Dimensions of Leadership

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Two Basic Dimensions of Leadership
1. Task Orientation( initiating structure)
Task orientation relates to Blake and Mouton's concern for production. It is the quality of a manager who maintains strong discipline to task completion and deadlines. A highly task-oriented manager maintains focus on timing and quality of work and, at the extreme, can lose sight of the importance of showing consideration for employees. A leader with strong orientation often gets labeled as an authoritarian leader because he puts his own plan into action with little employee involvement.

2. Employee Orientation(consideration)
Employee orientation, or Blake and Mouton's concern for people, is a trait of a manager who cares about the people who work for him. For long-term motivation, employees generally want to know their leader cares about them as people. Taken to the extreme, however, employee orientation can cause a manager to overlook task failures and missed deadlines. The employee-oriented manager often has a democratic style of leadership.

Task orientation and employee orientation are the two general components of the Blake Mouton Managerial Grid, a model of leadership Robert Blake and Jane Mouton developed in the early 1960s. This model depicts the balance of concern for production and concern for people that managers should have.

Blake and Mouton labeled the vertical axis on their matrix "Concern for People" and the horizontal axis "Concern for Production." They described five management styles based on position in the matrix. Country Club managers, in the upper left, have high people concern but little production concern. Produce or Perish leaders are very low on people concern but extremely high on production concern. Impoverished leaders are in the lower left, where low concern for both exists. Middle of the Road managers balance people and production but accept average performance on each. Team Leaders in the upper right have high people and production concerns.

In its "Leadership & Management Styles," the Black's Academy indicates that authoritarian managers are called classical motivators whereas more people centered leaders are associated with the human relations theory of motivation. Employee- or task-oriented extremes are problematic. Strong employee orientation can detract from production, whereas too much focus on tasks can have a negative affect on employee motivation. The balance of ideal people and task concerns does vary somewhat by work environment and the needs of the employees a manager leads. Some require more task discipline, while others need more human consideration.

A –The leader shows a minimum concern for production (I) but a maximum concern for people (9). "Even at the expense of achieving results, fostering good feelings gets primary attention." Thoughtful attention to needs of people satisfying relationships leads to a comfortable, friendly organization atmosphere and work tempo B – The leader goes along to get along, which results in conformity to the status quo Adequate organization performance is possible through balancing the necessity to get out work with maintaining morale of people at a satisfactory level.

C – The leader's maximum concern for production (9) is combined with a minimum concern for people (I). "Dictating to subordinates what they should do and how they should do it, the leader concentrates on maximizing production." Efficiency in operations results from arranging conditions of work in such a way that human elements interfere to a minimum degree. http://smallbusiness.chron.com/task-orientation-vs-employee-orientation-18939.html

SITUATIONAL APPROACHES

The theme in early approaches to understanding leadership was the desire to identify traits or behaviors that effective leaders had in common. A common set of characteristics proved to be elusive, however. Researchers were continually frustrated by the lack of consistent support for their findings and conclusions....
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