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participative management

11 Silver Prayaas

Leadership is one of the most

observed and least understood

Buy cheap participative management term paper

phenomenon on earth. Burns (178)

remarks. The problem arises not only

in understanding the operation of the

theory but even in its definition

Leadership is a complex and

multifaceted phenomenon to which

organizational and psychological

research has been applied.

A macro-level comparison of

business organizations in India vis-a

vis those of successful countries like

Japan, America, Germany, France

and Korea provide certain interesting

information. Physical and human

resource-wise comparison indicates

that there may not be yawning gaps

between Indian organizations and

the organization of the countries cited

above. While these countries have

developed management styles in

consonance with their cultural ethos,

Leadership in organizations

An Indian perspective


A number of theories and models have been proposed of leadership in organisations by

western theorists. These theories have worked well in those countries since they have been

developed keeping in view, the cultural context. These models may be good there but they

prove to be some what inadequate in the Indian cultural context. Indian organisations

cannot forget that their leadership models come from their socio culture. Indian cultural

is so accommodative that it welcomes noble thought coming from all over the world. The

author has developed a leadership model which would befit Indian organisations. The

model ‘EAST MEETS WEST’ could satisfy the needs of the Indian corporate world.

Indian management experts had no

choice but to depend on western

perspectives because of the absence

of a local database and theoretical


Leadership theory began as a one

dimensional, internal and

individualistic process in which only

a leader ’s personality traits or

behaviors were considered.

Situational elements, external to the

leader-member dyad were

subsequently added to the leadership

equations as well as an

acknowledgement of group

processes. An important new growth

stage was reached in the contingency

era as leadership theory evolved from

unidimensional to the

multidimensional arena. Here the

interaction of the leader,

subordinates and the situation all

became important in explaining

leadership. Leadership theory was

further advanced when the focus

changed from leadership being

primarily a top-down process to

much more of a bottom-up process.

Situational and non- leadership

factors were considered again but

this time from an integrative

perspective. The culture era built on

the situational factors, which

extended the scope of leadership

from group interactions to the

interactions of the entire

organization, affected by the persons

involved, their situations and their

influences on each other. King (10)

has summarized the major leadership

eras and periods, which are

presented in Table 1.

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March 00 11

Table 1 Evolutionary Stages of Leadership Theory

Personality Era Transactional Era

- Great Man Period - Exchange period

- Trait Period - Role Development Period

Influence Era Anti-Leadership Era

- Power Relation Period - Ambiguity Period

- Persuasion Period - Substitute Period

Behavior Era Culture Era

-Early Behavior Period - Transformation Era

-Late Behavior Period - Charisma Period

-Operant Period - Self- fulfilling

Contingency Era

In India the studies on leadership

began in the mid 50s. There are two

definite trends in the studies, the first

one are the studies done by Indian

researchers following the western

models, ignoring the Indian cultural

characteristics and the second are the

studies conducted by the American

organizational behavioral scientists

visiting management institutes in

India in the 60s and opined on the

basis of a limited data. Both the types

of studies have their limitations in the

sense that they have presented a lopsided

view of leadership of the Indian


In the first type, we may include the

study by Ganguly (177) who has

surveyed a large number of

managers from a variety of

organizations and concluded that

that there was an interactive effect of

the leadership styles and the

organizational climate. Leaders

tended to use the benevolent

autocratic style but shifted to the

consultative style in organizations,

which have a participative work

climate. Prior to this, Pendse (165)

had done his doctoral work on

consultative style of leadership and

suggested that this worked very

effectively with the rural folk. The

second type of studies projected

authoritarian features on Indians.

Mead has opined that Indian

subordinates need authoritarian

leaders. Empirical studies (Hofstede,

176, 188) comparing values

across a number of countries have

clearly indicated the existing cultural

differences. Hofstede observed that

Americans score high on recognition

and achievement and low on

conformity, whereas Asians scored

high on conformity and orderliness

but low on independence Sinha

(17) has questioned the validity of

the assumption that Indians are

authoritarian in the sense defined by

Adorno et al (150). One of the

typical Indian cultural characteristics

is tolerance, which does not go with

the authoritarian personality.

