Hersey and Blanchard Model of Leadership

PSYCH-105 Industrial Psychology

Chapter 7: Leadership

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4


Hersey and Blanchard Leadership Style

Paul Hersey and Kenneth H Blanchard (1988)

By looking at Hersey and Blanchard’s leadership styles you can see that situational leadership follows the same styles as the behavioural theories.

Fig.: Hersey and Blanchard Leadership Style

• Telling

High Task, Low Relationship


This approach is good for mental jobs and tasks that need to be completed quickly.  The leader tells the workers what needs to be done and how it is to be done.

• Selling

High Task, High Relationship


This approach has the leader give most of the direction, but allows the workers to contribute.  This is good for those just learning the task, such as coaching sports teams, new hires at a firm, etc.

• Participating

High Relationship, Low Task


This approach shares the decision making between the leader and the workers.  Workers are able but unsure of what needs to be done. 

• Delegating

Low Relationship, Low Task


This approach has the leader identify the problem and passes responsibility on to the workers to get the job done.  Many companies run on this model, where the CEO passes the responsibility onto the managers.

The situational leadership model proposed by Hersey and Blanchard suggests four leadership-styles and four levels of follower-development. For effectiveness, the model posits that the leadership-style must match the appropriate level of follower-development. In this model, leadership behavior becomes a function not only of the characteristics of the leader, but of the characteristics of followers as well.

Author – Dr. Niyati Garg

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