Thursday, December 23, 2010

Leadership Part Four, Thoughtful Thursday

Leadership Behavior: Its Description and Measurement, by Ralph M. Stogdill and Alvin E. Coons

The Bureau of Businesss Resarch, College of Commerce and Administration The Ohio State University, Columbus 10, Ohio, 1957

Leadership behavior can be looked at in terms of two factors

  1. consideration, such as doing personal favor for crew members, dealing with work-family balance issues on the family side, and being friendly. I read about an accounting manager atCaterpillar bring ing in "Bear Claws" whjen they worked hard to get a big report in
  2. initiating structure. That would be assigning members to particular tasks or organizing a schedule. Such questions as "He plans his day's activities in detail." and "He has everything going according to schedule" By the way, both of these two questions had very high correlations with superior evaluation.
(See below for more details of these factors.)

They did several studies comparing how effective a manager or leader was with their scores from their employees or crew members. Some were done in the military, others in business and still others looked at educational leaders.

  1. Navy Wing Commanders
    1. They said that initiating structure activities were strongly correlated with success. Keeping things organized among your crew members earns points with your boss. And overall effectiveness ratings shows a -0.46 correlation with consideration and an equal correlation but in the opposite direction with structure! (Table 13, page 50)
    2. When, they looked at the subordinates overall rating, their overall satisfaction were affected by the commanders who were considerate and who maintained the structure of the group.
    3. However, when one looks at the combination of initiating structure and consideration, eight had high effective units and two had low. By comparison, where both were low, there were six below average. (It would be interested to do a Bayesian tree analysis. I taught the graduate software engineering course here at Western Illinois University for many years. These impressed me as much more effective in predicting project cost than traditional statistics.)
    4. There was little correlation between what aircraft leaders said was important as far as both consideration and structuring behavior.
  2. Educational Administrators When teachers described their leader there was a small correlation between ratings for initiating structure and consideration. When board members rated administrators, there was a much higher correlation. Halpin speculated that superintendents put on their best face when dealing with their board but did not do so in the day to day job of dealing with the teachers (their subordinates)--citing Halpin. (The Leadership Behavior of School Superintendents also from the Ohio Leadership group.)
  3. Industrial Foreman Correlations with measures of effectiveness. The tests were categorized in those departments that had a direct production job versus those that did not : NP--in non-production department and P in production department. >accidents P
    RatingConsiderationinitiating structure
    foreman supervisior rating P -0.310.47
    foreman supervisor rating NP 0.28-0.19
    absenteeism P -0.490.27
    absenteeism NP -0.490.27
    accidents NP-0.420.18
    formal grievances P-0.070.45
    formal grienances NP0.150.23
    turnove P0.130.13
    TURNOVER NP0.040.51
  4. For a test of ROTC students/cadets, rating by superiors were not correlated significantly with either consideration or initiating structure, but rating by pairs were.
  5. When you ask leaders to rate themselves, they do so very differently from what their subordinates do so.
  6. When groups spend a lot of time together, they are likely to lable their bosses with behavior that could be consider dominative as opposed to democratic or suggesting. But his could mean that they are just more sensitive to it rather than leaders are more dominating.

The Ohio State University Leadership Behabvior Questionaires and their Research

Ohio State University researched leadership in the 1950's. Ralph Stodgill published a series of monographs and books. And he developed the Leadership Behavior Questionaire of 150 questions. They were in ten categories. For example, Organization included:
  1. He plans his day's activities in detail.
  2. He has everything going according to schedule.
  3. He meets with trhe group at regularly scheduled times.
  4. He assigns members to particular tasks
"Recognizing Member performance" includes
  1. He critizes members for small mistakes
  2. He reacts favorably to anything members say
  3. He expresses appreciation when a member does a good job
This basic 150 question test was categorized with factor analysis, a statistical technique. They got the four factors:
  1. Consideration, discussed above
  2. initiating structure, considered above
  3. a Production Emphasis, "encouraging overtime work" "stresses being ahead of competing crews" "needling crew members for greater effort"
  4. sensitivity social sidtuation
However, the latter two only accounted for sixteen percent of the variance--so aparently they did not consider them further. And looking at variance between members of the same crew and comapring it to the variance between crews, they found a difference for initiating structure and structure. There was greater agreement among crew memembers for initating structure.

A quote

Myrdal notes that "for all our our [USA] egalitarian emphasis, 'the idea of leadership pervades American thought and colelctive action.' 'Americans are in general quite unaware that the leadership idea is a particular characteristic of their culture' 'regularly show a marked reluctance to admit the fact even when it is pointed out by the observer'
For future Thoughtful Thursday, Myrdal, G. An American Dilemma New York: Harper and Brothers, 1944.

No comments:

Post a Comment