Day-by-Day, Situation-by-Situation: Contingency Theory at PFS

The contingency theory of leadership contends that the success of a group is contingent on the leader’s ability to adapt and apply the best leadership style/behavior for the situation at hand. At Preferred Freezer Services, it is evident that the leadership abides by this concept. Whether it is a supervisor, or even a VP, my interactions with the employees in leadership positions fluctuates day-by-day, situation-by-situation. On days that we are very busy, for instance when a billing period is coming to a close for dozens of accounts, I am frequently communicating with my supervisors and rifling through information to get outstanding invoices sent to the correct locations. On days like Friday, consistently slow in the summer time, the leadership is very hands-off, and the work load and supervision is very light.

The reason the leadership and behavior changes of those in charge is because they understand that not every situation can be met with the same “cookie-cutter” approach. When a lot of work needs to be done, leaders will coordinate and delegate with their employees to ensure that the work gets finished in an appropriate matter/time. When things are moving slow in the office, then there is no need to be pressing employees and making them stress about a non-existent sense of urgency. Leaders that can understand how to apply different styles of leadership based on the context of the situation are more equipped to have better relationships with their employees, and are more likely to get the task completed in a more efficient way.

The leadership also varies from each department. In Logistics, considering it makes up half of our company, is always busy and there is always some type of work to be done. However, in the Information Technology (IT) department, things move at a different place. This coincides with the contingency theory because the interns in the IT department describe the leadership as being almost non-existent, and employees in that department have more liberty and time to work on things they think need to be worked on, versus having to work on things the supervisor thinks need to be worked on.