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This profile was last updated on 3/12/14  and contains information from public web pages.

Fred E. Fiedler

Wrong Fred E. Fiedler?

Professor Emeritus

Local Address:  Seattle , Washington , United States
Management and Organization at the University of Washington

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • Western Michigan College of Education
  • Ph.D. , clinical psychology
  • Turkish Area
    Indiana University
  • master's degree , industrial and organizational psychology
41 Total References
Web References
Fred E. Fiedler, 12 Mar 2014 [cached]
Fred E. Fiedler
Fred Fiedler is one of the leading experts on the study of leadership and organizational performance, and thus has had a profound impact on social, organizational, and industrial psychology. In 1976, he published A Theory of Leadership Effectiveness, which introduced his famous and groundbreaking Fiedler contingency model of leadership, which explored how the interplay between personality characteristics and situational circumstances leads to effective leadership or its absence.
A Professor Emeritus of Management and Organization at the University of Washington in Seattle, he has been awarded the Walter F. Ulmer, Jr. Applied Research Award, the American Psychological Society's James McKeen Cattell Award for intellectual contributions to applied research, the Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and the Distinguished Educator Award from the American Academy of Management. He is a past president of Division 1 (general psychology) in the American Psychological Association. He received his PhD. from the University of Chicago.
Tributes Much thanks to Martin M. Chemers for acting as the co-ordinator of this effort to honor Fred Fiedler, and to Roya Ayman and Peter Scontrino and the following individuals for donating to the Foundation in his name.
They all share their personal memories of Fred.
My strongest impression of Fred was his personal and professional integrity. As a mentor, colleague, and friend, he was unfailingly honest and ethical and expected you to be the same. This is a good thing to learn when you are young and will serve you well your whole life. Fred taught me that the key to having good luck was extensive preparation. e never stinted in his willingness to work himself very hard, and, unfortunately, his students as well. Few knew that Fred was a philosopher, but he taught me the secret of a happy life; 10% for easy living.
Once upon a time (1964-1966), Professor Fred E. Fiedler gave a rare opportunity to a young student from a developing country to work closely with him in his laboratory and on a thesis research. The professor's guest for knowledge and its implementations were internalized and became the work passion of his mentee. His lifelong academic support and continuous donations of most of his own library, have contributed greatly to the advancement of Social Psychology in Thailand at present (2010).
Duangduen Bhanthumnavin
Fred taught me the importance of listening to the data. Let the data trump any a priori theoretical notions we might have. Fred taught me the importance of rigorous testing of theory, no matter how elegant it might appear to be and how "pretzel shaped" the empirical picture might be.
My first year was kind of a blur, but when I met Fred and he introduced me to some of the other active and ex military guys who were in his Lab, a whole new world opened up. He gave me direction and wonderful concepts to ponder. His Lab was an enriching experience to mature and develop. In the years that followed Fred and I spent many an enjoyable lunch reminiscing together and I am forever grateful for those valuable and enjoyable years.
Fred taught me and others how important it is to know your data in the scientific enterprise. I will never forget going to the lab meetings where Fred would say that we should get out the "brick bats" to critique ourselves so that we would emerge with solid research designs, well thought out theory, and stronger people. While Fred would never claim to be a "warm fuzzy" it was always clear that he wanted us all to succeed and to strive to be the best scholars we could be.
I was a graduate student studying with Fred in the early 90s. What makes Fred special is his desire to see you be the best you can. He hid a big heart under that gruff exterior and wanted you to succeed. He pushed me and stretched me and made me understand who I wanted to be as a scientist and a person. I thank him from the bottom of my heart for that.
Further Donations are always welcome, whether to honor Fred E. Fiedler or another psychologist.
Professor Fred E Fiedler, ... [cached]
Professor Fred E Fiedler, University of Washington, USA Professor Richard H G Field, University of Alberta, Canada
Fred E. Fiedler, Professor ..., 5 Mar 2007 [cached]
Fred E. Fiedler, Professor emeritus of Psychology and Management and Organization at the University of Washington-Seattle, received the 2005 Walter F. Ulmer, Jr. Applied Research Award.
Dr. Fiedler advanced the leadership field from research on traits and personal characteristics of leaders to leadership styles and behaviors.
Wiley: Managing Research, Development and Innovation: Managing the Unmanageable, 3rd Edition, 1 June 2010 [cached]
- Fred E. Fiedler, Professor of Psychology Emeritus, University of Washington, Seattle
As the economy shifts from producing goods to producing information, the role of researchers in shaping the future has become immense.
Fred Edward Fiedler, 30 July 2001 [cached]
Fred Edward Fiedler (1922-)
Fred Edward
Fred Edward Fiedler was born in Vienna, Austria on 13 July 1922.His parents, Victor and Helga Schallinger Fiedler, owned a textile and tailoring supply store prior to 1938.Fred was their only child.After completing secondary school, he served a brief apprenticeship in his father's textile business before emigrating to the United States in 1938 and settling in South Bend, Indiana.After his high school graduation in 1940, Fiedler held a variety of low-level jobs in Indiana, Michigan and California, before returning to Indiana and a job at the Indiana and Michigan Electric Company.Following the German invasion of Austria, meanwhile, Fiedler's parents moved first to Shanghai and then to the United States in 1946.
In the summer of 1942, Fiedler enrolled in engineering courses at Western Michigan College of Education (now Western Michigan University, in Kalamazoo), but quickly decided engineering was not his field.He also applied to and was accepted by the University of Chicago.He served in the US Army from 1942 to 1945.Following basic training and a brief assignment in a medical battalion, he was sent to Indiana University for training in the Turkish Area and Language Studies programme.Later he served in an infantry battalion, military civilian affairs and the military government.During tours of duty in England and Germany, Fiedler was involved in training, interpreting, telephone communications and public safety.Fiedler had met Judith M. Joseph at the University of Chicago before entering the army, and they married shortly after his discharge on 14 April 1946.They have collaborated on research and writing over the years, and have four children.
