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Types of Management Styles

Updated on July 7, 2011

Management Styles: What Works

            The different types of management styles can be the key to your business's success or failure.  Let's face it, when we start a business we may start out with just a hand full of trusted business partners who can somewhat agree on the mission statement.  At some point you will have to hire employees.  Employees can be interesting people, you have to get them to grab hold of your vision so that they are on the same track as the business.  How we manage these people can make or break our business at critical growth moments. As a business the main goal as a whole should be to gain a profit.  Profit = growth+people.

            The management style that you choose can establish whether it runs evenly across the board or spirals out of control. There are four major types of management styles including autocratic, paternalistic, democratic and Laissez- faire.  Now, before we get into these much farther it is important to figure out who you are, find your personality, what kind of leader are you?  Are you a 'What I say goes" or a 'Let it be' or maybe a 'what do you think?'  The type of management style you choose will be based largely on you as a person.  Find a friend, spouse, or co-worker and ask them what kind of leader they think you are, or find a personality test. Your personality, the type of business you operate and the employees that help you operate it will usually determine which is best for you.

            Don't expect to be a certain type of management style if it is not in your personality.  In a perfect world, businesses could be run by four different people that represented each management style. Each management style has its pros and cons.  If you are able, incorporate each management style based on each situation.  If you do desire a certain management style find books on that particular style and read up.  Take a class on leadership which can help you learn more about yourself.

Autocratic management style

The leader of this business is like a King.
The leader of this business is like a King.

Paternalistic Management Style

Paternalistic leaders look for the input of their employees but take the final credit for ideas.
Paternalistic leaders look for the input of their employees but take the final credit for ideas.

Autocratic style of management

This type of management style allows businesses to keep a blueprint if you will, in how the company operates.  This is because the foundation of an autocratic style of management comes from the idea of a country that is run by a king or dictator.  If you haven't guessed you can run this type of management style the best if your employees are followers and don't normally form their own thoughts or ideas.  They pretty much run the business like they are supposed to because it is the blueprint that they were given for success.  The leader of a business that prefers an autocratic style of managing, most likely enjoys the feeling of authority this style brings.  Of course just like a King, or Dictator, this management style allows the person to make final decisions about the business without the employees having any input but normally bases the decision with the employees in mind and what he or she feels is best for them.  With some businesses this works, for example Papa John's wants their employees to make their pizza exactly as specify.  For one, this provides continuity, so you know no matter where you go in the world, Papa John's pizza will have that same quality taste.

Paternalistic management style

            In a nutshell this management style tells the people what is best for them.  This may sound the same as the autocratic style, but with the Paternalistic style of management, the business leaders are looking for the input of their employees.  The business leader will make the final decision but not without careful consideration of the feedback.  This gives the employees the opportunity to voice their opinions and ideas.  This also allows for more awareness of the employees needs, as people rather than just plain business.

Democratic Management style

Democratic leaders listen to the people.
Democratic leaders listen to the people.

Laissez-faire management style

The Laissez-faire type of management is not good in some situations.
The Laissez-faire type of management is not good in some situations.

Democratic management

            The Democratic management style is the style grafted from the government system of the United States.  This management style works well because normally there will be several leaders of the same business that are lending their ears to the employees in order to provide good two way communication. The Democratic management style is successful because they allow employees below them to make decisions' on their own much like the different States that make up the U.S. as well as their cities, are able to make their own laws. This type of management style is mostly found in businesses where efficiency is a joint operation.  Much like you would see in a hospital setting, where all the different jobs such as a Nurse, M.D., Radiologist, and Social service representative would work to together with the same goal, heal the patient, but from different perspectives.

Laissez-faire (tolerant, lenient, liberal) management

            This management style by itself would be an extremely bad choice, because by definition it says refusal to interfere.  This type of business management only works if the people involved are self motivated and task oriented.  Much like when a business first starts, each person knows what they need to get done each day.  Nobody has rule over the other and the job still gets done. Like Doctors working together this is because they are highly trained, self-motivated, and professional that they don't require direction or oversight.