Leadership styles and the

management processes in India

unfortunately appear to be a queer

cocktail without any unique and

distinctive focus of its own. Right from

the start, from the post independence

phase of development, not adequate

and serious grass-root efforts were

made to evolve leadership styles and

management processes that are true

to Indian ethos and culture and this

ethos itself has not sufficiently been

understood in its real spirit. The

educated Indians appear to be

Indianising management,

considering the Indian culture to be

feudalistic and backward. There are

many cultural values shared by both

Japan and India for example, respect

for the head of the family,

hierarchical relationship, seniority

and age. However, in India it is these

very features, which are made the

principal target of attack by the

Indian elite.

In the ‘80s two indigenous theories

of leadership came into prominence.

The first one is by J.B.P. Sinha who

advocated the Nurturant Task (NT)

style of leadership. This theory follows

a contingency approach in the sense

that the Nurturant - Task leader is

postulated to be effective only for

those subordinates who prefer

dependency and a personalized

relationship, are status conscious and

perform work as a part of a

relationship. Although, majority of

Indian subordinates do share these

cultural characteristics, there may be

enough subordinates who are

independent-minded, prefer

autonomy and want to work without

close supervision. Such subordinates

work more effectively under a

participative leader. In fact, the theory

postulates a broad developmental

continuum from the authoritarian

through NT to participative

leadership styles. This model of

leadership is presented in Figure 1.

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114 Silver Prayaas

The Indigenous Theories

• The Nurturant Task (TN) Style of Leadership (J.

B. P. Sinha)

A Model of Effective Leadership

F NT Nt/p P

Autonomous Group

S S1 S S

t t1 t t ti

(Notes F authoritarian; nt/p combination of nurturant task; P participative

leaders; S subordinates; t time point; solid lines positive relationship;

broken line negative relationship; arrow direction of relations.)

Figure 1. A model of effective leadership (J.B.P.Sinha, 18)

S1 is the Telling Style, S is the Selling

Style, S is the Participative Style and

S4 is the Delegating Style. Hersey

and Blanchard proposed these four

leadership styles in their Life Cycle

theory of leadership (16). t1, t

and t denote the periods in the life

span referring to the maturity levels

of the subordinates.

The next is The Pioneering-Innovative

(PI) style of leadership (Khandwala,

18). The NT style of leadership

proposed by Sinha is more

appropriate for the middle level

managers whose main function is to

manage human relations.

Khandwalla has contended that a

leader has to be pioneering and

innovative. The PI style is

characterized by commitment to

pioneering, novel and sophisticated

technologies, products and services,

high risk taking and strong emphasis

on creativity and adaptability.

Following liberalization of economics

of the developing countries in Asia,

the PI style is likely to receive greater


Despite Khandwalla’s claim, the Pi

leadership does not seem to include

the typical Indian ethos of affection,

nurturance, care, consideration,

preference for dependency and

personalized relationship,

hierarchical orientation. The cultural

ethos is reflected in the Singh and

Bhandarkar’s (10) formulation of

transformational leadership. They

have tried to find the roots of Indian

leadership in the Indian family.

A close examination of the

functioning of business organizations

in India indicates that not only do we

import leadership styles and

management systems, but even

compare this error by changing them

in faddist fashion. Such an approach

invariably leads to cynical reactions

like branding leadership styles of

management systems as new

gimmicks emerging from academic

ivory towers. Moreover many

companies feel nonplussed by the

surefire management success

formulae from Harvard, Oxford or

Tokyo. Rather than blindly adopting

the leadership styles and the

management systems, we would be

better off if we were to make the

change at the root itself � evolve

culturally consistent and relevant

leadership styles.

Indian culture, being probably the

only unbroken culture in the world,

has both kinds of processes Those

that can help change and those that

hinder change (development). A

better understanding of these

processes may help us to use them

for planning.

Positive forces in the Indian culture

include high extension motivation

(concern for others), as reflected in

the patriotic traditions, and respect

for others as reflected in the

welcoming different ideas, people

openness; synthesis, respect for

knowledge etc.

The following processes in Indian

culture are shown in Table

Table Processes in the Indian


1. Dependency motive,

generating -

a) Avoidance syndrome (not

taking initiative, not

taking responsibility,

exaggerating obstacles)

b) Excessive fear of failure

and risk avoidance

c) Over conformism

d) Favor seeking

. Casteism, generating -

a) Difficulty to relate to peer


b) Dependency relationship

as contrasted with


c) Role fixation

d) Self rejection resulting

because of role fixation

. Fatalism, generating -

a) Cynicism (Nothing good

The Indigenous Theories

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March 00 115

can come out)

b) Lack of self critical self

examination (Low

personal block)

4. Non-involvement and

noncommitment -(feeling of joy

after success and feeling of

sadness after failure)

a) Non-conforming


b) Excessive tolerance

5. Individualism, generating -

a) Lack of interpersonal trust

b) Difficulties

in collaboration

6. Irreality orientation, generating

�(may be due to Upanishadic

teaching that everything is

MAYA - unveil)

a) Symbol infatuation

b) Fantasy directedness

c) Difficulty in anticipating

problems and values

Singh and Bhandarkar (10)

have listed some components

of Indian culture. They are

presented in Table .

