In truth, the type of leadership style that fits best for a company or organization is dependent on the culture of the organization, the manner in which employees and leaders interact, and the type of business the organization functions within. Different leadership styles exist because people by nature are wondrously diverse in their traits, characteristics, and communication abilities. It is therefore important for a leader to understand when a particular leadership style must be exhibitedor avoided. A leadership style is the leader strategy that a person exhibits through verbal and non verbal communication.
This includes a team-oriented or individual employee approach. Type-A personalities are likely to be more autocratic or bureaucratic in their leadership style, while a type-B personality may be more democratic or laissez-faire in approach. Most leaders will exhibit several of the standard characteristics of any combination of leadership styles. This is normal, as few people are an extreme of one leadership style or another. Understanding the pros and cons of leadership styles has two main benefits: First, it allows recognition of the manners in which leader styles impact the employees and secondly, it allows for greater organizational achievement through discerning when a particular leadership style benefits or diminishes organizational goals.
Autocratic Leadership Style The autocratic leadership style is the classical management approach. In this leadership style, the manager is power-retentive, decision-based, and authoritarian. The autocratic leader maintains the majority of power in any team or individual oriented organization. The autocratic leadership style allows for decisions to be based on the ability of the manager in a peerless environment.
In this leadership style it is important to note that the manager does not ask for consultation or input from staff. Often there is a specific and unbending structure of rewards and punishments. Rewards are often monetary in value rather than verbal or recognition-based. Punishments are often write-ups, warnings, demotion or dismissal without strong verbal communication. This is because the autocratic style demands staff obedience rather than staff input. Pros of Autocratic Leadership Style The autocratic leadership style sounds harsh, but it is not entirely negative in the approach.
New and untrained staff, especially in a newer organization, may not know which tasks to undertake or the time frame in which they must be completed. The autocratic leadership style is especially effective when detailed procedures, instructions, and policies are necessary for the job to be completed accurately. Another benefit of the autocratic leadership style is seen when staff does not respond to alternative leadership styles.
Compare and Contrast this approaches and theory:
This includes times when the team or individual staff members challenge management power by showing up late or generally not respecting policies and procedures. For example, when the organizational culture is lacking in respect and coordination, it may be time to alter the leadership style to a more autocratic approach. The tight structure of the autocratic leadership style is not negative, in fact it may assist to keep employees on-task and following necessary policies. Cons of Autocratic Leadership Styles Autocratic leaders often rely on threats of punishment write-ups, demotion, and dismissal rather than reward and recognition.
This leads to staff mistrust. Furthermore, the foundation of autocracy as being inherently self-ruling often removes or diminishes the ability of the staff to give valuable input, either out of fear or lack of opportunity. Therefore, a type of stalemate in the organization may be reached—nothing new is created. The biggest con of autocratic leadership style occurs when the staff reacts to the negative aspects of autocratic leadership. The staff may become fearful and tense around the manager, often exhibiting signs of resentment. In general people have a need to communicate in an open and safe manner.
Autocratic leadership is marked with threats of punishment, and therefore employees are not heard. The one-way communication may also create a form of staff dependency. Bureaucratic Leadership Style The bureaucratic leadership style is based on a political concept. Unlike the hierarchy of autocratic leadership, the defining characteristics of bureaucratic rule are: division of administration; linear career paths; differential patterns of authority; the existence of patterns of information dissemination. The division of administration is the most noticeable characteristic of bureaucratic leadership style.
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In the extreme, each task and decision making process is defined and acted upon through administrative policy. This creates linear career paths. For example, an employee may begin at the base floor of a manufacturing department. After a specific time line or activity, he is promoted to middle management and then to management. This means that there are different positions of authority that a ground floor employee can reach, but the positions of authority are reached only by adhering to a set of administrative guidelines. Thus, there is a specific pattern of information that disseminates from the top-down management approach.
Upper management instructs middle management, middle management instructs coaches or team leaders and these people in turn instruct the base employee. Each action in bureaucratic leadership style is dictated by a specific policy. They ensure that employees follow procedure and adhere to the administrative rule as well as top-down authority. Pros of Bureaucratic Leadership Bureaucratic leadership style works best in situations where there are routine tasks and specific goals that must be used consistently for the business to excel. For example, a sewing factory requires a concentrated effort to maintain the same task over and over throughout a work day.
There is not room for differentiation in procedure because this may lead to inferior quality. This bureaucratic leadership style is also vastly important when safety and security training is conducted. In this manner predetermined functions that could develop dangerous situations are removed from the procedures that employees carry out in their day to day tasks. Another strong benefit of bureaucratic leadership style is apparent when the organization handles or manages money or properties.
Cons of Bureaucratic Leadership Bureaucratic leadership style has a tendency to form specific habits.
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This causes distress when the traditional work method must be changed to allow for new or innovative styles to be incorporated in the day to day task. For example, introducing newer machinery or changes to a functional job role may be met with resistance, especially in tenured employees. This is because the bureaucratic leadership style constricts the flow of innovationeach new item must be approved by administrative policy, then it must be taught to employees, and then it must be continuously promoted by management.
Interest in the functional job role may be lost under bureaucratic leadership style. Employees may find there is no room for new and interesting changes, and this creates a type of stale environment.
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This constriction and lack of interest can result in a freezing of employee functions. The employee who feels constricted, bored, and uninterested will not commit to tasks beyond their functional job role. They will only do what is expected of them through administrative procedure. Democratic Leadership Style Democratic leadership style is sometimes referred to as the participative style. The characteristics of this leadership style is that it encourages staff to be self motivating, self dependent, and to make their own decisions as well as participate in decision making for the entire team.
This leadership style works well when the staff is continuously apprised of information necessary to their job as well as occurrences that impact their job. In this manner, employees are able to make decisions towards sales pitches that promote their own sales numbers, for the benefit of the entire organization.
Classical and Contemporary Leadership Styles
The democratic leadership style is more informative than controlling. It requires that employees understand how to interpret information and make their own decisions in a knowledge-based environment. The democratic leadership style is based on development rather than power or administration.
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This promotes the ability of staff to commit to personal evaluation and responsibility. In this style, the leader allows employees to create and reach their own goals based on the information at hand. Rewards as verbal recognition are often given in a public manner.