STYLE OF MANAGEMENT, Theory of personality traits - Management Sociology


As a result of studying the material in this chapter, the student must:


• the content of the basic concepts that analyze the various aspects of the conduct of the leader;

• New theories of management styles that emerged in the late XIX - early XX century;

be able to

• apply the basic concepts of management style concepts for the analysis of specific management situations;

• In the process of leading activities, establish fruitful interpersonal relations with the team, based on empathy, empathy and interest in the life of every employee in subordination;


skills of applying various behavioral strategies in the process of leading activities;

• The methods and methods of the appropriate leadership style for the implementation of effective management impact.

The concept of management style literally can be defined as the handwriting of the leader. The word style originally meant a pivot for letters on a wax board, and later it was used in the sense of an individual, unique manner of behavior aimed at regulating and influencing other people.

In the scientific practice of studying the management style, there are many concepts in which attention is paid to various aspects of the leader's behavior, and depending on which parameter is emphasized, the management style is treated differently.

Theory of personality traits

The first theory within which an attempt was made to scientifically systematize knowledge and interpretations of management style was the concept of personality traits , or the theory of "great people ( trait theory ), which appeared at the end of the 19th century. This concept is based on the understanding that a successful leader is distinguished by a certain set of certain significant characteristics, personal traits.

The roots of this theory go back to ancient times. Thus, the ancient Egyptians deified Pharaoh and, characterizing him, distinguished such features as "imperious utterance" in the mouth, "understanding in the heart," and "tongue is the tomb of justice."

A significant contribution to the characterization of the personality traits of the leader was made by Theophrastus (4th century BC), who in his work "Characteristics" cited the typology of 30 types of character, which are not just a description, but prototypes of various leaders, each of which has its own unique list of features.

Among the early teachings in which the origins of the theory of personality traits can be found, it is also worth noting the concept of Hippocrates (460-377 BC) about four types of character: sanguine, choleric, melancholic and phlegmatic. Confucius (551-479 BC) in describing the ideal ruler emphasized that the sovereign should have high moral qualities, excellent knowledge and all his position be an example of virtue for subordinates. The ruler of Babylon Hammurabi (1793-1750 BC), describing the successful ruler, said that the latter is called upon to rely on three significant variables: what others think of him; what he thinks about himself; what he really is.

Theories of classical management associated with the names of F. Taylor and A. Fayol should be referred to the scientific awareness and study of management style, in particular from the standpoint of personal qualities.

Studying the qualities that a successful administrator, manager or leader should possess, F. Taylor singled out health, common sense, education, experience, intelligence, tact, intelligence, honesty and energy.

A. Fayol spoke about six main functions of the manager: technical, commercial, financial, insurance, accounting and administrative. In the latter, the scientist saw a dominant, basic role. The executor of this function is the main person, without which the full existence of any organization is impossible. According to the researcher, an effective administrator should have the following set of qualities and knowledge: physical (health, strength and dexterity); mental (intelligence, easy assimilation, judiciousness, strength and flexibility of the mind); moral (energy, steadfastness, consciousness of responsibility, initiative, sense of duty, tact, sense of dignity). To this A. Fayol added a general development (a stock of various information not exclusively related to the scope of the function being performed); Special knowledge characterizing the possibility of performing one of the functions; a lot of experience (knowledge arising from practice, reflections on lessons learned personally from real events).

F. Taylor and A. Fayol considered the management of the enterprise from different positions. If the worker took the first for the unit of consideration, i.e. built his theory "from below", the second, on the contrary, "on top", highlighting the administrator as a significant figure. At the same time, defining the circle of features inherent in a successful leader, you can find many similarities in their work.

During the period of domination of the classical stage of the theory of management, the basis for further in-depth and comprehensive study of the management style phenomenon from the standpoint of personality traits was laid, which dominated and was in the active phase of development until the 1950s. During the period under review, many works were presented in which an attempt was made to identify the most significant qualities describing the "ideal" leader. In these works were presented more than 100 different traits, which should have the head. Classification of the features proposed by the researchers allows us to identify eight possible clusters of qualities inherent in an effective leader.

The first cluster characterizes the acmeological features, ie. such features that show a high level of development of abilities and professionalism: the subordination of all forces to the working process, a persistent desire to achieve the goals set, the ability to fast, decisive action, foresight, the desire to be responsible, professional achievements, self-discipline, competence, initiative, independence. B. Nanus, who believed that the basic principles of the phenomenon of effective leadership should become these traits, or, as the researcher calls them, "megonauts", believed that a successful leader should always look for possible perspectives and threats, asking questions "what if?" ; "why not?", "so what exactly?", constantly diagnose and build forecasts of the future. In addition, the leader must show initiative, act decisively and firmly, showing an example to his subordinates.

Pointing out the importance of professionally significant qualities of a leader, one can not fail to point out the determination, ability and desire to achieve the goals. D. Gardener (1912-2002) noted that no person who knew or knows any leaders personally or read many different works about them can not but note the obvious evidence of their internal driving force to achieve the goals.

The second cluster represents functional features that enable managers to implement a management mechanism: the ability to formulate tasks, the ability to stimulate employees, the ability to manage, the desire to have power, the understanding of the needs and desires of subordinates, the ability to build an organization, the desire for authoritarianism. This type of executives can manage the entire organization, have an absolute understanding about it: to be aware of the mission, the environment in which it operates; solve current routine tasks, formulate goals, point to priority issues, limit the range of necessary actions, delegate authority if necessary. Successful managers tend to recognize their own mistakes. M. McCall and M. Lombardo noted that heads of departments and entire enterprises that succeed in managing people are able to honestly admit when they were not right with respect to their subordinates, misdirected tasks or any other issues.


