By Joel Bayliss


"John Adair, born 1934, British, developed his Action Centred Leadership model while lecturing at Sandhurst Royal Military Academy and as assistant director and head of leadership department at The Industrial Society. This would have been during the 1960s and 70s, so in terms of management theories, Adair's works is relatively recent."

Adairs Theory

Leadership is the ability to persuade others willingly to behave differently. Leaders have 2 main roles. First they must achieve the task. Secondly they must maintain a effective relationship between themselves and the group. Adair pointed out that in fulfilling their roles, leaders have to satisfy the following needs:

  • Task needs.
  • Group maintenance needs.
  • Individual needs.
(from "A handbook of human resource management practise" by Michael Armstrong.)

Action Centred leadership theory in detail

Task Needs: The group exists to achieve a common goal. The leader's role within this is to make sure that the group achieve this common goal. If not the group will lose confidence in the leader and may lead to dissintergration of the group.

Group maintenance needs: To achieve the common goals the group must be held together. The leader must therefore ensure that he builds up and maintains a team spirit and morale in the group.

Individual needs: Each person in the group has their own personal needs which they expect to be met at work. The leader must be aware of each individuals needs so they can take steps to harmonize them with the needs of the task and the group.

How could this be applied to our Team event?

This theory could be applied to this event as managers would need to take these needs into account in order to manage the group as efficiently as possible and ensure that they get the best out of the group. They need to make sure that the group needs are met so deadlines will be made and all tasks that need to be completed for the event are completed in time. They also need to ensure that the group bond as a whole to give a good team spirit as this will encourage them to work better together, this will help the group as people will be more willing to help each other and better motivated to get tasks done for each other. Finally they must make sure individual needs are met as if someone is not happy they will not achieve their goals within the group or want to be part of the team.