Leadership is an essential ingredient for organizational effectiveness. Dynamic and effective leadership of an effective organization is the major factor that differentiates it from ineffective organizations.
Literally, the term ‘leadership’ has come from the word ‘lead’. The verb ‘to lead’ has two meanings—’to excel or to be in advance’ and ‘to guide, govern and command others or to lead an organisation’. The first meaning hints at certain qualities of leaders, while it is the second meaning of leadership that is followed in business management.
“Leadership is the ability to secure desirable actions from a group of followers voluntarily without use of coercion.” – Alfred and Beatty.
Learn about: 1. Meaning and Definition of Leadership 2. Concept of Leadership 3. Nature 4. Features 5. Types 6. Theories 7. Approaches 8. Importance 9. Qualities 10. Styles.
Leadership: Meaning, Definition, Concept, Nature, Features, Types, Theories, Approaches, Importance, Qualities and Styles
- Meaning and Definition of Leadership
- Concept of Leadership
- Nature of Leadership
- Features of Leadership
- Types of Leadership
- Theories of Leadership
- Approaches of Leadership
- Importance of Leadership
- Qualities of Leadership
- Styles of Leadership
Leadership – Meaning and Definition: By Koontz, O’Donnell, C. I. Barnard, Theo Haimann, Ordway Tead, Alfred, Beatty and Other Eminent Authors
It is difficult to define leadership in exact terms. Literally, the term ‘leadership’ has come from the word ‘lead’. The verb ‘to lead’ has two meanings—’to excel or to be in advance’ and ‘to guide, govern and command others or to lead an organisation’. The first meaning hints at certain qualities of leaders, while it is the second meaning of leadership that is followed in business management.
Now, let us examine how the term leadership has been defined and explained by management experts. According to Koontz and O’Donnell, leadership may be defined as the ability to exert interpersonal influence by means of communication towards the achievement of goals.
Thus, leadership is a personal quality through which the leader motivates, directs and guides the activities of the personnel of his/her group. Almost similar views have been expressed by C. I. Barnard when he says that leadership refers to the quality of the behaviour of the individuals whereby they guide people on their activities in an organised effort.
In the same way, Theo Haimann has also said, ‘Leadership can be defined as the process by which an executive imaginatively directs, guides and influences the work of others in choosing and attaining specified goals by mediating between the individual and the organisation in such a manner that both will obtain maximum satisfaction’.
Ordway Tead has also remarked that leadership is the name of that combination of qualities by the possession of which one is able to get something done by others, chiefly because through his/her influence, they become willing to do it. In the same way, Terry has defined leadership as the ability of influencing people to strive willingly for mutual objectives.
Livingston regards it as the ability to awaken in others the desire to follow a common objective. Keith Davis has also pointed out that it is ‘the ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically. It is the human factor which binds a group together and motivates it towards its goals’.
Bittel has also remarked, ‘It is the knack of getting other people to follow you and to do willingly the things that you want them to do’. According to Hodge, leadership is ‘the ability to shape the attitude and behaviour of others, whether in formal or informal situations’.
Thus, it is clear from these definitions that leadership is the process of influencing the behaviour, activities and efforts of an individual or a group for achieving common goals. A business manager is the leader of his/her subordinates.
The success of an organisation mainly depends upon leadership. Leadership can be expressed as a process of stimulating the activities of an individual or a group towards achievement of specific goals in a particular environment.
