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Managerial development through self and group evaluation of managerial style
Yehuda Baruch and Ronnie Lessem
City University Business School, London, UK
During this century we have been faced with substantive developments in leadership and managerial theory. Beginning with “Trait theory”, a huge step forward was taken when contingency theory was proposed, suggesting that different kinds of leadership and management would be more or less effective in different situations. Fiedler’s works[1,2], through his contingency framework, related to the leader or manager as a person who is either “people oriented” or “task oriented”. Blake and Mouton[3,4] suggested that a person can possess the two dimensions (task and people orientation) orthogonally as manifested through the “managerial grid” approach. Another important contingencybased approach to assessing the best fit between the leader/manager and the group was developed by Hersey and Blanchard[5,6]. This approach correlated a group’s maturity, or readiness to perform, with the stage in the life cycle of the group where the leader performed. All of those orientations, though, covered only two dimensions, whereas people, work and life situations are much more complicated. The idea of transactional versus transformational leadership, moreover, emerged in the 1980s. Again, two types of managerial/leadership characteristics were added to the analysis and development of leadership and management styles[7,8]. Management styles The spectral management type inventory (SMTI) approach leads to eight different kinds of management style. The selection of eight dimensions emerges from the spectral theory of personality by Kingsland, later developed by Lessem[10-12]. It is based on three characteristics of a person: cognitive (C), affective (A), and behavioural (B). These characteristics or three aspects of a human being were similarly proposed by philosopher Rudolf Steiner  at the beginning of the twentieth century. He maintained that thinking (T), feeling (F), and willing or doing (W) form the basis for personal functioning. Sometimes a component is dominant and is represented by an upper case letter A, B or C; sometimes it is recessive and is represented by a lower case a, b or c. Thus an eight-category model emerges; each one of these management types is associated with a particular colour, selected from the colour spectrum, for ease of reference. q Innovative manager CAB violet q Developmental manager CAb indigo
Journal of Management Development, Vol. 14 No. 1, 1995, pp. 34-39. © MCB University Press, 0262-1711
directed at measuring these components in managers. and as learners they are inherently methodical. able to create something out of seemingly nothing. purposeful and deliberative in their approach. q Managerial development 35 The innovator (violet) Truly innovative managers are total originals. Enterprising manager (green) Enterprising managers exploit new markets. Analytical manager (blue) The analytical manager is the archetypal executive. In team situations they are natural facilitators. objective and honest in their dealings. He or she fits comfortably into “role” or functionally based organizations where bureaucracy. in markets or environments – where others might either suppress or counteract them. more akin to that of enabler rather than fixer. For the truly developmental manager is able to recognize and harness the forces of diversity – in people or products. and as learners they like to harmonize.Analytical manager CaB blue q Enterprising manager cAB green q Manager of change Cab yellow q People manager cAb orange q Action manager caB red q Adoptive manager cab grey In this article we shall present findings that emerge from an analysis of responses to a questionnaire based on the SMTI. in either its negative or positive sense. If not jungle fighters they are certainly gamesmen and women who love a good scrap. Developmental (indigo) Developmental managers may have a balancing role. In teams they are natural organizers. people and situations. and generally enjoy the rough and tumble of business life. They are a force of law and order in their organizations and progress through the managerial hierarchy along conventional promotional lines. prevails. that is essentially developmental in nature. Such individuals will be creative learners and while in a group will emerge as inspired team members. that is to integrate diverse concepts. Impersonal. Co-operation and interdependence is second nature to these managers. which is projected onto others by a powerful and visually expressive imagination. What are these types in practice? Below are descriptions of the main characteristics for each of the eight. . such managers prefer certainty to uncertainty and well-laid plans to devious manoeuvres. recognize and grasp new business opportunities. They are propelled forward by an inner compulsion. They are inventors and visionaries. The questionnaire was recently tested successfully for its reliability and validity.