Social traits, i.e. features of the head, which are manifested in his interaction with other people (subordinates), make up the third cluster. The most important quality of this type of leader is trust, high communication skills, ability to communicate, sociability, social activity, friendliness, responsiveness, ability/desire to accept, etc. B. Nanus, describing the personality of a successful person in the status . & quot ;, leader stressed that in a complex, rapidly changing world in which systems are often interdependent, Head must be able and know how to develop joint cooperation, and not to give rise to a competitive environment. In other words, the main task of the leader is to unite the team, creating a favorable environment for joint problem solving.

The fourth cluster of features of an effective leader is a psychological trait, describing temperament, character or inclination, which include empathy, neuroticism, extraversion, emotional stability, the ability to change, adaptability, flexibility, poise and self-control, spontaneity and standardization, universality and specialization, the ability to weigh the situation and settle differences. This cluster as a cluster of social traits is one of the most significant; it draws the attention of both researchers and practitioners.

If the leader is emotionally stable, open to colleagues and subordinates, energetic, having a positive emotional attitude, then the collective will be just as sociable and friendly. In such an atmosphere with the appropriate attitude, the tasks will be more qualitatively and quickly resolved.

At the same time, various kinds of circumstances can make their own adjustments to the overall mood of the organization: short deadlines for assignments, the appearance of new employees, an economically unstable situation, etc. - all this can lead to general nervousness and instability of the working atmosphere, and, as consequence, to failures in the decision of tasks in view.

The task of the manager is to vary his behavior in such a way that the situation in the team remains as stable as possible. E. Bogardus (1882-1973) in the management balance theory believed that an effective leader needed to have five groups of personality traits, each of which must be in balance with its antithesis: aggressiveness and deterrence; spontaneity and standardization; discernment and concentration; universality and specialization; optimism and pessimism. The researcher focused on the importance of the balance between universality and specialization.

The fifth cluster is an intellectual trait, describing the mental activity of the leader: the level of general cultural training, lively, agile mind, the ability to reason, the breadth of thinking, the ability to analyze, insight. M. DePri believed that the manager should not only have a high intellectual level, but also intellectual energy. The complexity of modern life has transformed decision making into a learning and discovery process that requires great intellectual energy of the leader. It is impossible to make a good decision without a thorough and detailed study of the nature of the matter. And in some cases it is the subordinates who can help the immediate supervisor find important details. Attracting them, the head latently reveals their potential. When the subordinates are given the opportunity to make every effort, they greatly facilitate the work of the leader, who at the same time, can learn a lot from them. "

The sixth cluster represents the strong-willed qualities that characterize the leader as a person capable of performing outstanding actions, having a firm and determined character, self-confident and self-reliant, courage, assertiveness, self-control, energy, independence and aggressiveness.

This type of leader not only sets the emotional mood in the team, but also shows an example of how to behave. This is why the leader must be brave in overcoming the difficulties and complications arising in his path that can not become an obstacle for him in achieving his ultimate goal. At any time be ready to take risks and experiment, achieving new goals, all the time to conduct in the team; be able to risk not in a single case, but again and again, when this is required, as long as problems continue to exist; experience defeat and continue to move forward.

A great deal of attention was given to volitional qualities by a group of scientists of the Bekhterev Psychoneurological Institute, who substantiated the theory of the "personal differential". The purpose of developing this concept was to create a tool for studying certain personality traits that would characterize it as an effective leader. As the main factors, evaluation, strength and activity were determined. Each of these parameters had different features that were located on the continuum of the antithesis. Those features that were relevant to the assessment and which the supervisor must possess were indicated positively (the score was "+"). The features that the leader should not possess were denoted, respectively, negatively (the score was "-"). In the group of factors force special attention was paid to the individual characteristics of the leader. Positive characteristics of the latter when assessing the activity indicate his self-confidence, independence, the propensity to rely on one's own strength in difficult situations, a high level of self-control, the ability to stick to the accepted line of behavior, independence from external circumstances and assessments.

The seventh cluster consists of the so-called innate qualities, that set the tone for leadership: kindness, decency, honesty, justice, impulsiveness, charm, optimism, pessimism, sense of humor, positive attitude to life, conscientiousness, openness, commitment, ambition, curiosity. E. Bogardus argued that effective management requires a balanced integration of optimism and pessimism. To become a leader, a person must have a pulsating artery of optimism balanced by a vein of pessimism. M. DePri emphasizes that there are different situations in which the manager always has to show a slight sense of humor. Effective leaders always feel when and to what extent this is necessary.

The last, eighth cluster of personality traits are the so-called axiological features, characterizing the attitude of the leader to different values: self-realization, respect for the future and the present and comfortable existence (E. Giseli ). Describing the "respect for the future and the present", M. DePri pointed out that such leaders constantly act in the situation between the present and the future. The future requires humility in the face of all that we can not control, and the present requires attention to all people for whom the leader is responsible. Only an effective leader can comfortably exist in conditions of uncertainty.

Summing up the results of the above searches, we can say that the theory of great people or personal traits existed for about half a century, until the middle of the 20th century. However, R. Stogdill's research questioned the effectiveness of these concepts. In the work of "Personal traits characterizing the leader: a review of the research the scientist found out: the theory of personality traits does not contain statistically significant results confirming that character traits predetermine effective leadership, for, indeed, the conclusions were declarative.

Critics also noted that the theory of personality traits is metaphysical in its basis, because it views leadership as an isolated phenomenon. In their opinion, different social epochs, social classes and social groups require managers with different qualities. Some qualities are required for the leader of the church choir, others for the head of the scientific team, third for the head of the charitable foundation, and fourth for the head of the business organization. Thus, it is necessary to identify the leader's features not in isolation from social conditions, but in connection with them.

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