Propounded by Robert Tannenbaum and Warren H. Schmidt, according to the Leadership Continuum, leadership style depends on three forces: the manager, employees and the situation.
Thus, instead of suggesting a choice between the two styles of leadership, democratic or autocratic, this approach offers a range of styles depicting the adaptation of different leadership styles to different contingencies (situations), ranging from one that is highly subordinate-centered to one that is highly boss-centered.
Features of Leadership Continuum
The characteristics of individual subordinates must be considered before managers adopt a leadership style.
A manager can be employee-centered and allow greater freedom when employees identify with the organization’s goals, are knowledgeable and experienced, and want to have decision making responsibility.
Where these conditions are absent, managers might need to initially adopt a more authoritarian style. As employees mature in self-confidence, performance and commitment, managers can modify their leadership style.