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Responding to Contingent Leadership Behavior

Ross Tartell, Harvey A. Hornstein, Madeline E. Heilman, Edward Mone

Published in “Organizational Dynamics,” Volume 15, Issue 4, 1987. © Elsevier Inc., 2014

The romance between the behavioral sciences and leadership has lasted almost a century. It’s difficult to compress the 3,000 investigations it has produced into a few pages without some distortion, but it is possible to observe how the relationship has developed by looking at it in three phases. First, there were attempts to identify individual characteristics of successful leaders. Next came the leadership behavior phase focusing on what successful leaders do rather than who they are. Now, having dismissed the idea that successful leaders perform in the same way all of the time, a number of scholars and practitioners are focusing on situational contingencies…
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