The Leadership Styles

Leadership is defined as the art of persuading people to follow a definite course in order to achieve certain goals and objectives.  Some people believe that leadership is an inborn characteristic while others are convinced that it is a gift and cannot be taught to a person. However, one fact that stands out is that leadership is a notion that cannot be ignored as it is what creates human culture and makes it be exactly what it is. There are numerous kinds of leadership styles though the three most noticeable ones are autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire. These leadership styles have been borne to help an individual in his or her daily activities by creating a route or guidance path for the exchange of ideas and overall good of the society. It is notable that leadership is the vehicle that has helped people to come out of the Stone Age era and to develop to the level of current technological age. It is evident that the guidance offered by the leaders is a key factor that cannot be ignored or sidelined. It is, therefore, imperative that the current world leaders come with the best out of what they have to offer the most excellent guidance. Numerous researches have been carried out to ascertain the role and effects of different leadership styles on society, and one factor that stands out is that although there are many leadership styles, there can never be an ultimate one that has no negatives. It is, therefore, in the keen interest of man to come out with the best of what is offered to bring together a great crowd, gathering, employees, or the whole nation. The paper discusses the three types of leadership in detail.


Autocratic leadership style is also referred to as an authoritarian leadership mode. In this leadership style, one ruler has the ultimate decision over all of the others, and his/her style of ruling cannot be challenged. There is, however, a tiny space of allowance for the subjects to air their views and this is not a major factor. The choices that are put forth by the leader are purely made from his or her personal choice and are not usually rational. There is no room for advice as the leader assumes that he or she has attained the perfect state and the decisions that he or she reaches are of the best interest. Therefore, this form of leadership involves total rule. In a research named “When titled tyrannical leaders turn out to be an alternative — Indecision and sense of worth forecast implicit leadership preferences” carried out by Schoel and Mueller  (2011), the researchers tried to find out the situations when autocratic type of leadership is best suited to help in guidance and rule as a whole. They found out that whenever there is an authoritarian leadership, there is usually a tendency by the subjects to motivate themselves in order to regain their glory and become counted in an institution. In addition to this, the researchers found out that this type of leadership is usually suited for the best times as whenever the leaders are cautioned or pushed to work for a period of time, they form the same tendency and this leads to an overall cycle, in which the leader and the subjects are in direct conformation. In addition to this, the researchers took two sample cases and they paired them in regards to the forms of leadership styles. The first pair was put under democratic leadership whilst the second was under an authoritarian leadership. It was found out that although both groups responded positively, there was an element of rate. The two groups responded at different rates and this is owed to the way in which they were forced to act. The autocratic leadership was very effective whenever there were failing relations amongst the employees but the democratic rule only lasted to assist in cases of helping the employees get to their senses.

In yet another research that was carried out by David De Cremer and titled “Emotional and motivational cost of leader self-sacrifice: The moderating consequence of tyrannical leadership” (David De Cremer, 2006), the researcher found out that the type of leadership that is exhibited by a leader who is self-sacrificial and is based on the emotions of the followers always has some autocratic aspect to it. This type of leadership is the one that was exhibited by the likes of Hitler and Mussolini. The reason why he decided to back up this notion is that whenever a certain leader capitalizes on emotion, he or she always has an idea that they wishe to push forth. The researcher conducted two dissimilar experiments, one in the laboratory and the other one is a scenario. The two experiments were carried out to study the effect that autocratic leadership has and the self-sacrifice that is involved in it. In addition to this, David De Cremer tried to find out the leadership effects of this style. In the study, there was a premonition that when a leader is putting up an ideology, he or she is always after something and that is the secret behind emotions and authoritative leadership. The factors that form these two types of leadership are immense and after the experiments were carried out, one factor was concluded and this is because the presupposition was supported by the experiment. It was also found out that authoritative leadership wields a form of self-determination by the followers, in which it creates a sense of motivation as they would wish to assume power like the leader. Consequently, the reactions of the employees, or the followers, are generally motivated by the ideologies of the leader. There are many different effects that a certain leadership can offer but one factor that stood out in the research is that although viewed negatively, authoritative leadership has some positive effects of its own. Additionally, David De Cremer found out that many multi-corporations employ authoritative leadership that is characterized by:

  1. Less input in terms of ideologies from the subjects;
  2. The leader is the ultimate decision maker;
  3. All the processes in the work area are dictated ;
  4. Members of the groups are hardly ever trusted.

