The case in question can be researched from the point of view of various theories of leadership. Scientists have been trying to define features of the authentic leaders who are ready to overcome difficulties and run companies in the period of crisis. The main difference between the theories is the acknowledgement of an aspect that defines the leader. The case will be researched to show the use of contingency and other theories to resolve the management issues.
The contingency leadership theory can be used to consider the case and leader’s performance. The theory emphasizes that different situations may require distinctive leadership styles. Each leader is an expert in a particular area and can express him/her with maximum performance in the sphere. Besides, the contingency leadership theory states that leaders can expose their best organizational skills when they feel the support of their followers. System dynamics and context of a complex issue is the part of task solution used by a leader in unspecified circumstances. The theory emphasizes that a manager must express himself in various ways depending on which issues should be given maximum attention. Each situation is unique, thus, the manager should be flexible and creative. The important components of the theory, such as the problem, systems integration, system environments, and behaviorism, are reflected in the case.
Furthermore, the main idea is that the situation is a set of interrelated issues to be addressed in the situation. The leader has to adapt to each situation and, therefore, show leadership abilities. The situation is always seen as a systemic problem in interconnection with other systems. In particular, Southwest's CEO James Parker used the approach of the company to customers within local systems and facilities. On the other hand, the problem would remain unsolved if staff members refused to act according to the instructions (Contingency Theories, 1960).
In addition, the case can be studied with the help of transaction. The case shows the transaction of the idea between the company's leader and personnel to save the total of workers unchanged (Contingency Theories, 1960). The theory foresees the leader’s ability to motivate employees and, thus, use financial instruments for encouraging the employees’ compensation. The leader of the airlines has shown synchronized work of the organization and its employees, owing to the aim pursued. Most people try to avoid negative experiences and reduce the unpleasant impression. The leader of the company used the psychological moment and encouraged the workers at a time of crisis to help the stranded passengers to spend time in local entertainment establishments. Such an action allowed the company to avoid the negative attitudes of the customers and maintain the clients’ base (Spahr, 2016).
Moreover, the case can be considered regarding the transformational theories. Considering the situation, management interaction with the employees was remarkable and provided positive results from the pre-established strong relationships with a high percentage of trust. Theorists argue that the approach directly increasing the motivation is especially necessary at critical moments. The height of motivational factors, both internal and external, is felt not only by the followers, but the leaders as well, due to the positive feedback (Antonakis & House, 2014). The inspired attitude, belief in the future, and the charisma of the CEO were the driving moments of the solution. In the presented case, the leader allowed the workers to show their artistic abilities and then act according to the circumstances. Besides, the transformational theory emphasizes that the rules of the company have to be flexible, but guided by the norms of the group. Such a structure gives the employees and the followers a sense of belonging and guidance. They identify themselves with the leader and the appointment of the company (Contingency Theories, 1960).
The case in question contains details that can be assessed in terms of the Burns transformational leadership theory. James MacGregor Burns stressed that a true leader is focused on people and is not self-centered. He uses the existing values, capabilities, and resources of his followers. Importantly, the airline company in difficult circumstances made its workers aware of their main task and clearly outlined the plan of actions. It ensured the positive result (Burns, 1978).
However, the scientists believe that the theory of leadership may not work during the long-term disasters, such as an economic and political collapse, global warming, or overpopulation. It is understandable since such incidents compel people to not always act according to the ethical and moral standards. In addition, Burns transformational leadership theory considers the reason of a man to become a leader and the psychological depth of his deeds. Southwest's CEO James Parker has showed that a man should strive not only to personal benefits but to higher moral goals as well. He stressed that the experience of the company w keep job-places for employees. On the other hand, James Burns argued that leadership manifests when there is a need to develop, to perform goals, or to satisfy desires and motives of the followers. Besides, James Parker used the knowledge about Lawrence Kohlberg' moral stages to get a united by a common purpose team. The previous work and good management have allowed managing the company in a critical situation (Leadership Models: From Weber to Burns to Bass, n.d.).
In conclusion, the staff of the company supported its leader and realized his idea due to the practical and successful use of the transformational, transactional, behavioral, and contingency theories.