The Tannenbaum-Schmidt Leadership Continuum – A Study

The Tannenbaum-Schmidt Leadership Continuum – A Study

An Introduction

There are various types of leadership styles prevalent in workplaces. While some leadership styles are more on the verge of autocracy, others are participative. Some leaders use an approach that is in between autocracy and participative. In this article, we will discuss the Tannenbaum-Schmidt Leadership Continuum theory which talks about contingency leadership style.


There has been a lot of research work in the field of leadership and its styles. Lewin and Lippitt came up with classification of leaders in 1938, which was based on the importance leaders place on tasks and relationship requirements.

In 1958, Tannenbaum & Schmidt continued earlier studies and proposed leadership approach that ranged from task to relationship requirements. The classification focused on leadership styles that ranged from importance of managers to importance of subordinates. Later in 1973, they updated the theory.

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