What is Task-Oriented Leadership? - St. Thomas Online
Leadership styles in particular differ from business to business, but two leadership theories remain prominent: task-oriented leadership and relational- oriented. If the task has a lot of ambiguity, meaning you're not exactly sure how to go about ID, Leader-Member Relationship, Task Structure, Leadership Position Power. Two of the most common leadership styles are task-oriented and people-oriented (also known as relationship-oriented). Each of these styles has their pros and.
Influence Leaders generally need the ability to influence others to succeed. Task-oriented leaders tend to use a more autocratic approach to leadership. They often rely on position power, goal setting, results tracking, clear directives and pushing of employees. Self-motivated workers tend to make a better fit with a task-oriented leader.
A relationship-oriented leader uses empathy and relationships to influence. He believes that if employees see he genuinely cares about them as people, they are more likely to take direction and be inspired by his guidance. Time A key distinction between these two leadership styles relates to their view of time.
Task-oriented leaders tend to be very time-centered. Deadlines are critical, and social interaction should not get in the way of work completion. The relational leader usually puts interaction and group harmony above deadlines or efficiency. While work must be completed, he is more likely to set aside group activity time or team-building exercises.
Risks At the extreme, each style has risks. An effective leader normally functions somewhere in the middle of a continuum between the extremes. An overly task-oriented leader can come across as bossy, somewhat like a dictator using workers as a means to an end.
This can lead to low morale and, eventually, poor productivity. What was the dominant leadership behavioural style - either relations- or task-oriented - implemented by school principals in schools during a time of change and development? How was the leadership behavioural style initiated to accommodate changes and development in schools? Methodology This research is explored through a qualitative paradigm.
This study explores examples of school leadership represented in a case study of the three primary schools in Finland. Cases of each school's leadership were developed to understand leadership behavioural pattern in line with leadership behavioural theory, consisting of relations- and task-oriented behaviour. Theoretical constructs This qualitative exploration of leadership in Finnish primary schools uses leadership behavioural theory as the theoretical framework for this study.
Leadership behavioural theory was introduced after the traits theory of leadership and refined to include task-oriented and relations-oriented leadership behaviour. Leadership behavioural theory was explored by Ohio State University and the University of Michigan, with the development of the Leader Behavioural Description Questionnaire LBDQwhich has come to be widely accepted within the leadership studies discourse Stogdill The revised form of LBDQ developed by Ohio State strongly emphasised the two factorial definitions of 'consideration and initiation' Stogdillwhich were later studied as relations- and task-oriented behaviour.
LBDQ initially was constructed to establish the behavioural style of leadership with the organisational managers and the supervisors to describe the behaviour of leader. This exploration of leadership behavioural styles within Finnish primary schools is supported by task-oriented and relations-oriented probes similar to the LBDQ, but using a qualitative paradigm. This was obtained by constructing a factorial definition that incorporated the leadership description questionnaire that supported relations- and task-oriented behaviour, accordingly.
The description of the questionnaire was obtained by interviews to give a qualitative meaning. This factorial definition was also applied to code the interview data that gave meaning to the leadership behavioural style of relations- and task-oriented behaviour. However, these two components of leadership behaviour are not mutually exclusive, but rather complement each other.
In accordance with the framework of leadership behavioural theory, this exploration of leadership is viewed as different cases with multiple examples representing each case in its own context. However, school leaders are the gap fillers, intertwining external and internal variations to harmonise the school contextual environment.
In this study, leadership behavioural theory was used to identify and explore relations- and task-oriented behaviour, and investigate the dominant leadership style in the case studies presented here.
In addition, this study explores the leadership behavioural theory by analysing the school context that affects leadership and followership.
Research tools and research participants This study was conducted using one-to-one in-depth interviews. Two interview schedules were designed separately to explore the leadership behavioural style.
What is Task-Oriented Leadership?
One interview schedule was used to capture the perceptions of the three school leaders; and the other to capture the ideas of 10 teachers, one administrative staff member, two vice principals, and one special-education teacher from primary schools in Finland from different locations.
Altogether, 17 participants were interviewed in order to understand the leadership behaviour through the perceptions of both leaders and followers in the primary schools. This set of interview schedules enabled verification through a triangulation of the data collected from the different respondents.
