Explain various leadership styles. Describe the style of a leader from an organization you are familiar with. Why this particular style has been adopted. Give reasons. Briefly describe the organization you are referring to.
Most of the managers use several styles at one or the other point of time, but in which category a manager foils, is decided by the style that is mostly used by him. Basically and broadly, there are three important leadership styles as follows:
1. Autocratic or authoritarian style: It is also known as directive style. It is basically treated as a traditional method of leadership. The autocratic leader himself decides all policies. He gives orders to the subordinates and expects them to follow such orders completely without any grudge or question. Under this style, subordinates are thought to be inexperienced and wisdom less and therefore they are given no freedom-the technicalities and modalities of the work, and the course of action are decided by the autocratic leader. Hence the future action is not known to anyone except the leader.
This style may be appropriately used where subordinates are uneducated, unskilled, unwise, inexperienced; where the company endorses fear and punishment as accepted disciplinary techniques; and where the leader prefers to be active and dominate in decision making.
2. Democratic or particle active style: The democratic leader decentralizes power. He involves subordinates in the decision making. He has faith in the subordinates and their wisdom, skills and capacities. He halos objective approach. Communication pattern is multidimensional.
The major advantages of this style are: It improves job satisfaction and morale; develops positive attitudes; reduces resistance to change; generates self motivation due to participative decision making and freedom of thought an-I impression; increases productivity; and develops better subordinates.
The major disadvantages of this style are; It is time-consuming and causes delays in decision making; may fail when the communication pattern and skill are not strong enough; is not workable where subordinates do not want to take extra responsibility of sharing in decision making and becoming part of every decision; decreases productivity in some case especially, when decisions are diluted to appease or please everybody.
Democratic style is more appropriate where subordinates are educated, skilled, wise, creative, and enthusiastic; where the company endorses self direction and self-control, and rewards and involvement as prime means of motivation and control; and where leader desires to hear subordinates before making decisions and to develop a strong and capable force of followers.
3. Free-rein or Laissez-faire or Permissive style: There are several forms of this style. For example, in some cases the subordinates are given a goal to achieve in their own way, whereas in some other cases, they themselves decide their group goals. Infect, there is almost complete delegation of authority; and the path leading to the goals is decided by the subordinates themselves. The leaders behave primarily as a member of the group and play the role of a member only. He gives his opinion or suggestion only when it is demanded from him. Under this style, tube group members are educated and motivated by themselves, the leader is not required to educate but he acts, as a link primarily for arranging adequate resources needed for attaining the goals, for establishing contact between employees and the outside world, for collecting necessary information from external sources, and for establishing coordination. The concept of management by exception' promotes this type of style. Subordinates themselves plan. Control, evaluate and decide. The major advantages of this style are: It increases subordinates' freedom, develops their expression, compels them to work as group members, increases job- satisfaction and morale, utilizes subordinates' potential to the maximum possible extent, and promotes creativity or innovation.