On the other hand, the benefits of this type of leadership were clearly shown and they were: 

  1. Need of fast decisions;
  2. When there is a need in a strong leadership that is hard to break, such as, for instance, the army;
  3. When the leader is a trustworthy person in the filed that he or she is offering the service;
  4. When there is an urgent need of fast organization;
  5. In order to give out tasks fast and adequately;
  6. When there are conflicts that need to be resolved in a haste;
  7. When there is a need to motivate the subjects.

In a third research that was carried out by Amzat Ismail Hussein, which is titled “The Association between the Management Styles of Chiefs of Departments and Educational Staff's Self-Efficacy in a Chosen Malaysian Islamic University” (Amzat, 2011), he found out that there is usually a great dependence when it comes to the leadership amongst individuals. The perceptions that people put towards leadership are different but one factor that stands out is that the more authoritative the leadership style is, the better are the relations with the employees.  The case study subject was a Malaysian university and the people were examined without prior knowledge. People to be examined were the heads of departments and the academic staff as a whole. It was found out in the study that even though people may tend to act positively towards a type of leadership, there are some hidden effects. The authoritarian leadership was studied and the negative effects of the leadership were:

  1. It is often viewed as bossy and despised;
  2. Some people assume it is dictatorial;
  3. It leads to resentment;
  4. The group members hate to be sidelined in making decisions;
  5. Lacks creative solutions;
  6. Poor performance in some instances.


Democratic leadership style is one of the most popular styles is the world. This leadership style is open and there is no limit that is put on the subjects in terms of their views and ideas, hence attracting the mass approval. Democratic leadership style employs a servant leader form of rule in which there is no opinion that is above the others and a good opinion is only reached after the consensus of ideas is found. This type of leadership is mostly employed in a society that needs fast change and where there is a need to come out with the best out of the society. Contemporary organizations use this type of leadership to formulate ideas that need discussions and are relevant to the business.  However, due to the consultations, there is always a risk of getting late in terms of implementation. In a research that was carried out by Danoff Brian, titled “Lincoln and Tocqueville on Self-Governing Guidance and Self-Centeredness Appropriately Understood” (Danoff, 2005), he tries to demystify the democratic type of leadership with reference to one of the founding fathers of the ideology in the United States. The ideas of the leader are analyzed in relation to the politically famous Tocqueville theory. It is found out that the actions of Lincoln were sometimes unjustified, however, they had a lasting impact on the lives of the affected people. On the other hand, the ideologies of Tocqueville were not always politically correct and the author uses the vast knowledge of Lincoln’s rule to disapprove them.  The leader believed that when it comes to democratic leadership, the main task was to educate and support the society to its feet. Leadership values and fundamentals are very important when it comes to electing a leader and in an overall outlook when it comes to putting up a strong support in terms of a great leadership form.  This is according to the research carried out by Cheah, L., Abdullah, A., Ismail, A., and Alizydeen, N., titled “How Self-Governing Leaders Authorize Teacher’s Occupation Satisfaction? The Malaysian Case” (Cheah, 2011). Positive effects of this type of leadership as found out in the research are:

  1. There is an encouragement in sharing of ideas;
  2. Better ideas are formulated;
  3. Creative solutions are attained;
  4. There is a feeling of involvement by the workers and hence they give out better input;
  5. The contributing members work their best in order to ensure that the best results are given out;
  6. There is a chance of higher productivity.

