Hersey and Blanchard’s Model of Leadership

Hersey and Blanchard’s Model of Leadership (1999) builds upon situational perspective of leadership and links leadership styles to be practiced in a concrete given situation to the developmental levels of subordinates.

Hersey and Blanchard’s Model of Leadership

The cornerstone of this theory consists of task behaviour, relationship behaviour, and followers’ level of maturity in following terms:

  • Task behaviour can be explained as a degree to which duties and responsibilities are explained by the leader to subordinates;
  • Relationship behaviour is the degree to which the leader engages in communication with subordinates through listening, facilitation, and supportive behaviour.
  • Maturity involves the extent of willingness of subordinates to take responsibility for self-direction


Directive Behaviour Supportive Behaviour
One-way communicationFollowers’ roles clearly communicated

Close supervision of performance

Two –way communicationListening, providing support and encouragement

Facilitate interaction involve follower in decision-making

The main differences between directive and supportive behaviour

Source: Bolden et al. (2003)


Bolden, R., Gosling, J., Marturano, A. & Dennison, P. (2003) “A Review of Leadership Theory and Competency Framework”, University of Exeter

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