Use of Consideration and Structure

Consideration (Employee orientation) — Leaders are concerned about the human needs of their employees. They build teamwork, help employees with their problems, and provide psychological support.

Structure (Task orientation) — Leaders believe that they get results by consistently keeping people busy and urging them to produce. There is evidence that leaders who are considerate in their leadership style are higher performers and are more satisfied with their job. As we proceed with the research we will find that consideration and structure are independent of each other, thus they should not be viewed on opposite ends of a continuum. For example, a leader who becomes more considerate does not necessarily mean that she has become less structured.

The Managerial Grid:

 A graphic representation of the two dimensional view of leadership style has been developed by Blake and Monton.They proposed a “Managerial Grid” based on the Leadership Style of the “Concern” for the people and the concern for the production which resemble the model of Ohio State dimensions of initiating structure and dimensions. The following is the diagram which is the visual model of the managerial grid has possible position along each axis creating eighty one different positions in which the leadership style can fall.


Paternalism has at times been equated with leadership styles. Yet most definitions of leadership normally state or imply that one of the actions within leadership is that of influencing. For example, the Indian Army uses the following definition:

 Leadership is influencing people — by providing purpose, direction, and motivation — while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization. A general definition on Leadership styles says a means of getting people to do what you want them to do. It is the means or method to achieve two ends: operating and improving. But there is more to influencing than simply passing along orders. The example you set is just as important as the words you speak. And you set an example — good or bad — with every action you take and word you utter, on or off duty. Through your words and example, you must communicate purpose, direction, and motivation. Quoting an example of Malaysian organization following the Leadership styles.

Malaysia has the highest PDI score, being 104, while Austria has the lowest with 11. And of course, as the story above illustrates, Sweden has a relative low score of 31, while France has a PDI of 68. The USA’s is 40. Note that these scores are relative, not absolute, in that relativism affirms that one culture has no absolute criteria for judging activities of another culture as “low” or “noble”.

 Keeping the above in mind, it seems that some picture paternalistic behavior as almost a barbaric way of getting things accomplished. Yet, leadership is all about getting things done for the organization. And in some situations, a paternalistic style of decision-making might be required; indeed, in some cultures and individuals, it may also be expected by not only those in charge, but also the followers. That is what makes leadership styles quite interesting — they basically run along the same continuum as Hofstede’s PDI, ranging from paternalistic to consultative styles of decision making. This allows a wide range of individual behaviors to be dealt with, ranging from beginners to peak performers. In addition, it accounts for the fact that not everyone is the same.However, when paternalistic or autocratic styles are relied upon too much and the employees are ready and/or willing to react to a more consultative type of leadership style, then it normally becomes quite damaging to the performance of the organization.

As a leader, you need to interact with your followers, peers, seniors, and others; whose support you need in order to accomplish your goals. To gain their support, you must be able to understand and motivate them. To understand and motivate people, you must know human nature. Human nature is the common qualities of all human beings. People behave according to certain principles of human nature.Human needs are an important part of human nature. Values, beliefs, and customs differ from country to country and even within group to group, but in general, all people have a few basic needs. As a leader you must understand these needs because they can be powerful motivators. I have tried to explain the behavioral approaches to leadership through the models envisaged by the famous theorists Maslow, Herzberg, Alderfer, Vroom and others to depict how leadership can be attained and that level of self fulfillment be achieved.

 Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Unlike others researchers in the earlier days of psychology, Abraham Maslow’s based his theory of human needs on creative people who used all their talents, potential, and capabilities (Bootzin, Loftus, Zajonc, Hall, 1983). His methodology differed from most other psychological researchers at the time in that these researchers mainly observed mentally unhealthy people.Maslow (1970) felt that human needs were arranged in a hierarchical order that could be divided into two major groups: basic needs and metaneeds (higher order needs):

Basic Needs are physiological, such as food, water, and sleep; and psychological, such as affection, security, and self-esteem. These basic needs are also called “deficiency needs” because if they are not met by an individual, then that person will strive to make up the deficiency.
Metaneeds or being needs (growth needs). These include justice, goodness, beauty, order, unity, etc. Basic needs normally take priority over these meta needs. For example, a person who lacks food or water will not normally attend to justice or beauty needs.

These needs are normally listed in a hierarchical order in the form of a pyramid to show that the basic needs (Bottom) must be met before the higher order needs:

5. Self-actualization — know exactly who you are, where you are going, and what you want to accomplish. A state of well-being.

4. Esteem — feeling of moving up in world, recognition, few doubts about self.

3. Belongingness and love — belong to a group, close friends to confide with.

2. Safety — feels free from immediate danger.

1. Physiological — food, water, shelter, sex.

Maslow posited that people want and are forever striving to meet various goals. Because the lower level needs are more immediate and urgent, then they come into play as the source and direction of a person’s goal if they are not satisfied.A need higher in the hierarchy will become a motive of behavior as long as the needs below it have been satisfied. Unsatisfied lower needs will dominate unsatisfied higher needs and must be satisfied before the person can climb up the hierarchy.

