Toward a contingency theory of leadership based upon the consideration and initiating structure literature

Steven Kerr, Chester A. Schriesheim, Charles J. Murphy, Ralph M. Stogdill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

138 Scopus citations


The Ohio State Leadership Studies have been criticized on grounds that they lack a conceptual base, and fail to take situational variables into account. This article reviews the published literature involving the leader behavior dimensions "Consideration" and "Initiating Structure," for the purpose of developing some situational propositions of leader effectiveness. Among the variables found by researchers to significantly moderate relationships between leader behavior predictors, and satisfaction and performance criteria are the following: subordinate need for information, job level, subordinate expectations of leader behavior, perceived organizational independence, leader's similarity of attitudes and behavior to managerial style of higher management, leader upward influence; and characteristics of the task, including pressure and provision of intrinsic satisfaction. The article concludes by presenting ten situational propositions, and linking them to form two general postulates of leadership effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-82
Number of pages21
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Performance
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1974


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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