Following are some definitions of leadership:
“It (leadership) refers to the quality of the behaviour of the individual, whereby they guide people on their organised efforts.” – Chester I. Barnard
“Leadership is the ability to secure desirable actions from a group of followers voluntarily without use of coercion.” – Alfred and Beatty
“Leadership is the name of that combination of qualities by the possession of which one is able to get something done by others chiefly because through his influence they become willing to do it.” – Ordway Tead
Leadership – Nature
Leadership may be viewed variously as:
(a) A status group
(b) A focal person;
(c) A function and
a. Leadership as a Status Group:
It refers to a situation where as person acquires leadership by reason of his heredity (as when he is a descendant of a royal family), or election, or appointment to a position.
b. Leadership as a Focal Person:
According to this view, leadership vests in people who are traditionally regarded as leaders by virtue of managerial positions held by them, such as in the case of directors, executives, administrators, managers, chiefs, etc.
c. Leadership as a Function:
The leadership function consists in facilitating the achievement of group goals. The person who performs this function is regarded as the leader. As a result, while there are several people involved in working towards accomplishment of group goals and many complex factors, including a sheer luck, which may affect the outcome, the credit of discredit for success or failure of the collective endeavor is attributed to the leader of the group.
d. Leadership as a Process:
According to this view, leadership is an interactive process in which leadership and followers exchange influence, i.e. the leaders influence the followers by his ideas, direction and support, and the followers influence the leader by their contribution to the achievement of group goals.
And because there is positive balance of influence in favor of the leader, the followers accept his power in the case of an informal group, and his authority in the case of a formal group. In this sense, a person can be an effective leader only so long as his followers accept his power of authority.
Leadership – 10 Main Features: Quality, Used by Way of Behaviour, A Motivational Factor, An Interpersonal Relationship and a Few Others
1. Quality – Basically leadership is a quality present in individual. It may He inborn or developed by the individual.
2. Used by way of behaviour – The individual who possesses this quality has to show it through his behaviour, character and way of commanding.
3. A motivational factor – Leadership as a function of management is used to motivate the people by way of guiding them.
4. An Interpersonal relationship – Quality and function of leadership is performed by establishing relationship between the persons and the leader. Unless such a relationship exists the leader may not be successful in influencing people to act in a certain direction.
5. Influencing force – Leadership is such a function which implies influencing the people. People, without having influence of the leader will not willingly follow him. Thus a leader has first to use his quality of leadership to influence the people whom he is to lead.
6. Guiding force – Main function of leadership is to guide the subordinates in problem areas and in performance of their duties.
7. Directing force – After guidance comes directing the people towards organisational goals for their achievement. Leadership is a force which does this.
8. A managerial function – Above all leadership is one of the important functions of management required for accomplishment of organisational goals smoothly.
9. Co-existed with followers – Leader and leadership cannot exist without the followers.
10. Multidimensional – The way of leading the people depends mainly upon the situation. In some situations the leader has to pacify the followers while in some situation the leader is supposed to represent them.
Thus the term “Leadership” when used in connections with management, does not refer to excelling, but to guiding others or their activities towards predetermined objectives or goals. The leader’s acts are goal oriented. He uses his influence to achieve some desired goals. The primary task of a leader is to build a team for achievement of organisational objectives. This can be done by convincing people to follow him by participating in the organisational activities.
Leadership – Top 4 Types: Inspirational, Charismatic, Visionary and Transformational Leadership
While defining leadership, we have seen that it is a process of influencing and supporting others to work enthusiastically. This enthusiasm in others, at least in part if not full, emerges because of adoption of inspirational approach to leadership by the leader. There are three inspirational approaches to leadership- charismatic leadership, visionary leadership, and transformational leadership.
However, these are related in some way. Therefore, some management academicians use these synonymously though there is some basic difference among these. For example, influencing followers is involved in all three types of leadership but mechanism is different.
The basic reason for analysis and application of inspirational approach to leadership has emerged because various theories of leadership — trait, behavioural, situational, and systems — have failed to explain the reasons behind the deeds of great political leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, etc. who transformed their nations, or our great industrialists like JRD Tata, GD Birla, Dhirubhai Ambani who created vast industrial empires because of their vision, energy, and entrepreneurship. Inspirational approach to leadership does this.
