He was an American educator and organizational
psychologist best known for his research on
Likert's Management Systems are management styles
developed by Rensis Likert in the 1960s
He is also famous for developing the Likert Scale, a
psychometric scale commonly involved in research
using questionnaires and the linking pin model.
According to Likert, the efficiency of an organisation
or its departments is influenced by their system of
management. Likert categorised his four management
systems as follows;
1) Exploitative Authoritative
2) Benevolent Authoritative
3) Consultative System
4) Participative System
In this type of management system the job of
employees/subordinates is to abide by the decisions
made by managers and those with a higher status than
them in the organisation
The subordinates do not participate in the decision
making. The organisation is concerned simply about
completing the work. The organisation will use fear and
threats to make sure employees complete the work set.
There is no teamwork involved
Just as in an exploitive authoritative system, decisions
are made by those at the top of the organisation and
However employees are motivated through rewards
(for their contribution) rather than fear and threats.
Information may flow from subordinates to managers
but it is restricted to “what management want to hear”.
Subordinates are motivated by rewards and a degree
of involvement in the decision making process.
Management will constructively use their
subordinates ideas and opinions.
However involvement is incomplete and major
decisions are still made by senior management. There
is a greater flow of information (than in a benevolent
authoritative system) from subordinates to
management. Although the information from
subordinate to manager is incomplete and
Management have complete confidence in their
subordinates/employees. There is lots of
communication and subordinates are fully involved in
the decision making process. Subordinates
comfortably express opinions and there is lots of
Employees throughout the organisation feel
responsible for achieving the organisation’s
objectives. This responsibility is motivational
especially as subordinates are offered economic
rewards for achieving organisational goals which
they have participated in setting.
The motivation to work must be fostered by modern
principles and techniques.
Employees must be seen as people who have their own
needs, desires, values and their self-worth must be
maintained or enhanced
An organization of tightly knit and highly effective work
groups must be built up which are committed to
achieving the objectives of the organization
Supportive relationships must exist within each work
group. These are characterized not by actual support, but
by mutual respect.
Likert believes that if an organisation is to achieve
optimum effectiveness then the “ideal” system to
adopt is Participative (system 4)