One-to-one interviews were conducted with different respondents from three primary schools for a minimum of an hour each, although many were extended for up to a maximum of 2 hours.
Interviews were tape-recorded and later transcribed and translated for accuracy. Based on the LBDQ, qualitative descriptions were obtained from schools leaders and followers in the three schools in Finland. The qualitative descriptive interview schedules were conducted as two scheduled interviews to obtain the perceptions of school's principals about their behaviour towards their followers while the other sets of interview descriptions were obtained to view the leadership behaviour from the perceptions of teachers, administrative staff, and a special-education teacher.
Both views were cross-verified to construct a leadership behavioural pattern by using the factorial definition to incorporate the relations- and task-oriented behaviour.
Data analysis procedures The tape-recorded data from the interviews were carefully translated and analysed to explore patterns of leadership behavioural style. The data were coded into two main themes: Data analysis also sought to identify a third theme, a mixture of both these leadership behavioural styles. The data from the interview respondents were also compared and contrasted to minimise the occurrence of misrepresentations.
This comparison allowed a level of triangulated data sets within each case, which enhanced the validity and reliability of the analysis to understand the leadership behavioural pattern. Interviews with the principals and schools actors were cross-verified before drawing conclusions. Data sets from each school were also compared in order to explore the case study. Data triangulation analysis offered validation and reliability.
This technique of data triangulation analysis contributed significantly to the validation of this investigation of leadership behavioural style. The triangulation analysis also offered similar views of respondents' answers and their reflections on leadership behaviour, which further enabled analysis of the behavioural patterns.
The interview data were coded using short phrases and a symbolic summary to illustrate the leadership behavioural pattern, which consisted of relations, task, and a mixture of both. In some cases, single words were coded to illustrate the leadership behavioural pattern, which was also observed during the study. However, observation was not the primary research tool, even though it offered huge advantages when transcribing and coding the interview data.
This was followed by the display and reduction of data displaying, and the process of drawing conclusions, which further generated meaning from the data. With regard to ethical considerations, all key respondents remained anonymous and pseudonyms were given, such as principal, vice principal, teacher 1, teacher 2, teacher 3, teacher 4, special-education teacher, and administrative staff.
The schools were named as school A, school B, and school C. Results In this section, three primary school cases from Finland are illustrated to exemplify the leadership behavioural styles. The results of these cases are reflected by the key respondent's principles as leaders, teachers, vice principals, administrative staff, and special-education teachers.
The collaborative views reflect the triangulation analysis used to capture the leadership behavioural styles. The cases are divided between three schools' cases to address the research questions in line with the problem statement and the purpose of the study. Leadership behavioural style leaping school forward case of school A In complementing leadership behaviour with skills and competencies, Goff Using trusted staff requires leadership to show consideration towards their staff's behavioural patterns to motivate them towards task accomplishment.
Coming to know and understand the staff in a school organisation can be accomplished by getting involved with them and building good relational behaviour. In the case of the principal of school A, her benevolent character led her to become successful and trusted as she initiated relations-oriented behaviour with her staff over time. The following quote illustrates her behavioural style: Moreover, the principal closely collaborated with the vice principal during the change, acting and speaking with openness, as well as sharing with every staff member.
The vice principal states: There should be an open environment and we try to emphasis it by our own behaviour.
What is Relationship-Oriented Leadership?
This behavioural pattern of the principal built a strong foundation of trust with her employees through this information sharing, as the vice principal mentions: She always takes responsibilities about the decision even those that are made by the staff or by me. Moreover, information is shared with those who are trusted.
In an educational organisation, trust comes with an instrumental and value-based attitude. Being trusted and able to trust people is not simple. Leadership's confidence and power to communicate a vision and give direction to trusted individuals and groups is important at a time of dramatic change.
According to the administrative staff, the principal had an open policy of sharing information and trusting her staff, and she adds: This leads to an open social environment that further reflects a good organisational climate. The relational behavioural pattern of the principal enabled the staff to share their problems even more openly.
However, leadership behaviours are flexible in nature and influenced by the context and the intelligence of the leaders. The adaptation to a 'flexible leadership' Yulk behavioural pattern enables school leaders to implement a mixture of leadership styles.