            The main thing to keep in mind is to know yourself and the type of manager that you are, some of the best mangers are able to incorporate all of the different management styles. These are normally the 'Type B' personalities.   The basics of these four management styles describe how you allow your employees to function, whether that be on a short leash or a long one. how much you control your employees and how much you allow them to control the working environment.


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      very nice HUB

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      tell me types of management????????????plzzzz

    • radharenu profile image


      6 years ago from India


      Excellent post! The tips on management styles as explained in the article are great contribution to the HR society.

    • profile image

      Neba jude 

      7 years ago

      great work.

    • thesingernurse profile image

      Tina Siuagan 

      7 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

      I've served as the head of our Triage Department, back when I was still in the clinical practice. Based on your article, I may say that I'm more of a democratic leader. The main advantage I gained from this type of leadership is the feeling of satisfaction - knowing that every decision is accepted by everyone because all had been part of the entire decision-making process. Moreover, my subordinates tend to participate more and work harder because they have this sense of fulfillment knowing that I give them the value they deserve. Of course, it's more of being emphatic as a person (and nurse). Just the same, I wouldn't be treated so badly if I were in their place.

      Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge regarding this matter. Voting up and sharing. :)

    • jagged81 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from New Mexico

      Most of these management styles come from the different forms of Government systems in the world

    • profile image

      alyson elcock 

      7 years ago


      I am writing an essay on management and leadership, just wanted to know if you knew who 'invented' the management styles and where they came from, I cant seem to find anything on the web? many thanks hope you can help!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago


    • profile image

      mohamed hagy 

      7 years ago

      its very crucial info thanks to hub

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      include Dictatorship

    • profile image

      mohamed osman 

      7 years ago

      it is the best way that rules of management style ,but i hope to study management style so good by

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      it is great opportunities to me t know difference management styles and which you are according your managerail job,i hope every one will compare his personal perfomance and four management style.

    • profile image

      Israr malik 

      7 years ago

      I have done mba in hrm

    • mpoche4 profile image


      7 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Interesting take on management styles- I wrote about this in a class in grad school and mine was a little different, but many of the concepts are the same. Look forward to reading more of your hubs.

    • profile image


      7 years ago


    • jagged81 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from New Mexico

      @ PETER - A charismatic leader is someone who sways followers with a dynamic, magnetic personality, usually through inspiring speeches.

      I think that this is more of a personality thing than a management style. That person would probably fit in a Democratic Management style!!

    • profile image

      peter kamau 

      8 years ago

      is charismatic a management style?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      this is interesting topic,bcos it is very inportant 2 choose the management style that fit the organisation.

    • profile image

      Ershad Ahmad Sarpass 

      8 years ago

      so nice it so nice

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      really nice hub

    • BusinessTime profile image

      Sarah Kolb-Williams 

      8 years ago from Twin Cities

      Really great tips -- thanks for the hub!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      The styles of leadership we apply are crucial to our success as managers or coaches. Good post!

    • Bilalnr profile image


      8 years ago from Islamabad, Pakistan

      Great Hub jagged81!!!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love the subject of management but have not studied to this depth. I understand there are different management styles but had not know they can be ctegorized into these four, quite an interetsing read.

      I think it's important to also understand that leading and managing are two different things. I find managing is a bit more difficult though, we humans are a complex species.

      It can be very tricky to find the correct people to work with in my opinion.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      To true, using the right tool for the right job is important. I have taught myself over the years to see more tools than there are. Either by making new ones or by combining already exsisting ones - I guess I watched to much MacGuyver as a kid and his mind-set somehow effected my business mind-set. Cheers for the hub mate it was great.

    • profile image

      Roger Chestnut 

      9 years ago

      This is great information. Tim makes a great point. I also think that it is important to hire people who you think will fit in the company. Having the right people will help make the company or department run smooth and hopefully decrease the amount of issues that arise. Great hub!

    • profile image

      Tim Hill 

      9 years ago

      Use the right tool for the right job, people are simply different and within organizations as well as departments the right management tool will vary. I have spent the last 25 years managing people; the reality is I spend a lot in the people care side of managing. The key in this fast paced life is to hire talent, retain talent, and remove obstacles from talented people. Brown shoed floor walkers have no place in today's highly engaged professional work places. Be lean be nimble and encourage experimentation. Good Article!


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