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A Guide to Contingency Approach in Management

Aug 2,18

The contingency theory in management is one of the most important topics that you will study in your management degree. Many times students are given assignments, research papers, and projects related to the contingency approach to management. This article will explain to you the whole concept briefly and will provide the main features, advantages, and disadvantages of this approach.

What is A Contingency Approach to Management?

The contingency approach to management suggests that there is no particular best way to manage. It further suggests that management activities such as planning, controlling, leadership, or organization are completely dependent on the circumstances and the environment. Our MBA assignment help service gives you a brief explanation of various principles of management.

According to the contingency approach, the managers generally pay attention to the current situations and then make strategies based on their own knowledge and experience. This approach is quite advantageous for the organizations as it allows them to learn from specific circumstances and change their policies accordingly in the future if the same situation arises. This means that the leaders themselves have to adjust their working styles and management strategies based on the needs of their co-workers and the organization. Now, let us look at some of the features of this approach.

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Features of Contingency Approach

  • The contingency approach focuses on the variable nature of businesses and organizations. The managers choose a Framework for finding solutions to a problem rather than sticking to a particular strategy for solving the problems. This allows an organization to work under differentiable environmental conditions and circumstances.
  • The contingency approach to management generally depends upon the complexity of a problem. It clearly depicts that management is circumstantial. There are no Universal principles of management and there is no one best way to manage. Different situations can have different solutions. No one can pre-declare how things will fall into place.
  • It is also called the ‘if-then’ approach to management. If ‘this’ happens then we would take ‘this action’. The ‘if section’ represents an independent variable or a particular problem or a situation. The ‘then part’ represents the action to be taken accordingly or the dependent variable of the problem.
  • The contingency theory depends upon both the internal as well as external factors of an organization. For example, the size of the organization, the leadership approaches of different managers of an organization, the number of employees versus the number of managers in the organization, the customers’ perspective and the competition in the market.

Contingency Approach to Management – Advantages

Because of the profitable features that this theory proposes it has been of great use to the managers. You can find the complete list of advantages and examples of the contingency approach from our management experts. Just avail our online assignment help service and they will provide you with the easiest explanations of this essay topic. Let us look at a few of the advantages here:

  • The approach is adaptive in nature. This means that it allows the organizations to stay flexible and transform their policies and strategies according to the changing environment.
  • The managers can consider the entire factors, analyze situations thoroughly and then take the appropriate decision. This means that they can consider every factor variable and circumstances that may affect their solutions in the present and the future as well.
  • Due to this approach the scope of leadership has widened. This approach gives importance to the managers’ understanding, knowledge, and leadership styles and lets them take different decisions depending upon the different situations.
  • The contingency approach allows an organization to choose different leaders as per their leadership styles in various contexts. The theory does not expect that all the leaders are efficient in dealing with all types of situations in an organization.

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Contingency Approach of Management – Disadvantages

  • Despite the lucrative features and advantages that the theory has to offer to the organizations it is not completely liberated from criticism. There is no single optimal solution to a problem which means that managers can iterate as much as they want in search of solutions. This can sometimes need to wastage of resources time and money.
  • The contingency approach is quite straightforward that not all the management situations can be dealt in a single way. But when we apply the same in real life scenarios things do get a little complex. It requires a thorough analysis and a number of factors need to be considered for every other problem that arises. Hence in case of stringent time limits managers may not be able to dig deeper into the situation and they might take superficial decisions.
  • It is not always feasible for the managers to consider each and every factor and determine all the variables involved in their decision-making process. There can be various constraints such as time, cost and resources due to which it can become difficult for the managers to gather all the information and analyze that information completely.
  • The contingency approach might be complex to implement as it is not fixed. It is situational. Hence it is all depended on how the leaders adjust themselves and their perspectives for the betterment of the company. The more time the leaders will spend with their subordinates and understand their issues and problems the easier the decision-making process will be for them.


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August 2, 2018

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