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 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:
Free rein leadership; and
Autocratic or Authoritarian Leadership
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
-- It improves the attitude of employees towards their jobs and the
-- 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
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.
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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