Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

2.7. Leadership styles

ryanrori December 31, 2020

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The managerial grid

Developed by Blake and Mouton (Robbins, 1980:323).  This enables a business leader to classify himself in terms of caring about people and caring about production, expressed on a scale of one to nine.

The graph has nine possibilities on each axis, which gives a total of 81 different leadership styles, where a particular leader’s leadership style may belong at a given moment.  This means that leaders adapt their style of leadership according to the situation.  Unfortunately, the roster does not give any indication of the results achieved by the various leadership styles; it only indicates the dominating factors that play a part in obtaining results.

The five most important styles are:

  • Style 1.1, bottom left, shows little interest in either production or subordinates.  This is also called the laissez-faire management style, because the leader is not devoted to his leadership.
  • Style 1.9 represents a style where the interest in the production is low, but shows a high concern for employees.  This can be described as Country Club management.  This is the opposite of 9.1
  • Style 9.9 is described as democratic management.  Maximum interest is shown in both output and subordinates.
  • Style 5.5 has an average interest in both output and employees.

Life cycle theory of leadership

The most effective leadership style is one that adapts to the so-called maturity of the subordinate.  Maturity in this sense refers to the subordinate’s desire to achieve, his willingness to accept responsibility and of course how much experience the subordinate has and how competent he is in performing the required tasks.

  • In the initial phase a high task orientation is present with a low emphasis on the relationship between leader and subordinate.
  • During phase two workers begin to fit into the work pattern, but are not yet able to accept full responsibility.  Confidence and support of workers increase and management gets to know the workers better.  Management therefore becomes more employee-orientated.
  • Phase three is characterised by the workers’ desire for greater responsibility.  Workers become more self-assured, self-motivated and have the experience to continue on their own.
  • Phase four is the maturity level where employees are willing and able to accept responsibility.  This style has low behaviour relations and low task orientation.

This theory recommends a kind of dynamic and flexible leadership.  The ability and experience of subordinates must be evaluated regularly to determine the leadership style that must be applied.  As subordinates become more mature, the degree of direct control and supervision should decrease