Managerial Grid (Blake and Mouton)

Knowledge Center

Summary, forum, best practices, expert tips and information sources.

Contributed by: F.M. van Eersel

40 items • 939.393 visits



What is the Managerial Grid Model? Description

Blake and Mouton. Managerial Grid

The Managerial Grid model by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton is a behavioral leadership model. On the grid, concern for production is represented on a one to nine scale on the horizontal axis (x-axis). Concern for people is represented on a one to nine scale on the vertical axis (y-axis).

Note that according to Blake and Mouton there is also a third axis: Motivation, measured from negative (driven by fear) to positive (driven by desire).

The concept distinguishes 5 different leadership styles, based on the concern for people and the concern for production:

  1. Impoverished style (Low Production / Low People)
    • Description: A delegate-and-disappear management style. A basically lazy approach.
    • Characteristics: The manager shows a low concern for both people and production. He (or she) avoids to get into trouble. His main concern is not to be held responsible for any mistakes.
    • Results in: Disorganization, dissatisfaction and disharmony due to lack of effective leadership.
  2. Country Club style (Low Production / High People)
    • Description: One-sided, thoughtful attention to the needs of employees.
    • Characteristics: The relationship-oriented manager has a high concern for people, but a low concern for production. He pays much attention to the security and comfort of the employees. He hopes that this will increase performance. He is almost incapable of employing the more punitive, coercive and legitimate powers. This inability results from fear that using such powers could jeopardize relationships with the other team members.
    • Results in: A usually friendly atmosphere, but not necessarily very productive.
  3. Produce or Perish style (High Production / Low People)
    • Description: Authoritarian or compliance leader.
    • Characteristics: The task-oriented manager is autocratic, has a high concern for production, and a low concern for people. He finds employee needs unimportant and simply a means to an end. He provides his employees with money and expects performance back. There is little or no allowance for cooperation or collaboration. He pressures his  employees through rules and punishments to achieve the company goals. Heavily task-oriented people are very strong on schedules. They are intolerant of what they see as dissent (it may just be someone's creativity). This hard style is based on Theory X of Douglas McGregor. It is often applied by companies on the edge of real or perceived failure, such as in Crisis Management.

    • Results in: Whilst high output is achievable in the short term, much will be lost through an inevitable high labor turnover.

  4. Middle-of-the-road style (Medium Production / Medium People).
    • Description: The manager tries to balance between the competing goals of the company and the needs of the workers.
    • Characteristics: The manager gives some concern to both people and production, hoping to achieve acceptable performance. He believes this is the most anyone can do.
    • Results in: Compromises in which neither the production nor the people needs are fully met.
  5. Team style (High Production / High People).
    1. Description: The ultimate. The manager pays high concern to both people and production. Motivation is high.
    2. Characteristics: This soft style is based on the propositions of Theory Y of Douglas McGregor. The manager encourages teamwork and commitment among employees. This style emphasizes making employees feel part of the company-family, and involving them in understanding organizational purpose and determining production needs.
    3. Results in: Team environment based on trust and respect, which leads to high satisfaction and motivation and, as a result, high production.

Also called: Leadership Grid.

Origin of the Managerial Grid. History

While acting as advisors to Exxon, Robert Blake and Jane Mouton concluded that there are many behaviors and motivations in the middle of the X and Y extremes of Douglas McGregor. Blake and Mouton found that a management behavior model with three axes (concern for production, concern for people, motivation) was a more accurate representation of reality.

Usage of the Managerial Grid. Applications

Analyzing or Coaching a manager, in particular regarding relationships skills such as: dealing with critique, initiative, decision-making, conflict resolution, advocacy (expressing opinions, ideas), inquiry (information seeking) and resilience (reacting to problems or failures).

Strengths of the Managerial Grid. Benefits

  • Using the Grid model makes the various leadership styles measurable to a certain extent and allows more than two competing options (X versus Y). Accurate measurement is important, because of the tendency by managers for self-deception and exaggeration. 80% of all people rate themselves as 9.9! Once this is discussed using the grid, this number is reduced to 20%.
  • Using a model makes it easier to openly discuss behavior and improvement actions.

Limitations of the Managerial Grid. Disadvantages

Book: Blake, R. & Mouton, J. (1964) - The Managerial Grid: The Key to Leadership Excellence

Special Interest Group

Management Behavior Special Interest Group.

