Leadership Styles Theories
All these factors are important to people at work as they affect peoples attitudes and willingness to work. Managers must take into account their employees opinions, views and needs. Managers are also responsible for their employees morale and motivation , ensuring that they have a good environment to work in. Meaning, that the are also responsible for the welfare of their employees and health and safety in the workplace. Above all, a manager must be an effective leader, someone whom others wish to follow.
The style of leadership has a huge influence on the performance of the team and can be defined as Autocratic/Democratic/ laissez faire/ Reactive/Proactive. In Autocratic management style, power and authority are exercised by the manager without reference to others within his or her team. The autocratic manager plans and controls the activities of the team, dictating what id to be done , leaving nothing open for discussion. Autocratic management is task-centred and more focused on the completion of the task rather than welfare or motivation of the employees, whom it will obviously have a bad effect on. It is effectively used in the army and police force as they require a strong powerful leader, and strict rules.
Democratic management style on the other hand; while power and authority still are led by the manager, plans and decisions are made by the team as a whole. A democratic manager may even delegate some power and authority to team members, and encourage some independent action. Democratic management is more employee-centred, being based on the theory that employees will be more motivated and better when they are involved when they receive recognition. Examples of a democratic leader is at The Principality, as it was firstly run by an autocratic leader causing employees to be unhappy, de-motivated and leave. When a democratic leader was put in place, it meant those employees returned back to The Principality to work.
A manager who uses the laissez-faire approach of management allows members of the team to carry out all tasks and functions by themselves. This type of manager will remain in the background, co-ordinating and supporting the work if the team members, and representing them at management meetings. This style of leadership is appropriate with a workforce who are highly motivated to work themselves without any instruction, and can continue and progress with tasks without being instructed to.
A proactive manager works closely with staff to identify their needs, and anticipates problems before they occur, and puts plans in place to prevent them from occurring. This would make a more motivated workplace , as all plans would be In place , and prevents problems happening , or if so vary rarely. Therefore , workers will be more motivated working If there are no problems to make it more difficult and overcome.
However, the disadvantage of this is the amount of time it will take to plan and prepare for everything, means valuable time will be lost being spent elsewhere. A reactive manager is not very innovative and only responds to problems after they have occurred, however the benefit of this is that no time is wasted on planning events that my not occur. This could be de-motivating for the workplace as if problems occurred often it would make the environment stressful , and take more time to overcome the problems which were not planned for.
In my opinion, Autocratic leadership styles will cause staff to resent their manager and discourages teamwork and initiative, as people aren’t allowed to think for themselves. Whereas, democratic and laissez-faire approaches enable decision making and relations to grow between employees and managers, with a less stressful working environment, with everyone working together. From my experience in o2 and also through my research into business I feel that this is the most poplar style of leadership, however I do recognise tat in certain working environments other style are better suited.
Theorists who have explored theories on management styles include Renis Likert, Fred Fiedler and Victor Vroom. I will now go onto explore each of thee individually. Renis Likert believed there are four basic styles of management; Benevolent Authoritarian, Participative, Consultative and Exploitive Authoritarian. Benevolent Authoritarian managers have some trust in employees but are seen as condescending. Participative managers trust employees completely and teamwork is used to help make decisions. Consultative managers show more confidence in employees and teamwork is used to help make decisions, but overall decisions are mad by managers. Exploitive Authoritarian managers have no trust in employees and all decisions are made by managers.
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