Reddin 3D Leadership Model

Reddin 3D Leadership Model - toolshero

Reddin 3D Leadership Model: in this article you will find a practical explanation of Reddin 3D Leadership Model, developed by William James Reddin. Next to what it is, this article also highlights the managerial styles, the third dimension for measuring managerial effectiveness and Management skills development. After reading, you will understand the basic concepts of this method for managing a manager’s leadership in the different situations of change that can occur in a company. Enjoy reading!

What is the Reddin 3-D leadership model?

The Reddin 3D Leadership Model was developed by William James Reddin, who was a British professor and manager who developed various theories on situational leadership styles and the impact on the efficiency of organisations. This article will explain in a clear and practical way one of his most popular theories on leadership effectiveness.

Reddin 3D Leadership Model or also known as Reddin’s Three Dimensional Theory, is a model that is based on the manager being efficient in the variety of situations that may arise in the organisation. His efficiency is measured by the fulfilment of goals in the adaptation of his style with his adaptation to the changes that arise.

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This theory proposes that managerial behaviour is related to task orientation and relationships with other people. A manager can focus on either one or both or integrate both for his or her leadership management, always focusing on the effectiveness of his or her management as a leader.

Other well-known theories on leadership styles are Goleman’s leadership styles, Lewin’s leadership styles and the leadership model by Tannenbraum-Schmidt.

Reddin 3D Leadership Model: Managerial styles

The following types of orientations are considered in this model.

  • Task orientation: the tendency of individuals to direct their efforts towards assigned activities or tasks (initiating, organising and directing).
  • Relationship orientation: the way in which individuals direct their efforts towards personal relationships with their work team (listening, trusting, motivating).
  • Effectiveness orientation: is the behaviour that is perceived as appropriate to the requirements of the situation.

Reddin identifies four basic leadership styles:

Reddin 3D Effectiveness Leadership Model - toolshero

Figure 1 – 3D Effectiveness Leadership Model (Reddin)

1. Related

This style defines that the leader enjoys most doing cooperative work with his team. He does not dictate or direct his subordinates, he allows his workers to have freedom and responsibility by listening to their opinions and conversing with them. He is a people person where relationships are vital in order to deliver the results he wants.

2. Integrated

This style represents the integrated manager, which means that he/she likes team cooperation and two-way communication. They like communication to be an essential part of developing the team’s potential for task development. Your orientation is to work towards the future. Uses teamwork to connect individual needs with tasks.

3. Dedicated

This style is the manager who tends to dominate others. He or she likes to give instructions and direct what others should do. The dedicated manager is always aware of time as for them the importance of immediacy is vital to production. Does not work well in situations where they do not have the power they wants.  The dedicated manager is direct and makes demands on others in their tasks.

4. Separated

In this type of leadership the manager is concerned with correctness or deviations. He or she tends to follow policies and rules and imposes them on others so that they are fully complied with. He/she always takes into account past performance in order to overcome or further improve it. Balance is vital to follow rules and processes.

These leadership styles help to adapt to different situations. A management style is not always efficient, it depends on the situation at hand. Always a leadership style can be potential for a leader to adapt to the demands of the environment or transform the leadership types into an integration to achieve the desired success in the organisation with positive results.

Reddin 3D Leadership Model: third dimension for measuring managerial effectiveness

From these four basic styles, Reddin added a third dimension as a means of defining managerial effectiveness. These four styles are either used inappropriately and appropriately.

The styles that are used inappropriately are at the lowest level of effectiveness and those that occupy these quadrants are:  Missionary, Commitment, Defector and Autocrat. When these styles are used appropriately and at the highest levels of effectiveness they are roles such as: Executive Developer, Bureaucrat and Benevolent Autocrat.

These 8 managerial styles are the eight basic styles that are used appropriately and inappropriately.

Reddin 3D Effectiveness Leadership Model - toolshero

Figure 2 – 8 managerial styles in practice (Reddin)

Reddin 3D Leadership Model: Basic related styles of leadership

The following leadership styles are determined by Reddin 3D Leadership Model:

Separated basic styles in The Reddin 3D Leadership Model

1. Deserter, less effective leadership style

This is the manager who is limited in his or her relationship or task-oriented actions.

This is a person who is non-committal, passive and negative towards managing the development of a project.

2. Bureaucratic, most effective leadership style

This is the manager who likes to follow the rules to such an extent that he / she can achieve the reputation of being a rigid and complicated person, as he/she does not agree to solutions that are not in line with the company’s entire business scheme (processes, beliefs, traditions).

It is difficult to make him / her understand how to step outside the context of the hierarchical processes that the organisation has already established.

Related basic styles in The Reddin 3D Leadership Model

3. Missionary, less effective leadership style

This manager is less task-oriented and more focused on personal relationships. They like to have harmony in the work team. They try to keep their team always happy, listen to their requests and opinions and do their best to provide protection.

