Leadership Styles Analysis

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Leadership Styles Analysis

Leadership Styles Analysis


Leaders carry out their roles in a wide variety of styles, e.g., autocratic, democratic, participatory, Laissez-faire (hands off), etc. Often, the leadership style depends on the situation, including the life cycle of the organization.

Autocratic Leadership

Autocratic leadership is an extreme form of transactional leadership, where a leader exerts high levels of power over his or her employees or team members. People within the team are given few opportunities for making suggestions, even if these would be in the team's or organization's interest (Bittel, 1989).

Most people tend to resent being treated like this. Because of this, autocratic leadership usually leads to high levels of absenteeism and staff turnover. Also, the team's output does not benefit from the creativity and experience of all team members, so many of the benefits of teamwork are lost. For some routine and unskilled jobs, however, this style can remain effective where the advantages of control outweigh the disadvantages(Goodworth, 1988).

Pros and Cons of Autocratic Leadership

Cons of Autocratic Leaders

The communication style of an autocratic leader is usually described as one way. They tell you exactly what they want done. The feedback you would get from this type of leader would generally be unplanned. They would simply tell you when you've made a mistake (Dessler, 2001).

The decision making process is usually unilateral and they accomplish goals by directing people. Now that might not sound like the type of leader you'd follow, but there are actually situations when this style is effective (Bittel, 1989).

Pros of Autocratic Leaders

In the workplace, some conditions may simply call for urgent action, and in these cases an autocratic style of leadership may be best style to adopt. Surprisingly, most workers have already worked for an autocratic leader and therefore have little trouble adapting to that style (Goodworth, 1988).

In fact, in times of stress or emergency some subordinates may actually prefer an autocratic style - they prefer to be told exactly what to do. So to summarize - the autocratic leadership style is very effective when times are stressful, but very stressful during those times when the pressure is off the followers or coworkers (Tannenbaum and Schmidt, 1973).

Democratic Leadership Style

Although a democratic leader will make the final decision, he or she invites other members of the team to contribute to the decision-making process (Dessler, 2001). This not only increases job satisfaction by involving employees or team members in ...
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