By Ingrid CurtisIn partial fulfillment of the requirements ofN5311 Nursing Management in the Health Care Environment Sharon Judkins PhD, RN, NEA-BC October 18, 2012
Behavioral theories of leadership are based upon the belief that great leaders are made, not born. (Cherry 2010). This leadership theory focuses on the actions of leaders. According to this theory, people can learn to become leaders through teaching and observation.The behavioral ideals approach argues that if a leader is to be effective, he or she should practice a certain ideal behavioral style.The Behavioral theory assumes that you can learn to become a good leader because you are not drawing on personality traits. Your actions—what you do—define your leadership ability. STARS ARE CREATED, NOT BORN!
Tools that are used to assess the leaders style, and most commonly used, are the LBDQ (Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire), (Stogdill, 1974) and the Leadership Grid (Blake & McCanse, 1991). These tools are designed to be completed by the observers or the employees. The leaders themselves complete the LOQ (Leader Opinion Questionnaire).
Strengths: Weaknesses: The ideal approach may not It makes sense for suit all circumstances. leaders to balance Many leaders behavioral concern for the task patterns are restricted by with concern for people hidden limiting beliefs that persist despite training. in most circumstances. Ignores leadership presence. Training in the ideal Behavioral questionnaires style should be possible often introduce several types of error, such as response in theory. bias and measurement bias. (Yukl, 1998)
It is not a refined theory that has organized sets of prescriptionsfor effective leadership. It provides a framework for assessingeffective leadership. It works by describing to leaders the majorcomponents of their behavior and NOT by telling them how tobehave. It reminds leaders that their actions towards others are both at the task and relationship levels. In some situations task behavior is more appropriate, in others relationship is more suitable. Similarly, some subordinates need leaders who provide a lot of direction. Others need a lot of support and nurturance.
The behavioral approach can be easily applied in organizations. It provides a mirror for managers that helps them understand, how they are performing as a manager.This theory will help you focus on how you behave today and the dominant leadershipstyle you adopt.You will be able to identify differences in your leadership style and approach to moreeffective combinations that balance and combine a focus on people and production.
I would recommend the use of this theory for thepurpose to explain how leaders can combine these twokinds of behaviors to influence their employees to reacha goal. Task behavior: Facilitates goal accomplishment. Relationship behavior: Help subordinates feel comfortable with themselves, with others and with the situation.
Blake and McCanse Leadership Grid: Improve yourleadership style and leadership skills. Retrieved on Oct 15,2012, from: http://www.iwise2.com/blake-mouton-mccanse-leadership-gridCherry, K. 2010, Leadership Theories-8 Major LeadershipTheories, online, retrieved 17October 2012, from :http://psychology.about.com/od/leadership/p/leadtheories.htmStogdill, R. M. (1974). Handbook of leadership. New York: FreePress.Yukl, G. (1998), Journal of Management: Managerial Leadership,A Review of Theory and Research, June 1989, Vol. 15, no. 2, pgs251-289. doi: 10.1177/014920638901500207