Basic theories of leadership and management

The manager is the one who successfully completes projects together with his team.

The leader in the organization is the one who, however, gives direction to professional development and energy for the completion of projects.

The manager in the organization can assign tasks and require quality performance. However, the leader inspires employees to complete their tasks on their own. Reference “Manager or Leader: What are the differences and similarities”,

The manager encourages or punishes members of his team depending on the implementation of the project. The leader strives for all employees in the organization to be professionals and to develop together.

The manager approves the completed project tasks or returns them for repair if there are defects. The leader is only looking for the business value of the project. However, both the manager and the leader are indispensable members of any modern business organization. Reference: “Manager vs leader: similarities and differences”,

Basic theories of leadership and management

The questions remain:

  1. How should a manager who is also a leader behave?
  2. What are the qualities and are there any that he needs to have?
  3. What means of influence are most effective and in what situations?

Over the years, various theories of leadership have tried to answer these questions.

Theory of the great manager-leader

At the beginning of this century, research in the field of leadership was based on the completely logical assumption that since the leader is the one who influences the behavior of others, the reasons must be hidden in his personality, in the special features he possesses.

The earliest concept in this regard is known as the “big man” theory, and according to it the history of society is “written” by people who are born to lead others.

They are domineering natures, with exceptional personal qualities that appear in every historical epoch and unite the energy of millions of followers.

In the same way, great leaders appear in the life of any organization, able to inspire others with compelling ideas, find the right solutions and focus everyone’s efforts on their implementation.

Behavioral management theory

Another area of ​​leadership theory is behavioral theory. According to her, the effectiveness of the leader is determined not by personal qualities, but by his style of behavior towards subordinates.

The question of this theory is – what do effective leaders do, what ineffective ones do not do or what makes a leader successful?

Successful leadership is the effective use of interpersonal influence to achieve a specific goal.

The leader succeeds thanks to the methods he uses to influence others. It follows that any person can be a leader and even very different people can have equal success as leaders.

One of the most widespread theories of leadership style, based on the attitude towards subordinates, divides the leaders into those with authoritarian, democratic, and liberal styles. It is based on Douglas Mack’s theory X (authoritarian) and theory Y (democratic). Gregor and the research of Kurt Levin (liberal).

According to Theory X, the average person does not like his job, does not want to take responsibility, has no imagination and ability for the initiative.

As a result, the leader is forced to make his own decisions, to direct and strictly control his subordinates, and even to impose penalties.

Conversely, according to Theory Y, physical and intellectual efforts to perform paid work can be a pleasant and satisfying activity for people.

External control and the threat of punishment are not the only ways to ensure the participation of a person in group work, the average person seeks to take responsibility.

McGregor’s Theories X and Y ultimately express two different views of man. According to the first theory, there is an elite of gifted people and a mass that must be commanded by the former.

On the contrary, according to the second theory, it is considered that the differences between people are too insignificant and their rights and obligations cannot be significantly differentiated.

Management styles

Given the above theories, the following summary of leadership style can be given:

Authoritarian style

The leader in management is authoritarian. He has enough power to impose his will on his subordinates and, if necessary, to resort to that power without hesitation.

He appeals to the needs of his subordinates at a lower level, based on the assumption that they meet these needs.

The autocrat closely manages all the work within his competencies and often resorts to psychological pressure and threats to ensure that the work is done. Reference: “Management approaches in the organizations for managers”,

When an autocratic leader happens to reward a subordinate, he is nicknamed a “benevolent” autocrat. The benevolent autocrat takes active care of the mood and well-being of his subordinates.

He can even encourage their participation in work planning. But it always retains the actual power to make and implement decisions.

As much as this type of leader is favorable to his subordinates, he always structures their tasks and constantly formulates a huge number of rules that cruelly regulate the behavior of his subordinates.

Democratic leadership style

It is characterized by a high degree of decentralization. The Democratic leader prefers mechanisms of influence that would meet higher-level needs such as:

  • need for belonging;
  • weighty goals;
  • independence;
  • self-realization;

A true democratic type of leader avoids imposing his will on his subordinates. That’s what true managers and leaders do. Reference: “Motivating the behavior of the manager”,

To the extent that a democratic leader assumes that his subordinates meet higher-ranking needs, he seeks to make their duties more attractive.

