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Leaders’ responsibilities and leadership styles of behaviours

Category: HRM

In time hundreds of studies have been conducted to test the various leadership theories. One of the most comprehensive series was conducted at Ohio State University. After analysing 1,500 manager behaviour descriptions two major factors emerged by which leadership style could be described:

— Initiating structure

Here the leader defines the jobs of the subordinates and takes a greater role in planning, controlling, initiating new ideas and criticising his subordinates.

— Consideration

This places emphasis on mutual trust and respect between the leader and subordinate. The leader has great consideration for his subordinates’ feelings and there is plenty of two-way communication.

Subsequent research has confirmed the Ohio State University findings. All this knowledge is valueless, however, unless leaders create an environment that enables and encourages employees to achieve personal and corporate goals. The way in which a leader deals with subordinates will to a considerable degree be determined by the assumptions he makes about people.

“Action Centred Leadership” (ACL) is a model developed by Dr. John Adair to explain the main responsibilities of a leader. The model is based on his research between 1960 and 1967, while he was a Senior Lecturer in Military History and Leadership Training Adviser at Sandhurst. Dr. Adair developed and applied to training the functional view of leadership. The essence of this he distilled into the three inter-related but distinctive requirements of a leader.

These are:

To define and achieve the job or task.

To build up and co-ordinate a team to do this.

To develop and satisfy the individuals within the team.

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