Sunday, August 1st, 2021

Leadership Styles

3. Likert Management System

Rensis Liker and his associates conducted an intensive study on the patterns and styles of managers for three decades and developed an interesting theory, popularly known as Likert’s Four Systems of Management. For developing four systems of management, he considered about eight variables – leadership, motivation, communication, interaction influences, decision making process, goal setting, role of informal groups and control process.

Therefore, it is not purely a leadership theory but a management theory, as apart from leadership, other variables have been considered for developing the four system theory. Here the discussion is limited to following three leadership variables, which are inclusive of eight variables earlier:

i. Confidence and trust in subordinates

ii. Subordinate’s feeling of freedom

iii. Superior seeking involvement with subordinates

Leadership variable System 1 System 2 System 3 System 4
Trust and confidence in subordiantes. Has no trust and confidence in subordinates Has condescending confidence and trust in subordinates, such as master has in servant. Substantial but not complete confidence and trust, still wishes to keep control of decisions. Complete confidence and trust in all matters.
Subordinates feeling of  freedom Subordinates do not feel at all free to discuss things about the job with their superior. Subordinates do not feel very free to discuss things about job with their superior. Subordinates feel rather free to discuss things about job with their superior. Subordinates feel completely free to discuss things about the job with their superior.
Superior seeking involvement with subordinates Seldom gets ideas and opinions of subordinates in solving job problems. Someites get ideas and opinions of subordinates in solving job problems. Usually gets ideas and opinions and usually tries to make constructive use of them. Always gets ideas and opinions and always tries to make constructive use of them.

On the baisis of varying degrees of these three variables, four systems have been developed. Likert’s Four Systems Theory of Management, in relation to leadership styles, consists of four styles as follows:

i. Exploitative Autocrat (System 1)

ii.  Benevolent Autocrat (System 2)

iii. Participative (System 3 )

iv. Democratic (System 4)

 

i. System 1 (Exploitative Autocrat Style)

In this system control process is entirely centralized at top level, where all decisions are made and communicated downwards for implementation using threats, punishment and occasional rewards.

ii. System 2 (Benevolent Autocrat Style)

It is marked by master-servant type of relationship involving some delegation of control and decision making o middle and lower levels and application of rewards and actual potential punishment as a measure to motivate employees.

iii. Style 3 ( Participative Style)

It is characterized by substantial confidence and trust in subordinates, adequate delegation of control and decision making processes to lower levels, two-way flows of communication and use of rewards, occasional punishment and some involvement for motivating workers.

iv. System 4 (Democratic style)

It involves complete confidence and trust in subordinates, delegation of full responsibility for the control and decision making processes, three way communication flows and application of participation and involvement of subordinates in establishing financial rewards, setting goals and evaluating progress towards attainment of these goals with a view to hardened their motivation.

Likert on the basis of intensive research, has shown that high and low producing department in several organisation that were surveyed are marked by System 4 and System 1, respectively.

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