MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP
Factors Affecting Leadership Style
Three factors or variables, have a major impact on the choice of leadership style. These are:
1. Theory X or Theory Y Management Philosophy;
2. The followers’ readiness level;
3. The situation faced by the supervisor.
Theory X and Theory Y Management Philosophy
A supervisor’s management philosophy is basically determined by his or her assumptions about the nature of people. Whether they are aware of it or not, most supervisors have a philosophy that influences their style in working with and through people. This philosophy is affected by several factors. Three critical factors interact or influence a supervisor’s view of the nature of people and consequently shape his/her philosophy:
The supervisor’s family and early school environment;
The supervisor’s experience and training in the area of leadership;
The supervisor’s present work environment, including the type of work and the general management system.
One of the most widely publicized approaches to the study of management philosophy is Douglas McGregor’s concept of Theory X and Theory Y. On the basis of his consulting and research work in industry, McGregor outlined two contrasting sets of assumptions about the nature of people. A manager’s leadership style is influenced by the set of assumptions to which he/she subscribes.
Following are the most significant assumptions of Theory X:
1. The average human being has an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it if possible.
2. Because of this human characteristic –dislike of work- most people must be coerced, controlled, directed, or threatened with punishment to get them to put forth adequate effort toward the achievement of organisational objectives.
3. The average human being prefers to be directed, wishes to avoid responsibility, has relatively little ambition, and, above all, seeks security.