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This chapter is from the book

Task Skills and People Skills

After the Second World War, the researchers who had done this work in Germany, America, and Britain went into industry or back into university psychology departments. What emerged were some now classically quoted cases, such as the work at Westinghouse and the Ohio State studies. Scientists reported that the behavior of leaders could be categorized on a map. The leader's behavior was composed of two main aspects: concern for the task and concern for the people who did the task.

There followed a series of debates about whether effective leaders were chiefly concerned with the task or the people. Eventually, it was identified that the situation the leader was trying to handle was the key determinant in the style and behavior that the leader should adopt. How then to identify the situation?

One very popular method—situational leadership—described the development of the follower. The follower who knew very little on entry into the organization would need clear structure and instructions to do a good job. The leader would take full responsibility for the task, and would need to give clear instruction to the follower so that the follower could achieve useful output.

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