Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid - Five Leadership Styles

Fri, 04/24/2009 - 19:20 -- Umar Farooq

One of the well-known approaches to leadership style is the Blake and Mouton managerial grid. It was developed some years ago by Robert Blake and Jane mouton.  Building on previous research that showed the importance of a manger’s having concern both for production and for people, Blake and Mouton devised a clever device to dramatize this concern. This grid, shown in the Figure, has been used throughout the world as a means for training managers and of identifying various combinations of leadership styles.

Understanding Managerial Grid Model

There are two dimensions of Blake Mouton managerial grid the first dimension concern for people and concern for production.  As Blake and Mouton have emphasized, their use of the phrase “concern for” is meant to convey “how managers are concerned about production” or “how they are concerned about people”, and no such thing as how much production they are concerned about getting out of a group.

Concern for production includes the attitudes of supervisors toward a wide variety of things, such as:

  1. Quality of policy decision
  2. Procedures and processes
  3. Creativeness of research
  4. Quality of staff workers
  5. Work efficiency and
  6. Volume of output.

Concern for people is likewise interpreted in a broad way. It includes such elements as:

  1. Degree of personal commitment toward goal achievement
  2. Maintenance of the self-esteem of workers
  3. Placement of responsibilities on the basis of trust rather than obedience
  4. Provision of good working conditions and
  5. Maintenance of satisfying interpersonal relations

Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid Model

The following are Blake and Mouton five leadership styles.

Impoverished Leadership.  Under 1.1 style (referred to as impoverished management, managers concern themselves very little with either people or production and have minimum involvement in their jobs; to all intents and purpose they have abandoned their jobs and only mark time or act as messengers communicating information from superiors to subordinates. 

Team Leadership.  At the other extreme are the 9.9 managers who display in their actions the highest possible dedication both to people and to production.  They are the real team mangers who are able to mesh the production needs of the enterprise with the needs of individuals.

Country Club Leadership. Another style is 1.9 management (called Country Club Management” by some in which managers have little or no concern for production but are concern only for people.  They promote an environment in which everyone is relaxed friendly and happy and no one is concerned about putting forth coordinated effort to accomplish enterprise goals.

Autocratic Leadership. At another extreme are the 9.1 managers sometimes referred to as autocratic mangers”) who are concerned only with developing an efficient operation. They have little or no concern for people, and who are quite autocratic in their style of leadership.

Middle of the Road Leadership. By using these four extremes as points of reference, every managerial technique, approach or style can be place somewhere on the gird.  Clearly, 5.5 managers have medium concern for production and for people.  They obtain adequate, but not outstanding, morale and production. They do to set goals too high, and they are likely to have a rather benevolently autocratic attitude toward people.

The blake and mouton managerial grid is a useful framework and tool for identifying and classifying leadership styles, but it does not tell us why a manger falls into one art or another of the grid. To determine the reason one has to look at underlying causes, such as the personality characteristics of the leader or the followers, the ability and training of managers, the enterprise environment and other situational factors that influence how leader and followers act.