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Overview of The Leadership Grid®

Developed by Robert R. Blake and Jane S. Mouton, The Leadership Grid® provides a framework for understanding types of leadership.

The grid consists of two behavioral dimensions:

  1. Concern for production
  2. Concern for people.

Blake and Mouton characterize five different leadership styles according to the varying emphasis on each of these two dimensions (with a range of 1 to 9 on each continuum), as illustrated in the table below. They suggest that most effective leadership is characterized by the combination of high concern for production with high concern for people.

How The Leadership Grid Relates to SYMLOG Field Theory

Plot of Leadership Grid® (Blake and Mouton) in SYMLOG Space

Heuristic Plot in SYMLOG Space of
Leadership Grid® (Blake and Mouton)
(Click image to enlarge)

Although the theory underlying the grid takes the study of leadership beyond mere trait analysis to the examination of behaviors, it is still more limited than SYMLOG field theory. The basic two-dimensional model proposed by Blake and Mouton (as well as those offered by many other leadership theorists) fails to account for myriad organizational settings, situations, and leadership orientations. The two primary dimensions are measured only in a positive direction, such that there is no polar opposite to either. Note that the Leadership Grid, when transposed to the SYMLOG space (as shown in the accompanying figure), explains only behaviors associated with the PF quadrant.

An analysis conducted by A. Paul Hare shows that the five key leadership styles in the grid may be linked with SYMLOG vectors as shown in the following table:

Table: Leadership Styles and Associated SYMLOG Vectors

Styles of Leadership Behavior SYMLOG Vector(s)
Team Management (9, 9) UPF
Work accomplishment is from committed people; interdependence through a "common stake" in organization purpose leads to relationships of trust and respect.
Middle of the Road Management (5, 5) P, PF, DPF, Ave
Adequate organization performance is possible through balancing the necessity to get out work with maintaining morale of people at a satisfactory level.
Authority-Compliance (9, 1) U, UF, UNF, UN, F
Efficiency in operations results from arranging conditions of work in such a way that human elements interfere to a minimum degree.
Country Club Management (1, 9) UP, UPB, DP, DPB
Thoughtful attention to the needs of people for satisfying relationships leads to a comfortable, friendly organization atmosphere and work tempo.
Impoverished Management (1, 1) N, DF, DNF, DN, DNB, DB, D
Exertion of minimum effort to get required work done is appropriate to sustain organization membership.

Selected References

  • Blake, R. R., & A. A. McCanse. (1991). Leadership dilemmas-Grid solutions .Houston: Gulf.
  • Blake, R. R., & J. S. Mouton. (1964). The managerial grid. Houston: Gulf.
  • Blake, R. R., Mouton, J. S., & A. A. McCanse. (1989). Change by design. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
  • Hare, A. P. (1992). Groups, teams, and social interaction .New York: Praeger.

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