Leadership Continuum

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Comparing autocratic vs. democratic leaders. Explanation of Leadership Continuum model of Tannenbaum and Schmidt. ('73)

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What is the Leadership Continuum? Description

According to the Leadership Continuum model of R. Tannenbaum and W.H. Schmidt (1973) an autocratic leader will likely make his own decisions. He will not delegate to his subordinates. Whereas a more democratic leader (laissez-faire manager) gives subordinates a greater degree of delegation in decision-making.


In 1938, Lewin and Lippitt proposed classifications of leaders. These were based on how much involvement leaders placed onto task and relationship needs. These types of leadership behavior were expressed in 1973 along a continuum by Tannenbaum & Schmidt. The spectrum ranges from boss-centered (task) to subordinate-centered (relationship).


Forces to consider for Leaders

To choose the most appropriate style and use of authority, the leader should take into consideration:Leadership Continuum

  1. Forces in the manager: belief in team member participation and confidence in capabilities of members. Compare: Theory of Needs

  2. Forces in the subordinate person: subordinates who are independent, tolerant of ambiguity, competent, identify with organizational goals.

  3. Forces in the situation:

    • the team has requisite knowledge.
    • the team has organizational values and traditions.
    • the team works effectively.
  4. Time pressure: need for immediate decision under pressure. Mitigates against participation.

Advantages of the Leadership Continuum Model. Benefits

  • Gives managers a range of choices for involvement.

  • Presents criteria for involvement and delegation.

  • Focuses the decision maker on relevant criteria (e.g. forces & time).

  • Emphasizes employee development and empowerment.

  • Is heuristic. Encourages research to see how effective delegation may be under the model.

 
Limitations of the Leadership Continuum. Disadvantages

  • Involves only the initial step of assigning a task to someone, not the following processes that may determine the effectiveness of the outcome.

  • Assumes that the manager has sufficient information to determine the disposition to himself or to the team.

  • Assumes "neutral" environment without social bonds or politics.

  • Simplifies complex decisions towards a two-polar dimension; more simple than the reality is.




Leadership Continuum Forum (7 topics) Help
  Leaders are the Heads not the Tails of the Organization
There are many leadership styles and leaders give direction to their employees and make good decisions in many ways. The use of motivational approaches enables leaders to accomplish better results within the organization.
However, leaders are th...
     
  Leadership Continuum or Management Continuum?
The Leadership Continuum Model shows management styles from "autocratic" to "full control". Most managers do not make good leaders and vise versa. A leader is a visionary, one who can motivate employees to work toward the common goal. A leader...
     
  Combination of Leadership Continuum with Team Development Stages
Plotting Tuckman's Team Building Stages onto T&S Continuum shows a collaboration between them.
- Forming stage of team, where authoritive style is used = manager makes and announc...
     
  Leadership Succession. Ensuring Continuity of Leadership
The leader is one who ensures leadership continuity for a long haul. Therefore he must have an uncanny ability to indentify, test and develop leaders for the future....
     
  Force Field = 5 Levels of Management
The summary of the five levels of management to arrive at level 5 managers(Collins) has some similarity to the forcefield distribution of leadership....
     
  Organizational Decision making
As far as decision-making is the main subject of leadership, other issues such as delegation and relationships remain secondary to it and a matter of management....
     
  Laissez Faire versus Democratic Leaders
A Democratic leader Involves team in decision making, consults and then takes a call whereas
A Laissez Faire leader has a hands off approach let the team and the reportees take a call.
Democratic and Laissez Faire are 2 different Leadership...
     



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Expert Tips - Leadership Continuum Premium
  The Relationship between the Power of Leaders and Overconfidence - Leadership, Power, Leadership Development, Executive Education
 
  Loved and Feared Leaders - Another Continuum
 

Resources - Leadership Continuum Premium
How to Become a Master Manager? - Introduction to Managing People. Know Thyself
Cultural Differences - Directive vs Supportive Leader
10 Leadership Theories in a Nutshell - Leadership Theories Overview, Leadership Development, Management Development, Leadership Styles, Coaching, Mentoring
How to Achieve Employee Engagement - Employee Empowerment, Employee Participation, Participative Management, Participative Leadership
Leadership Continuum Diagram - Comparing autocratic vs. democratic leaders
 

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Videos - Leadership Continuum

     
 

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Compare with Leadership Continuum: Path-Goal Theory  |  Managerial Grid  |  Leadership Styles  |  Level 5 Leadership  |  Situational Leadership  |  Charismatic Leadership  |  Servant-Leadership  |  Theory X Theory Y  |  Contingency Theory  |  Competing Values Framework  |  EPIC ADVISERS  | Levels of Culture  |  Culture Types  |  Expectancy Theory  |  Results-Based Leadership  |  Result Oriented Management  |  Hierarchy of NeedsTwo Factor Theory  |  Theory of Needs  |  Bases of Social Power  |  Seven Surprises  |  Seven Habits  |  SMART  |  PAEI  |  Changing Organization Cultures  |  Framing  |  Beyond Budgeting  |  Stages of Team Development


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