This is a normative theory for it tells the leaders how they should behave in decision making. The focus is on the premise that different problems have different characteristics and should, therefore, be solved by different decision techniques.
The effectiveness of the decision is a function of leadership which ranges from the leader making the decisions himself to a totally democratic process in which the subordinates fully participated, and the contingencies which described the attributes of the problem to be dealt with.
For a successful leader it is imperative to know the best approach to solving the problem at hand, and to know how to implement each decision-making method well, when required.
This model dictates that the decision reached should be high in quality, should be accepted by the people who have to implement it and should be time efficient. The leader while choosing a strategy decides which element he will focus on and which may be neglected to some extent.
Studies performed to test the validity of this theory concluded that the participative and democratic style of leadership was more appropriate and successful at higher levels of an organisation whereas directive decision making style were utilised at lower levels.