Table Components of Indian


 Karta

 Relationships

 Respect for elders

 Proximity to Power

 Hierarchy

 Security

 Simple Living and High


 Psychology of Entitlement and

over � emphasis on Reward

The first component is the institution

of KARTA. The immense authority and

power characterize the Karta or the

head of the house. Besides, since the

Hindu family is largely a patriarchal

institution, the father is the most

omnipotent in the family. The ‘Karta’

experience is amongst the earliest

and strongest socialization

experiences of the Indian child. It is

nurturing, caring, dependable,

sacrificing, yet demanding

authoritative and strict dimension of

the father (or figure head of the

house) which the individual learns to

value for in life. By behavior and style,

the Karta normally evokes a feeling

of security, trust and dependability.

As a result of this cumulative

experience, a father is what the

individual looks for symbolically in

the workplace, for empowering and

protection. In return the individual

develops respect and reverence for

his superior and demonstrates

willingness to respect his authority.

When the individual joins work with

his set of expectations, he can be

faced with two kinds of situations. He

either has a superior who, by and

large, meets his demands or he finds

that the superior is very low on ‘Karta

� like’ traits, there is meaningful and

purposeful superior � subordinate

relationship. The superior also finds

that he can easily build a cohesive

team, with the subordinates having

respect for his authority. On the other

hand, when the superior fails to

satisfy the “Karta image” expectations

, these very positive behaviors may

easily turn negative. In the extreme

case, there will be non-acceptance

for the superior’s formal authority.

Relationship is the next important

component of the Indian culture. This

is the result of the extended

childhood, which characterizes the

Indian family system, compared to

the shorter childhood, which children

experience in the western system of

child rearing. The individual comes

to the work place and brings with him

a strong need to relate with others.

When organizational culture is not

Dr. S.W. Deshpande has

done his post graduation in

arts and is a consultant,

Trainer and Teacher. He was

the Head of Dept. of

Psychology in the University

of Pune from 15 July to

17. He was also the

Programme Director of

Sinhgad Institute of Business

Administration Pune. He has

presented various papers on

management in National

and International journals

and has attended

International Conferences

in management in Dublin,

Sharjah and Dubai. He was

the King Edward Memorial

Scholar from 15 to 161.

He was also the President of

the Marathi Manasshastra

Parishad and the Chairman

of the Board of Studies in

Psychology and Member of

the Academic Council of

SNDT University, Mumbai.

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116 Silver Prayaas

depersonalized , relatedness releases

positive energies like empathy,

intimacy, togetherness, we-feeling

etc. When the organization culture

is characterized by impersonality,

formal role-relationship, individual

experiences a sense of deprivation

of intimacy. Work wise, there is poor

team spirit leading to poor

performance, especially where

people with different group

orientations have to work together as

a team.

Proximity to power The ethos of the

joint family system with its heavy

accent on Karta experiences,

generates a unique psychological

response in the individual. The

experienced powerlessness ( to act

independently) and dependency in

childhood and adolescence result in

placing a high value on the power

as well as need to choose this power


In the workplace the person has

similar expectation from the superior

who is looked up as a powerful

person. There can be too many

expectations, and excessive

dependence upon the authority

figure. At the work level, this would

mean that there is no independent

decision making, thus killing

individual capacity to take risk and

initiative to be innovative and


Blake and Mouton (15), borrowing

two dimensions form classical

American studies, developed a

Managerial grid. The two dimensions

were concern for task and concern

for people. They highlighted five

leadership styles in the managerial

grid, which is presented in Fig. .

Fig Managerial Grid


(Blake & Mouton)

,1 1,1

,5 ,5

5, 5, High

1 4 5 6 7 8

Low Concern for production High


Thoughtful attention to needs

for satisfying relationships

leads to a comfortable,

friendly organisation

atmosphere & work tempo.


Work accomplishment is

from committed people.

Interdependence through a

“common stake” in

organisation purpose leads to

relationships of trust &


Exertion of minimum effort

to get work done is

appropriate to sustain

organisation membership.

