RENSIS LIKERT'S 4 MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

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After researching the patterns and management styles in more than 200 organization in the 1960s, American psychologist Rensis Likert and his colleagues at the University of Michigan developed four models of management that he named management systems.

Accordingly, Likert developed four leadership styles numbered from system 1 to system 4.

1. System 1: This indicates exploitative authoritarian leadership. 

In this system, the managers/ leaders are very autocratic. They decide the goals of the organization and best means of achieving unilaterally.

Exploitative authoritarian managers makes all work-related decisions on their own.

They have no confidence in subordinates, and as a result, subordinates have little or no decision-making responsibilities.

Exploitative authoritarian managers use threats or punishment to get things done in the organization. That is, they instill the fear of threats and punishment in the minds of subordinates.

Exploitative authoritarian managers do not considered the human elements of an organization. Rather, they focus more on the completion of tasks in the organization. 

Communication in exploitative authoritarian leadership is usually top-down as subordinates feedback were not considered.

2. System 2: This indicates benevolent authoritative management style. 

Benevolent authoritarian management is a situation when a manager using authoritative leadership style while still having concerned for the employees or subordinates.

Here, the manager still issues orders but subordinates are given some freedom to complete the assignment while adhering to clearly laid out limits and procedures.

Under benevolent authoritarian leadership, the manager exercises autocratic power, but not to the same extent as exploitative authoritarian managers. 

Unlike exploitative authoritarian leaders, benevolent authoritarian managers have some trust in their subordinates.

Two-way communication exists in benevolent authoritarian management style, although, upward communication is only limited to positive feedback. 

That is, benevolent authoritarian manager do not allow any form of negative feedback or communication from subordinates 

3. System 3:This denotes a consultative leadership style, where the manager establishes objectives and delivers broad directives following consultation with subordinates.

A consultative management style does not imply that the subordinate makes all decisions.

It actually means that the manager makes all significant decisions, while employees are free to make work-related decisions like how to complete tasks.

Therefore, in consultative leadership, the manager will still have the last say in major decisions, even while subordinates will have more freedom to do carry out meaningful tasks for the company.

Consultative leadership style encourages two way communication among seniors and subordinates as the subordinates are free to discuss problems with their superiors.

Consultative leaders use rewards, rather than threats of punishment to motivate subordinates and a consultative leader usually have trust and confidence in his subordinates.

4. System 4: This indicates a participative management style and is widely regarded as the most favored or preferred management style.

A participative leadership style is one where the leader and group member is involved in goal-setting and decision-making. 

The participative manager/leader actively involves his subordinates in the organization's decision-making process and has complete confidence in them.

Participative manager usually use reward power to motivate subordinates. 

Participative leadership encourages friendly and cordial interaction between managers and subordinates.

Also, both vertical and horizontal communication are encouraged in participative leadership.

READ ALSO: 3 LEADERSHIP STYLE

Conclusion

Rensis Likert noted that system 1 tends to have low productivity because it encourages pressure-oriented, punitive management, which lowers workers' productivity.

Likert concluded that since system 4 tends to increase organizational productive, it is the most effective management style.

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