Blake and Mouton managerial grid
Robert Blake and Jane Mouton built two-dimensional grid of common leadership styles, in which on-axis scaled from 1 to 9 described two factors: the orientation of production and orientation of people. On this basis, they have identified five common styles (fig. 1).
Main styles of managerial grid
1.1: Low focus on results and on people
- no requirement or minimum requirements,
- avoidance of conflicts,
- unwillingness to change and innovation,
- lack of motivation to improve performance and self-improvement.
9.1: Very high focus on results, little focus on people
This style is called Authority-Obedience because managers use strict means to control people and attain perfect obedience. Managers try to arrange work conditions to minimize influence of social and psychological factors in work place. In particular it is characterized by:
- high expectations, finding the most efficient workers,
- in the event of a conflict, manager try to subjugate the people,
- innovation comes only from the manager,
- employees are motivated solely by economic incentives and coercion.
1.9: Very high focus on people, carefree and friendly atmosphere
Style called Country Club Management by Blake and Mouton. Managers pay very high attention to relationships within organization, try to make work comfortable for people and maintain friendly atmosphere with minimal daily stress. In particular it is characterized by:
- selecting for employees capable of teamwork,
- avoidance of conflict, in the case of an attempt to extinguish the conflict,
- small innovation, due to lack of pressure (task, time, financial),
- high personal motivation, self-fulfilment opportunities.
5.5: Adequate performance at work, a compromise between the results and the rights of co-workers
So called Organization Man Management is the most common (average) style in many organization. Managers attain adequate organization performance through balanced activities toward people and tasks. In particular it is characterized by:
- requirements established by regulations (norms, procedures, etc.),
- most conflicts are caused by breaking rules and principles, and manager quickly deals with them,
- there are some innovations in the production (but not breakthrough),
- motivation is a compromise between the goals of individuals and organizations, tangible and intangible incentives.
9.9: High performance at work, satisfied employees
Blake and Mouton called this style Team Management, but it is also called Effective style due to its role in maintaining high commitment in organization. Use of this style leads to good relationships, trust and respect within team, and at the same time high eagerness to achieve ambitious company objectives. In particular it is characterized by:
- managers look for highly qualified specialists with high ethical competences,
- conflicts are resolved quickly and rationally through direct confrontation with the problem,
- very high level of willingness to innovate of employees and managers,
- high motivation of group, attained through sustainable use of tangible and intangible incentives.
- Management styles
- Reddin's basic management styles
- Lewin, Lippitt and White - basic styles of management
Examples of Blake and Mouton managerial grid
- Authoritarian (9,1): This style is characterized by a leader who is highly task-oriented and authoritarian in nature. They tend to take full control and expect their orders to be followed without question. They provide limited feedback and have a low concern for the people they manage. An example of this style is a military general, who has complete control and authority over their subordinates.
- Country Club (1,1): This style is characterized by a leader who is low on task-orientation and high on relationship-orientation. They prioritize maintaining positive relationships with their team and tend to be very friendly. They provide considerable feedback and are highly concerned with the wellbeing of their people. An example of this style is a middle school teacher, who emphasizes collaboration and teamwork in the classroom.
- Team Management (9,9): This style is characterized by a leader who is highly task-oriented and highly relationship-oriented. They prioritize both the task and the relationships, and strive to create an environment in which both the task and the people are taken into consideration. An example of this style is a project manager in a software development team, who has to balance the needs of their team and the deadlines of the project.
- Impoverished (1,9): This style is characterized by a leader who is low on task-orientation and high on relationship-orientation. They prioritize maintaining relationships with their people, but typically do not provide feedback or take action to improve their team’s performance. An example of this style is a manager who is more focused on having lunch with their team and socializing than on improving the team’s performance.
- Middle-of-the-road (5,5): This style is characterized by a leader who is moderately task-oriented and moderately relationship-oriented. They take into consideration both the task and the team, and strive to find a balance between the two. An example of this style is a small business owner who is responsible for both the tasks and the people in the organization.
