Behavioral Theories of Leadership

The theory is based on the promise that effective leadership is the result of effective role behavior. Success in leadership depends more on what the leader does than on his traits. A leader uses technical, conceptual and human skills to influence the behavior of his subordinate. Leadership therefore, becomes a dynamic interaction between the leader and the led.

The behavioral theory is useful in so far it suggests the functions and activities of a leader.

Ohio State Studies
In 1945, a group of researchers at Ohio state university began extensive investigations of leadership. The central focus of their work was to study in depth the work of a leader. Their effort uncovered many things concerning leadership behavior. The most publicized aspect of Ohio state leadership was the isolation of two dimensions of leadership behavior.

  1. Initiating structure: A high initiating structure score indicates that leaders structures their role those of subordinates towards the attainment of goals. They are actively involved in planning work activities, communicating pertinent information and scheduling work. 
  2. Consideration: A leaders who were high on the consideration dimension reflected that they had developed a work atmosphere of mutual trust, respect for subordinate’s ideas and consideration of subordinate’s feelings. Such leaders encouraged good superior subordinate rapport and two-way communication. A low consideration score indicates that leaders are more impersonal in their dealing with subordinates.
University of Michigan Studies
The study showed that Employee-oriented Leaders (EOL) were associated with higher group productivity and higher job satisfaction on the other hand, Production-Oriented Leader (POL) tend to be associated with low group productivity and lower job satisfaction.

Where, we mean
Employee-oriented leaders (EOL) – One who emphasizes interpersonal relation.
Production-oriented leaders (POL) – One who emphasizes technical or task aspects of the job.

The Managerial Grid
The concept of managerial grid was created by R.R. Blake and Jane S. Mouton of USA. They emphasize that leadership style consists of facts of both task oriented and relation oriented behavior in varying degrees.

They have used two phrases: 
  1. Concern for production means the attitudes of the supervisors towards a variety of factor concerning production, such as product, procedures, and processes, quality of staff service, workload, efficiency and quantity of production. 
  2. Concern for people includes degree of personal commitment towards goal achievement, maintaining the self-esteem of workers, responsibility and conductibility based on trust rather than on force and satisfying interpersonal relations.

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