Management Maturity Model


Many attempts have been made by various persons to classify, grade or explain the various levels of competence, style or simply methods of management available. This is not definitive or exhaustive. It is a basis or framework that could act as a point of reference.






Dictate One person is clearly the boss. He/she makes the decisions and these are carried out by those reporting in. Proximity of those managed or commanded is essential and communication is limited to the confines of the group. Acceptance that the higher rank has exposure to more and varied information is essential. Military use is well established and yields excellent clear communicative advantages. Rapid response and clear role and task identification are the most important advantages. Can move massive groups to perform varied tasks in short time span. Stifles or rejects individuality, subordinate contribution and creativity. Does not allow individual strengths and weaknesses to influence the outcome.
Considerate One person is still clearly the boss. He/she will listen and interpret input from subordinates in isolation and then make a binding decision. Proximity is less dominant and speciality of subgroups is possible. More independence is granted but communications is still clearly constricted. Many governments are managed this way. Strong hierarchical business models of the past showed that when the organisation unilaterally accepts this model, it can yield very strong positive results. Strong on communication and fast in decision process. Same as dictate above due to constrained communications. Does allow glimmers of individuality but still no freedom of choice for the subordinate.
Collaborate One person is now more of a leader than a boss. Open communication and decisions are allowed. Only one point of entry with regards to other groups and levels in organisation. Response of the considerate model to requirement for distributed groups. Regular group re-enforcement and goal orientated meetings or gatherings required. Still allows hierarchy, but now more varied group focussed. One participant can fulfil multiple roles and act accordingly. Allows self actualisation within limited group environments. Requires strong guidelines within which groups have to operate. Communication less task and more goal orientated therefore less effective and more time consuming.
Participate One person acts as “front man” of mouthpiece for a group. They reach decision by agreement and the other members are allowed to interact with external parties or groups within the constraints agreed upon by the group and on limited scale. Independence of group proximity. Specialisation and interdependence become evident and clearly defined. Significant reduction in group sizing. Highly reactive to external stimulus. When mature specialisation and counter respect allows natural take up and yielding of task determined by outcome speciality rather than by command. Requires exceptional mutual trust. Consumes extraordinary communication and alignment management. Personal agendas not congruent with that of group may disrupt entirely.
Permissive Give each individual enough of what he/she would require to complete their tasks. Trust them to do it and act as consultant in advisory capacity only. Group size of one. Independent of geography, circumstance and rules. Larger group forming, rules, and management are now by mutual agreement. Communication at centre of everything. Extremely fluid and reactive to external stimuli. Can be very proactive in some areas. Yield advantages similar to swarming for insects. Specialisation to the extreme. May be seen as disorganised and chaotic. Management, communication and task execution lack control and direction. Single goal orientation almost impossible to achieve.

  • So how do managers deploy these into an environment?
  • Why do we constantly hear subordinates complaining that a certain manager is treating them like children?
  • Can one management style be used in one facet of your life and another somewhere else?
  • Do we actively manage and select the style type most appropriate to the person or situation, or do we “go with the flow”?
  • Does each manager have a dominant style and can only venture to those styles adjacent to it on occasion?

It should be obvious that practised managers don’t switch between different styles or approaches dramatically; transitions vacillate. As a person’s inner confidence levels grow, they require less and less control, they have to be recognised as the boss less and less and can also start taking joy from the progress and growth of others (Maturity).

It should be clear that a full discussion on how these different stages or styles impact on human interaction, communication, politics and probably most subject that you can name.

Please feel free to comment and discuss…


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