Fred Edward Fiedler (1922-)
...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.
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.
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.
years at the University of Chicago
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
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
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.
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
, 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
as a Distinguished Educator in Management in 1993, and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology
outstanding scientific contributions in 1996.In 1999 the American Psychological Society
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
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