"The 1-D Theories suggest one particular style is better than another;

the 2-D Theories suggest that a variety of styles may be appropriate;

the 3-D Theory shows how and when each style is effective."

Bill Reddin

3-D Leadership Model

Professor 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 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 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. His model relates the level of managerial effectiveness to the most appropriate use of each of these styles.

What it means?

Reddin’s four basic management styles result from the different levels of concern for the people and the task. From these four basic styles, Reddin added a third dimension as a means of measuring managerial effectiveness. Where the four styles are being used in the most inappropriate way, this is the lowest level of effectiveness and those occupying these quadrants are labelled as: Missionary, Compromiser, Deserter, and Autocrat. Where the four styles are being used in the most appropriate way and thus at the highest levels of effectiveness, Reddin labelled the roles as: Developer, Executive, Bureaucrat, and Benevolent Autocrat.

How can this help me?

The appropriate use of the four basic management styles is the solution to managerial effectiveness. There is no one right management style, as depending upon the variable, any of the four basic styles can be successful if used appropriately.

Reddin's 3-D Leadership Model(Download PDF)
 

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