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Leadership sytles

Published: May 28th, 2021 08:36 amBy Binu Kurien

Leadership styles.


Leadership style is the way a managerial leader applies his influence in getting work done through his subordinates in order to achieve the organisational objectives.

The behaviour adopted by a leader in the process of supervision of a subordinate is known as style. The main attitude or belief that influences leadership style is the perceived role of the manager verses the role of the subordinates. It depends upon the role of the leader whether he likes to work more of a colleague, facilitators and decision makers and on the other hand the response of the subordinates would determine the particular style to be in application.

Some of the leadership styles are:- 

1. Positive Motivational Leadership 

2.Negative Moti1vational Leadership Style

3. Autocratic Leadership

4. Democratic Leadership

5. Laissez Faire or Free-Rein 

6. Employee Oriented Leadership

7. Production Oriented Leadership Style

8. Paternalistic 

9. Transformational Style.

From the above there are four basic styles i.e.:

1. Autocratic, 2. Democratic, 3. Laissez Faire, and 4. Paternalistic


1. Autocratic Style:

This style is known as authoritative or directive style of leadership. In this style, the entire authority is focused in the hands of the leader. He decides all policies. He gives direction to subordinates and demand complete obedience from them. He creates the work situation for the subordinates and the later have to execute what they are told. Autocratic leader possess all the authority and assumes complete responsibility for the task entrusted.

There are three types of autocratic leaders:

i. Strict Autocrat: He is one who influences the actions of the subordinates by frightening, criticizing and imposing penalties.

ii. Benevolent Autocrat: Though he possesses, authority and power, he influences the actions of the subordinates by encouragement, inspiration and guidance.

iii. Incompetent Autocrat: He is one who hides his incompetence, lack of skill and knowledge by being very harsh with the subordinates. In other words, he veils his deficiency by virtue of exercising the authority in an autocratic fashion

. Participative or Democratic Style:

This style is anchored in Y-theory of motivation. It values the input of team members and peers, but the responsibility of making the final decision rests with the participative leader. Participative leadership motivates employee morale because employees make contributions to the decision-making process. It accounts to a feeling that their opinions matter. 

When an organization needs to make changes within itself, that is internally, the participative leadership style helps employees accept changes easily as they play a role in the process. This leadership style meets challenges when companies need to make a decision in a short period of time.

3. Free-Rein Style or Laissez Faire Style: ‘Free rein’ means granting complete authority or devolution of entire authority to the subordinates. Manager determines the goals, policies and programmes and decentralizes everything to his subordinates. He/she concerns himself with the result. In other words, subordinates experience autonomy in the matter of accomplishing the objectives prescribed for them. The manager keeps himself posted with the progress of actions done in the goal accomplishment. This style is called permissive style of leadership. 

This type of leadership is suited where the subordinates are highly qualified, more skilled, highly competent, knowledgeable, elite, mentally matured, highly educated, etc. This is practised in research and development organizations/departments where scientists and technocrats work.

4. Paternalistic Leadership Style: Paternalistic leader functions as if he were a parent and his subordinates are his family members. He plays a fatherly role, providing good work environment to subordinates, guidance, motivation, benefits and welfare benefits. This style creates inseparable bond between members and subordinates. This breeds group cohesiveness. This type of leadership is practiced in Japan

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