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Behavioural theory on leadership

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Leadership - Trait Theory is based on the presumption that there are specific virtues a leader must have. These are usually inborn traits that take control and guide situations. Whereas in a business, management may scan and analyse the actions of their employees to see which workers show the necessary ‘leadership potential’ through displayed behaviours. These people are then promoted and guided to make the most out of their capabilities.
The inability to explain leadership solely by traits led researchers to look at the situational specific behaviours of leaders. They were trying to analyse whether effective leaders exhibited something unique in their behaviour. For example, do leaders tend to be more democratic than autocratic?
Behaviour theories reject the hypothesis ‘inborn potential’ or ‘virtue’ approaches to leadership. It affirms leadership to a set of actions that any leader must take in relation to an organisational situation. In the behaviour theories, there are no ‘born leaders’. Leaders can be trained and traits that a leader must have can be taught and developed. Therefore, anyone can be a leader but they must have the proper environment and guidance for leadership qualities to blossom.
While both approaches emphasize that there are identifiable actions that any leader must be capable of doing in any given situation, behaviourism also is a ‘trait’ theory that it, too, holds that leaders must show certain common personality markers or habits of mind and these can be elicited from anyone at any time and that no one person has more potential than another.
Becoming a leader, according to the behaviourist school of thought, is a matter of proper guidance and learning, while trait theory holds that a leader must have certain inherent, innate qualities. 
Take, for example, two individuals. One was born in the house of a family that was weak willed and was known for letting people take advantage of them. Another was born in a house filled with powerful executives and those commonly called ‘born leaders’. Theoretically, the person from the former house will develop the habits of servility, while the second person will develop the habits of assertiveness. According to behaviourism had their upbringings been switched, they each would have developed differently, so either is equally likely to be a good leader with proper guidance and learning.
Behavioural theory promotes the value of leadership styles with an emphasis on concern for people and business objectives. It promotes participative decision-making and team development by supporting individual needs and aligning individual and group objectives. It explains the purpose of leadership is to achieve the common purpose collectively. Two general kinds of behaviours- relationship behaviour and task behaviours are discussed herein.



Relationship behaviour
An employee-oriented approach to business management places emphasis on the interpersonal relationships. A manager using this behavioural method doesn’t place great emphasis on business objectives such as production, quality, etc., where it increases employee anxiety and damages the ability of employees to establish strong bonds. 
This type of manager wants employees to have positive working relationships and strives to create a welcoming office environment. For example, an employee-oriented manager may encourage group lunch breaks for socializing and limit the number of employees who eat alone.



Task behaviour
A manager using a task-oriented approach to business focuses on planning, coordinating and assigning tasks to employees. Their emphasis on employee behaviour is in terms of deliverables and what’s best for the business. 
For example, production is a task-oriented manager’s main concern. The emotional health of employees or social aspects of the workplace don’t factor into the decision-making process in a task-oriented behavioural approach. A manager using the task-oriented approach can assign an employee to a department where he is more effective as a worker even if that assignment takes him away from workers known for years. The table compares task-oriented and relationship-oriented leadership styles. 
What is important when managing people? To concentrate first on getting the tasks done and caring for people next? Or, caring for people first and the tasks which need to be done there after? 
People become satisfied at work when they feel they have a purpose. The tasks assigned should reflect the purpose. The important element is that we (employer/employee) together have to achieve something, against which our progress will be measured. 
An organisation with a clear goal and well developed strategies and tactics will have clear tasks and measures of success for those tasks. If the employee’s personal sense of purpose matches the need of the organization so much better.
The emphasis on accommodation of people’s needs over the tasks to be completed disturbs the clear line between goal, strategy, tactics, task and a sense of purpose. There is now a predilection for translating looking after employees to building a relationship with them. Not only that, the relationship is defined by ‘liking’ the leader, rather than respect borne from being consistent, persistent and insistent. 
Leaders who try to build ‘relationships’ by accommodating one or more employee’s demands signal that relationships are more important than getting the job done at hand. They signal that individual ‘happiness’ is more important than accomplishing the team’s purpose. However, if leaders focus on their goal, they can more easily be seen to be consistent and help reduce any perception bias.
By focusing on tasks whilst maintaining a relationship with subordinates, leaders can maintain a position of authority and still be considered as friendly. Although it is good to have leaders who concentrate on the task and the person, a task-oriented leader who is a little less able to be warm and supportive of subordinates will be able to deliver organisational results than a leader who is very warm and supportive but cannot set goals and manage tasks. Deliver today to sustain tomorrow. 
 (This is the seventh column of the leadership series by the writer Eng. Gamini Nanda Gunawardana [B.Sc. Eng. (Hons.); M.B.A.;  C.Eng.; F.I.E. (SL); M.C.S. (SL); M.I.D.P.M. (UK);  F.I.A.P. (UK); M.B.C.S. (UK)], a Management, HR, OD and ICT Consultant, Corporate Trainer, Consultant - HRD - Goodhope Asia Holdings Ltd, can be contacted at gamining@gmail.com, Skype : gamini7147)   
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  • mar warain Thursday, 12 March 2015 02:10 PM

    it can help you.


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