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Management Theory of Fred Fiedler

Jeanne Dininni

Fiedler's contingency theory provides companies with the flexibility to succeed

In contrast to many classical management theories, the contingency model of leadership, developed by Fred Fiedler, states that no single approach to management is effective for all organizations at all times and under all circumstances. Fiedler's management theory effectively did away with the "One Best Way" methods of management that preceded it. According to Fiedler, contingency theory is required for business success. This is because company size and structure, environmental change and uncertainty, type of technology in use by the business and leadership style of company management each play a significant role in determining the most effective management model for a given company at a given time. In addition, the management theory that proves effective today may not be effective tomorrow, when the above factors change.

Because of the continuously changing nature of the business organization and environment, Fiedler's management theory requires management to consider all aspects of the current situation before making managerial decisions. Some factors, or constraints, other than those mentioned above, which impact a company and its contingency strategy are these:

1. The company's ability to adapt to its environment;

2. The assumptions managers make about employees; and

3. The differences between available resources and operational activities.

Understand Fiedler contingency theory and its implications for your company

Numerous websites provide valuable information about Fiedler's theory. In addition to diagrams and summaries of Fred Fiedler management principles, you'll find various videos and instructional materials that can help you develop the background knowledge and practical expertise to put Fiedler's theories to work for your company.

Take advantage of consulting services based on Fiedler management theories

Consultants with knowledge and experience in the management theory of Fred Fiedler can guide you in maximizing the benefit of his principles in your own company's unique environment.

Access online tools which can help you practice the management theory of Fred Fiedler

Widely available online tools and resources can help you more easily implement Fiedler's management theory principles. PowerPoints, charts and other informational tools provide a resource pool from which you may choose the materials most valuable to your business.
Andrews University provides a downloadable PowerPoint presentation on Leadership Theories, which includes Fred Fiedler's theory of leadership. Chad T. Brinsfield also offers a downloadable PowerPoint called Leadership in Organizations, which again, covers Fiedler theory, among others.
  • Never underestimate the value of Fiedler management theory to your company. If your budget is small, take advantage of free information and tools available online and consider advancing to paid products, training or consulting services when they become more affordable to you.
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Jeanne Dininni