There have been some recent studies on why some leaders are effective, while others aren't. To get a better picture of why this was happening, the environment and the context of the leadership was taken into account.
Situational Leadership holds the theory that leadership should concentrate on the situation instead of the personality or character of the leader. Situational leadership is based on the idea that each situation will need a different type of leader.
Situational Leadership tries to match the environment to the right style of leadership. Situational Leadership isn't considered a theory, but a model.
This type of leadership is considered a model because it relies on a pattern of existing events instead of why things happen.
Situational Leadership focuses on describing and analyzing leadership styles. It combines the ideas of directive and supportive behaviors.
Directive behaviors include instructing people what to do, how to do it, when to do it, etc. Supportive behaviors, on the other hand, incorporate listening to people, encouraging and supporting efforts made.
Hersey and Blanchard are some of the best know developers of this leadership model. They wanted to find a way to combine task behavior and relationship behavior (directive and supportive). Depending on the maturity of the followers, either more direct or supportive measures were implemented.
Fred Fiedler also developed a situational leadership theory called Contingency Theory. He tried to measure the leader's orientation toward the task at hand or the followers.
He then tried to determine the best leadership style that should be used using three situations: the relationship between the leader and followers, the type of task, and if the leader had a lot or little power.
A couple of other situational leadership models include the Path Goal model and the Normative Decision-Making model. The Path Goal model focuses on developing goals and helping followers achieve them.
The Normative Decision-Making model focuses on with the appropriate leadership styles that should be used for various types of decisions. For example, the three types of decision-making have a different type of leadership style: autocratic decision making, consultative decision making, and group decision making.