Charismatic leadership states that success of a leader depends on his charisma which has been defined in two ways- (i) compelling attractiveness or charm of a person that can inspire devotion in others, (ii) a divinely conferred power or talent. Concept of charismatic leadership is quite old.
For example, Pluto’s Republic and Confucius’s Analects have dealt with charismatic leadership. In management, the first theory of leadership, known as ‘great man theory’ was based on God-gifted quality. It has suggested that ‘a leader is born and not made’. However, this theory was discarded on the plea that if leaders were born, nothing could be done.
Robert House, who has proposed a relook at charismatic leadership theory, has also emphasized inborn qualities of a charismatic leader and states that leaders in general and great leaders in particular, have some exceptional in-born leadership qualities which are bestowed upon them by the divine power.
However, the present-day thinking is that charismatic leaders can be developed. For example, Richardson and Thayer view that a person can learn to become charismatic by following a three-step process. First, he needs to develop an aura (an invisible but distinctive quality) by maintaining an optimistic view, using passion as a catalyst for generating enthusiasm, and communicating with the whole body, not just with words.
Second, he draws others in by creating a bond that inspires them to follow. Third, he brings out the potential in followers by tapping into their emotions. Because of this nature of charisma, researchers have made attempts to identify key characteristics of charismatic leaders.
A perusal of these characteristics of a charismatic leader shows that these are not completely in-born but are acquired through learning over the period of time. At this stage, a basic question may arise – if charismatic leaders acquire relevant qualities through learning, how does this approach of leadership differ from trait theory which also suggests that there are certain traits which can be acquired by individuals to become effective leaders? This question is relevant because of similarity in the process involved in acquiring qualities.
However, there is a significant difference in what qualities are acquired in the process. Researches related to trait theory produce common denominator of traits relevant to transactional leaders (lower order leaders) who might be in abundant numbers in any large organization. As compared to this, charismatic leaders emerge in very rare cases because of limitations of human beings to develop qualities relevant for charismatic leaders.
Visionary leadership involves articulating a realistic, credible, and inspiring vision for future of an organization which is shared commonly by all the organizational members and facilitating them to move together towards the shared vision.
1. He has some charismatic characteristics which may not be in-born but may be acquired over the period of time.
2. He has strong conviction that the vision stands a good chance of being converted into reality.
3. He is a persuasive communicator and communicates in a way that influences others to act willingly to convert the vision into reality.
4. He is willing to take risk to put the organization on the right path.
5. He is strategic planner and plans ahead to make the best business moves.
6. He constantly searches additional information that might yield an insight and helps solve a problem or create a breakthrough.
Type # 4. Transformational Leadership:
The literal meaning of the transformation is a marked change in appearance or character, usually for the better. Thus, transformational leadership involves bringing valuable and positive change in the followers and inspiring them to transcend their own self-interests for the good of the organization.
James Burns introduced the concept of transformational leadership in his descriptive research on political leaders in 1978. Bass brought this concept in organizational behaviour in 1985 and explained the psychological mechanisms that underlie transformational and transactional leadership.
He added to the initial concepts of Burns to help explain how transformational leadership can be measured and how it impacts follower motivation and performance. Since then, this concept has attracted the attention of both academicians and practitioners, and results of a number of mega analyses have shown that transformational and transactional leadership positively predict a wide variety of performance outcomes including individual, group, and organization level variables.
Leadership – 4 Important Theories: Great Man Theory, Trait Theory, Behavioral Theory and Situational Theory
There are several theories or approaches to leadership.
The important theories may be described below:
Theory # 1. Great Man Theory:
The earliest leadership theories can be traced back to ancient times. Most of the early thinking on leadership suggested that “leaders are born, not made”. This is known as “great-man approach” to leadership.
This approach emphasized that a person is born with or without the necessary traits of leadership. For example, Napoleon had the natural leadership qualities to rise out of any situation to be a great leader. This approach emphasizes “charismatic” leadership.
