Theme 2



Theme 2 – Most effective leadership style to managing the work of subordinates

Management and Leadership

Leadership is the way of affecting people to recognize and accept about what necessitates the need to achieve and how to prepare it (Yukl, 2012). In addition, leadership is also the way of developing individual and organization efforts to achieve assigned objectives (Yukl, 2012). Management is making work achieved through the efforts of various people (Mullins, 2013). The similarities and differences between management and leadership according to Buckingham (2005) illustrate that great leaders realize that which is common and use to it. Their task is getting the members going to a good prospect. The managers are to change members’ unique expertise into performance.

Let’s go back to the questions “Which personal style should managers adopt to ensure success? “and “What is the most effective approach to managing the work of subordinates?” This blog will discuss these two questions through two models, The Blake-Mouton Managerial Grid and McGregor’s XY Theory.

The Blake-Mouton Managerial Grid model emphasizes the greatest leadership style to performance, according to the attention of people and tasks (Hersey and Blanchard, 1982).

People-oriented leadership style. Managers, focus on creating, sustaining, and promoting the team members. This participatory style fosters effective group work and innovative collaboration (Mind Tools, nd).

Task/Production-oriented leadership style. Managers, focus on fishing the business. Manager presents the tasks and the roles needed, set arrangements in position, and plan, coordinate, and control performance (Mind Tools, nd).

Base on the plan, the greatest leadership style to adopt is paying attention to both sides, rather than attempting to offset one against another.


In the case that written by Marcus Buckingham (2005), illustrating that a great manager understands and appreciate the unparalleled strengths and also the peculiarities of their subordinates, and they determine how beneficial to combine them into a coordinated program of intervention. For instance, Michelle is a smartly great manager when she works out the situation with her employee Jeffrey. She knows that how to use the unique strength of the employees, focusing on it and developing the personal advantages. The result is notable; Michelle noticed both increases in sales, profit and achieves the most demanding fulfillment metric, customer satisfaction. In the following several months, her store made excellent records in Walgreens’ mystery shopper program. Michelle not only focuses on the task- oriented but also the people- oriented.


The other academic theory is McGregor’s XY Theory. McGregor’s XY Theory shows in what way a manager’s perceptions of what drives the team members influences the direction he or she performs (Kopelman, Prottas and Davis, 2008). Through recognizing how the opinions about subordinates’ motivation can affect the management style, manager can modify the method properly in order to manage people more efficiently (Kopelman,Prottas and Davis, 2008).

The management style is completely affected by the views and assumptions from the factors that drive members of the group. For example, if the team members avoid their work and responsibilities, the managers are going to choose an authoritarian style of management. However, if the members done a good job, managers will assume a more participative style.

Theory X shows that employees are typically unmotivated and dislikes work (Mind Tools, nd), and this boosts the authoritarian style of management. This lead to the management need actively occur to make work finished, and managers need at each step to managing workers. However, Theory Y presents a participative style of management that is dispersible. It indicates that members are taking responsibility and are motivated to accomplish the purposes of the industry, self-motivated and productive, and enjoy the work with comprehensive responsibility (Mind Tools, nd). This participative management style is broadly accepted. For instance, GOOGLE illustrates the theory Y very well; the innovation and creativity of the company can flourish (Jensen, 2011). This allows their employees deal with issues efficiently and the reason is stimulated ideas for the management of the organization. When employees undergo the freedom for innovation and creativity that because of participative management, it assists to build a motivating atmosphere.

To sum up, the most effective approach to managing the work of subordinates is by using relative management style depends on different members and situations. Like Blake-Mouton Managerial Grid emphasis the way of management style, people-oriented and the task-oriented. McGregor’s XY Theory also illustrate that the management style base on the personalities of employees, participative style or authoritarian style.

Reference List

Buckingham (2005). What Great Managers Do [Online] available at[20th March 2014]


Hersey and Blanchard (1982). Leadership style: Attitudes and Behaviors. Training and Development Journal. 36 (5), 50-52.


Jensen (2011). Motivating Employees With Participative Management [Online] available at [20th March 2014]


Mind Tools (nd). Theory X and Theory Y, Understanding Team Member Motivation [Online] available at [19th Mar 2014]


Mullins (2013). Management and Organisational Behaviour. 10th ed. United Kingdom: FT Publishing International


Yukl (2012). Leadership in Organizations. 8th ed. United Kingdom: Prentice Hall




4 thoughts on “Theme 2

  1. Very nice that you explain the effective leadership with Blake-Mouton Managerial Grid and McGregor’s XY Theory.

    It gave me a new vision of leadership.

  2. Hey Karen! Despite of theoretical knowledge on Blake-Mouton’s managerial grid theory for motivation, do you personally believe the way he formulates these motivational policies?

    • Hi, thank you for your comment.
      of course I believe that. It is a practical and useful model that make me think about the leadership style. I can say it is usually correct according to my researches , and it follows the model of Theories X and Y, that’s seems really nice.

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