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Ohio State Studies

 

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Research | Action | Discussion | See also

 

Research

A famous series of studies on leadership were done in Ohio State University, starting in the 1950s. They found two critical characteristics either of which could be high or low and were independent of one another.

The research was base on questionnaires to leaders and subordinates. These are known as the Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (LDBQ) and the Supervisor Behavior Description Questionnaire (SDBQ). By 1962, the LDBQ was on version XII.

Actions

Consideration

Consideration is the degree to which a leader acts in a friendly and supportive manner towards his or her subordinates.

Initiating Structure

This is the degree to which a leader defines and structures his or her role and the roles of the subordinates towards achieving the goals of the group.

Discussion

Although an early study, this is still often referenced. It is notable that the two factors correlate with the people-task division that appears in other studies and also as preferences (although the preference scale generally assumes an either-or structure rather than two independent scales).

Consideration is the people-orientation and Initiating Structure is the task orientation.

The Ohio State studies were conducted around the same time as the Michigan Leadership Studies, which also identified as critical the focus on task and people.

See also

Task vs. Person preference, Michigan Leadership Studies

 

Fleishman, E. (1953). The description of supervisory behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 37, 1–6. doi:10.1037/h0056314

Halpin, A.W. and Winer, B.J. (1957). A factorial study of the leader behavior descriptions. In R.M. Stogdill and A.E. Coons (eds), Leader behavior: Its description and measurement. Columbus, OH: Bureau of Buisness Research, Ohio State University

Stodgill, R.M., Goode, O.S. and Day, D.R. (1962). New leader behavior description subscales. Journal of Psychology, 54, 259-269

 

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