According to this theory, leadership calls for certain qualities like commanding personality, charm, courage, intelligence, persuasiveness and aggressiveness. These qualities cannot be taught or learnt in a formal sense. One either has or does not have these qualities.
This approach implies the following:
i. Leaders in general and great leaders in particular are born and not made.
ii. They have certain inborn leadership qualities which are bestowed on them by the divine power.
iii. The inborn leadership qualities alone are necessary and sufficient for a leader to be successful.
iv. Ordinary persons cannot become leaders and attain greatness.
v. Leadership qualities cannot be acquired through formal education.
Modern theorists strongly oppose this theory and argue that there is nothing inborn, divine or mysterious about leadership qualities. Such qualities could be acquired through training and experience. For instance, Hitler did not get leadership qualities by inheritance but rose to power in Germany by sheer force of personality.
The great man theory does not provide a scientific, verifiable and predictable explanation as to the effectiveness of such leaders. However, some people feel that just as there are born singers and artists there could be born leaders.
It is difficult to rule out completely the inborn or genetic nature of certain leadership qualities. At the same time, it is also true that leadership qualities can be acquired through education, training and experience.
Theory # 2. Trait Theory:
Trait theory tries to determine universal personal characteristics of effective leaders. Numerous physical, mental and personality traits were ascertained through researches. Leaders were characterized by a wide variety of traits.
The study of the lives of successful leaders reveals that they possessed many traits like, intelligence, maturity, vision and foresight, acceptance of responsibility, open mindedness, adaptability, self-confidence, social understanding, honesty, fair play, justice, integrity of character, and physical features.
The trait theory has been criticised on several grounds. Firstly, there is no sure connection between traits and leadership acts. Leadership is always related to a particular situation. A person may be successful in one situation due to some traits, but may fail in another situation. Again, this theory fails to formulate a common list of traits found in all successful leaders.
For example, good health is desirable in many leadership situations, but there are also successful leaders in other situations who do not enjoy good health. Thirdly, the theory also fails to mention the traits which are necessary to maintain leadership.
Theory # 3. Behavioral Theory:
The behavioural theory attempts to describe leadership in terms of what leaders do rather than what they are. Accordingly, leadership is a function of effective role behaviour. A leader uses conceptual, human and technical skills to influence the behaviour of his subordinates. An effective leader is one who performs those acts which help the group to achieve its objectives.
Many behavioural scientists have attempted to identify appropriate behavioural patterns of leadership styles. Some of the important contributions in this regard include Ohio State Studies, Michigan University Studies and Managerial Grid of Blake and Mouton.
This theory does not explain why a particular leadership behaviour is effective in one situation, but fails in another situation. Thus, situational variables are not considered in this theory.
Theory # 4. Situational Theory:
According to the situational theory, no leadership style is the best for all times and in all situations. One leadership style may be effective under one situation and ineffective under the other. There is no one best style of leadership universally applicable to all situations. A leader has to change his style of leadership from situation to situation. If he adopts the same style under all situations, he may not be successful.
To sum up, leadership process is a function of – (1) the leader (2) the followers and (3) the situation. It can best be explained in terms of the interaction between the leader, the followers and the nature of situation in which they operate.
Leadership – 2 Main Approaches: Positive and Negative Approaches
In general, there are two ways in which leaders approach to their subordinates to motivate them.
(i) Positive Approach:
In this approach, a leader motivates people by providing rewards. The followers reach at the level of high job performance and job satisfactions. A leader exercises power through the subordinates instead of power over the subordinates. The positive leadership approach get plus values in the organisation.
(ii) Negative Approach:
In this approach a leader motivate their subordinates through fear and job insecurity. The emphasis is on penalties to subordinates to get work done. The stronger a penalty is the more negative it is. The outcome of performance is just satisfactory but sometimes gets acceptable performance with high human costs. The leaders display authority in the false belief that it frightens every one into productivity. They are bosses rather than leaders.
