Working With People And Teams, Leadership Styles.

6381 words - 26 pages

WORKING WITH PEOPLE AND TEAMSOUTCOME 1 ASSESSMENTLeadership is a social process in which one individual influences the behavior of others without the use of threat of violence.Style theory concentrates on the behavior patterns of the leader rather than the personality of the leader.The autocratic style of leadership believes that the leader must retain decision-making authority. Although there are many reasons for this belief, the leader may assume that subordinates employees are incompetent, disinterested or lazy. The superior-subordinate relationship is the same, the leader gives orders and subordinates are expected to follow them. Assuming that the leader is competent, the advantage of this type of leadership is that tasks are efficiently completed. Autocratic leadership can be appropriate in times of crisis or emergencies, or when a person is training others who do not know enough about the task to make decisions.The primary problem with the autocratic leadership style is that workers are made aware of what to do, but not why. This often leads to low employee morale and workers following leader directions to the letter while knowing the directions are wrong. Later, when blame is attached for errors, subordinate workers will take no responsibility since they were merely "following orders". Thus, the autocratic style, while satisfying the leader's needs, may induce employees to avoid responsibility, initiative and innovative productivity. An authoritarian approach is not the best way to get the best performance from a team or develop leadership in followers.The democratic style or participative style delegates authority to subordinate employees, allowing them discretion to make certain decisions based on their interest and competence in dealing with the situation they face.The democratic style of leadership has many advantages. First, the employees' feelings of self-worth and satisfaction are increased because the leader conveys a sense of confidence in employee judgment. Second, participation allows employees to satisfy high-level needs such as esteem and self-actualisation by letting them take part in important decisions.Third, employee participation in decision-making improves the quality of decisions, because when more people think about a problem it is likely a better solution will be found. Finally, there will be less resistance to change because those who have developed the solution will usually support its implementation.The democratic style of leadership also has disadvantages. First, employees may have no interest in participation, it is implemented and they may be dissatisfied by the extra work alone. Second, superiors may put the leader under considerable time pressure. When this happens there simply is not the time for adequate participation. Third, the leader may lack the flexibility to behave in a consultative fashion. Finally, employees may see participation as manipulation. If employees feel that participation is a gimmick to...

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