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Leadership and Decision-Making

Leadership and Decision-Making

Copyright Date: 1973
Pages: 248
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  • Book Info
    Leadership and Decision-Making
    Book Description:

    It has become a truism that "leadership depends upon the situation," but few behavioral scientists have attempted to go beyond that statement to examine the specific ways in which leaders should and do vary their behavior with situational demands. Vroom and Yetton select a critical aspect of leadership style-the extent to which the leader encourages the participation of his subordinates in decision-making. They describe a normative model which shows the specific leadership style called for in different classes of situations. The model is expressed in terms of a "decision tree" and requires the leader to analyze the dimensions of the particular problem or decision with which he is confronted in order to determine how much and in what way to share his decision-making power with his subordinates.Other chapters discuss how leaders behave in different situations. They look at differences in leadership styles, and what situations induce people to display autocratic or participative behavior.

    eISBN: 978-0-8229-7414-7
    Subjects: Business, Management & Organizational Behavior

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
    (pp. xi-2)
    Victor H. Vroom and Philip W. Yetton
  2. CHAPTER 1 Introduction
    (pp. 3-9)

    Few problems of interest to behavioral scientists have as much potential relevance to the problems of society as the study of leadership. The effective functioning of social systems ranging in size from the local PTA to the United States of America is assumed to be dependent on the quality of their leadership. This assumption is reflected in our tendency to blame a football coach for a losing season and to credit a general for a military victory. While one can identify many factors influencing organizational effectiveness, some of which are outside the direct control of those in positions of leadership,...

  3. CHAPTER 2 Basic Considerations Underlying the Normative Model
    (pp. 10-31)

    One of the most persistent and controversial issues in the study of management is that of participation in decision-making by subordinates. Traditional models of the managerial process have been autocratic in nature. The manager makes decisions on matters within his area of freedom, issues orders or directives to his subordinates, and monitors their performance to ensure conformity with these directives. Scientific management, from its early developments in time and motion study to its contemporary manifestations in mathematical programming, has contributed to this centralization of decision-making in organizations by focusing on the development of methods by which managers can make more...

  4. CHAPTER 3 A Normative Model of Leadership Styles
    (pp. 32-58)

    Let us assume that you are a manager faced with a concrete problem to be solved. We will also assume that you have judged that this problem could potentially affect more than one of your subordinates. Hence, it is what we have defined as a group problem, and you have to choose among the five decision processes (AI, AII, CI, CII, GII) shown at the left side of table 2.1.

    Ona priorigrounds anyone of these five decision processes could be called for. The judgments you have made concerning the status of each of the problem’s attributes can be...

  5. CHAPTER 4 Some Descriptive Studies of Participation in Decision-Making
    (pp. 59-92)

    Imagine that you are manufacturing manager in a large electronics plant. The company’s management have always been searching for ways of increasing efficiency. They have recently installed new machines and put in a new simplified work system, but to the surprise of everyone, including yourself, the expected increase in productivity has not been realized. In fact, production has begun to drop, quality has fallen off, and the number of employee separations has risen.

    You do not believe there is anything wrong with the machines. You have had reports from other companies who are using them, and they confirm this opinion....

  6. CHAPTER 5 Leadership Behavior on Standardized Cases
    (pp. 93-122)

    The methods employed in the previous chapter constitute a rather crude first attempt to understand the role of situational variables, individual differences, and the interactions among them in leaders’ decisions about sharing power with their subordinates. We have already discussed some of the weaknesses inherent in the methodology employed, most notably the possible confounding of individual differences and situational effects because subjects selected and scored their own problems. Furthermore, since only one problem was obtained from each person, it is difficult or impossible to identify interactions between person and situational variables, or idiosyncratic rules for deciding when and to what...

  7. CHAPTER 6 A Multidimensional Measure of Leader Behavior
    (pp. 123-135)

    The sets of problems developed for the research in chapter 5 could be potential tests of leadership behavior. While they were not developed for that purpose, it is conceivable that they might provide a useful means of measuring leadership style. In this chapter we will examine this possibility and will compare the problem sets with other kinds of tests that have been developed for predicting how leaders would behave in carrying out their leadership roles.

    Let us begin by examining the meaning of the term “test” as it relates to the measurement of leader behavior. Such measures can be divided...

  8. CHAPTER 7 A Comparison of Normative with Actual Behavior
    (pp. 136-154)

    In the first three chapters of this book, a normative model was presented in which a problem’s status on each of seven attributes was used to define a feasible set of decision processes from which the manager should select his management style. Chapters 4 to 6 reported empirical investigations of the decision processes that managers actually use in various administrative problems. Two methods, one involving recalled problems and the other using standardized cases, were employed for this purpose. Since the empirical investigations utilized the same problem attributes as the normative model and employed the same decision processes as the dependent...

  9. CHAPTER 8 A Technology for Leadership Development
    (pp. 155-181)

    The investigations we reported in preceding chapters were conducted for the purpose of research on the determinants of powersharing. Over a thousand managers have given up to twenty hours of their time as subjects in the research. The reader may have wondered how we were so successful in gaining the cooperation of subjects. We did not have a close friend who was a corporation president. It is rather that being a subject in the research was perceived by these people as valuable in its own right and as contributing to their own learning and development. The fortunate coincidence of interest...

  10. CHAPTER 9 Revising the Normative Model
    (pp. 182-196)

    In chapters 2 and 3, a normative model was developed to show which of the five decision processes (AI, AII, CI, CII, and GII) should be employed in different situations. It was pointed out that the model was not fixed but evolving. Evidence presented at several points in this book suggests ways in which the normative model could be strengthened and improved. In this chapter we will utilize this evidence to revise the model and to discuss the directions which might be taken in future revisions.

    The most clear-cut evidence on which to base a revision would be data concerning...

  11. CHAPTER 10 A Concluding Statement
    (pp. 197-210)

    In the preceding chapters we have presented a large body of findings pertaining to the behavior of leaders in complex organizations. It isnotour intent here to reiterate these findings but rather to attempt to put the issues that we have examined and the principal results that we have obtained in perspective. It seems appropriate at this point to look back at the terrain that we have traversed and to describe its topographical features. In so doing, we will attempt to compare our approach and conclusions with those of others who have addressed themselves to the leadership process.


  12. APPENDIX 1 Instructions for Coding Problems
    (pp. 213-217)
  13. APPENDIX 2 Rules Underlying the Model for Both Individual and Group Problems
    (pp. 218-220)