Human Relations Perspective

From a human relations perspective, leadership is a mechanism for influencing the behavior of individuals. Studies showed that participants performed better under democratic than authoritarian or lassez-faire leaders. Another showed two basic dimensions of leadership -- consideration (trust, friendship, and respect between leader and subordinate) and initiating structure (organizing capability of leader to get the work out). Later studies showed that leadership characteristics vary with the situation and the specific motivation needs of individual participants. Most of these studies ignored the formal authority vested in the positions of the leaders (Scott p. 58-59).

Bales (1958) found that there two main types of leadership -- socio-emotional leadership that supports group maintenance, and task leadership toward the groups activities.