The contingency approach is a management style which tailors management decisions to each set of circumstances. This is also called the situational approach due to decisions being adapted to individual situations.
The contingency approach is used by leaders who feel people, organizations and situations change over time, and is the right way to address situations as a manager, because details change with each occasion. This approach is outside of the classical management style, which applies a cookie-cutter approach to every situation. The contingency approach is mainly used as part of organization theory and leadership theory, both of which recognize a certain amount of uncertainty or dissatisfaction with traditional leadership methods.