Participative Leadership Style Is Always More Effective Than Autocratic/Directive Leadership Styles. Discuss

Topics: Leadership, Management, Situational leadership theory Pages: 10 (2459 words) Published: November 20, 2011

Participative leadership style is always more effective than autocratic/directive leadership styles. Discuss.

Executive summary

Academic and empirical research on workplace leadership covers wide ranging information on leadership theory and characteristics that make a leader effective. The focus of this report is to identify information on behavioural and contingency perspectives of leadership. The path-goal Leadership theory is one of the anticipated contingency theories as it includes different styles of leadership behaviours. The main aspects of this report are a behavioural comparison, between participative and autocratic/directive leadership and the use of its positive and negative outcomes.

The styles differ on the basis of the level of skill and experience required in the work place, situation, task structure and power distance. The Australian workplace is skewed towards the participative leadership aspect as compared to autocratic/directive leadership in the Asian workplace.

Table of Contents

Introduction Page 4

Theories of LeadershipPage 5

Leadership Theory in PracticePage 6

Leadership across Cultures and GendersPage 7

Situational factors of participative and autocratic/directivePage 9 Leadership style

Conclusion and ImplicationsPage 10

ReferencePage 11


The term leadership is defined as having the power to motivate and efficiently influence a sense of achievement for members of an organisation (Mc Shane et. Al, 2010). Bennis and Nanus (1985) suggest that managers tend to focus on the process by examining if employees conduct activities the right way; while leaders focus their attention on the outcome by ensuring their firms are doing the right things.

Whilst Zaleznik (1977) suggested that in an organisation the managers and leaders are two different types of people. Therefore the managers have the ability to make choice hence maintaining the stability of business. Accordingly the leader works in an opposite direction, to build up new approaches, create new areas to investigate that will withstand long term problems. The leader and the manager, show the conditions favourable to the growth of one may be opposing to the other (Zaleznik 1977).

The leadership behaviour of a manager and the leader is dependent on an effective personality and significant levels of knowledge. The varied studies of leadership cover areas such as trait theories, behavioural and contingency theories, with the latter most theory commonly known as the path goal theory (House 1971). The four types of leadership behaviours coming under the contingency theory are autocratic/directive, supportive, achievement oriented and participative.

In this report the comparison between the two leadership styles, only participative and autocratic/directive will be discussed in detail. Organisational behaviour theories relating to the leadership style such as communication, Hertzberg’s two factory theory of motivation, goal setting and the Hofstede's research on cultural context will be discussed in detail in this report.

Leaders that implement the participative leadership style encourage and play the role of a facilitator and consultant with varied subordinates by taking ideas into account during decision making. On the other hand the autocratic / directive leader informs subordinates about a precise line of procedure by handing down specific work standards and details required of them (Bass 1990).

Theories of Leadership

Leadership trait theories differentiate leaders from subordinates with a clear focus on personal qualities and characteristics. Some traits are self confidence, high tolerance of frustration, extroversion and assertiveness (Dubrin and Dalglish 2001). Behavioural theories propose characteristic behaviours that differentiate leaders from subordinates by selecting behaviours for specific groups of people...
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