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Management Theory of Rensis Likert Key Terms

Michelle Cramer

Understanding Likert's management systems, Linking Pin Model and Likert Scaling

Rensis Likert believed the roles and relationships between management staff and employees had a lot to do with how successful a business became. Likert believed in degrees rather than absolutes. He also believed that answers to questions could vary by degrees. He felt that management styles could vary depending on the manager, the employees and the overall work environment.

The purpose of this article is to help you better understand the elements of Rensis Likert's management theories so that, if you choose, you will be able to implement them in your own business or school.

Likert Scale

The Likert Scale, also known as the Summative Scale, is a psychometric scale often used in surveys or questionnaires for feedback. With a Likert Scale option, you choose how you most closely agree with the statement presented, with the choices typically being: strongly disagree, disagree, neither agree or disagree, agree and strongly agree.

Exploitive authoritative system

An exploitive authoritative system is one of four management systems that Likert theorized on. This system relies on management making all of the decisions, delegating tasks and no teamwork. Employees perform the tasks up to par, by specified requirements and standards, or face the consequences.

Benevolent authoritative system

Much like the exploitive system, the benevolent authoritative system has management controlling everything. However, the difference is that employees find motivation through rewards for a job well done, rather than the fear of performing below management standards.

Consultative system

The consultative system is just that: Management may consult with staff for ideas and suggestions, but ultimately still make all of the decisions based upon their own positions on the matter. Employees have a right to speak, but what they have to say may very well fall on deaf ears.

Participative group system

A participative group system relies upon teamwork between management and employees. Managers have every confidence in employees' abilities and give them a bit of freedom in decision making.

Linking pin model

Likert believed that organizations consist of several different working groups and that individuals may be in several different groups at once, thus linking these groups together. Likert calls these employees "linking pins" that hold an organization together.
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Michelle Cramer