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Management Systems

Renesis Likert


Dr Renesis Likert has studied human behaviour within many organisations. After extensive research, Dr. Renesis Likert concluded that there are four systems of management. According to Likert, the efficiency of an organisation or its departments is influenced by their system of management. Likert categorised his four management systems as follows;

The diagram below shows Likert's Four Management Systems, exploitive Authoritative System, Benevolent Authoritative System, Consultative System and Participative or Group System.

Likert Management Systems Diagram

Exploitive Authoritative System (1)

In this type of management system the job of employees/subordinates is to abide by the decisions made by managers and those with a higher status than them in the organisation. The subordinates do not participate in the decision making. The organisation is concerned simply about completing the work. The organisation will use fear and threats to make sure employees complete the work set. There is no teamwork involved.

Benevolent Authoritative System (2)

Just as in an exploitive authoritative system, decisions are made by those at the top of the organisation and management. However employees are motivated through rewards (for their contribution) rather than fear and threats. Information may flow from subordinates to managers but it is restricted to "what management want to hear".

Consultative System (3)

In this type of management system, subordinates are motivated by rewards and a degree of involvement in the decision making process. Management will constructively use their subordinates ideas and opinions. However involvement is incomplete and major decisions are still made by senior management. There is a greater flow of information (than in a benevolent authoritative system) from subordinates to management. Although the information from subordinate to manager is incomplete and euphemistic.

Participative/Group System (4)

Management have complete confidence in their subordinates/employees. There is lots of communication and subordinates are fully involved in the decision making process. Subordinates comfortably express opinions and there is lots of teamwork. Teams are linked together by people, who are members of more than one team. Likert calls people in more than one group "linking pins". Employees throughout the organisation feel responsible for achieving the organisation’s objectives. This responsibility is motivational especially as subordinates are offered economic rewards for achieving organisational goals which they have participated in setting.

Likert's Ideal System

Likert believes that if an organisation is to achieve optimum effectiveness then the “ideal” system to adopt is Participative (system 4).


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