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Leadership and Decision-Making

Victor H. Vroom, Philip W. Yetton


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It has become a truism that “leadership depends upon the situation,” but few behavioral scientists have attempted to go beyond that statement to examine the specific ways in which leaders should and do vary their behavior with situational demands. Vroom and Yetton select a critical aspect of leadership style-the extent to which the leader encourages the participation of his subordinates in decision-making. They describe a normative model which shows the specific leadership style called for in different classes of situations. The model is expressed in terms of a “decision tree” and requires the leader to analyze the dimensions of the particular problem or decision with which he is confronted in order to determine how much and in what way to share his decision-making power with his subordinates.

Other chapters discuss how leaders behave in different situations. They look at differences in leadership styles, and what situations induce people to display autocratic or participative behavior. 

Praise For Leadership and Decision-Making

“A solid contribution to the better understanding of leadership and decision making. The authors present a taxonomy of leadership styles, a set of situational variables, and a set of rules to produce a normative model that fits leadership style to the situation. . . . The model is clearly useful in research and in training that aims at making managers more aware of their behavior in decision making.”
—Industrial and Labor Relations Review

“This book will make an important impact because it documents the need for problem-specific situational variables to be included in either a normative or behavioral theory of decision making, and then responds to the need. . . .  A fine book and an important contribution.”
—Contemporary Psychology

University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822952657, 248pp.

Publication Date: May 31, 2010

About the Author

Victor H. Vroom is Bearing Point Professor of Management & Professor of Psychology at the Yale School of Management. 

Phillip W. Yetton is professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales.