Rensis Likert’s Contribution to Management!

Likert was the Director of Institute of Social Sciences, Michigan, U.S.A. He conducted extensive research for fourteen years with the help of 40 researchers in the field of leadership. His famous writings included: New Patterns of Management (1961), Human Organisation (1967). He was of the opinion that traditional job- oriented supervision was the cause of low productivity and low morale. He emphasised participative management in the field of decision-making. He divided management styles into the following categories:

(i) Exploitative Autocratic:

There is no participation of workers because these leaders have no confidence in them.

(ii) Benevolent Autocratic:

There is no proper confidence in subordinates and the relationship is that of a master and servant.

(iii) Participative:


The subordinates are allowed to participate in decisions involving their lives. Leader does not have full confidence in them.

(iv) Democratic:

In this style, the confidence in subordinates is full and they meaningfully participate in decision-making.

In order to integrate individual and organisational goals, Likert developed the concept of ‘linking pin’. There are certain persons who are members of more than one group. These persons act as ‘linking pin’; they are the leaders for the lower groups and act as members of the upper groups. This model has upward orientation and decision-making scale having 51 items for evaluating leadership styles of individual leaders.