October 23, 2012

MU0012 [Employee Relations Management] Set1 Q1

Q1. What are the different leadership styles that are adopted by managers as per the Managerial Grid Model?

Leadership has been described as the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task". Other in-depth definitions of leadership have also emerged.

Leadership is "organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal". The leader may or may not have any formal authority. Students of leadership have produced theories involving traits, situational interaction, function, behavior, power, vision and values, charisma, and intelligence, among others.

Behavioral and style theories
Managerial grid model
In response to the early criticisms of the trait approach, theorists began to research leadership as a set of behaviors, evaluating the behavior of successful leaders, determining a behavior taxonomy, and identifying broad leadership styles. David McClelland, for example, posited that leadership takes a strong personality with a well-developed positive ego. To lead, self-confidence and high self-esteem are useful, perhaps even essential. 

A graphical representation of the managerial grid model

Kurt Lewin, Ronald Lipitt, and Ralph White developed in 1939 the seminal work on the influence of leadership styles and performance. The researchers evaluated the performance of groups of eleven-year-old boys under different types of work climate. In each, the leader exercised his influence regarding the type of group decision making, praise and criticism (feedback), and the management of the group tasks (project management) according to three styles: authoritarian, democratic, and laissez-faire. 

The managerial grid model is also based on a behavioral theory. The model was developed by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton in 1964 and suggests five different leadership styles, based on the leaders' concern for people and their concern for goal achievement.

The managerial grid model (1964) is a behavioral leadership model developed by Robert R. Blake and Jane Mouton. This model originally identified five different leadership styles based on the concern for people and the concern for production. The optimal leadership style in this model is based on Theory Y.
The grid theory has continued to evolve and develop. The theory was updated with two additional leadership styles and with a new element, resilience. In 1999, the grid managerial seminar began using a new text, The Power to Change.

The model
The model is represented as a grid with concern for production as the x-axis and concern for people as the y-axis; each axis ranges from 1 (Low) to 9 (High). The resulting leadership styles are as follows:

  • The indifferent (previously called impoverished) style (1,1): evade and elude. In this style, managers have low concern for both people and production. Managers use this style to preserve job and job seniority, protecting themselves by avoiding getting into trouble. The main concern for the manager is not to be held responsible for any mistakes, which results in less innovative decisions.
  • The accommodating (previously, country club) style (1,9): yield and 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 will increase performance. The resulting atmosphere is usually friendly, but not necessarily very productive.
  • The dictatorial (previously, produce or perish) style (9,1): control and dominate. 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 in return. 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 style is often used in cases of crisis management.
  • The status quo (previously, middle-of-the-road) style (5,5): balance and compromise. 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 suitable performance but doing so gives away a bit of each concern so that neither production nor people needs are met.
  • The sound (previously, team style) (9,9): contribute and commit. 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 themselves to be constructive parts of the company.
  • The opportunistic style: exploit and manipulate. Individuals using this style, which was added to the grid theory before 1999, do not have a fixed location on the grid. They adopt whichever behaviour offers the greatest personal benefit.
  • The paternalistic style: prescribe and guide. This style was added to the grid theory before 1999. In The Power to Change, it was redefined to alternate between the (1,9) and (9,1) locations on the grid. Managers using this style praise and support, but discourage challenges to their thinking.


Understanding the Model
The Managerial Grid is based on two behavioral dimensions:
Concern for People – This is the degree to which a leader considers the needs of team members, their interests, and areas of personal development when deciding how best to accomplish a task.
Concern for Production – This is the degree to which a leader emphasizes concrete objectives, organizational efficiency and high productivity when deciding how best to accomplish a task.
Using the axis to plot leadership ‘concerns for production’ versus ‘concerns for people’, Blake and Mouton defined the following five leadership styles:
  

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