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Behavioral Theories

Failure of trait theories to differentiate successful leaders from unsuccessful ones on the basis of common traits led to the emergence of behavioral theories. These theories emphasize on what the leaders do rather than who the leader are. The same group of leaders shows different behavior in different situation. Social skills ma be important in one situation while the skill of being decisive and tactful may be important in the other situation.

While dealing with subordinates, leaders adopt style based on leader behavior. These are:

1.    Task-oriented, and
2.    Employee-oriented.

Task-oriented style aims at getting the work done through employees without emphasizing on growth and development of employees.

It defines the extent  to which a leader engages in one-way communication, spells out the group’s roles and tells the group members what to do, where to do , when to do and how to do. It closely supervises the employees’ performance. Leader behavior is defined in ierms of structure, control and supervision.

Employee-oriented styles also aim at completion of the task but leaders show friendly behavior towards the followers and allow them to participate in the decision-making processes. This develops their creative skills and prepares them to grow into potential managers.

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