Fiedler developed an interest in psychology in his early teens from reading his father's books on the topic.He took several extension courses in psychology while serving in the army.After his discharge from the army in November 1945, Fiedler was readmitted to the University of Chicago and resumed his study of psychology in January 1946.He received a master's degree in industrial and organizational psychology in 1947 and his Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 1949.
During his years at the University of Chicago, Fiedler was actively involved in research under some of the most prominent names in the field, such as Lee Cronbach and Donald Campbell.
From 1950 until 1969, Fiedler was on the faculty of the University of Illinois, where he initiated and directed the Group Effectiveness Research Laboratory (GERL).Harry Triandis and Joseph McGrath were associate directors.Research associates included Martin Chemers, Peter Dachler, David DeVries, Jack Feldman, Richard Hackman, J.G. Hunt, Edwin Hutchins, Daniel Ilgen and Terence Mitchell.While at the University of Illinois, Fiedler was appointed head of the social, differential, personality and industrial psychology divisions.His wife worked as a research sociologist in the university's Survey Research Center.
In 1969 Fiedler moved to the University of Washington where he remained on the faculty until his retirement in 1993.There he established the Organizational Research Group and directed the Group Effectiveness Research Laboratory.His wife became assistant director of the University of Washington's Educational Assessment Center.
According to Fiedler, there is no ideal leader.Both low-LPC (task-oriented) and high-LPC (relationship-oriented) leaders can be effective, if their leadership orientation fits the situation.The contingency theory allows for predicting the characteristics of the appropriate situations for effectiveness.Three situational components determine the favourableness or situational control: leader-member relations, task structure and position power.Fiedler found that low-LPC leaders are more effective in extremely favourable or unfavourable situations, whereas high-LPC leaders perform best in situations with intermediate favourability.
Fiedler and his associates have provided decades of research to support and refine the contingency theory.Cognitive resource theory (CRT) modifies Fiedler's basic contingency model by adding traits of the leader (Fiedler and Garcia 1987).CRT tries to identify the conditions under which leaders and group members will use their intellectual resources, skills and knowledge effectively.While it has been generally assumed that more intelligent and more experienced leaders will perform better than those with less intelligence and experience, this assumption is not supported by Fiedler's research.
To Fiedler, stress is a key determinant of leader effectiveness (Fiedler and Garcia 1987; Fiedler et al. 1993), and a distinction is made between stress related to the leader's superior, and stress related to subordinates or the situation itself.In stressful situations, leaders dwell on the stressful relations with others and cannot focus their intellectual abilities on the job.Thus, intelligence is more effective and used more often in stress-free situations.Fiedler has found that experience impairs performance in low-stress conditions but contributes to performance under high-stress conditions.As with other situational factors, for stressful situations Fiedler recommends altering or engineering the leadership situation to capitalize on the leader's strengths.
Fiedler is known around the world for his writing, lectures and consulting work.Throughout his career, Fiedler has received research grants and contracts from many government agencies and private foundations.He held research fellowships at the University of Amsterdam from 1957 to 1958, at the University of Louvain in Belgium from 1963 to 1964, and at Templeton College, Oxford from 1986 to 1987.He has served as a consultant for various federal and local government agencies and private industries in the United States and abroad.
Fiedler was recognized by the American Psychological Association for counselling research in 1971 and for his contributions to military psychology in 1979.He received the Stogdill Award for Distinguished Contributions to Leadership in 1978.The American Academy of Management honoured Fiedler as a Distinguished Educator in Management in 1993, and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology recognized his outstanding scientific contributions in 1996.In 1999 the American Psychological Society presented Fiedler with its James McKeen Cattell Award.Fiedler is a member of the International Association of Applied Psychology and a past president of that organization's Division of Organizational Psychology.He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and a member of the Society for Experimental Social Psychology and the Midwestern Psychological Association.He has authored or co-authored more than 200 scientific papers and several books.His articles are frequently cited by others and have been published by the most respected journals in the fields of psychology, leadership and management.
Fiedler's career spans more than fifty years.Even in retirement, he continues to inspire and encourage research on leadership and other related topics.He proposed the contingency theory of leadership very early in his career, and has spent years since then testing its assumptions and making revisions.He has willingly debated his critics, offering additional research and alternative explanations based on his own investigations and the growing body of knowledge in the field.Fiedler and his contingency theory of leadership deserve a prominent place in the history of management thought.He was one of the first to recognize and produce a leadership model that combines personality traits and contextual factors.The more recent cognitive resource theory promises to extend his influence many years into the future.
Fiedler, F.E. (1958) Leader Attitudes and Group Effectiveness, Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.
Fiedler, F.E. and Chemers, M.M. (1974) Leadership and Effective Management, Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman and Co.
Fiedler, F.E. and Garcia, J.E. (1987) New Approaches to Leadership, Cognitive Resources and Organizational Performance, New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Fiedler, F.E., Chemers, M.M. and Mahar, L. (1976) Improving Leadership Effectiveness: The Leader Match Concept, New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Fiedler, F.E., Garcia, J.E. and Lewis, C.T. (1986) People Management, and Productivity, Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Fiedler, F.E., Gib
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