Knowing where a person is located on the pyramid will aid you in determining effective motivators. For example, motivating a middle-class person (who is in range 4 of the hierarchy) with a certificate will have a far greater impact than using the same motivator to affect a minimum wage person from the ghetto who is desperately struggling to meet the first couple of needs.It should be noted that almost no one stays in one particular hierarchy for an extended period. We constantly strive to move up, while at the same time various forces outside our control try to push us down. Those on top get pushed down for short time periods, i.e., death of a loved-one or an idea that does not work, while those on the bottom get pushed up, i.e., come across a small prize. Our goal as leaders therefore is to help people obtain the skills and knowledge that will push them up the hierarchy on a more permanent basis. People who have their basic needs met become much better workers as they are able to concentrate on fulfilling the visions put forth to them, rather than consistently struggling to make ends meet.

Criticisms and Strengths
Note however, that the above statements may be considered generalizations. Maslow’s theory has often been criticized because we can find exceptions to it, such as the military, police, firefighters, etc. who will risk their safety for the well-being of others or parents who will sacrifice their basic needs for their children. However, there are very few theories that are not flawed in that once we start drilling down to individualistic levels, then the theory or generalization often starts to fall apart.  For example, even Newton’s theory of physics, which later became laws, fell apart once we were able to drill down to the atomic level.

Maslow’s theory remains a classic because rather than looking at psychology as strictly the study of the mentally ill, his theory was based upon healthy persons.  And being one of the first humanistic ones, it has its share of flaws. 

Expansion of the Pyramid

In Maslow’s (1971) later years, he become more interested in the higher order or metaneeds and tried to further distinguish them. Maslow theorized that the ultimate goal of life is self-actualization, which is almost never fully attained but rather is something we try to always strive for.He later theorized that this level does not stop; it goes on to self-transcendence, which carries us to the spiritual level, e.g. Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Dalai Lama, or even poets, such as Robert Frost. Maslow’s self-transcendence level recognizes the human need for ethics, creativity, compassion and spirituality. Without this spiritual or Transegoic sense, we are simply animals or machines.This expansion of the higher order needs is shown here:

 Note that the four meta needs (above the inner pyramid) can be pursued in any order, depending upon a person’s wants or circumstances, as long as the basic needs have all been met:

8. Self-transcendence — a Transegoic  level that emphasizes visionary intuition, altruism, and unity consciousness.
7. Self-actualization — know exactly who you are, where you are going, and what you want to accomplish. A state of well-being.
6. Aesthetic — to do things not simply for the outcome but because it’s the reason you are here on earth — at peace, more curious about the inner workings of all things.
5. Cognitive — to be free of the good opinion of others — learning for learning alone, contribute knowledge.
4. Esteem — feeling of moving up in world, recognition, few doubts about self.
3. Belongingness and love — belong to a group, close friends to confide with.
2. Safety — feel free from immediate danger.
1. Physiological — food, water, shelter, sex.

Note: Transegoic means a higher, psychic, or spiritual state of development. The trans is related to transcendence, while the ego is based on Freud’s work. We go from preEGOic levels to EGOic levels to transEGOic. The EGO in all three terms is used in the Jungian sense of consciousness as opposed to the unconscious. Ego equates with the personality.

Characteristics of self-actualizing people:
Have better perceptions of reality and are comfortable with it.
Accept themselves and their own natures.
Lack of artificiality.
They focus on problems outside themselves and are concerned with basic issues and eternal questions.
They like privacy and tend to be detached.
Rely on their own development and continued growth.
Appreciate the basic pleasures of life (e.g. do not take blessings for granted).
Have a deep feeling of kinship with others.
Are deeply democratic and are not really aware of differences.
Have strong ethical and moral standards.
Are original, inventive, less constricted and fresher than others
Going Beyond Maslow

While the research of Maslow’s theory has undergone limited empirical scrutiny, it still remains quite popular due to its simplicity and being the start of the movement away from a totally behaviorist/reductionist/mechanistic approach to a more humanistic one. In addition, a lot of concerns are directed at his methodology in that he picked a small number of people that he declared self-actualizing and came to the conclusion about self-actualization. However, he understood this and thought of his work as simply a method of pointing the way, rather than being the final say. In addition, he hoped that others would take up the cause and complete what he had begun.

Which brings us to the next models? Other researchers have taken up his cause and furthered refined them, mostly in the area of organizations and work. Herzberg, Alderfer, and McGregor’s research are all closely tied to Maslow’s theory.

Herzberg’s Hygiene and Motivational Factors

Frederick Herzberg was considered one of the most influential management consultants and professors of the modern postwar era. Herzberg was probably best known for his challenging thinking on work and motivation. He was considered both an icon and legend among visionaries such as Abraham Maslow, Peter Drucker, and Douglas MacGregor.

