The Blake Mouton Managerial Grid

The Managerial Grid developed by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton focuses on task (production) and employee (people) orientations of managers, as well as combinations of concerns between the two extremes.

Some leaders are very task-oriented; they simply want to get things done. Others are very people oriented; they want people to be happy. And others are a combination of the two. If you prefer to lead by setting and enforcing tight schedules, you tend to be more production-oriented (or task-oriented). If you make people your priority and try to accommodate employee needs, then you are more people-oriented.

Neither preference is right or wrong, just as no one type of leadership style is best for all situations. However, it is useful to understand what your natural leadership tendencies are, so that you can then work on developing skills that you might be missing.

The Blake Mouton Managerial Grid is practical and useful framework that helps you think about your leadership style. It plots the degree of task-centeredness versus person-centeredness and identifies five combinations as distinct leadership styles.

By plotting ‘concern for production’ against ‘concern for people’, the grid highlights how placing too much emphasis in one area at the expense of the other leads to low overall productivity.

The model proposes that when both people and production concerns are high, employee engagement and productivity increases accordingly. This is often true, and it follows the ideas of Theories X and Y, and other participative management theories.

Blake and Mouton identified two fundamental drivers of managerial behavior: the concern for getting the job done, and the concern for people doing the work.

In order to provide a framework for describing management behaviors, the two variables of “concern for production” and “concern for people” were plotted on a grid showing nine degrees of concern for each, from 1 indicating a low level of concern, to 9 indicating a high level of concern. Five positions on the grid represent five differing managerial behavior patterns.


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