Consideration behaviour involves being concerned about subordinates’ feelings and respecting their ideas. The leader-subordinate relationship is characterized by mutual trust, respect and two-way communication.
Initiating-structure behaviour involves clearly defining the leader-subordinates roles so that subordinates know what is expected of them. The channels of communication and the methods for accomplishing the tasks are determined by the leader.
These two are independent dimensions of leadership behaviour and are not on the same continuum.
Some studies on these two dimensions of leadership behaviour were conducted in the school setting. These studies dealt with the perceptions of teachers as compared with the rated effectiveness of the principals as seen by their superintendents. Halpin (1966) revised the definitions of these two dimensions on the basis of these studies as follows:
(i) Initiating-structure refers to the leader’s” behaviour in delineating the relationship between himself and the members of his workgroup, and in endeavoring to establish well-defined patterns of organization, channels of communication, and methods of procedure.
(ii) Consideration refers to behaviour indicative of friendship, mutual trust, respect and warmth in the relationship between the leader and the members of his staff.
However, it cannot be ascertained as to what proportion of the two dimensions will make the best mix for leadership. In one study of 50 schools, superintendents differed considerably from ideal behaviour for superintendents as pictured by the superintendent himself, the staff and the board of education.
(b) The Michigan Studies:
These studies were aimed at determining the patterns of leadership behaviours that lead to effective group performance. The researchers identified high and low-productivity groups on the basis of which they came out with two basic forms of leader behaviour, viz. job-centred and employee-centred behaviours.
The job-centred leadership behaviour involves paying close attention to the work of subordinates, explaining work procedures and demonstrating a strong interest in performance.
Employee-centred leadership behaviour involves attempting to build effective work groups with high performance goals.
These two aspects of leader behaviour were assumed to be on two ends of a single continuum.
(c) The Leadership Grid:
This framework was aimed at evaluating leader behaviour along two dimensions: (i) concern for production and (ii) concern for people.
A manager’s concern for production is rated on a nine-point scale, where 1 indicates low concern and 9 represents high concern. A manager with high concern for production is task-oriented and his basic emphasis is on getting results.
The concern for people is also rated on a nine-point scale with 1 for low and 9 for high. A manager who has high concern for people avoids conflict and strives for friendly relations with subordinates.
These two dimensions form a 9 x 9 grid which identifies a wide range of possible leadership behaviour. The grid suggests that effective leadership styles include high level of both the behaviours.
However, all the three branches of leadership behaviour were unable to identify universal leadership behaviour and follower-response patterns and relationships.