Herzberg (1966) is best known for his list of factors that are based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, except his version is more closely related to the working environment:


Hygiene or Dissatisfiers:

Working conditions
Policies and administrative practices
Salary and Benefits
Job security
Personal life

Motivators or Satisfiers:

Job challenge

 Hygiene or dissatisfiers factors must be present in the job before motivators can be used to stimulate a person. That is, you cannot use motivators until all the hygiene factors are met. Herzberg’s needs are specifically job related and reflect some of the distinct things that people want from their work as opposed to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs which reflect all the needs in a person’s life.

Building on this model, Herzberg coined the term job enrichment — the process of redesigning work in order to build in motivators by increasing both the number of tasks that an employee performs and the control over those tasks. It is associated with the design of jobs and is an extension of job enlargement (an increase in the number of tasks that an employee performs).

McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y

Douglas McGregor (1957) developed a philosophical view of humankind with his Theory X and Theory Y — two opposing perceptions about how people view human behavior at work and organizational life. McGregor felt that organizations and the managers within them followed either one or the other approach:

Theory X

1.      People have an inherent dislike for work and will avoid it whenever possible.

2.      People must be coerced, controlled, directed, or threatened with punishment in order to get them to achieve the organizational objectives.

3.      People prefer to be directed, do not want responsibility, and have little or no ambition.

4.      People seek security above all else.

5.      In an organization with Theory X assumptions, management’s role is to coerce and control employees.

Theory Y

1.      Work is as natural as play and rest.

2.      People will exercise self-direction if they are committed to the objectives (they are NOT lazy).

3.      Commitment to objectives is a function of the rewards associated with their achievement.

4.      People learn to accept and seek responsibility.

5.      Creativity, ingenuity, and imagination are widely distributed among the population. People are capable of using these abilities to solve an organizational problem.

6.      People have potential.

In an organization with Theory Y assumptions, management’s role is to develop the potential in employees and help them to release that potential towards common goals.Theory X is the view that traditional management has taken towards the workforce. Most organizations are now taking the enlightened view of theory Y (even though they might not be very good at it). A boss can be viewed as taking the theory X approach, while a leader takes the theory Y approach.

Notice that Maslow, Herzberg, and McGregor’s theories all tie together:

Herzberg’s theory is a micro version of Maslow’s theory that is focused in the work environment.
McGregor’s Theory X is based on workers caught in the lower levels (1 to 3) of Maslow’s theory due to bad management practices, while his Theory Y is for workers who have gone above level 3 with the help of management.
McGregor’s Theory X is also based on workers caught in Herzberg’s Hygiene Dissatisfiers, while Theory Y is based on workers who are in the Motivators or Satisfiers section.
 Alderfer Existence/Relatedness/Growth (ERG)

Clayton Alderfer (1969) Existence/Relatedness/Growth (ERG) Theory of Needs postulates that there are three groups of needs:

Alderfer ERG theory states that more than one need may be influential at the same time. If the gratification of a higher-level need is frustrated, the desire to satisfy a lower-level need will increase. He identifies this phenomenon as the “frustration & shy aggression dimension.” Its relevance on the job is that even when the upper-level needs are frustrated, the job still provides for the basic physiological needs upon which one would then be focused. If, at that point, something happens to threaten the job, the person’s basic needs are significantly threatened. If there are no factors present to relieve the pressure, the person may become desperate and panicky.Notice that Alderfer ERG theory is built upon Maslow’s, however it does differ. First he collapses it from five needs to three. And unlike Maslow, he did not see these needs as being a hierarchy in which one climbs up, but rather being more of a continuum:While there has not been a lot of research on Alderfer theory, most contemporary theories and related studies tend to give it stronger support than Maslow’s theory.

Vroom’s Expectancy Theory

Vroom’s Expectancy Theory (1964)states that an individual will act in a certain way based on the expectation (belief) that the act will be followed by a given outcome and on the attractiveness of that outcome to the individual. This motivational model has been modified by several people, to include Porter and Lawler (1968). Vroom’s Expectancy Theory is written as a formula:

Valence x Expectancy x Instrumentality = Motivation

Valence (Reward) = the amount of desire for a goal (What is the reward?)

Expectancy (Performance) = the strength of belief that work related effort will result in the completion of the task (How hard will I have to work to reach the goal?)

Instrumentality (Belief) = the belief that the reward will be received once the task is completed (Will they notice the effort I put forth?)

 The product of valence, expectancy, and instrumentality is motivation. It can be thought of as the strength of the drive towards a goal. For example, if an employee wants to move up through the ranks, then promotion has a high valence for that employee. If the employee believes that high performance will result in good reviews, then the employee has a high expectancy. However, if the employee believes the company will not promote from within, then the employee has low instrumentality, and the employee will not be motivated to perform better.


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