Contingency Leadership for the Healthcare Industry

Enterprise leaders are the most crucial link in the company’s work; the organization’s success depends on them. Today, humanity needs medicine and the high quality of services provided more than ever. It is essential for healthcare leaders to establish work within the team because the efficiency of employees and the quality of their work depends on it, which can be helped by the continuity theory of leadership. According to this theory, a leader should adjust his leadership style to different situations that arise. One management model may work well in one situation and not work in another (Vidal et al., 2017). The leader should have several management styles and choose the appropriate style, focusing on the situation.

When choosing situational leadership, a manager needs to consider many factors, one of which is the level of maturity of employees, that is, their experience and ability to take responsibility. One of these types is a person who wants and can take responsibility (Vidal et al., 2017). The leader needs to identify such employees in the team to appoint them responsible for a particular type of work since their desire to take responsibility is supported by their professional skills. In healthcare, such people can manage the work of a hospital department and lead a group of employees, for example, nurses. The opposite type is people who are unable and unwilling to take responsibility. Such people cannot hold a managerial position, as they can destroy the entire work of the hospital. This type can perform smaller tasks from higher authorities. This leadership model can cause particular difficulty for a healthcare leader since it is necessary to study the team thoroughly, and it will be challenging to choose a position for employees since the qualifications of doctors and nurses play a significant role in the hospital.

Depending on the number of these types in the team, the leader must choose the right leadership style. One of these models is the Fiedler model, which is based on three critical criteria: leader-member relations, task structure, and leader’s position power. According to this model, good work requires a good relationship between the leader and the team, precise, structured tasks set by the manager, and a strong authority of the leader among the team members (Bankins et al., 2018). However, this model does not imply a change of leadership style by the leader, and if the leader’s style is not suitable for solving the problem, then it is necessary to change the leader. The success of this model of leadership in healthcare may cause doubts since unforeseen situations and problems of various kinds often arise in the hospital, and frequent changes of the head can lead to chaos.

The path-goal model can serve as the most favorable model for healthcare. This model implies four leadership styles: directive, supportive, participatory, and achievement-oriented (Bankins et al., 2018). The achievement-oriented leader sets high goals for employees and expects them to achieve them. In healthcare, such a style can exist successfully, since often managers are forced to set a big goal for employees, for example, prevention of treatment of seasonal colds. Further, each employee, doctor, and nurse perform their duties to achieve the result. Thus, the path-goal model can become a successful choice of a leader’s strategy in healthcare.

Every leader should study the situation well and choose the appropriate leadership model to achieve success. In the healthcare sector, a leader can also choose a behavior model based on employees’ qualifications, ability, and desire for responsibility. He must take into account the influence of his authority, as well as maintain good relations. However, it is worth noting that healthcare has a vast number of different departments, medical directions, so that the path-goal model may be the most suitable. It will be difficult for the leader to thoroughly know each employee’s nature and the type of work that suits him. Therefore, the leader can set the main goal that employees will achieve; that is why the path-goal model will be the most successful solution for healthcare.


Bankins, S., McMurray, A., Muenjohn, N., Hunt, J., Waterhouse, J., Fernando, M., McKenna, B., Fitzgeral, M., Intezari, A. (2018). Leadership: Regional and Global Perspectives. Cambridge University Press.

Vidal, G. G., Campdesuñer, R. P., Rodríguez, A. S., & Vivar, R. M. (2017). Contingency theory to study leadership styles of small businesses owner-managers at Santo Domingo, Ecuador. International Journal of Engineering Business Management, 9, 1–11. Web.

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