This type of style can lead to the manager not giving honest appraisals and demanding compliance with the controls and processes that employees must have in place.

4. Developer, more affective leadership style

This type of manager uses a limited task orientation and relies much more on relationships with subordinates.

They like to share knowledge and encourage the development of professional growth in others. This makes him/her proud to promote the development of human talent in his/her team and can bring more effectiveness.

Dedicated basic styles in The Reddin 3D Leadership Model

5. Autocratic, less effective leadership style

In this leadership style the manager acts in a cold and calculating way by focusing much more on the completion of tasks and personal relationships are of no importance.

He tends to manage and follow work processes carefully as he does not have enough trust in others. They do not explain their decisions as for them their word and action has more power than that of others. They do not like mistakes and their personal interaction is low.

6. Benevolent autocrat, the most effective leadership style

The manager agrees on objectives and helps his team in the process. They like to solve operational problems, but do not have as much patience for solving human relations problems.

They like to be fair when they disagree with someone or need to get an employee’s attention. They can handle team relationships in general with ease but find it difficult to focus on individual relationships.

Integrated basic styles in The Reddin 3D Leadership Model

7. Compromiser, less effective leadership style

The manager uses both task-oriented and relationship-oriented management styles.

For this type of manager both are equally important so they focus on both, but they may lose control of this focus and not know how to balance both. They can be indecisive and sensitive when making decisions.

8. Executive, the most effective leadership style

In this style the manager uses both task achievement and relationship management orientations.

They like to work in a problem-solving, goal-achievement oriented way and to develop the human talent of other employees.

He / she likes to have a good assertive communication with the team, which helps and gives them confidence to express their ideas, opinions and suggestions. This style is effective for team cohesion towards the achievement of goals.

Management skills development with the The Reddin 3D Leadership Model

The Reddin 3D Model helps to develop management skills such as:

  1. Situational sensitivity, ability to diagnose situations
  2. Flexibility, ability to adapt
  3. Situational management skills, the ability to make changes

Theoretical concepts of Reddin 3D Leadership Model

Organisational change is the process of bringing managers together to exchange issues and put the direction of the company in trust. By organising priorities and objectives, effectiveness is developed in a positive way.

The The Reddin 3D Leadership Model is not a guide for change, but proposes different alternatives for dealing with situations where task orientation or relationship orientation can be developed much better. With these two options always looking for positive alternatives to achieve better results. Change must involve all the people who have to participate in the processes. Flexibility is necessary for change, it is the adaptation to achieve change.

A good manager is able to recognise the requirements that are necessary to be able to manage effectively as a leader and achieve the desired success of the organisation. The manager will then be able to interpret the needs of the different projects or situations that arise, either by taking a task-oriented or relationship-oriented approach or by integrating the two when necessary.

The task-oriented approach is effective when the scenarios are with a small group of people, or limited time, and even when working under pressure to meet set goals.

In contrast, the human relations oriented approach is often effective in creative tasks, co-creation, teamwork where leadership is essential to motivate staff to develop human talent and thus to achieve the fulfilment of objectives. The leader firmly believes that empowering and developing people’s skills will bring positive points for success.

For Reddin there is no ideal style of situational leadership. However, these styles of The Reddin 3D Leadership Model help to deal more adequately with the different situations of change that companies may face. By this he means that the manager has the option to choose which one suits him best in order to lead in the best way depending on his situation.

The most appropriate strategy or management style will lead to the achievement of objectives and, as a result, to business success.

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Now it’s your turn

What do you think? Do you think that situational effectiveness leadership is important for adapting to the changes that a company may experience? The Reddin 3D Leadership Model proposes several leadership styles, which one do you identify with or have you put into practice? Do you have any suggestions or comments to add?

Share your experience and knowledge in the comments box below.

More information

  1. Kassem, M. S., & Moursi, M. A. (1971). Managerial effectiveness. Academy of Management Journal, 14(3), 381-388.
  2. Karadag, E. (2009). Spiritual Leadership and Organizational Culture: A Study of Structural Equation Modeling. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice, 9(3), 1391-1405.
  3. Singh, S. B., & Karunes, S. (2000). Leadership Styles, Traits, Roles and Practices down the Ages. Vision, 4(1_suppl), 18-31.

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Original publication date: 06/02/2021 | Last update: 09/13/2023

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Daniela Avendaño
Article by:

Daniela Avendaño

Daniela Avendaño is a content producer and translator at toolshero. She obtained a Bachelor in Communications & Journalism, and with her theoretical and practical knowledge she supports the toolshero production team with interesting articles on management, personal & professional development, marketing and more. She is driven by sharing knowledge and stimulating others to develop.


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