Without getting into a long discussion about what leadership is, (although it is a topic that can be discussed for a long time) it is sufficient to state that for the purpose of this paper, "leadership" will be considered "the art of influencing and motivating others in the manner chosen by the leader" (Vroom). Using such a broad definition it is rather easy to assume that the effective leadership may depend on the leader, as well as on his followers, the situation, or any combination of the stated above factors. Interest in leadership increased during the early part of the twentieth century, however, it got to its culmination in the 21st century. Early leadership theories focused more on qualities distinguishing between leaders and followers, whereas later theories looked at other variables such as skill level and situational and circumstantial factors. While many different leadership theories have been developed in the last 25 years, they all may be classified into eight major groups, they are as follows: Great Man Theory that assumes that the capacity for leadership is inbuilt, Trait Theory according to which people inherit certain qualities and traits that develop them to leadership, Behavioral Theories that are based upon the belief that great leaders are created, and not born (Behavioral theories include Role Theory and The Managerial Grid), Participative Leadership Theories (Lewin's leadership styles, Likert's leadership styles) suggest that the ideal leadership style is one that takes the input of others into account, Contingency Theory focuses on the variables related to the environment that determines which particular style of leadership is the best for the situation (Fiedler's Least Preferred Co-worker (LPC) Theory, Cognitive Resource Theory, Strategic Contingencies Theory), Transactional Leadership Theories (Management Leadership Theories) base leadership on a system of reward and punishment (Leader-Member Exchange (LAX) Theory), Transformational Leadership Theories (Relationship Theories) focus upon the ties formed between leaders and followers (Bass' Transformational Leadership Theory, Burns' Transformational Leadership Theory, Kouzes and Posner's Leadership Participation Inventory), and at last Situational Leadership Theories that propose that leaders choose the style of acting based on the circumstances (Hersey and Blanchard's Situational Leadership, House's Path-Goal Theory of Leadership, Vroom and Yetton's Normative Model). Vroom and Yetton Normative Theory is the theory this paper will deal with.
As Vroom himself said, "I do not see any form of leadership as optimal for all situations. The contribution of a leader's actions to the effectiveness of his organization cannot be determined without considering the nature of the situation in which that behavior is displayed". When Victor Vroom made the comment stated above, he was emphasizing his belief that "all leadership is contingent upon things within the environment and that no leadership model can be carved in stone and adhered to as a be all and end all" (Vroom). By common efforts in 1973 Victor Vroom and Phillip Yetton drafted their model of leadership known as the Vroom-Yetton Contingency Model. Their theory is based on the assumption that situational variables interacting with personal qualities or characteristics of the leader result in leader behavior that can affect organizational effectiveness and success (Hersey, pg. 113-14). The model argues that the behavior of the leader must in every case be adjusted to reflect the task structure - whether it was routine, non routine or anywhere in between (Robbins, p. 467).
It provides a sequential set of rules that the leader should follow to determine the form and amount of participation in the decision-making "as determined by different types of situations" (Robbins, p. 467). The Vroom-Yetton Contingency Model allows leaders to follow a very direct and clear pattern of questioning and leadership decision making to choose how to successfully work with subordinates and address problems..