Management Concepts & Organisational Behaviour - Leadership

Styles of Leadership

   Posted On :  18.05.2018 07:41 am

Leadership style refers to a leader’s behavior. Behavioral pattern which the leader reflects in his role as a leader is often described as the style of leadership.

Styles of Leadership
 
Leadership style refers to a leader’s behavior. Behavioral pattern which the leader reflects in his role as a leader is often described as the style of leadership. Leadership style is the result of leader’s philosophy, personality, experience, and value system. It also depends upon the types of followers and the organizational atmosphere prevailing in the enterprise.
 
Different types of leadership styles are:
 
             Autocratic leadership;
 
             Participative leadership;
 
             Free rein leadership; and
 
             Paternalistic leadership.
 

Autocratic or Authoritarian Leadership

 
The autocratic leader gives orders which must be obeyed by the subordinates. He determines policies for the group without consulting them and does not give detailed information about future plans, but simply tells the group what immediate steps they must take. He gives personal praise or criticism to each member on his own initiative and remains aloof from the group for the major part of the time. Thus, under this style, all decision-making power is centralized in the leader. Leader adopting this style stresses his prerogative to decide and order and subordinates’ obligation to do what they are told to carry out.
 
Autocratic leadership may be negative because followers are uniformed, insecure and afraid of leader’s authority. Such a leader may be called the strict autocrat who realizes on negative influences and gives orders which the subordinates must accept. Leadership can be positive also because the leader may use his power to disperse rewards to his group. When his motivational
style is positive, he is often called a benevolent autocrat. The benevolent autocrat is effective in getting high productivity in many situations and he can develop effective human relationships. There is another type of autocratic leader known as manipulative autocrat, who makes the subordinates feel that they are participating in decision-making process even though he has already taken the decision. An autocratic leader assumes that people basically work for money they and want security. Because of such assumptions about human beings, he exercises tight control and supervision over his subordinates. But these assumptions do not hold good in all the situations. If the motivational style is negative, people will dislike it. Frustration, low morale and conflict develop easily in autocratic situations.
 

Participative or Democratic Leadership

 
A democratic leader is one who gives instructions only after consulting the group. He sees to it that policies are worked out in group discussions and with the acceptance of the group. Participative manager decentralizes managerial authority. His decisions are not unilateral like that of the autocratic leader. Unlike an autocratic manager who controls through the authority , a participative manager exercises control mostly by using forces within the group. Some of the advantages of participative leadership are:
 
--    It increases the acceptance of management’s ideas.
 
--   It improves the attitude of employees towards their jobs and the organization.
 
--    It increases the cooperation between management and employees.
 
--   It leads to reduction in the number of complaints and grievances.
 
--    It increases the morale of the employees.
 

Free Rein or Laissez Faire Leadership

 
A free rein leader does not lead, but leaves the group entirely to itself. The free rein leader avoids power. He depends largely upon the group to establish its own goals and work out its own problems. Group members work themselves and provide their own motivation. The leader completely abdicates his leadership position by giving most of the work entrusted to him to the group which he is supposed to lead. This is also known as permissive style of leadership, where there is least intervention by the leader. Abdication of authority by the leader and letting the group to operate entirely on its own are the common features of this style. This mode of direction can produce good and quick results if the subordinates are highly educated, responsible and brilliant who have a strong desire and committment to give their best to the organization.
 

Paternalistic Leadership

 
In this style, the leader assumes that his function is paternal or fatherly. His attitude is that of treating the relationship between the leader and his group as that of family with the leader as the head of family. He works to help, guide, protect, and keep his followers happily working together as members of a family. He provides them with good working conditions, fringe benefits and employee services. This style has been successful, particularly in Japan because of its cultural background. It is said that employees under such leadership will work harder out of gratitude.

 

Tags : Management Concepts & Organisational Behaviour - Leadership
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