Behavior Theories

In the late 1940s, some researchers began to examine behaviors and their impact on the leadership effectiveness. The focus on leader behaviors rather than leader traits has a number of advantages:

First , examining behaviors rather than traits allows us to consider informal as well as formal leaders.

Second , if critical and effective leader behaviors can be identified, our ability to train leaders will be enhanced.

Finally , the behaviors of a leader and the C F reciprocal behaviors of the followers allow us to examine closely the exchange relationships between leaders and followers.

The behavioral approach to the study of leadership included the Ohio State studies, the Michigan studies, and the Managerial Grid .

The Ohio State University Studies

The greatest number of studies of leader behavior has come from the Ohio State University leadership studies program, which began in the late 1940s under the direction of Ralph Stogdill. Researchers surveyed leaders to study independent dimensions of leader behavior that are important for attaining group and organizational goals. These efforts resulted in the identification of two dimensions of leader behavior: consideration and initiating structure.

Consideration involves leader behavior associated with creating mutual respect or trust and focuses on a concern for group members' needs and desires. Initiating structure is leader behavior that organizes and defines what group members should be doing to maximize output.

Two questionnaires were developed by the Ohio State researchers to measure these dimensions of leader behavior: The Leadership Opinion Questionnaire (LOQ), and the Leader Behaviour Description Questionnaire (LBDQ).

The LOQ is designed to measure leaders' perceptions of their own behavior, whereas the LBDQ measures the perceptions that subordinates have of their leader's behavior.

Extensive research, based on these instruments, found that leaders high in initiating structure and consideration tended to achieve high subordinate performance and satisfaction more frequently than those who rated low on either consideration initiating structure, or both

The Ohio State personalbehaviour theory has been criticized because of simplicity, lack of generalizeability, and reliance on questionnaire responses to measure leadership effectiveness.


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