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Various Leadership Styles

Updated on August 28, 2013

The success of a business enterprise depends upon the type and style of leadership which leader follows, styles describe how a leader behaves with his group or how leadership is applied in practice.

  • Motivation styles.
  • Power styles.
  • Orientation styles.

1) Motivation styles:

Motivation of followers (workers in a business enterprise) is the main function of a leader motivation style cover two main approach, which are generally followed by a leader,

i) Positive leadership:

When leader motivates the people to work hard by offering them various rewards monetary or otherwise the approach or leadership is said to be positive. The more is the reward, the higher is the efficiency. Positive leadership promotes industrial peace

For example – encashment of leave will certainly reduce the absenteeism in the organization because it increases workers real wages.

ii) Negative leadership:

Where the leader (manager) induces the followers (worker) to work hard and threatens them to penalize if work is not up to the work, it is said to be a negative approach or negative leadership. It means, in a negative leadership, emphasis is laid on penalties for the short-coming. The stronger is the penalty the more negative it is.

For example- if manager imposes a salary cut for the absence from duty it is a negative approach the absenteeism.

Negative leadership gets acceptable performance in many situations, but has high human costs. Negative leaders act domineering and superior with people. In order to get the work done, the impose the penalties like loss of job, reprimand before others. Leave without pay, etc. the display their authority with the false belief that it frightens everyone into productivity. They are bosses more than leaders.

2) Power Styles:

How a leader uses his power; also establishes a type of style. Power style may be of three types.

i) Autocratic leadership:

Under this style, power or authority and decision making are centralized in the leader. They create work situations and environment for their subordinations and subordinates in turn, do whatever they are told nothing more.

The leaders enjoy full authority and assume full responsibility. They are always power loving and never like to be devoid of them. Subordinates or followers are not aware of the organizational goals, they are insecure and afraid of the leader’s authority in this way leadership is negative.

Leadership may be positive under this style. If leader uses his power in this best interest of the group and disburses rewards to motivate them. Such autocratic leaders having positive motivation style is known a benevolent autocrat. The benevolent autocrat gets productivity and full satisfaction because following are habituated to such culture of many authorities inthe society such as teachers, parents, government bureaucrats, etc. they feel satisfied and secured under autocratic leader. They respond well to action. Such benevolent autocrat leaders are more successful than the democratic leaders.

ii) Participative or Democratic leadership:

It is just opposite to autocratic leadership under this style, power and authority decent raised and followers are also allowed participation in decision making process and thus decision are not unilateral. Before taking any decision are not unilateral. Before taking any decision, subordinates are consulted and thus they are fully aware of the path and goal of the organization. The leader and group work together as a social unit. Participative practices, “workers” participation in management is getting popularity now days.

iii) Free-rain leadership:

Under this style, leaders enjoy no power, the leadership is employee centered and the group of employees is free to establish its own goals and workout its own problems. The members of the group train themselves and provide own motivation.

The leader keeps contact with outsider to bring the group the information and resources the group needs to fulfill its job. Free-rein leadership ignores a leader’s contribution in the same way approximately that autocratic leadership ignores the group. It fails to provide to the group the benefits of leader inspired motivation sometimes it creates chaos.

3) Orientation Style or Supervisory Style

There are two types of leadership under this style

i) Employee oriented leadership:

Employee oriented leadership are concerned about human needs of their employees and pay highest attention to their subordinate attitudes, interests, and necessities, etc. they try to get more and more production and increased productivity by improving the working condition and environments and solving the problems, if any faced by them during the course of their action on the job.

ii) Production or task oriented leadership:

Production or task oriented leaders, on the other hand, believe that they concerned mainly with the production and employees are not of much concern. They are of the opinion that can attain result by planning better methods, keeping people constantly busy and using them to produce. They do not consider human aspect of the workers.


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