One thing is very important and relevant to keep in mind during exercise of leadership approach is that the days of the ‘boss’ are declining. The better employee education and greater independence have made satisfactory employee motivation more dependent on positive leadership approach. But in real life situation the manager or leader uses both approaches somewhere on the continuum every day but the dominant approach sets a tone within the group.
Leadership – Importance: Motivating Employees, Creating Confidence and Building Morale
Leadership is an essential ingredient for organizational effectiveness. Dynamic and effective leadership of an effective organization is the major factor that differentiates it from ineffective organizations.
Thus, leadership is quite important because it affects behaviour of the organizational members in the following ways:
1. Motivating Employees:
Motivation is necessary for work performance. Higher degree of motivation leads to better performance. A good leader motivates the employees for high performance by exercising his leadership. In fact, good leadership in the organization itself is a motivating factor for the individuals.
2. Creating Confidence:
A good leader may create confidence in his followers by directing them, giving them advice, and getting good results in the organization through them. Once an individual achieves high efficiency with the help of a leader, he tries to maintain it as he acquires certain level of confidence towards his capacity. Sometimes, individuals fail to recognize their qualities and capabilities to work in the absence of good direction.
3. Building Morale:
Morale is expressed as attitudes of employees towards organization, management, and voluntary cooperation to organizational functioning. High morale leads to high productivity and organizational stability. Through good leadership in the organization, employees’ morale can be raised high ensuring high productivity and stability in the organization.
Leadership – Top 10 Qualities: Intelligence, Emotional Stability, Knowledge of Human Relations, Personal Motivation, Communication Skill and a Few Others
The trait approach to leadership was especially popular from 1930 to 1950. Generally trait study failed to produce clear cut results because it has not-considered the whole leadership environment; only they are part of the whole environment.
The qualities which make for leadership are difficult to state. A variety of attributes appears useful. In some instances, certain factors assume major significance, while in others the same factors appear of minor importance.
The following list shows ten qualities which appear vital in most cases:
Leaders tend to have somewhat higher intelligence than the average of their followers. The difference is not often great, but it usually exists. The leader’s job requires analytical ability in order to see the broader problems and complicated relationship with which he deals. A leader of an intellectual group is likely to have higher intelligence than an equally successful leader of manual labourers.
(ii) Emotional Stability:
The effective leader is relatively free from bias, is consistent in his actions and refrains from the use of anger. He is well adjusted and has few, if any, antisocial attitudes. He is emotionally mature so that he is neither crushed by defeat nor over elated by victory. He has high frustration tolerance. He is self-confident and believes that he can meet most situations successfully.
(iii) Knowledge of Human Relations:
Since an important part of a leader’s job is to develop people, it follows that a leader must know a great deal about people and their relationships to each other. A leader needs to know as much as possible about human behaviour, how certain individual’s feels towards certain activities and other individuals, and how they react to various situations.
(iv) Personal Motivation:
The desire for leadership must come from within an individual. External forces can stimulate this desire. But the important element which propels the leader is an inner motive drive. This is manifested in many ways, such as persistence, willingness to work hard, intense applications of self-enthusiasm.
(v) Communication Skill:
A leader is able to talk and to write clearly and forcefully. He has an ability to brief accurately the opinions of others and to pick out the real essence from the statements of others.
A leader uses communications skillfully from persuasive, informative, and simulative purposes. Good communications seem to find all responsibilities easier to perform because they relate to others more easily and can better utilize available data.
(vi) Social Skill:
A leader understands his people and their weaknesses and strong points. He has the ability to work with people and conduct himself so that he gains their confidence and loyalty. People cooperate willingly with him. He is helpful, friendly and approachable and appreciates the other individuals view point. He should also have the skill to endure that other succeeds.
A leader should be morally sound. As per views of Fredrick Taylor, “integrity is that straight for-ward honesty of purpose which makes a man truthful, not only to others but to himself; which makes a man high minded, and gives him high aspirations and high ideals.”
