Behavioral Leadership Approach

Northouse Chapter 4


Task Behaviors- facilitates goal accomplishment

Relationship Behaviors- helps followers feel comfortable within environment and with themselves


1. Ohio State

2. University of Michigan

3. Blake and Mouton’s The Managerial (Leadership) Grid

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How are leaders acting when they are leading?

Leadership Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBDQ)- 150 questions

Through this questionnaire researchers found clusters of behaviors.

1963 Stogdill published a shorter version of the LBDQ called the LBDQ-XII.

The LBDQ-XII identified 2 types of behaviors:

  1. Task Behavior
  2. Relationship Behavior

These behaviors are independent of each other. A leader can be high in one area and low in the other are or vice versa.
“Leaders provide structure for followers, and they nurture them" (Northouse, p.72).
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Or maybe it's a combination of both!

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Also 2 types of leadership behaviors

Employee Orientation – strong human emphasis, value employees. Similar to Ohio State’s Relationship Behavior

Production Orientation- stresses technical and production aspects of the job. Similar to Ohio State’s Initiating Structure


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Two Factors: concern for production, and concern for people

Concern for Production: leader is concerned with organizational tasks (ie. policy decisions, product development, process issues, workload, sales, service, etc.)

Concern for People: leader attends to the emotional needs of the people in the organization (ie. team building, trust, promoting personal worth, provide good working conditions, fair salary, promotes good social relations, etc.)

The Leadership Grid

The Leadership Grid joins the production aspects and concern aspects of the behavioral approach in a grid format. By plotting scores from leadership styles surveys one can see where their leadership style falls on the grid. The grid shows 5 main leadership styles.


1. Authority-Compliance 9,1: a heavy emphasis on task and job requirements, less emphasis on the people in the company, controlling, demanding, overpowering

2. Country-Club Management 1,9: low concern for company tasks and production, main concern for emotional needs of employees and interpersonal relationships, personal and social needs are met above all, agreeable, eager to help, comforting

3. Impoverished Management 1, 1: not concerned with either tasks, or employees needs, goes through the motions only, uninvolved, withdrawn, noncommittal, apathetic

4. Middle of the Road Management 5,5: a compromiser, concern for task and people, finds balance between the needs of the people and emphasizes work requirements, avoids conflict, moderate levels of both productions and relationships, middle ground

5. Team Management 9,9: places strong emphasis on both tasks and interpersonal relationships, promotes high degree of participation and teamwork and satisfies needs of employees, stimulates participation, acts determined, gets issues out into the open, makes priorities clear, follows through, enjoys working, open minded

In addition to the 5 leadership styles there are two other styles that may flow throughout the Grid.

· Paternalism/Maternalism- The leader who uses both the Country Club Management (1,9) and the Authority-Compliance (9,1) styles depending on what meets their needs. They do not integrate the two styles and can be viewed as fatherly/motherly. They make the majority of the decisions and offer rewards and punishment.

· Opportunism- The leader who uses any combination of the 5 styles for personal gain. They use employees only as a means to an end. They put their own self-interest ahead of others. They can be viewed as ruthless, cunning, and self-motivated


1. Wide breadth of leadership research to include behaviors of leaders and what they do in various situations

2. Substantiated and validated by a myriad of research studies that offer a reasonable approach to understanding the leadership process

3. Leadership styles have 2 types of behaviors (task and relationship), and the leader exhibits both behaviors-during the leadership process. Balancing these two behaviors is the key to understanding leadership.

4. Maps out useful understandings of the complexities of leadership. The leader can learn about themselves and how others view them.


1. Does not show relationship between leader’s behavior and performance outcomes. Does not show a definitive link between task/relationship behaviors and outcomes like morale, job satisfaction, and productivity.

2. Has not found universal style of leadership that can be effective in almost any situation.

3. Implies that the most effective leadership style is high task and high relationship while there is only limited support for this assumption. Does not take into account other situations may need different leadership combinations.


1. Leaders can assess their own behaviors and determine how they are coming across to others and then modify their behavior to be more effective. Provides a mirror for leaders. A useful self assessment tool.

2. Many training and development programs use the behavioral approach. Everyone can use assessments to improve leadership.

3. Helps to identify and change leadership behaviors for optimal benefit.

4. Applies to nearly everything a leader does.

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Viva La Vida by Coldplay

This song has always reminded me of a fallen leader or someone who has been on top and finds themselves at the very bottom. What causes a leader to fall? The behavioral theory would lead one to believe that it is an inbalance of the task and relationship behaviors in a given setting or situation. I thought this may be a fun, thought provoking addition. Enjoy!
Coldplay - Viva La Vida


Northouse, P. G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and practice (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

EDL 601

Crissy Brown

September, 2016