can be at a premium. and as learners they respond to an emotional charge. As team members they are inclined to take a lead. larger than life characters. They can be ruthless and unscrupulous but also fun loving. such a “red” management orientation is often called for. and as a learner is inclined to be immediately reactive to people and situations. and faith in the company or the creed. As team members they serve as proverbial networkers. . The ability to act fast. unlike the more detached “personnel manager”. They characteristically emerge from the salesforce or from the shop floor. money or status. apprenticeship schemes abound. As such. that is to initiate. As team members such people are reflective in their orientation and as learners imitative in their approach. linking people together within and without. where the expression “work hard. especially if it involves some personal and financial risk. this manager is able to carry out required tasks with a degree of persistence and precision. within a particular organization. for the sake of professional stimulus rather than. in charge of a profit centre or heading up a new venture. In cultures where such a people orientation is a prerequisite for advancement. are naturally gregarious. necessarily. and as learners their orientation is experimental.1 36 and respond immediately to a challenge. thereby needing to be energized to learn. Such managers need to work in a mentally stimulating environment. In a production or distribution context. and as a learner this individual responds to “warm” people and non-threatening situations. sociable and warm. As a result they are often job hoppers.Journal of Management Development 14. As a team member such a person is your proverbial doer. where action speaks louder than words. that he or she has minimal individual identity. for this person has such humility. The adopter-manager immerses him or herself in the surrounding group and culture completely. rather than through the graduate management ranks. In teams such a person is a natural animator. People manager (orange) People managers. Action manager (red) Action management is at a premium in very fast moving industries. Manager of change (yellow) Such a manager of change is characteristically intellectual rather than primarily emotional or practical. and will seek professional advancement rather than promotion. and to enact situations. They are at home in the salesforce. at least primarily. typified by Eastern cultures. play hard” has become commonplace. Adopter-manager (grey) Our last manager is virtually non existent in western Europe and North America.
76.Method This article presents the results of a managerial workshop which was carried out using the SMTI self-assessment questionnaire. For every participant the average of the scores was calculated for each of the eight styles. The second questionnaire used in the workshop was based on the same dimensions. whereas according to random choice it would be 2.7). The changes required closer teamwork of the top management team.3) evaluations for each participant. and altogether we had 16.1. where the individual self-perception matched the group evaluation of the SMTI. albeit the small size of the sample. 24 responded to this. These people work together and are very well acquainted with each other.2 (SD 3.000 people). Results All of the participants filled in the SMTI self-perception questionnaire. In the first case the person received feedback on his or her stronger areas of comparative strength and relative weakness. Discussion What is the contribution of such an exercise to managerial development? How could these managers be developed by such an experience? In order to answer these questions we need to realize that two cases could be applied: (1) A case of congruence. The results were as shown in Table I. and then another form for them to evaluate their peers on the same dimensions. The workshop programme was part of a management development programme which the company believed to be essential in a stage of overcoming changes and re-structuring. Since each could relate to most of the peers (average 22. Altogether significant positive correlations were found for all of the eight types. asking all the participants to evaluate their peers on these scales. The average difference was 1. All took part in a scheme where the SMTI approach was introduced and explained in detail. The participants were asked to fill in the SMTI questionnaire. At this stage the order of the scores was determined and compared with the order of the self-perception for each participant. The results of these two tests indicate a high connection between the self and the group perception of the individuals. SD 6. (2) Where there was no such match. Then a non-parametric Spearman rank correlation was calculated for this sample between the two series of order.6. out of the 31. The participants The participants were all 31 top managers in one large UK industrial corporation (employing about 5. As for the peers’ evaluation. He or she was able to acknowledge Managerial development 37 . They felt they needed to find a way to develop further self and group awareness and create opportunities for development for the team members.
40 0. This encouraged open discussion.36 Significance 0.30 0. Results of Spearman rank correlation Grey what were their best qualities as well as what they need to develop further. In the workshop there was an open discussion of the results. it may be that the person is better fitted to another kind of role.49 0.55 0. An example would be a person who comes out as a “green” entrepreneurial type. in this case the people surrounding him or her. It could be due to their genuinely different perspectives.01 0.05 Table I. Emerging out of this was. The other kind of important feedback is when there is no fit between the individual and the group perceptions. for individuals and groups.01 0. Such feedback may stimulate people to work on their less developed attributes.1 38 Participant Violet Indigo Blue Green Yellow Orange Red Correlation 0.05 0. As Cabarro and Kotter have pointed out. Such cases were identified in the group under the study. Altogether the workshop led to an improvement in the teamwork of these managers.05 0.01 0. has been widely recognized in the literature. This kind of feedback created deeper understanding and insight. In this case it does not matter that much who is “right” – the group or the individual (actually there is no room for this question since no definite answer could be provided). What matters is the fact that people working with a person see him or her in a different light. The importance of congruence between a person and his or her environment. a process of mutual recognition.01 0.46 0. Proper use of the SMTI approach can facilitate better self awareness and group understanding.Journal of Management Development 14. The conditions needed to .05 0.33 0. including cases of noncongruence. knowing your fellow worker better (the manager in their case) will increase personal and organizational effectiveness. This meant that everyone shared their self-perceptions and group evaluations of the SMTI for each participant. located in production.30 0. or that the individual uses a “mask” to hide his or her own true nature. Future opportunities What is the possible contribution of the SMTI approach in managerial development and practice? It is commonly accepted that people should know themselves and understand their colleagues in order to establish a good working environment. perhaps in sales.
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