Bill Reddin made the breakthrough to the next level of practical leadership theories. He developed the first relatively simple method of measuring what he called “situational demands” – i.e. the things that dictate how a manager must operate to be most effective.
Reddin’s model was based on the two basic dimensions of leadership identified by the Ohio State studies. He called them Task-orientation and Relationships-orientation. However he introduced what he called a third dimension – Effectiveness. Effectiveness was what resulted when one used the right style of leadership for the particular situation.
Reddin, like Blake, identified four major leadership styles on the high effectiveness plane and four corresponding styles on the low effectiveness plane, effectiveness being where the leadership style matched the demands of the situation. So a manager who demonstrated a high level of task-orientation and low relationships orientation (equivalent to Blake’s 9,1) where it was the style that was required was called a Benevolent Autocrat while a manager who applied that style of behaviour where the situation did not call for it was labelled an Autocrat.
The real theoretical breakthrough with Reddin’s 3-D model was the idea that one could assess the situation and identify what behaviour was most appropriate. (Effective Situational Diagnosis, W. J. Reddin and R. Stuart-Kotze, MEL, London, 1972.)
Taken from our Online Development Academy