The managerial grid is a graphical representation of leadership styles developed by Blake and Jane Mouton; identifying five leadership styles based on people’s concerns and production concern. They labeled the vertical axis on the management grid concern for people, the horizontal axis concern for production, and divided each into a scale of 9, (Chopra 2002, p.124). The following is a detailed description of the five styles with examples of their application in the context of security management.
Heijden, Bono and Jones (2008) highlight Blake and Mouton’s five styles as such:
Team Management (9,9): concern for production and needs of people are integrated in the team direction. The skills involved in achieving this position is difficult to attain… both in concept and application, (p.24).
This style appears on the right hand upper corner of the grid. It is the most effective and efficient style as it allows the workers to feel appreciated and exercise self drive. As a security manager this would be an effective style to use. Security officers will be informed of the duties (say patrols) that require to be carried out, the location and the hours. The leader should then ask the officers to choose the areas and hours they should feel comfortable working, considering the proximity of patrol areas to their homes and personal expectations.
Task Management (9, 1): this is more concerned with the production or attainment of goals rather than with empowering people to deliver the required tasks…, (etal).
Pardeep (p.471) observes that with this style “efficiency in o...
perations results from arranging conditions of work in such a way that human elements intervene to a minimum degree.” In other words this style pays little attention to the needs of the worker. However it is applicable in a crisis situation. A security manager will use this style in instances of overwhelming assignments. For instance if alarm is raised in a certain area, officers will be calle in for back-up. This might even require that officers on leave be called on duty.
Impoverished Management (1, 1): in this particular case attention is neither given to the task nor to the people. The result of this style of leadership and management is chaotic and rarely are positive results attained…, (ibid).
As the name suggests, this is the most ineffective style of leadership or management. Within a short period this Laissze-faire way of management runs the organization down. That said not even a security manager will want to apply this style. The security firm will be as chaotic as any state of insecurity them ought to address. Generally trust and confidence are not found in such situations.
Country Club Management (1, 9): … a lot of importance is given to people and not to task. This situation is rare and is only applicable in social clubs, (ibid).
This style is may be catastrophic when the leader has to apply punitive measures on deviant workers. This is because the leader “uses predominantly reward power to maintain discipline, (Singh 2009,). This leader fears jeopardizing friendship with members of the team. This too is not suited for a security manager. It should be avoided
at all cost unless the officers have serious grievances that must be addressed by management urgently; for instance demands for pay increase and threats of a strike or go-slow.
Middle of the Road (5, 5): … in some instances more attention is given to the tasks to be attained and in other instances more importance is given to people…all depends upon the leader and hi/her aptitude to read and comprehend the situation, (ibid).
Kondlar (2009:p.276) is of the opinion that this style “…achieves reasonably satisfactory results, maintain high morale of workers, and meet production requirements.” Considering that the Team management style is difficult to achieve, a security officer should use this style. Given the tough job his officers conduct and the need to keeep them satisfied, this method will ensure that their morale is maintained satisfactorily.
The figure below is a graphical representation of the Managerial Grid.
Let us now examine some comparison and contrasts between the Management Grid and the Situational Leadership Model.
Martin (2005: p.295) argues that “the key assumption of the situational model of leadership is that the leader is both able and willing to adopt her leadership orientation to the groups situation based on the readiness level of the group and the group’s orientation to the dimensions of task and relationship.” Accordingly, there are two key behaviors of leadership: task behavior and relationship behavior.
Fred, Lunenburg and Ornstein (p.143) offer that in Task Behavior “the leader engages in one-way communication by explaining what each subordinate is to do, as well as when, where and how tasks are to be performed.” This style is very similar to the Task Management in the Management Grid. It has some authoritarian tendencies in it. It is a huge contrast to the Team Management because the subordinate is not allowed to realize their full potential. A careful Situational Leader will have skills to avoid the Country Club Management situation.
In a relationship behavior a leader “engages in two way communication by providing socio-emotional support, psychological strokes and in facilitating behaviors” (Fred et al, p.143).This behavior allows the subordinates to express themselves freely and seek their full potential while also accomplishing their duties. This is definitely the higher behavior of situational leadership. It will produce results similar to the Team Management and Middle of the Road Management, and guarantee more production and greater satisfaction of the subordinates.
In conclusion it seems that the style of leadership will vary depending on situation at hand. Therefore even a security leader will find it to be the most effective model to adopt in his capacity.
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