Advantages of Blake and Mouton managerial grid
One of the main advantages of Blake and Mouton's managerial grid is that it provides a useful framework for understanding and analyzing different leadership styles. Specifically, the grid helps managers to identify their current leadership style, evaluate its effectiveness, and plan for improvement. The advantages of the grid include:
- It is easy to understand and use. The grid is based on two simple factors - production and people - and doesn’t require complex or technical analysis.
- It is visually appealing. The grid is presented as a two-dimensional diagram, making it easier to interpret and use.
- It identifies five distinct leadership styles. By plotting the two factors on a nine-point scale, the grid identifies five distinct leadership styles, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
- It helps managers plan for improvement. The grid can be used to identify areas for improvement and develop an action plan for improvement.
- It can be used for team building. The grid can help teams identify their collective leadership style and develop strategies for becoming more effective.
- It helps managers identify their own strengths and weaknesses. The grid can help managers identify their current leadership style and their areas for growth.
In conclusion, the Blake and Mouton managerial grid provides a useful framework for understanding and analyzing different leadership styles. Its visual appeal, easy-to-use structure, and ability to identify five distinct leadership styles make it an invaluable tool for managers looking to improve their leadership effectiveness.
Limitations of Blake and Mouton managerial grid
The Blake and Mouton managerial grid is a two-dimensional grid of common leadership styles, but it has several limitations.
- The first limitation of the grid is that it only identifies five common leadership styles. This is limiting because it fails to account for a wide range of different leadership styles that are not included in its framework.
- The second limitation of the grid is that it does not provide a comprehensive assessment of a leader’s capabilities. It focuses on the two primary dimensions of production and people-oriented leadership, but does not provide a holistic evaluation of a leader’s skills.
- The third limitation of the grid is that it does not take into account the context of a leader’s role. It assumes that all leaders should operate according to the same set of guidelines regardless of the situation. This fails to account for the fact that different leadership styles may be more or less effective in different contexts.
- The fourth limitation of the grid is that it does not adequately address the complexity of leadership. It simplifies the concept of leadership into two dimensions, which does not accurately reflect the complexity of leading a team or organization.
- The fifth limitation of the grid is that it does not address how a leader’s style might evolve over time. It is based on a static model of leadership, which fails to take into account how a leader’s style might change in response to changes in their environment or the organization they are leading.
One approach related to the Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid is the Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Model. This model is based on the idea that different leadership styles should be used depending on the maturity of the followers. It proposes four leadership styles: telling, selling, participating, and delegating.
- The Transformational Leadership Model is another related approach. This model proposes that leaders should be transformational and not just transactional. This means that they should be inspiring and motivate their followers to achieve a common goal.
- The Situational Leadership II Model is a further approach related to the Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid. This model suggests that leadership styles should be adapted to the competencies and motivation of the followers. It proposes four leadership styles: directing, coaching, supporting, and delegating.
- The Path-Goal Leadership Theory is yet another related approach. This theory suggests that leaders should be directive, supportive, participative, or achievement-oriented, depending on the situation.
In summary, there are several approaches related to the Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid, such as the Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Model, the Transformational Leadership Model, the Situational Leadership II Model, and the Path-Goal Leadership Theory. Each of these models proposes different leadership styles and suggests that leaders should adapt their style to the situation.
|Blake and Mouton managerial grid — recommended articles|
|Belbin team roles — Acquired needs theory — Leadership models — Management styles — Contingency leadership — Levels of leadership — Theory X and Y — Hersey and Blanchard model — Organizational diagnostics|
- Blake, R. R., Mouton, J. S., & Bidwell, A. C. (1962). Managerial grid. Advanced Management-Office Executive.
- Blake, R. R., & Mouton, J. S. (1964). The new managerial grid: strategic new insights into a proven system for increasing organization productivity and individual effectiveness, plus a revealing examination of how your managerial style can affect your mental and physical health. Gulf Pub. Co..
- Blake, R. R., & Mouton, J. S. (1985). The managerial grid III: The key to leadership excellence.
- Blake, R. R., & McCanse, A. A. (1991). Leadership dilemmas--grid solutions. Gulf Professional Publishing.