In a sense, he tries to create a situation in which subordinates to some extent motivate themselves. This type of leader helps his subordinates understand that they have to solve problems on their own, without expecting approval and help. Reference: “Knowledge and skills of the manager”,

He puts a lot of effort into creating an atmosphere of openness and trust so that when his subordinates need help, do not hesitate to turn to him.

To achieve all this, the leader organizes two-way communication and plays a leading role. He encourages his subordinates to understand the problems of the organization by providing them with adequate information.

Liberal style of management

Subordinates are given almost complete freedom in determining their goals and control. The participation of the leader is minimal. Reference: “The profession of the manager: How to become one”,

The group has almost complete freedom to make independent decisions.

Attempts to prove which style is the most correct do not give an unambiguous answer. The conclusion is that the effectiveness of each of these styles depends on the specific situation. Reference: “Fundamentals of management and classification of management functions”,

American researcher Rensier Likert and his colleagues at the University of Michigan are developing an alternative system, comparing a group with high productivity and a group with low productivity in different organizations.

They conclude that the difference in productivity can be explained by leadership style. Likert classifies leaders into two categories:

  1. work-focused leader;
  2. a leader focused on the person.

The leader is a task-oriented manager

The work-focused leader is also known as a task-oriented leader. This type of manager formulates the structure and strictly monitors the implementation of the tasks set by him.

He uses sanctions and rewards. The manager focused on the person seeks to increase labor productivity by improving human relations. He focuses on the person, pays special attention to relationships, staff involvement in decision-making, and avoids petty guardianship. Reference: “Organizational and management structures”,

The leader is aware of the needs of his subordinates, helps them to solve them, and encourages their professional growth.

Likert formulated four main styles, which he called systems:

  • System 1: exploitative – authoritarian;
  • System 2: favorable – authoritarian;
  • System 3: consumable;
  • System 4: participation.

Systems 1 and 2 correspond to the authoritarian style. In system 3, leaders show significant but not complete trust in their subordinates.

There is a two-way communication process. Important decisions are made by the leader, but many specific decisions are the right of subordinates. System 4 presupposes group decisions and the participation of subordinates in decision-making. Reference” “Typical management structures”,

Leader fully trusts their subordinates

The leader fully trusts the subordinates, the relationship between them is friendly and based on trust.

Decision-making is largely decentralized. Leaders in system 4 correspond to those who encourage the participation of subordinates in government (democratic style).

They are people-oriented as opposed to leaders in system 1 who are work-oriented.

Leader pays attention to both work and people

In his theory, Likert suggests that the leader pays attention to work and people. However, he points out that the style will invariably be oriented either to work or to people, but never to both.

A 1945 study at Ohio State University found that dividing managers into those who focused only on work and others on people was a serious mistake.

They conclude that although an authoritarian leader cannot be democratic at the same time. He could also pay more attention to human relations. It turned out that managers can be both work-oriented and human-oriented. Reference: “The Manager and the Leader as sources of motivation”,

This group of universities in Ohio is developing a system according to which the behavior of the head can be classified by two parameters:

Structure and attention to obedience

А structure is such behavior in which the leader plans and organizes the activities of the group and their relationship with it. By attention to subordinates are understood behavior that influences people, appealing to higher-level needs and building relationships based on trust, respect, and contacts between the leader and subordinates.

Charismatic leadership

A variation in behavioral theory is charismatic leadership. It is a combination of the characteristics of the leader and his behavior.
The personal characteristics of the leader are a significant group of factors here.

Looking at events and the future is one of his clearest abilities. Leadership by nature is future-oriented, it includes the idea of ​​”forward”, of leading the people “from here – there”.

True leadership in most cases includes the ability to see beyond the real ones around us, to capture the invisible shortcomings of the organization, and to offer a clear direction for development.

What we have defined as a “leadership view” should be shared with followers only rhetorically, ie. orally, as otherwise, it loses the force of its persuasiveness. There are ideas that the leadership’s view of events and the future is rather the ability to generalize and synthesize, coming from different directions and contradictory ideas and information.

Rhetorical skills in leadership

Rhetorical skills are the second personal factor of charismatic leadership.
The place of this factor is sufficient, it must be shared, reduced to the followers. The ability to mix dissatisfaction with the present with an attractive idea of ​​the future, the use of “different languages” for different groups of listeners, skillful use of speech techniques such as repetitions, pauses, rhythm, and more. enable the leader to give a strong emotional charge to his message and make it much more convincing, sometimes reaching almost the Tao limit of mass hypnosis (Luther King, Hitler).