Does a manager’s locus of control have a significant relationship with their managerial style? C. Gordon
Florida Institute of Technology
The purpose of this study is to determine if there is a relationship between a person’s direction of their locus of control and their managerial style. More specifically, their managerial style as it pertains to the Managerial Grid® created by Blake and Mouton, and the Six Styles of Management developed by the HayGroup. The objective is to ascertain how influential the personality and self-esteem implications of a person’s locus of control is on their effectiveness in a managerial role.
Does locus of control imply managerial style? And/or have any correlation to Managerial style?
Theory Framework & Literature Review
The term locus of control refers to a person’s view on the level of control and influence they have on the rewards and promotions they receive/achieve (Ivancevich, Konopaske, and Matteson, 2011). Their locus of control depends greatly on whether or not they perceive the reward as being a result of their own behavior or as a result of luck or circumstance. Those that view their rewards as a matter of luck and not themselves are labeled as “externals.” Those that view their rewards as a direct result of their own efforts and behavior are labeled “internals” (Selart, 2005). Studies have been conducted to determine the success of employees and managers based on their locus of control, and an overall consensus has shown that having an internal locus of control is a beneficial attribute of a successful leader. This is theory is explained by the findings that internals feel sole responsibility for on the job tasks, and often take mistakes or disappointments as an indication of failure on their part alone (Klein and Wasserstein-Warnet, 2000). This is not say that persons with external loci of control are poor leaders, but findings have shown that the less successful leaders did rate as having a lower internal locus of control, or an external locus of control (Klein and Wasserstein-Warnet, 2000). A potential explanation of this is that according Merton’s 1946 research, “externals” are more apt to behave passively and be less productive. Merton goes on to say that “externals” in leadership positions prefer to delegate tasks as a part of their decision-making process. In contrast, “internals” desire to have control over their environment and prefer to rely on themselves rather than seek outside support (Selart, 2005). Managerial style is defined as a “recurring set of characteristics that are associated with the decisional process of the firm or individual managers (Poon, Evangelista, and Albaum,2005). Managerial styles have been studied and theorized since the 1940’s with the studies at Ohio State and Michigan State Universities. In these studies, two components of managerial style were determined. In 1960 Dennis McGregor developed the Theory X and Theory Y of Management both based on how people felt about work, and the role of necessity it plays in their lives. In 1961 Rensis Likert developed the Likert Theory of Management Types in which he identified 4 styles of management. Then in 1964 Robert Blake and Jane Mouton developed the Managerial Grid® based on the Ohio State studies from the 1940’s (Bull, 2000). Blake and Mouton delineated 5 different managerial styles based on the variables of a manager’s concern for production and concern for people (van Eersel, 2010). The premise behind this theory is that in order for a manager to achieve the ideal managerial style, Team Management, they must be able to balance their concern for production with their concern for people (Bull, 2000). Concern for production appears on the horizontal axis with a scale of 1 to 9, with 1 indicating very low concern for production and 9 indicating very high concern. The same scale is used on the...
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