Managerial Grid Leadership Model

Fundamentals of The Leadership Grid

The Leadership Grid (developed in 1964 by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton of the University of Texas) is a two-dimensional leadership model that describes major leadership styles based on measuring both concern for people and concern for production. Originally named as the Managerial Grid, the model was later renamed The Leadership Grid by Blake and McCanse (1991).

The Leadership Grid builds on the work of the Ohio State and Michigan studies, as it is applied in describing leadership behaviors along a grid with two axes: concern for people and concern for production or results.

Based on a week-long seminar, researchers rated leaders on a scale of 1 (low) to 9 (high) according to the two criteria: the concern for people and the concern for production. The scores for these criteria are plotted on a grid with an axis corresponding to each concern.

How leaders combine the criteria, concern for people and concern for production, results in five components of leadership style. The scale for each component moves from 1 (low) to 9 (high) as shown below in the Leadership Grid Figure.

Leadership Grid Figure
The Leadership Grid Model
Adapted from Leadership Dilemma—Grid Solutions by Robert R. Blake (formerly the Managerial Grid by Robert R. Blake & Jane S. Mouton).

The five leadership styles resulting from combination of the two criteria, concern for people, and concern for production, are described as follows:

  1. Team Management (9,9)
    Team management (9,9) often is considered the most effective style and is recommended because organization members puts committed efforts to accomplish tasks; group members are interdependent, and everyone holds a “common stake.” The work climate in this style of leadership is characterized by relationships of trust, respect, and equality.
  2. Country Club Management (1,9)
    Country club management (1,9) occurs when primary emphasis is given to people rather than to work outputs. In this leadership style, the leader pays thoughtful attention to the needs of group members and fosters a comfortable, friendly atmosphere and work tempo.
  3. Authority-Compliance Management (9,1)
    Authority-compliance management (9,1) occurs when efficiency in operations is the dominant orientation. Here, the leader assumes a position of power by arranging work conditions efficiently and in such a way that human elements interfere minimally.
  4. Middle-of-the-Road Management (5,5)
    Middle-of-the-road management (5,5) reflects a moderate amount of concern for both people and production. The leader balances the behavior that is task-related while maintaining the morale of group members at a satisfactory level.
  5. Impoverished Management (1,1)
    Impoverished management (1,1) means the absence of a leadership philosophy; leaders exert little effort toward interpersonal relationships or work accomplishment.

Blake and Mouton (1964) contended that the high production and high people-oriented style was most effective and resulted in the best outcomes in terms of group productivity and satisfaction, irrespective of the situation faced.