Human Resource Management

by Milan Varnado, June 2014

900 words

3 pages


The leadership theorists have combined situational leadership with trait approaches. Three basic styles of leadership are distinguished as follows: (1) authoritarian or autocratic; (2) participative or democratic; and (3) delegative or free reign. In addition to these three basic leadership styles, there are other seven styles that are effectively applied by the leaders in today’s organizations, specifically: bureaucratic leadership; charismatic leadership, laissez-faire leadership; relations-oriented leadership; (7) servant leadership; (8) task-oriented leadership; (9) transactional leadership; and (10) transformational leadership (Boyatzis, and McKee, 2005). Consequently, three leadership styles were identified to synthesize particular situations with the leadership styles. For instance, the authoritarian leadership style is most relevant during the crisis periods, however is not effective in the routine management situations (Meyer, Ashleigh, George, and Jones, 2007).

The authoritarian (autocratic) leadership style is applied when the leader informs employees about the desired results and the way the work should be done. At that, the leader does not take the advice or any recommendations on the part of his followers. To apply this style in practice effectively the leader should possess all the necessary information in his disposition to apply it in his own discretion to cope with difficulties and solve problems. This approach is applied when the leader is short of time and is bound to take decisions quickly. At that, all the staff should be well-motivated to follow his orders in a prompt and efficient manner. However, many employees perceive this style as too strict since it is featured by yelling, demeaning language, threats and abuse as the case may be. Though, such instances have nothing in common with the real and effective authoritarian style, since pure bossing people around does not comply with the effective leader’s performance. Overall, this type of leadership style should be applied on rare occasions (Newstrom, and Davis, 1993). Furthermore, autocratic leadership is regarded as a type of transactional leadership, wherein leader maintains power over his employees. At that, employees do not influence the leader's decision-making. However, most employees deny autocratic leadership preferring more democratic leadership approaches. Worse than that, autocratic leadership often causes staff turnover and high levels of absenteeism (Bamfield, 2006).

In turn, the democratic leadership style is relevant whenever situations demand substantial amount of consensus. Providing the leader has more time to make decisions and would like to get more commitment and motivation on the part of his employees, participative style should be applied. Participative (democratic) style indicates that the leader involves one or more employees to participate in the decision-making process. Such group collaboration is necessary to determine what should be done and in what manner. At that, the leader holds the right to take the final decision. The application of this style means that leader is open to democratic cooperation respected by employees. The style is actually applied when the leader possesses some information, while employees possess the remaining part of it. At that, due application brings mutual benefit allowing employees to become part of the team and enabling …

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