Identify specific characteristics of the contingency approach of management.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The overriding trait of the contingency approach to management is its flexibility.  The situational approach to management argues that there can be no universal approach to managing in the modern setting.  Globalization, mutable conditions of the marketplace, and the diversity in the workforce on multiple levels prevents the embrace of one philosophy.  The contingency approach suggests that there needs to be an examination of current situations and dynamics. Proceeding from understanding this point becomes one of the model's traits.  Each situation presents an entirely new set of conditions that have to be navigated.  The trait of asking questions, seeking to better understand what model will work in which situation, and not being wedded to a singularly exclusive philosophy are traits of the contingency approach to management.

Organizational theory and leadership are areas that are impacted the most in the contingency approach to management. The willingness to embrace what other organizations have done if it fits the circumstances becomes a reality in the contingency management model, as opposed to theoretically driven models that focus on the theory more than the specific conditions that govern its success. The willingness to embrace questions and avoid inflexibility are vital traits for the model of contingency management to work best.