(viii) Technical Competence:
The leading of people requires adherence to definite principles which must be understood and followed for greatest success. The ability to plan, organise, delegate, analyse, make decisions, control, and with cooperation requires the use of important abilities which constitute technical mastery of leadership. The effective leader has knowledge of all operations under him and an effective working knowledge and insight of most of the operations under his guidance.
A leader should be able to look at things objectively and from the point of views of others. He should accept the rights of others, their beliefs and sentiments. He should be perceptive towards his subordinates. He should also be perspective introspectively [towards himself].
(x) Teaching Ability:
The organising for the execution of plans may include the work of training, or retraining of executives and operating employees in advance. The interpretation and explanation of instructions together with the subsequent supervision of their application is in itself on the job training experience. Organizational and operational effectiveness depends on the ability of leaders to impart knowledge and develop skills.
Discussed qualities are desirable in a leader but none of them is essential because B.Solomon observes – “The world has numerous great leaders who could hardly lay claim to any kind of formal education. History is replete with non-trained, non-academic Fords, Edisons, Carnegies, Birlas, the Singhanias, the Jaipurias and the Dalmias, who could not even claim a grammar school education, yet managed to become leaders whose influence was felt around the globe. As for appearance or robust health, need we mention more than the delicate Gandhi, or George Washington, carver, the frail, shriveled, insignificant little negro who was one of America’s greatest scientists, and so many more like them? As far high ideals and high character, how would Hitler or A1 Capone rate?”
Now as opinion of author this statement is applicable to leader, “A leader can win, if he do the things differently because winners do not do the different things but they do the things differently.”
According to Peter Drucker, “an effective leader is one who can make ordinary men to extraordinary things, make common people to uncommon things. Leadership is a lifting of a man’s sights to higher vision, the raising of man’s standard to a higher performance, the building of a man’s personality beyond its normal limitations.”
Leadership – 3 Popular Styles: Autocratic or Authoritarian, Participative or Democratic and Laissez Faire or Free Rein Leadership Styles
The problem of how the manager can be democratic in his relations with subordinates and at the same time maintain the necessary authority and control in the organisation for which he is responsible has come to focus increasingly in recent years. The answer to this problem is the under-standing of the difference of the various styles of leadership.
Leadership is the behaviour pattern that a leader exhibits in which he influences followers. The style is a combination of the leader’s philosophy, skill, attitude, the people to be paid and the nature of the situation. McGregor argues that the style of leadership adopted is a function of the leader’s assumption about the people. He has two theories X and Y.
Theory X represents authoritarian style while Theory Y represents participative style of leadership. Michigan group found the employee-centered supervisor to be more effective than the production-centered supervisor. The Ohio State studies identified ‘consideration’ as a supportive type of style and ‘initiating structure’ as a directive type of style is the major functions of leadership. In general, only three types of leadership styles are popular.
1. Autocratic or Authoritarian Leadership Style:
An autocratic or authoritarian leader centralizes power and decision making by himself. He structures the complete work situation for his employees. They do what they are told. The leader takes full responsibility for decision making, for initiating action, and for directing, motivating and controlling his subordinates.
He believes that the average human being has an inherent dislike for work and will avoid it if he can and that most people must be corrected, controlled and threatened with punishment. He sees workers solely as extensions of machines. The autocratic leader will get work accomplished of course. The accomplishment however, will be far short of potential.
This type of leadership is usually negative, because the subordinates or followers are generally not informed, unsecure, and afraid of the leader’s authority.
The main advantage of this type of leadership style is that it provides strong motivation for the leader. Generally less competent subordinates prefer this style because their main job is to carry out orders from leader. On the other hand, it allows fast decisions because only leader is authorized to take decisions in all situations.
