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Advantages, Disadvantages - Kinds of Leadership Styles | 12th Office Management and Secretaryship : Chapter 7 : Leadership and Communication

Chapter: 12th Office Management and Secretaryship : Chapter 7 : Leadership and Communication

Kinds of Leadership Styles

A Leadership style denotes a specific behaviour a person exhibits in order to influence people and achieve organisational objectives.

Kinds of Leadership Styles

A Leadership style denotes a specific behaviour a person exhibits in order to influence people and achieve organisational objectives. Each style has a peculiar feature.

They are

Autocratic or Authoritarian Leadership:

Autocratic or Authoritarian Leadership: An autocratic leader exercises complete control over the subordinates. He centralises power in himself and takes all decisions without consulting the subordinates. He dominates and drives his group through pressure or force. The leader gives orders and expects the subordinates to follow them without questioning. He uses rewards and holds threat of penalties to direct the subordinates. Autocratic leadership style may be appropriate when subordinates are uneducated, unskilled and submissive.


·           Autocratic leadership style permits quick decision making

·           It gives strong motivation and satisfaction to the leader who dictates terms.

·           Less competent subordinates are needed at lower level.

·           This style may yield positive results in prompt situation.


·           Autocratic style leads to frustration, low morale and conflict among subordinates.

·           Full potential of subordinates and their creative ideas are not utilized.

·           Organisational continuity is threatened in the absence of the leader because a subordinate gets no opportunity for development.


Democratic or Participative Leadership

A consultative or democratic takes decision in consultation and participate with the subordinates. He decentralises authority and allows the subordinates to share his power. The leader does what the group wants and follows the majority opinion. He keeps the followers informed about matters affecting them. A democratic leader provides freedom of thinking and expression. He listens the suggestion, grievances and opinions of the subordinates.


·           Consultative leadership improves the job satisfaction and morale of subordinates.

·           It cultivates the decision making ability of subordinates.

·           The leader multiplies his ability through the contribution of his followers.

·           It develops positive attitude of the leader and reduces resistance to change.

·           The quality of decisions is improved.

·           Labour absenteeism and Labour turnover is reduced.


·           Democratic style is time-consuming and may result in delays in decision-making.

·           It may not yield positive results when subordinates prefer minimum interaction with the leader.

·           Over a period of time subordinates may develop the habit of expecting to be consulted.


Free-Rein or Laissez Fair Leadership

Free –rein leadership involves complete delegation of authority so that subordinates themselves, can take decisions. A free rein leader avoids power and relinquishes the leadership position. He serves only as a contact/medium to bring the information and resources needed by the subordinates. Free rein style may be appropriate when the subordinates are well trained, highly knowledgeable; self motivated and ready to assume responsibility.


·           Positive effect on job satisfaction and morale of subordinates

·           Maximum possible scope for development of subordinates

·           Full utilization of the potential of subordinates


·           Subordinates do not get the guidance and support of the leader.

·           Subordinates may in different directions and may work at cross purposes which may degenerate in to chaos.


Functional Leadership

A functional leader is one who is an expert in a particular field of activity. He has reached to the position of a leader by virtue of certain special skills that he possesses. Such a leader always thinks of the task he has undertaken and spends most of his time finding out ways and means of doing it better.


·           The presence of an expert or a functional leader is beneficial to the followers and the organisation.

·           As the functional leader is a specialist in a particular field of activity, the subordinates can certainly enrich their job knowledge and skill, provided they are as committed and sincere as their leader is.


·           The functional leader concentrates on his work only. An efficient subordinate can only work with him.

·           Functional leader cannot go down to the level of an average worker and offer any help.


Institutional Leader

An Institutional leader is one who has become a leader by virtue of his official position in the organisational hierarchy. For Ex: A person appointed as a general manager of the company. An institutional leader may not provide expert guidance to his followers. But he has to secure performance from them.


·           He has official authority to act.

·           He can demand performance from subordinates irrespective of his own credentials and the subordinates are officially answerable to him.


·           As the institutional leader may not be an expert in his field of activity, he will not be in a position to offer proper guidance to his followers.

·           Although the leader has the official right to demand performance from his followers, he may not have the moral right, as his own credentials are less.


Paternalistic Leader

A Paternalistic leader takes care of his followers in the way the head of the family takes care of the family members. He is mainly concerned with the well being of his followers and is always ready to protect them. He may provide them with all the physical amenities needed. But he will not be able to guide them to perform the job well. Thus, the paternalistic leader is able to be sociable but is not able to offer intellectual help.


·           He assumes a paternal role to protect his followers.

·           He is always ready to provide the necessary physical amenities to the subordinates.


·           He is not in a position to offer intellectual help to his followers.

·           Those followers, who are capable and achievement -oriented, feel frustrated as the leader is not able to guide them to enrich their job knowledge and skill.


Charismatic Leader

Charismatic leadership is basically the method of encouraging particular behaviors in others by way of effective communication, persuasion and force of personality. Charismatic leaders motivate followers to get things done or improve the way certain things are done. This is accomplished by stimulating up eagerness in others to achieve a stated goal or vision. In essence, the charismatic leadership style has its basis in a form of heroism.

This leadership style is almost of divine origin which means by their birth itself they have some quality (Traits) Character which makes others to admire them.


·           They naturally command leadership from their quality, so no formal rules and authority are needed.

·           Their presence itself gives energy and motivation to the followers.


·           These types of Leaders are very few in number to identify.

·           In an organisational set up leadership with formal authority can be more effective.


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