Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Leadership Styles and Behaviours

A different perspective to trait theory for leadership is to consider what leaders actually do as opposed to their underlying characteristics. A number of models and theories have been put forward to explore this.

T. McGregor (1906-1964) postulated that managers tend to make two different assumptions about human nature. These views he explored in his theory X and theory Y:
Theory X

The average human being has an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it if he or she can.

Because of this human characteristic, most people must be coerced, controlled, directed, and threatened with punishment to get them to put forth adequate effort toward the achievement of organisational objectives.

The average human being prefers to be directed, wishes to avoid responsibility, has relatively little ambition, and wants security above all.
Theory Y

The expenditure of physical and mental effort in work is as natural as play or rest.

External control and threat of punishment are not the only means for brining about effort toward organisational objectives. People will exercise self-direction and self-control in the service of objectives to which they are committed.

Commitment to objectives is a function of the rewards associated with their achievement.
The average human being learns, under proper conditions, not only to accept responsibility but to seek it.

The capacity to exercise a relatively high degree of imagination. Ingenuity, and creativity in the solution of organisational problems is widely, not narrowly, distributed I the population.

Under the conditions of modern industrial life, the intellectual potentialities of the average human being are only partially utilised.
there was a void in existing descriptions of leader behaviour. They did not provide specific guidelines for behaviour in varying situations. He and his colleagues isolated eleven leadership behaviours which fall into four broad categories:
Building Relationships

Managing conflict

Influencing People

Recognising and rewarding

Making Decisions

Planning and organising
Problem solving
Consulting and delegating

Giving / Seeking Information

Monitoring operations and environment
Clarifying roles

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