Google Search

Friday, July 13, 2012

Behavioral Theory - Leadership

This theory was developed by the scholars from Ohio State University during 1940-1950's. The study was conducted to understand “what behaviors make the leaders effective?”Similar research was also conducted at University of Michigan and Harvard University. The two major clusters were identified:

Ø  People Oriented Behaviors - like showing trust, respect for subordinates, genuine concern, looking for their welfare.
Ø  Task Oriented Behavior - The behavior that tends to define and structure work roles. Assigning specific tasks to subordinates, clarify work duties and procedures. Ensuring the task completion and also paying attention to aspects like adherence to company rules, getting maximum performance, pushing beyond standards etc.

According to this theory, leaders can be made, rather than are born and successful leadership is based in definable, learnable behavior. These theories of leadership do not seek inborn traits or capabilities. Rather, they look at what leaders actually do.

Behavioral theory is a big leap from Trait Theory, in that it assumes that leadership capability can be learned, rather than being inherent. A behavioral theory is relatively easy to develop, as you simply assess both leadership success and the actions of leaders. With a large enough study, you can then correlate statistically significant behaviors with success. You can also identify behaviors which contribute to failure, thus adding a second layer of understanding.

People subtly send certain expectations to their leaders, acting as role senders, for example through the balance of decisions we take upon ourselves and the decisions we leave to the leader. Leaders are influenced by these signals, particularly if they are sensitive to the people around them, and will generally conform to these, playing the leadership role that is put upon them by others. Within organizations, there is much formal and informal information about what the leader's role should be, including 'leadership values', culture, training sessions, modeling by senior managers, and so on. These and more (including contextual factors) act to shape expectations and behaviors around leadership.

The Managerial and Leadership Grid

The Ohio studies led to two dimensions of leadership behaviour-concern for tasks and concern for relations. Almost in the same style, the Michigan University studies made the distinction between job-centred and production- centred leaders.

Blake and Mouton rated these concepts in a framework called the Managerial Grid. They interpreted the concepts in a broad way. Blake and Mouton have used "Concern for Production" and "Concern for People'" in their Managerial Grid on horizontal and vertical axes respectively. Managers may be concerned for their people and they also must also have some concern for the work to be done. The question is, how much attention do they pay to one or the other? This is a model defined by Blake and Mouton in the early 1960s.It included

Ø  Impoverished management
Ø  Authority-compliance
Ø  Country Club management
Ø  Middle of the road management
Ø  Team management

The Managerial Grid was the original name; the modifications were made by Robert R Blake and Anne Adams McCanse.1 After the modifications it was named as Leadership Grid.

Leadership Grid

Leadership Grid – an approach to understanding a leaders concern for results (production) and concern for people

1. The impoverished style (1, 1). The indifferent Leader (Evade & Elude)

In this style, managers have low concern for both people and production.
Managers use this style to avoid getting into trouble. The main concern for the manager is not to be held responsible for any mistakes, which results in less innovative decisions. A leader uses a "delegate and disappear" management style. Since they are not committed to either task accomplishment or maintenance; they essentially allow their team to do whatever it wishes and prefer to detach themselves from the team process by allowing the team to suffer from a series of power struggles.

1. Does only enough to preserve job and job seniority.
2. Gives little and enjoys little.
3. Protects himself by not being noticed by others.

1. Tries to stay in the same post for a long time.

Examples of Leader speak:

“I distance myself from taking active responsibility for results to avoid getting entangled in problems.”
“If forced, I take a passive or supportive position.”

2. The country club style (1, 9). The accommodating Leader (Yield & Comply)

This style has a high concern for people and a low concern for production. Managers using this style pay much attention to the security and comfort of the employees, in hopes that this would increase performance. The resulting atmosphere is usually friendly, but not necessarily that productive.

This person uses predominantly reward power to maintain discipline and to encourage the team to accomplish its goals. Conversely, they are almost incapable of employing the more punitive coercive and legitimate powers. This inability results from fear that using such powers could jeopardize relationships with the other team members.

Examples of Leader speak:

“I support results that establish and reinforce harmony.”
“I generate enthusiasm by focusing on positive and pleasing aspects of work.”

3. The produce or perish style (9, 1). The Controlling Leader (Direct & Dominate)

This believes in the authority-obedience. With a high concern for production, and a low concern for people, managers using this style find employee needs unimportant; they provide their employees with money and expect performance back. Managers using this style also pressure their employees through rules and punishments to achieve the company goals. This dictatorial style is based on Theory X of Douglas McGregor, and is commonly applied by companies on the edge of real or perceived failure. This is used in case of crisis management.

People who get this rating are very much task-oriented and are hard on their workers (autocratic). There is little or no allowance for co-operation or collaboration. Heavily task-oriented people display these characteristics: they are very strong on schedules; they expect people to do what they are told without question or debate; when something goes wrong they tend to focus on who is to blame rather than concentrate on exactly what is wrong and how to prevent it; they are intolerant of what they see as dissent (it may just be someone's creativity), so it is difficult for their subordinates to contribute or develop.

Examples of Leader speak:

“I expect results and take control by clearly stating a course of action.”
“I enforce rules that sustain high results and do not permit deviation.”

4. The middle-of-the-road style (5, 5). The Status – Quo Leader. (Balance & Compromise)

It is Organization - man management approach,which believes that the adequate organization performance is possible through balancing the necessity to get out wprk with maintaining morale of people at satisfactory level. Managers using this style try to balance between company goals and workers' needs. By giving some concern to both people and production, managers who use this style hope to achieve acceptable performance.

Examples of Leader speak:

“I endorse results that are popular but caution against taking unnecessary risk.”
“I test my opinions with others involved to assure ongoing acceptability.”

5. The team style (9, 9). The Sound / Team Leader (Contribute & Commit)

This is based on the aspect that work accomplishment is from committed people; interdependence through a common stake in the organization purpose leads to relationships of trust and respect. In this style, high concern is paid both to people and production. As suggested by the propositions of Theory Y, managers choosing to use this style encourage teamwork and commitment among employees. This method relies heavily on making employees feel as a constructive part of the company.

This type of person leads by positive example and endeavours to foster a team environment in which all team members can reach their highest potential, both as team members and as people. They encourage the team to reach team goals as effectively as possible, while also working tirelessly to strengthen the bonds among the various members. They normally form and lead some of the most productive teams.

Examples of Leader speak:

“I initiate team action in a way that invites involvement and commitment.” 
“I explore all facts and alternative views to reach a shared understanding of the best solution.”

No comments:

Post a Comment