Supitha Weeramunda

Oct 16, 2020

6 min read

Leadership styles

The style of leadership has always been a topic when analyzing the Corporate leaders, Leadership is never a common style by all the style may differ from each and every leader based on the several factors.

As per (Newstrom, Davis, 1993) The leadership style can be defined as the way and approach which leaders provides direction to their subordinates, Implement plans and motivate them to achieve the common objectives.

There are few commonly accepted styles of Leadership globally,

Autocratic Leadership Style, is the leadership style where leaders impose full control over staff, The Staff or team members gets very little chance to make any suggestion towards any decision even that suggestion is valid and ideal for the organization. The autocratic leadership is very beneficial due to its efficiency where the decision making has been made very quick where the implementation would be immediate. However, the major disadvantage is that most staff would be demotivated due to less engagement.

Autocratic leadership is ideal to be used in the time of crisis where the fast decision making and smooth implementation is required

Bureaucratic Leadership Style is the leadership style where leaders should follow the set of rule and regulation very carefully and perfectly and ensure the subordinates are following the rules and regulations very precisely. The Bureaucratic leadership is very useful in instances where employees needs to engage in routine activities. (Shaefer, 2005). The main con of this style of leadership is that the creativity and innovation of the staff would be lost and boredom may strike.

Bureaucratic Leadership Style is ideal to be used in instances where the staff is involving in high risk jobs which engages dangerous machinery and etc. which should be very carefully handled.

Charismatic Leadership Style or transformational leadership style The Charismatic leadership is a leadership style that is identifiable but may be perceived with less tangibility than other leadership styles (Bell, 2013) The charismatic leaders are a set of leaders who inspire the team to do a certain task by being very active and motivating which team members themselves get energized and move forward. This intrinsic motivation creates high productivity in the work they are engaged in. The main drawback in Charismatic Leadership Style is that everything is dependent on the leader where their departure would result in collapse of the whole process.

Charismatic Leadership Style would be ideal to be used in when a complete different task is presented to the team or in an instance where the highly impossible task to be achieved.

Democratic Leadership Style, The Democratic Leadership Style is a leadership style where the whole team is involved in the decision making process by means of idea input where the final decision is made after analyzing the inputs given by the team by the leader. This encourages employee engagement where the staff feels they are a part of the decision making procedure which make the motivated and this will result in high job satisfaction and high productivity levels. And also this increase the creativity levels of the team and also molds future leaders within the team itself. The disadvantage of the Democratic Leadership Style is that the decision making process would be much slower which may delay the process.

Democratic Leadership Style would be ideal in scenarios where company expects process improvements and innovations. And also to get the employees more engaged.

Laissez-Faire Leadership Style, The Laissez-faire leadership is a fifty fifty leadership style where sometimes it should come right and sometimes it could go terribly wrong. As per (Goodnight, 2011). it may be the best or the worst of leadership styles. “Let it be” is the translation of the French Word Laissez-faire. The leader will give the team absolute freedom to go ahead in their respective tasks. As per (Chaudhry & Javed, 2012) the Laissez-faire leaders empower their subordinates to make decisions about their tasks. The main pro of laissez-faire leadership is that the team will be highly satisfied with their job and productivity will be also high. But this kind of leadership will be not ideal for all team members specially for those of who are bad at time management and those who are not self-disciplined.

Laissez-Faire Leadership Style is ideal for a very matured and a highly skilled team where auto piloting them would give the expected results.

Transactional Leadership Style This style of leadership is where the leader gets the task done by emphasizing the end result may be an insensitive or bonus. This is the instance where leader motivates the team by appealing to teams own self-interests. The main advantage of this style of leadership is that the team can be motivated by the end result becoming favorable for them monetary form or non-monetary. The main drawback of the Transactional Leadership Style would be the sense of team work and voluntary involvement will be low.

Transactional Leadership Style is ideal in achieving of short term goals by giving a motivational reward if the task is achieved.

Coercive style of leadership is the leadership style where the leader gets the task done by the team by using their powers to punish. This style of leadership creates fear among the team that they would lose the job which drives them to get the assigned task. The only advantage in this style is that it will help to build discipline among the team. The Coercive style of leadership has major drawback such as leader becoming unpopular among the team and which sometimes may lead to employ retaliation and high turnover.

Coercive style of leadership is ideal as the last resort for the leaders to get a certain task which may be very short term.

As per Ibara (2010, pp. 74–76) there are certain factors affecting leadership styles. Which determines what leadership style to followed at each levels and circumstances.

Size of an Institution/Organization.

With the size of the organization there is a tendency to change the leadership styles due to the complexity of management and decision making.

At the same time, as institutions and organizations grow larger and become more multifaceted, there is a propensity for decision making to be centralized (Naylor, 1999). As per Naylor larger the organization grow the decision making becomes decentralized however it may different with the recent trend of delegation of authority among each sub unit to make decisions.

Degree of Interaction/Communication within the Organizational culture.

The culture of an organization is something which comes top to bottom in terms of people interactions, communications to decision making. Therefore with that the leadership styles to adopted will be different.

Organizational interaction or communication in this paradigm refers to a relational approach between two or more individuals on the basis of social and organizational structures aimed at achieving goals (Ololube, 2012).

Personality of Members

The personality of the members has a major influence in terms of the leadership styles, Where the its applicable for both the leader and team.

Leaders should adapt to such situations by providing opportunities for participation to those who desire them and directing those who find it more difficult to participate in organizational decision-making (Ibara, 2010).

Goal Congruence

The goal congruence is a key factor which affects the leadership style.

“When individuals have similar goals, they are more likely to cooperate” (Tjosvold 1989). As per Tjosvold when a team has common goal and objectives it is much easier to manage the team whilst achieving the

Level of Decision Making

The level of decision making entrusted on a leader also has an effect in the leadership style,Hence, the location of decision-making, which is the functional specialization of the organization, determines the style of leadership that is called for (Ibara, 2010).


Chaudhry, A. Q., & Javed, H. (2012). Impact of Transactional 14 Rose Ngozi Amanchukwu et al.: A Review of Leadership Theories, Principles and Styles and Their Relevance to Educational Management and Laissez Faire Leadership Style on Motivation. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(7), 258–264

Goodnight, R. (2011). Laissez-Faire Leadership. Encyclopedia of Leadership. London, UK: Sage Publications.

Ibara, E. C. (2010). Perspectives in Educational Administration. Port Harcourt, Nigeria: Rodi Printing and Publishing

McCrae, R. R. & Costa, P. T. (1990). Personality in adulthood. New York: Guildford

Newstrom, J.W. (1992). Organizational Behavior: Human Behavior at Work.

Tjosvold, D. (1989), ‘Interdependence and Power Between Managers and Employees: A Study of the Leader Relationship,’ Journal of Management, 15, 49–62.