The mixture of leadership styles, produced by the mixing of both task-oriented behaviour and relations-oriented behaviour, leads to excellent productivity. The vice principal reflects on the principal's behavioural style towards task and relations by mentioning that: The situational context of school A was to change the school into an international school.
This change was introduced by the educational authorities. In order to bring about this development, and raise the school to international standards, the school leadership's role was focused on motivating and encouraging the school actors. Driving them towards adapting to the changes required through both relations-oriented and task-oriented behaviour.
However, many teachers had difficulty adapting. To harmonise the organisational climate, the principal's driving force was highly focused on collaboration by implementing a relations-oriented behavioural style.
The relations-oriented behaviour of the school leader motivated the staff to work. In other words, by showing consideration, and participating and supporting staff members, the principal showed effective relations-oriented behaviour. According to teacher 3, the school principal was supportive towards them at their time of need and it contributed to their work values. In this regard, a flexible leadership approach is essential.
Nevertheless, both task and relations are inseparable phenomena in an organisational setting. In addition, the behaviour of the followers also plays a vital role in shaping leadership behaviour. The leadership behavioural style changes according to the behavioural pattern of the followers.
Leadership behaviour is, therefore, closely associated with the followers' behavioural pattern. The relations-oriented behaviour of school A's principal was essential for team-building and bonding, in order to stimulate collaboration and drive. The principal's strategy towards relations-oriented behaviour was necessary in order to enhance the teamwork needed to overcome the restraints posed by the status quo.
Teacher 3 indicated the importance of the principal's role in the school as a mediator and collaborator. Having too much concern for employees can sometimes divert from real work being accomplished, and may create weakness rather than strengths. The principal's versatile behavioural approach to 'leaping towards' in order to achieve the vision of the educational authority, was initiated through bonding the relations with individuals and teams.
The leadership behavioural approach of delegating some of her tasks to trusted members also enabled the leap towards school succession. In addition, the vice principal mentioned that the delegation of authority to the members allowed her more time to concentrate on daily routine work during the school's developmental phase.
The relations-oriented behaviour of the principal also demonstrated her competence in keeping the driving forces active by acknowledging the teachers. This acknowledgement motivated the teachers to perform in order to keep up with the changing scenario.
Team-building was important for the school leader, as it enabled her to accomplish the mission of internationalising the school. The participative and supportive nature of the principal also resulted in enhanced performance from staff, because being appreciated reinforced their motivation. In Finland, appreciating and complimenting is not really part of the culture. However, with the relations-oriented behaviour, the principal encouraged and motivated the teachers and administrative staff by commending them on their work.
The relations-oriented behaviour of the principal in school A enabled her to win the trust of the school actors. Teacher 2 states her views on trusting her principal by saying: I like that because we have 50 teachers and you have to have this character. However, the leadership approach of ensuring task accomplishment within academic areas was delegated to the vice principal. The strategy of a relations-oriented leadership approach to retain constancy during a time of change was practised by the principal, while task-oriented behaviour was delegated to the vice principal in order to ensure task accomplishment.
Leadership behavioural style leaping school forward case of school B Batagiannis For Currie and Lockettthe four components of transformational leadership are charisma, inspiration, individual consideration, and intellectual stimulation. These transformational leadership components are supported by leadership flexibility that enables relevant and adaptive behaviour with respect to task or relations.
Task- and relations-oriented behaviours are not mutually exclusive, but rather, in combination, reflect the flexibility of leadership style. Hersey and Blanchard Most school leaders attempt to adapt their behaviour to combine both task- and relations-oriented behaviour.
However, the relations-oriented behaviour is sensitive, emotional, and attitudinal, and allows a leader less flexibility. On the other hand, task-oriented behaviour promotes effectiveness and organisational performance. Balancing the combinations of task-oriented and relations-oriented behaviour is essential in maintaining a harmonious and effective organisational climate.
In addition, 'Driving Leadership Style' incorporates the pragmatic approach of toning, timing, transforming, tasking, and teaming as essential ingredients for school leaders to understand the micro- meso- and macro-aspects of schools Rajbhandari This can be achieved by implementing a combination of both task- and relations-oriented behaviour.
The principal of school B's behavioural pattern can be described as high on task- and low on relations-oriented behaviour. The principal illustrates her behavioural style as: And I think her main idea is that we have to be treated equally and she is working a lot and she expects it also from us.
