The Blake-Mouton Managerial Grid
Leading various projects requires a good leader with a wide range of properties. The properties include knowledge about project management and also how to deal with different types of people. A good project manager is aware of what it takes to reach the milestones of a project and has the ability to get an overview of the resources, time, and economy. It also requires a leader who can communicate with the employees and has a knowledge and understanding for them. Therefore, the type of leadership is an important topic, and identifying the style can contribute to better project management and better project results. As a project leader, it is an advantage to address your own strengths and weaknesses, so you can become a better leader and learn to use the qualities you have. It provides an opportunity to be able to develop your abilities and optimize the competencies. In this context, the article will represent the management tool called "Blake-Mouton Managerial Grid," which is a model developed by Robert R. Blake and Jane Mouton. The tool gives an impression and opportunity for managers to analyze their own leadership styles. The tool's main points will be covered, and a description of how to apply the "Blake-Mouton Managerial Grid" will be included. Moreover, will the advantages and disadvantages of the tool be discussed.
IntroductionThe Blake-Mouton grid is developed in the 1960's (1964)  by two management theoreticians, Robert R. Blake, and Jane S. Mouton.Blake and Mouton used the grid application for the first time in a manufacturing plant of 4,000 employees in 1963. They followed the employees for 12 months, and it turned out to be impressive and great results. The employees managed to develop individually in several areas, such as the behavior patterns, attitudes, and improvement in the team culture. 800 employees were exposed to the six phases grid development program .The six phases grid program was also made by Robert R. Blake, and Jane S. Mouton, in terms of organization development. The Managerial Grid is the first phase in the six-phase development program, which lay emphasis on the organizational and individual aspects by identifying the managerial styles, collaboration, and communications skills. The Blake Mouton grid is a matrix which characterizes five different leadership styles based on a two-behavioral dimensional graph. The Y-axis represents the leader behavior, “Concern for people” and the X-axis. represents the “Concern for results”  .In the context of human concern, there are various leadership qualities that primarily are described as the manager´s interest in the employees´ motivation, well-being and needs, which can provide the work effort / performance. While the other interest for the manager is to complete the project with a focus on the production itself, the results, and the economy.
The two dimensions of leader behavior lead into five different management styles.
- Impoverished Management
- Authority Obedience
- Organization Man Management
- Country Club Management
- Team Management
The improved type of leadership style is an expression of a passive leader. It can be considered as a bad leader but not necessarily, as it is often the organization that has created this leadership type. This may occur when the top leaders of the organization have already decided the strategy. It leaves the leader in a position where the focus is on maintaining and delegating the work tasks. On the other hand, can the "Impoverished style" appear when the freedom to unfold is limited. That makes it difficult for the leader to develop by using his management skills and qualities. Some leaders will use the "Impoverished management" style because they don't want to take responsibility for any mistakes, and they don't want to make many innovative decisions. In general, can it be considered that the project manager is not interested in getting the job done, and either getting created a motivated team. This leadership style is available when you have a highly motivated team working for you, but even then, you should rarely use this style.
Authority Obedience also called Produce or Perish Management, is a leadership style characterized by a strong focus on goals and results. However, the interest in the employee's well-being and motivation is not so big. This management style is a classic one, where the leader uses its power to make the decisions alone, without including the other employees. In brief, the leader expects performance for the employers because the company provides them with money. This can be an advantage under time pressure or if the employees are undisciplined. It won't be easy to keep the high achievement in the long term because of the lack of cooperation between leader and employers. The employee's or organization's needs are ignored, and the main focus is only on the delivery. When to use this style? The leadership style should be used in urgent situations.
Organization Man Management
Organization Man Management is also called Middle-of-the-Road Management. This type of leader tries to maintain the needs of the employers, and at the same time, the leader is trying to reach the goals of the company. This form of Management may look good and balanced, but that is not the whole truth. The never-ending compromise will lead to failure because of the employers' lack of discipline, and the needs of the teams will not be met. The method will lead to an average performance as there is no high performance and the employer's needs are not met fully.