Special Interest Group
Special Interest Group (1419 members)


Forum discussions about Management Behavior. Below you can ask a question about this topic, share your experiences, report a new development, or explain something.

topic Applying Blake and Mouton’s Managerial Grid
In an article about Blake and Mouton’s model it is described how to put the Managerial Grid successfully into use. The authors identified three steps, which will be outlined below: 1. Leadership St...
topic New Managerial Grid Releases
The article refers to Grid Release 1.0 (1964). Since then the New Leadership Grid Release 5.0 has integrated an extra dimension and 2 new styles, which address situationalism. Best regards, Dr. Arnu...
Comments1 comments
topic Versatile Managers Can Adapt their Managerial Grid Style
Grids and technical explanations of manager styles and characteristics are useful in providing context. Motivation is a much bigger influence than may be obvious. Also, the "versatility" of a given m...
topic The Grid and the Questionnaire with the Grid
In another forum, the one of Spanish, somebody asks for the questionnaire to apply it and to relate it to the grill. There was a shining answer in which it is indicated that it is much more than a sim...
🔥 Interpreting Managerial Grid Scores
An assessment was conducted for someone and i am getting scores 7 on people and 8 on task and when I plot this, it is giving "Team Leader style". But actually this person does not have a team leader ...
topic What are the Most Important Leadership Characteristics?
Recently, Cuddy, Kohut and Neffinger argue that two particular traits or characteristics - Warmth and Strength - are critical in leadership performance. These 2 traits are most influential when we're ...
topic Industry Specific Versions of the Managerial Grid
The grid theory is no doubt relevant, but there should be more research on specific industries such as steel, service industry, etc. Does anyone have more information about sector specific versions o...
Comments1 comments
topic Critics on Managerial Grid
I'm not sure that this grid exist in reality. You will never achieve a good production level with demotivatived persons and vice versa....
topic The Book and Its Content Beyond the Simple Graph
The book is gorgeous. It indicates, in addition, as the leadership styles are generated, the substyles, the style facades. And as a headquarters style brings about diversity of styles in the subordina...

Start a new topic

Start a new topic about Management Behavior

Best Practices

The best, top-rated topics about Management Behavior. Here you will find the most valuable ideas and practical suggestions.

🥇 Grid is an oldie but a goodie
Although Blake's and Mouton's Grid was developed in the 1960's I think it captured the very essence of how to assess managers. Most organisations assess managers against getting the TASK done against...
Comments3 comments

Expert Tips

Advanced insights about Management Behavior. Here you will find professional advices by experts.


Five Types of Conflict Management (Blake and Mouton)

Conflict Management
On the same basis of the attitudes of the manager (concern for production and/or for people), Blake and Mouton (1964) al...

LEADER: Best Practices for Effective Leadership Behavior

Leadership Behavior, Leadership Effectiveness, Leadership Style
Following six short behavioral tips can help you to enhance your leadership efficiency: 1. L - LISTENING: Actively list...

How to Develop your Own Management Philosophy

Leadership/Management Development, Coaching, Mentoring
In an article “When should a leader be directive or empowering? How to develop your own situational theory of leadership...

Recognizing Distressed Managers in Leadership Pipeline Transition

Coaching, Mentoring, Management Development, Leadership Development
Moving from one manager level/phase to the following in the Management / Leadership Pipeline is a difficult task. Freedm...

How to Develop Better Relational Skills?

Human Resources, Leadership
Although it is not necessary to be interested in or skilled at all four dimensions of relational work in order to succee...
Information Sources

Various sources of information regarding Management Behavior. Here you will find powerpoints, videos, news, etc. to use in your own lectures and workshops.


How to Become a Master Manager?

Introduction to Managing People. Know Thyself
This good introduction presentation is about how to be a Master Manager. By J. S. Osland, D. A. Kolb, I. M. Rubin and M....

Managerial Grid

PowerPoint presentation introducing the Managerial Grid....

How to Manage Challenging Situations and Challenging People?

People Management, Conflict Management, Persuasion, Challenging Situations
This presentation is about the management of Conflicts, other challenging situations and about managing challenging peop...

10 Leadership Theories in a Nutshell

Leadership Theories Overview, Leadership Development, Management Development, Leadership Styles, Coaching, Mentoring
This 5-minute video gives a brief overview of 10 theories of leadership, explaining their main differences: 1. The Grea...

Managerial Grid Diagram

Behavioral Leadership Styles
Download and edit this 12manage PowerPoint graphic for limited personal, educational and business use. Republishing in ...

Research Links

Jump to further research sources regarding Management Behavior.













Compare with the Managerial Grid: Theory X Theory Y  |  Intervention Styles  |  Herzberg Two Factor Theory  |  Leadership Styles  |  Leadership Continuum  |  Situational Leadership  |  Bases of Social Power  |  Expectancy Theory  |  Crisis Management  |  Coaching  |  Contingency Theory

Return to Management Hub: Change & Organization  |  Communication & Skills  |  Decision-making & Valuation  |  Human Resources  |  Leadership

More Management Methods, Models and Theory

Special Interest Group

Special Interest Group

Do you know a lot about Management Behavior? Become our SIG Leader and gain worldwide recognition as an expert.

About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us / Cite us | Privacy | Suggestions | Terms of Service
© 2023 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V16.3 - Last updated: 1-10-2023. All names ™ of their owners.

12manage is looking for BA/MBA students. More info.