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Vroom and Yetton's Normative Model

 

Disciplines > Leadership > Leadership theories > Vroom and Yetton's Normative Model

Assumptions | Description | Discussion | See also

 

Assumptions

Decision acceptance increases commitment and effectiveness of action.

Participation increases decision acceptance.

Description

Decision quality is the selection of the best alternative, and is particularly important when there are many alternatives. It is also important when there are  serious implications for selecting (or failing to select) the best alternative.

Decision acceptance is the degree to which a follower accepts a decision made by a leader. Leaders focus more on decision acceptance when decision quality is more important.

Vroom and Yetton defined five different decision procedures. Two are autocratic (A1 and A2), two are consultative (C1 and C2) and one is Group based (G2).

A1: Leader takes known information and then decides alone.

A2: Leader gets information from followers, and then decides alone.

C1: Leader shares problem with followers individually, listens to ideas and then decides alone.

C2: Leader shares problems with followers as a group, listens to ideas and then decides alone.

G2: Leader shares problems with followers as a group and then seeks and accepts consensus agreement.

 

Situational factors that influence the method are relatively logical:

  • When decision quality is important and followers possess useful information, then A1 and A2 are not the best method.
  • When the leader sees decision quality as important but followers do not, then G2 is inappropriate.
  • When decision quality is important, when the problem is unstructured and the leader lacks information / skill to make the decision alone, then G2 is best.
  • When decision acceptance is important and followers are unlikely to accept an autocratic decision, then A1 and A2 are inappropriate.
  • when decision acceptance is important but followers are likely to disagree with one another, then A1, A2 and C1 are not appropriate, because they do not give opportunity for differences to be resolved.
  • When decision quality is not important but decision acceptance is critical, then G2 is the best method.
  • When decision quality is important, all agree with this, and the decision is not likely to result from an autocratic decision then G2 is best.

Discussion

Vroom and Yetton (1973) took the earlier generalized situational theories that noted how situational factors cause almost unpredictable leader behavior and reduced this to a more limited set of behaviors.

The 'normative' aspect of the model is that it was defined more by rational logic than by long observation.

The model is most likely to work when there is clear and accessible opinions about the decision quality importance and decision acceptance factors. However these are not always known with any significant confidence.

See also

Participative Leadership, Situational Leadership

Vroom, V.H. and Yetton, P.W. (1973). Leadership and decision-making. Pittsburg: University of Pittsburg Press

 

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