I think she demands quite much from us, but she is an example herself. But she cannot be very much involved with our lessons.
- Differences Between Task-Oriented Leaders & Relational-Oriented Leaders
- Relationship-Oriented Leadership
- Task-oriented and relationship-oriented leadership
This initiates autocratic behaviour, which enables the leaders to demonstrate their ability to act. The reason I try to become strict is because everyone has to change position to get out of the comfort zone and work harder, which is important for the school.
In dealing with her staff, the principal still demonstrated task-oriented behaviour by working harder herself, by way of setting an example for others. However, the principal does have a strategy of managing people by adapting her usual management style by walking around and interacting with staff. Teacher 1 supports this view on the principal's relations-oriented behaviour: There aren't any new ideas that make her change her opinion.
I like the way she looks around and summarises. She can process things quite well and handle them and reach a conclusion. An example is the relations-oriented behaviour of the principal as she adapts her management style by walking around.
According to transformational leadership theory, intellectual stimulation was provided by showing consideration to people, greeting them on the way while walking around, and judging the relevance of task performance to organisational effectiveness. In addition, the principal's strategy of managing people while walking around also provided her with opportunity for building relations and sharing information.
In connection to this, teacher 2 mentions: The principal's effectiveness is, therefore, a consequence of her ability to assess a situation and transform it through intellectual stimulation. Reflecting on this, teacher 2 admits: I need the feeling that I am in a group of experts. However, the success of a school depends heavily upon their leadership skills, intellectual ability, and behavioural factors.
Leadership behaviour is influenced by the context and the cultural atmosphere of the school organisation and the legacy left by former leaders. Legacy has a strong impact on cultural binding; therefore, new leadership brings a new culture. Leadership approaches can have an impact on initiating a change in the culture. A leadership behavioural pattern that is high on task-oriented behaviour resulted in this principal being able to put things together and delegate authority.
During this phase of settling into the new setup of an organisational structure and eliminating the legacy left by the former principal, the newly appointed principal had to centralise power and delegate only if necessary, and to trusted staff.
The vice principal describes the behavioural approach of the principal with respect to accountability and responsibility, when it came to re-engineering the school structure, as: So it was clear she took the leadership, she made it very clear and, of course, there was opposition because these groups were losing their power and they were used to this situation. They could say, "I don't agree with you so I won't do this", with the previous principal, whereas with this principal, it is, "I don't agree with you, but I will do it".
Nevertheless, an autocratic style of leadership does not necessarily have to involve direct instruction to the staff in an organisation.
It can influence working behavioural attitudes by encouraging the employees to follow by example. In addition, the vice principal describes the behavioural approach of the principal by stating: However, doing things right was an urgent matter in order to enhance effectiveness. In supporting the view of the vice principal, teacher 1 admits that the principal's leadership behavioural approach showed a high task- and a low relations-orientation: And that makes situations often a bit complicated.
Moreover, since the principal was most often indulged in the working atmosphere, this relations-oriented behaviour was suppressed. Most importantly, the Finnish way of showing good relations-oriented behaviour is to provide the employees with space and trust them with their work. Appraisals and compliments are not appreciated by Finnish employees.
The principal of school B adopted task-oriented behaviour due to the contextual setting of the organisation left behind by the former principal. The legacy of the former principal created disruption resulting from the unwise delegation of power to the employees.task-oriented leadership
Therefore, to reclaim and centralise power, the principal's strategy was to reengineer structural reform and further decentralise accountability into the most suitable hands.
This strategy enabled the school principal to exercise an autocratic style of leadership by adopting task-oriented behaviour. Leadership behavioural style leaping school forward case of school C Leader behaviour is acceptable and satisfying to subordinates to the extent that the subordinates see such behaviour as either an immediate source of satisfaction or instrumental to future satisfaction House With the behavioural pattern of leadership, the two styles - leadership task-oriented and relations-oriented - are not mutually exclusive as they can be combined in various ways.
It is important that each of these behavioural styles may be effective depending on the size of the organisation, the people's clarity about their roles, and the maturity of the staff Leithwood et al. In relation to the styles of leadership behavioural theory, the principal of school C displayed and focused on task-oriented behaviour for achieving effectiveness. In connection to task-oriented behaviour of the principal, teacher 2 states: