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Importance of Leadership Styles. Every manager develops a style in managing the activities. Such styles vary from leader to leader, from situation to situation and from organisations to organisation.

In the words of Edwin Flippo, “Leadership style is a pattern of behaviour designed to integrate organisational and personal interest in pursuit of some objective”.

The main types of leadership styles are as follows:

Autocratic Style :-

An auticrat is the one who takes all decisions by himself and expects to be obeyed by his subordinates. The subordinates have no scope to question the superior. Certain points to be noted in this respect:

  • The superior makes the decision.
  • The superior does not consult the subordinates in decision making.
  • The superior is responsible for the decision.
  • The relations between superior and subordinates are formal.

Bureaucratic Style :-

This type of leadership style is more followed in government departments. The bureaucrats often follow rules and regulations in totality. They do not use their discretion, even to do away with mere formalities. They strictly follow the scalar chain principle, even in the case of urgency. The following points to be noted:

  • The bureaucrat takes the decision by strictly following formalities, or rules and regulations.
  • The subordinates are often not consulted
  • The bureaucrat may avoid responsibility.
  • The relations between superior and subordinates are formal.
  • This style results in delay and red tapism and unwanted paper work.

Consultative Style :-

In this type, the leader consults his subordinates before taking a decision. The leader feels that it is always advisable to consult the subordinates. This type of leader is more open minded and would welcome suggestions from the subordinates before making a decision. The following points to read:

  • The superior consults the subordinates before making a decision.
  • The subordinates may give their suggestions or comments, which the superior may or may not accept.
  • The superior makes the decision.
  • The superior is responsible for the decision.
  • The relations between superior and subordinates are informal.

Participative Style :-

The leader not only consults the subordinates, but allows them to take part in decision making. The following points are cross be read:

  • The superior consults his subordinates before making a decision.
  • The leader along with the group take part in decision making.
  • Both the leader and the group share the responsibility for making the decision.
  • The relations are informal.

Laissez-faire Style :-

In this style, the leader shares the problem with the group. He acts more as a chairperson in generating and evaluating alternatives in search of group consensus. The following points are must be read:

  • The superior allows the subordinates to take decision.
  • The superior acts more as a guide in arriving at decision.
  • The superior and the subordinates share the responsibility.
  • The relations are very informal.

Paternalistic Style :-

This style aims at creating a family atmosphere within the organisation. The leader is respected and treated as a father figure by the subordinates. The following points to be noted:

  • This style is mostly followed in Japanese organisation.
  • The leader considers himself as a parent figure.
  • The leader may consult his subordinates.
  • Mostly the leader tasks the decision.
  • The leader is responsible for decision making.
  • The relations are very homely.

This type of style is more suitable in small organisation, where there are a handle of employees and just one leader or boss. The leader advises, guides, consoles and helps the subordinates even during their personal hardships.

Sociocratic Style :-

Sociocrats attempt to run their organisation like a social club. They belive in a warm and pleasant social atmosphere. For them, the interest of the subordinates comes first and then that of the organisation. The following points to be noted :

  • The superior tasks a decision by keeping the interest of the subordinates. The interest of organisations may be secondary.
  • The superior consults the subordinates for decision making.

Neurocratic Style :-

A neurocrat is highly task oriented and wants to get things done at any cost. He is highly sensitive and gets quickly upset at failures. The following points to be read:

  • The leader may be emotional and eccentric.
  • The leader may not consult the subordinates in decision making.
  • The leader takes the decision.
  • The leader is responsible for decision making, but he may shift the responsibility on to his subordinates.

Situational Style :-

Now a days in most well managed organisations the managers follow Situational leadership style. This means, the leadership style cm various depending upon the situation.

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