Ohio State Model

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Ohio State Model

Intelligent. Energetic. Influencer. These are the common traits we associate with a Leader, but what exactly are leaders doing that make them so aspirational? I recently deep dived into learning about leadership styles. We have all heard about the bureaucratic, autocratic, free-rein and democratic style of leadership but this article will also highlight more models.

Ohio State Model

Early studies developed at Ohio State University indicate that the initiation of structure (task orientation) and consideration (people orientation) by the leader are two behaviour patterns that are consistently found in the study of leadership.

Many other theories supported this analogy, including the leadership grid developed by Robert Blake and Anne McCanse is a trademarked classification scheme. It was adapted from earlier work (the managerial grid) by Blake and Jane Mouton. Concern for production is on the horizontal (x) axis, and concern for people is on the vertical (y) axis.

Research conducted at the University of Michigan also concluded that the most effective leaders were employee-centered. They set high goals and manifested supportive behaviour.

Situational Theory

According to the situational leadership theory developed by Hersey and Blanchard, the appropriate style depends on the followers’ maturity.

  • Willingness (confidence, commitment, and motivation) and ability (knowledge, experience, and skill) are the components of maturity. These qualities determine followers’ readiness to be responsible for directing their behaviour.
  • The dimensions of the four styles of leadership described in the model are task and people needs.
  • Selling (high focus on task and people needs). A selling leadership style explains decisions and provides opportunity for clarification. Followers are confident and moderately ready but lack ability.
  • Telling (high focus on task, low focus on people needs). This style provides specific instructions and closely supervises performance. Followers are low in confidence, ability, and readiness.
  • Participating (low focus on task, high focus on people needs). This style encourages sharing of ideas and develops followers’confidence and ability. Followers have high readiness but low confidence.
  • Delegative (low focus on task and people needs). This style transfers responsibility for decisions and implementation.Followers have very high readiness, including ability and confidence.

    Behavioural Styles theory

    According to Fred E. Fiedler’s contingency theory, people become leaders because of personality attributes, various situational factors, and the interaction between the leaders and the situation.


    Whether a leadership style is favorable for a leader depends on the following factors in Fiedler’s model:

  • Position power enables a leader to evaluate, reward, punish, or promote group members.
  • Task structure is how clearly and carefully members’ responsibilities for various tasks are defined, driving the quality of performance.
  • Leader-member relations reflect the extent to which group members like, trust, and are willing to follow a leader.
  • The most effective leadership style depends upon the degree to which the three dimensions are present in a situation.

    Level 5 leadership model

    According to Jim Collins, Level 5 leadership is needed for an organization to progress from good to great. The following is the Level 5 hierarchy:

    Path-goal theory

    This theory emphasizes motivation. It combines the research on initiating structure and consideration with expectancy theory.

    The directive leader lets employees know what is expected from them , schedules work to be done, and gives specific guidance on how to accomplish tasks.

    The supportive leader is friendly and shows concern for the needs of the employees.

    A transformational leader is a change agent who combines task orientation and people orientation. This kind of leader can inspire employees to achieve more than they thought possible.

    A transactional leader is an effective manager who is task- and people-oriented. This kind of leader is committed to efficient operations and increased productivity and the organization’s norms and values.

    Today’s leader is juggling more on their plate not just keeping up with financial news and internal audit, but also handling cybercrime, global IT, so just how much focus can they give on matters mentioned above, on culture? In conclusion, the effective leader will have great communication, listening, negotiation skills, and will be able to resolve conflicts, but for me the main attribute for a leader is to be a people-person with a positive attitude and not a rigid mindset. Someone who is able to resonate with all kinds of people, at a professional level and at a personal level. This article is based on my limited research, you can quiz ChatGPT on The best leader too, while we all try to be agile and easily adapt to our leader’s style in the dynamic environment we all live in, good luck.

Reefat Maniar
Reefat Maniar
Reefat Maniar
Manager Risk & Governance