with the leader having all the influence at one end and the subordinates having it at the other; between these extremes are degrees of shared influence. The Vroom-Yetton model is similar in terms of the degrees of influence by the leader and the subordinates but is unique in that the focus is upon a specific decision-problem.

Leadership style in the Managerial Grid Theory and the Four Factor Theory of Leadership presented in Section III and Life Cycle Theory, 3-D Model and Path-Goal Theory, in Section IV are all based upon the Ohio State dimensions of consideration and initiating structure (often referred to as task behavior and relationships behavior or similar variations). As noted in the reading, the Path-Goal Theory adds two additional leadership behaviors as does the Four Factor Theory.

The Life Cycle Theory and the 3-D Model, as opposed to the Fiedler approach, view style as something the leader is able to change in order to fit the situation. Knowing your preference is important in this regard and your style is described by your initiating structure and consideration scores as well as that from the Managerial Grid assessment in Section III.

Hofstede's contribution is equally unique in that the “situational” variable of interest is culture and leader behaviors of interest go beyond that defined by consideration and initiating structure and include a variety of leader behaviors and actions which are described in his article.