Country Club Management
The Country club leader style is characterized by a leader who focuses on the social between the employees. The well-being and motivation of the employees. This type of leadership believes in the community, and it contributes to better results. Therefore, is an increased commitment and community an advantage for the organization and the team. The employers will probably be happy to work with this type of leader, but there is a risk of they will lose respect for the leader if there occurs a failure of the work delivery. The chance of not achieving good results is big because of the lack of focus on production and results.
This type of leader takes responsibility for the organization's goals and the employees' development, motivation, and well-being. This method of Management has benefits for both leaders and employees. From the employees' point of view, they are allowed to develop and learn from the mistakes they make. The project manager will be busy, but over time it will create some freedom for the manager, as the employees will be self-driving. The most effective leaders are those who are placed in this field and have a score of around 9,9. The team environment will be based on respect and trust, which leads to better collaborative relationships and motivation. The outcome includes a high production and better results. Overall, "Team style management" is desired among small and more significant companies.
How to use the tool
The grid is a two-dimensional Managerial Grid that characters a leader based on a manager's concern for people and the production. The Y-axis in the coordinate system stands for the focus of the employees/ concern for people, and the x-axis stands for the production/ results. Each axis consists of a nine-point scale, where the lowest number means a low concern and the high number indicates a high concern.
The first step is to complete a leadership self-assessment questionnaire based on statements about leadership behavior  . The topic of the leadership questions involves the concern of people and production. After completing the questionnaire, then must the transformation of the answers be included in the scoring section. Here you will find out how many points you have within the two topics. The last step is to plot the final scores on the graph by drawing a vertical line from the score of the x-axis(Production/ Results) and a horizontal line from the score of the y-axis ( People). The two lines will meet, and then you have the point of intersection. The area where the point is located shows which leadership dimension you operate out of. There are pros and cons of using the Blake-Mouton Grid method to define and analyze a leader. The Blake-Mouton grid provides a simple way to understand "Your" leadership style. And that makes it easier to address your weaknesses, so you can develop and become a better leader.
On the other hand, is Blake-Mouton's grid overly simplistic, and the tool has a big focus on the leader and does not pay attention to other factors there may be. James Scouller and others believe that two areas have been partially overlooked:
1. The psychological make-up of the leader.
2. The need to adapt behavior/style methods according to different situations.
We cannot always put the management style in boxes because it depends on the situation you are facing. For example, when major crises arise, the task is necessarily more important than the employer's interests. Due to personality and psychological factors, not all leaders can be described exactly as the leaders in "The Blake-Mouton Grid." People are different, and some are better in the area of "human communication" while others are smarter in areas such as systems, structure, etc. Therefore, is this type of leader analyzes limited, but it can provide a direction and create an overall picture of the leadership style . The best form of leadership is accepted as the position of team management. This may not be practical or indeed advisable. In many industries, concern for the task may be more important than concern for people and vice versa, and it will always depend on which industry you are into. The Managerial Grid is fundamental knowledge that will provide the basic understanding of management, even if the interest in using it is not present.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Blake, R. and Mouton, J. (1985). The Managerial Grid III: The Key to Leadership Excellence. Houston: Gulf Publishing Company.
- ↑ Article (2017). Robert R. Blake, With Recognition of Jane S. Mouton. Retrieved on 10.2.2021 from [https://onlinelibrary-wiley-com.proxy.findit.dtu.dk/doi/full/10.1111/ncmr.12151/
- ↑ Harappa Learning Private Limited.(2020). Managerial Grid Theory of Leadership. Retrieved on 12.2.2021 from [https://harappa.education/harappa-diaries/managerial-grid-theory-of-leadership
- ↑ Managerial grid (Dec 12, 2017).Blake and Mouton’s Managerial Grid. Retrieved on 8.2.2021 from [https://www.iedunote.com/managerial-grid-model-leadership-styles/
- ↑ Toolshero (2020). Managerial Grid. Retrieved on 22.2.2021 from [https://www.toolshero.nl/leiderschap/blake-mouton-managerial-grid/
- ↑ James Scouller's book is called "The Three Levels of Leadership: How to Develop Your Leadership Presence, Know-how and Skill" which was published in May 2011.
- ↑ Managementstudyguide.(2020). Blake and Mouton’s Managerial Grid. Retrieved on 8.2.2021 from [https://www.managementstudyguide.com/blake-mouton-managerial-grid.htm