From the above presuppositions, it is evident that the democratic type of leadership is quite effective and helpful to any society.  In yet another research carried out by Sernak Kathleen, titled “Democratic Instructive Management as Politeness” (Sernak, 2010), she tries to demystify the disadvantages of democratic leadership. However, on the road to the proof, she writes that the character that makes a democratic state is the decency that is offered by the leader. The other aspects that are proven in the research are the respect and decency, and all these factors wound together are what create a democratic environment.  The writer notes that the factors may sound simple and easy to attain but they are some of the hardest things when a person is faced by the leadership role. The author additionally writes that it is fundamental for any leader to include himself or herself in the society and not stand apart from it. This would ensure that there is no discrimination in roles and ideologies that makes the leader not only a leader but a servant leader. In addition to this, the researcher insists that the only way a leader can be predetermined is when he or she comes out as a servant leader and not the boss of the others. In conclusion, the writer notes that the factors that make a leader either good or bad are always evident, thus she goes ahead to write down the qualities of a bad democracy and its demerits. They are:

  1. Sometimes it makes roles unclear;
  2. It may lead to communication failure due to the lack of a consensus;
  3. The resultant effects is the loss in the projects that are foreseen;
  4. The members who contribute may lack adequate knowledge that is needed;
  5. The decision making process, even though passed through this process, may be faulty;
  6. Some members may hold what they see as knowledgeable in order to punish others;
  7. It requires a lot of time to put together.

In yet another different research that was carried out by Ryan Jimon on the democratic type of leadership, which was titled “The Method in Which Management Is Conceived” (Ryan, 2010), several aspects about democratic leadership are indicated.  The main concentration, however, for the author is the way that leadership is conceived in a democratic society. He writes that the way the leadership style of democracy has been perceived in the society is not in line with the way that it should be. He writes that the way many leadership structures have been constructed in organizations is not the way they should be since they are based on hierarchy and they are generic.  He writes that the democratic form of rule should be given a different perception that favors the whole society and not individualistic ideas.  He writes that although there are tyrannical ideas in the society, the best way to conceive leadership is through the amalgamation of ideas and principles that can favor the society as a whole. Michelle Young carried out a research on democracy titled “Organizing Self-Governing Instruction Leaders” (Young, 2010). This research delved into numerous issues concerning democracy and leadership. The author tries to demystify the factors that hold together democracy vis-à-vis the educational pillars. The first fact that she puts forth is that in order for anyone to fully participate in democracy, he or she must be fully gifted with the knowledge that is gotten from democracy. Another factor that she studies is the fact that a strong educational system always relies on the educational pillars, and therefore, it is imperative that the educational system ensures that all the people that it produces to the nation are well-educated. She notes that all the factors that connect a strong pillar of democracy are linked to education. A good example is the American case. They are:

  1. The constitution, this mandates that people are educated on the ills of not following the right path of the law.
  2. The availability of a free press that would ensure there is a freedom of speech and movement that would help to make a better nation.
  3. The inclusion of the public education which will help to progress the interests of the country as a whole.
  4. The federal system that ensures that there is the split of power, and therefore, the citizens are able to air their views.

The table below shows the output of the company in study by the aforementioned research under two types of leadership. The reference test score is 100.































Laissez-faire leadership is the type of leadership in which the leaders are not involved in the decision making process, however, they leave it to the employees. There are four distinct characteristics of this type of leadership. They are:

  1. The leaders offer little or no guidance;
  2. The employees or followers are free to make their own decisions;
  3. The tools or resources that are needed in both the implementation and decision making are offered by the leaders
  4. The problems that arise are not solved by the leaders but rather they expect the members to unite and come up with a nice solution of their own.

In a research carried out by Barling Julian, titled “Pseudo-Transformational Management: Towards the Expansion and Test of a Representation”, he tries to demystify this new type of leadership and the intricacies involved in it. The other develops a pseudo-transformational leadership model to test the Laissez-faire leadership. The researcher thinks that the new type of leadership is usually ineffective and the model is created in order to justify that.  He additionally thinks that this new type of leadership lacks inspiration and tries to demystify it through the use of ideologies that would help it survive. The survey is carried on several senior managers who conduct these different styles; and the outcomes are magnanimous. The results of the researcher match those tests that were carried out by Claartje J. Vinkenburg titled “An Exploration of Stereotypical Beliefs about Leadership Styles: Is Transformational Management a Route to Women's Promotion?” (Vinkenburg, 2010), this similar article shares the results of the previous one in both the ideas and implementation, and it is found out that the way in which a certain leadership ideology is conducted greatly influences the results of the workers. At the end of the two articles, an alternative is offered on how these two types of leadership can be changed. The outstanding factor, however, is how the results of the study came out. The one factor that stood out is that this leadership lacks motivation and result as it is depicted in the table below

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