Frames of Leadership Analysis

Frames of Leadership Analysis 


The Leadership Orientations assessment is keyed to four different conceptions of organizations and of the task of organizational leadership.  Lee Bolman and Terry Deal in Reframing Organizations present these orientations as four frames — a distinct way of thinking about leadership and organizations.


The Four Frames


STRUCTURAL LEADERS: emphasize rationality, analysis, logic, facts, and data. They are likely to believe strongly in the importance of clear structure and well-developed management systems.  A good leader in the structural leader’s view is someone who thinks clearly, makes the right decisions, has good analytic skills, and can design structures and systems that get the job done.



HUMAN RESOURCE LEADERS: emphasize the importance of people. They endorse the view that the central task of management is to develop a good fit between people and organizations. They believe  in the importance of coaching, participation, motivation, teamwork, and good interpersonal relations. A good leader in the view of a human resource leader is a facilitator and participative manager who supports and empowers others.



POLITICAL LEADERS: believe that managers and leaders live in a world of conflict and scarce resources.  The central task of management is to mobilize the resources needed to advocate and fight for the unit’s or the organization’s goals and objectives. Political leaders emphasize the importance of building a power base: allies, networks, coalitions. A good leader to a political leader means an advocate and negotiator who understands politics and is comfortable with conflict.


SYMBOLIC LEADERS: believe that the essential task of management is to provide vision and inspiration. They rely on personal charisma and a flair for drama to get people excited and committed to the organizational missions.  A good leader in their view is a prophet and visionary, who uses symbols, tells stories, and frames experience in ways that give people hope and meaning.

Discuss with the group the results of your Frames of Leadership Analysis.  What did you learn?  What surprised you

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