This style also suffers from some drawbacks. It leads to frustration, fear, dissatisfaction and conflict among subordinates. The competent followers dislike it especially when this is extreme negative. This style also not provides a solid foundation of continued best performance from subordinates because, they feel that their drives and creativity are not increased.
This style may be divided into two subcategories.
(i) Strict Autocrat:
The behaviour of subordinates is influencing through extreme negative motivation. It generates a sense of high degree of insecurity and a lack of confidence in the subordinates. There is no scope of flexibility in any action of leader. The leader describes each activity in detail and also imposes rigid work standards on his subordinates. The subordinates become ‘Yes men’ and hardly acquire any managerial ability.
This style is useful in emergency when decisions must be taken immediately and the subordinates have had no experience. But this style will not produce desirable result when subordinates are competent and the nature of job requires cooperation among subordinates as in the form of team work.
(ii) Benevolent Autocrat:
This style referred to as a paternalistic leader. The approach is shift from extreme negative to positive because some sort of flexibility will be observed during behaviour pattern of leader. The leader praises his subordinates for work well done and encourages them.
But the initiative and independent action are not allowed to followers. Although sometimes an environment of trust may be feel by subordinates but they do no respect the superior. This style is useful when subordinates are immature and not interested in seeking responsibility.
But this style is helpless during dealing with mature subordinates who want to participate in the decision making processes of their group. In nut shell, the autocratic or authoritarian leadership style is only leader centered style.
2. Participative or Democratic Leadership Style:
The participative or democratic management decentralise managerial authority. The participative manager’s decisions are not unilateral because they arise from consultation with subordinates and participation by them. He brings his group in on his problems so that the leader and group are acting as a social unit, and makes full use of talents and abilities.
The employees are broadly informed about conditions affecting their jobs which encourage their ideas and suggestions. The leader believes that their cooperation in the attainment of organizational goals can be enlisted if they are committed to the organisation. He also believes in the free communication of ideas and development of team spirit.
The leader delegates responsibility to the members of the work team as their experience and knowledge will permit. He defines the objectives of the group and gives its members freedom for performance within the standards laid down by him.
This style is more appropriate under conditions in which the organisation has communicated its goals and objectives to the subordinates and subordinates have accepted them and they are able to work independently with very less amount of contract with the supervisor.
The main merit of this style is that the competent people feel motivated because they are in a position to use their creative knowledge at work place and achieve best results. They also develop a greater feeling of self-esteem. The leader act as coach, teacher, helper and facilitator for his subordinates.
This style also provides organizational stability by increasing high morale and favourable attitudes of employees. The subordinates’ productivity will be high because they participate in the decision making exercise. The subordinates share the responsibility with the leader.
However, this style is not free from certain limitations such as – less competent employee feel insecure and unsatisfied because they avoid interaction with their associates and superiors. These types of style can be time consuming and require a great deal of energy.
Sometimes the participation does not remain meaningful, especially with lower level employees because they may not be able to contribute due to lack of skill and understanding with the problems. In nut shell, the participative or democratic leadership style is only group centered style.
3. Laissez Faire or Free Rein Leadership Style:
This is often described as no leadership at all. The leader avoids power and depends largely upon the group to establish its own goals and work out its own problems. The group members train themselves and provide their own motivation. The leader delegates the authority for decision making into the hands of the subordinates. The leader exists primarily as a contact man.
The free rein leadership ignores the leader’s contribution in more or less the same way in which the autocratic leader ignores that of the subordinates. The leader usually maintains contacts with outside persons to bring the information and materials which the group needs. This type of style is more successful under the conditions in which the leader has a high degree of confidence in the abilities of his subordinates. The subordinates develop independent personality.
This leadership style is not use as a dominant style because it is unable to reach a fruitful decision due to lack of group cohesion. There is no scope for appraisal or regulation of the performance of the subordinates is made under this leadership style. In nut shell, the laissez faire or free rein leadership style is only employee’s centered style.