Michigan Leadership Studies
Michigan Leadership Studies is one of the behavioral approaches to leadership. Researchers at the University of Michigan, lead by Rensis Likert begun studying leadership in the late 1940s.
The main purpose of this Michigan Leadership Study was to identify the behavioral characteristics of leaders that were related to performance effectiveness. After studying a large number of supervisors in several factories, the Michigan group came up with two dimensions of leadership behavior employee-centered and production-centered.
Managers using employee-centered leader behavior allowed sufficient freedom and provided necessary assistance to subordinates. They emphasized interpersonal relations and took a personal interest in the hands of their employees. Their primary concern was the welfare of subordinates. They are strongly concerned about the employee’s behavior, what motivates them to do work, and try to build a mutual relationship between employees and working environment. They believes emloyee’s welfare is more important than the to force them to do job.
On the other hand, a production-centered leader paid close attention to subordinate’s work, explained work procedures, and regarded group members as a focal point. It is also called job centered leadership style. These types of leaders are less concerned about the employee’s welfare rather they only want to get the job done as much as possible within a short period of time. They think employees should do their work as much as they can.
Michigan researchers strongly favored employee-centered leadership behavior. Employee-oriented leaders were associated with high group productivity and high job satisfaction. And, the production-oriented leaders were less associated with low group productivity and lower job satisfaction.