In 1969, management experts Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard laid the groundwork for their widely used Situational Leadership Theory. In the years that followed, this theory was further refined and to this day, is still a widely used model for applying leadership effectively. These days, it is integrated as part of coaching leadership.

The heart of the theory consists of two parts:

▪ The ways the leader directs or supervises employees
▪ The level of employees’ task maturity

The model assumes that employees go through four stages of maturity when they begin a job or task. Each phase demands its own form of direction or guidance from the manager.

A distinction is made between task-oriented supervision and relationship-oriented supervision.


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