Ohio State University Study

Some of the first studies were conducted at Ohio State University in the late 1940s, based on the findings of Stogdill's (1948) work.

A series of studies at the University indicated that two clusters of behaviours had an important role in successful leadership. Those dimensions are:

  • Initiating Structure - (organizing work, organizing and defining relationships or roles, establishing well-defined patterns of organisation, channels of communication, and ways of getting jobs done.)
  • Consideration - (building friendship, mutual trust, respect and camaraderie) (Northouse, 2007, p.70-71).

Initiating structure behaviours were essentially task behaviours and consideration behaviours were relationship behaviours. The Ohio State University studies viewed these two behaviours as distinct and independent.

Many studies have been done to determine which style of leadership is most effective in a particular context. However, the results have indicated that it depends on the context. Some research has shown that being high on both behaviours is the best form of leadership (Northouse, 2007, p.71).

iDevice icon Reflection
Take a minute and think: do you believe that style has an important role in leadership? Please give some examples where style has played important role in leadership.

Share your opinion with your study group or with your teacher/tutor.

Sirje Virkus, Tallinn University, 2009