Efficiency in operations

results from arranging

conditions of work in such a

way that human elements

interfere to a minimum

degree. 1



Concern for people





Adequate organisation performance is

possible through balancing the necessity to

get out work with maintaining morale of

people at a satisfactory level.


The present investigator is attracted

to the managerial grid.

In order to evolve culturally consistent

(not accept) them. If these noble

thoughts were culturally relevant, we

would surely assimilate them.

If we see the components of Indian

culture, an individual at the

workplace expects a boss who is

powerful but at the same time

sympathetic, caring and also

providing security to the employee.

He should be like

As strong and hard as the sword but

as delicate and soft as a flower. A

East Meets West


.1 .1 1.1 1.1

.5 .5 5.5 5.5

. . 5. 5. 1. 1.

Concern for productivity

Concern for people





Benevolent Autocrat


•Decisive / shows initiative

•Finisher / committed

•Evaluative of quality, quantity,


•Costs, profits & sales-conscious

•Both develops & proposes new


•Shows that efficiency &

productivity are valued

•Industrious / energetic

•Obtains results

and relevant leadership styles, one

has to carefully consider the

components of Indian culture. It is

also necessary to see that there are

culturally relevant models of

leadership prevailing in the western

countries, which proved the test of

time. Our teaching of Upanishadas

have widened our horizon to

welcome whatever good is there in

any part of the world

Let all the noble thoughts come from

all over the world, we would welcome

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March 00 117

who become mature, responsible

and also committed to the

organization. For such employees


would be more relevant (Figure.).

There is a difference between this

style and American participative style.

In the latter, the decisions are arrived

at through discussions wherein each

member participates. Every member

has a role to play in the decisionmaking.

In the consultative style, the

boss, leader, or the powerful person

discusses with the other individuals

in the group, consults them but he is

the decision maker. This style is

recommended for the higher level

subordinates. As the Indian teaching



1) King, A.S. (10) Evolution of Leadership Theory Vikalja Vol 15(), 4-54

) Singh, P and Bhandarkar, A (18) Transformational leaders- A Study of their leadership profile Public Enterprises

Vol , Nos. -4

) Pendse V.V. (165) Consultative Type of Leadership, Unpublished P. Hd. Thesis Submitted to University of Pune

4) Singh, P and Bhandarkar (18) From Cultural Ethos to organizational milieu, In Management in Govt published

by ISTD, New Delhi.

5) Sinha JBP (18) Indian Perspectives on Leadership and Power in organizations. In social behavior and personality

edited by Janale Pande Allahabad.

6) Burns, J M (178) Leadership, New York Harper and Row

7) Blake, R. R. Morton J.S. (166) The Managerial Grid “ Management Facades” Advance Management Journal

8) Chemers, M.N. (000) Leadership research and theory A functional integration group dynamics, Theory Research

and practice Vol 4, No 1, 7-4

) Humphreys , J.H. (001) Transformational and Transactional Leader Behavior Journal of management Research

Vol 1 No 148-156

10) Dhar, V Mishra, P (001) Leadership effectiveness Journal of Management Research Vol 1 No 4 55-66

11) Adorno, T.W. Frenkel-Brunswik, Else, Levinson, D.J. & Sanford, R.N. (150) The Authoritarian personality, New

York, Harper

Leadership is action, not position

- D. H. Mc Gannon

combination of these two we shall

find in our boss. A .5 style in the

managerial grid would be relevant

one. This is a BENEVOLENT

AUTOCRAT. The characteristic of a

benevolent autocrat are given in

Figure. below.

The father figure (KARTA) is

transferred to the workplace. The

employee derives satisfaction in such

an organizational setup where the

boss is strict but soft and considerate

when the occasion demands. This

leadership style is applicable to the

lower level subordinates who are

dependency prone, doing almost

routine type of work.

As the employees become

experienced there could be some

àmßV{fw [m{Se{ df} [w̧ o_Ì dXmMa{V²

From the age of 16 the father should

treat his son as his friend. At the

workplace also task orientation is not

the prime concern of this style. The

employees are responsible mature

and dedicated. Self-esteem should

be well protected by the boss, butthe

task orientation should not be

totally ignored.

The present author puts forth a

continuum of the maturity of the

subordinates and recommends the

benevolent autocrat style at the lower

and the consultative style at the upper

level of the maturity continuum.

These are the culturally consistent

and relevant leadership styles for

Indian organizations.

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