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COM10003 - Learning and Communicating Online - Assessment 2A
Transcript of COM10003 - Learning and Communicating Online - Assessment 2A
An autocratic, or authoritarian leader, places the power of decision making with the leader. This leadership style discourages group participation and is associated with feelings of discontent and hostility (Cherry 2015). An autocratic leader exerts control in all business decisions. Autocratic leadership is connected to McGreggor’s Theory X (IAAP 2009), showing leaders behave in a directive manner, which creates a culture of fear. Whilst suitable in specific situations, autocratic leadership creates a passive, dependent workforce that often under performs in the leaders absence.
A transactional leader focuses on the basic management process of organising, controlling, supervising group performance and short-term planning. This leadership style involves motivating, and directing followers mostly appealing to their own self-interest (Management Study Guide 2013). Relationships between the leader and team members is based on an “exchange,” giving something in return for something else (Cherry 2015). Team members are rewarded or punished based on their performance.
A laissez faire leadership style is non-authoritative, also known as the “free-rein” leadership style. These less common leaders give full control to team members and are seen as not practical in the modern workplace (Pujari 2015). All decisions and control is given to the team members as the leader takes little interest in any leadership functions. This style could be the best or the worst style, as it decentralises workers to an authoritative figure (Cherry 2015).
A bureaucratic leader is known to do everything “by the book” and base all their decisions by referring back to guidelines. Team members are usually closely monitored by leaders while completing their set tasks and are required to follow strict rules and procedures. Team members are not given much freedom to explore alternative ideas (St Thomas Univeristy 2015). Baldock (2014) indicates that leadership is not always allocated to one individual in particular, but spread across a leadership team.
By exploring the characteristics, benefits and disadvantages of 5 leadership styles; Autocratic, Bureaucratic, Democratic, Laissez Faire and Transactional, affirms that leadership styles can vary greatly. Determining which leadership style to apply is dependent on a number of factors, including the team’s skill set and expertise, type of work being performed, trust, team experience and the speed of decision making required. Overall, a successful leader should adapt their leadership style to the team and the type of work required, but must remain consistent for success (Rabinowitz 2014). The decision on leadership style choice is often based on the leaders preference, but more importantly it should be based on what will work for the team and achieve the best results.
A democratic or participative leadership style allows for the decision-making process to be shared amongst the group members. Cherry (2015) indicates that this style of leadership promotes discussion, debate and sharing of ideas. It also encourages group members to feel good about their involvement. Research by Gastil (1994) shows that a democratic leader empowers group members and distributes responsibility across the team. Democratic leaders also act as a facilitator for member participation in the decision making process.
The democratic leadership style can create greater participation and a shared belonging as the team is involved in the decision-making process. This also encourages innovation and creative solutions. Skills and expertise are utilized and valued and the participative nature of the style builds a commitment to teamwork, consensus in the group and brings out the best in a team (Cherry 2015).
As this leadership style allows for decisions to be shared amongst the group it can be ineffective when a quick decision is required (Cherry 2015). With shared decision-making, some group members may view that the leader is not doing their job of leading or the leader is indecisive. Group consensus can be time consuming; it can lead to procrastination and can result in delayed decision-making (Gastil 1994).
Justification of Sources
Leadership is “the process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective” (Shahani 2008). It includes motivating, inspiring and empowering a team to successfully achieve goals and is an essential role in an effective team (Mind Tools 2015). There are many different approaches to leading a team, and different leadership styles can add to the success of the team depending on the people involved, their skill set, and what goals needs to be achieved (Small Biz Connect 2014). Using credible online sources, this presentation will explore the following leadership styles; Autocratic, Bureaucratic, Democratic, Laissez Faire and Transactional and discuss the characteristics, the benefits and disadvantages of each of them.
The autocratic leadership style can create strong results and efficiency in the presence of a leader as the power of decision-making is not shared amongst the team. This can be beneficial in teams with a low skilled workforce or large volume of team members (Cherry 2015). Autocratic leadership can reduce errors as team members follow the direction of the leader.
As this leadership styles places the power of decision-making with the leader, it can increase dependency on leadership and create inefficiencies in the leader’s absence. This can lead to low team participation and poor morale and result in high team turnover (IAAP 2009). Since leaders can be seen as dictators, team members can feel hostile or discontent as they are unable to show their capabilities (Cherry 2015).
As this leadership style does not allow team members to use initiative or creativity in decision-making, new procedures are rarely explored. Team members may feel over managed and have no freedom, leading to a decrease in motivation (St Thomas University 2015).
The Bureaucratic leadership style can be effective in ensuring all tasks are completed by set due dates. This can be beneficial in situations where it is essential that procedures be followed precisely, such as banking and military environments (St Thomas University 2015). Bureaucratic leadership holds team members accountable for their role and ensures others can follow the set procedures or tasks.
The laissez faire leadership style can be effective in teams with highly skilled and educated team members who require little direction or supervision (Cherry 2015). This can be beneficial as team members have control of the workload and the self-confidence to produce the tasks at hand. Laissez faire leadership gives full trust to team members and this can reinforce team work (Pujari 2015).
As this leadership style encourages team members to work autonomously, this can lead to poor productivity due to lack of direction or supervision (Cherry 2015). Since team members are required to work autonomously, a risk is that they may be working towards different goals or visions. Laissez faire leaders may seem disinterested which can affect the credibility of their role (Pujari 2015).
The transactional leadership style can create high performing teams if reward or incentive is seen as a motivating factor. This can be beneficial when procedures are clearly defined as team members have clear expectations to follow. Transactional leaders provide clear and concise direction on how to perform, and what will happen if performance is achieved (The Strategic Centre for Leadership 2014).
As this leadership style does not allow creativity in problem solving, this can prevent the team members and leaders from reaching their full potential (Cherry 2015). Poor results often occur when detailed problem solving is required as team members are reliant on the reward system. Job satisfaction can be low as team members may only perform when rewards are often.
To ensure that the online sources used in this presentation are of high quality, each source has been assessed using key criteria: Authority, Accuracy, Objectivity, Currency and Coverage (Metzger 2007, p. 2079).
When evaluating the sources, the Authority or the Author, contact details and credentials were clearly listed. The sources were grammatically correct, concise and free from errors. Accuracy was also supported by listed references and information could be verified elsewhere online. Sources were informational and whilst some sites had advertising, it was unrelated to the topic. The websites and documents used were up to date or still relevant by citations in current publications. The coverage of the sources was complete and provided a good level of information. Links to related information and references contribute to greater depth on the subject. Based on these thorough evaluations, the information in this presentation has been obtained from credible and reliable online sources.
To ensure that the online sources used in this presentation are of high quality, each source has been assessed using key criteria: Authority, Accuracy, Objectivity, Currency and Coverage (Metzger 2007, p. 2079). When evaluating the sources, the authority or the author, contact details and credentials were clearly listed. The sources were grammatically correct, concise and free from errors. Accuracy was also supported by listed references and information could be verified elsewhere online. Sources were informational and whilst some sites had advertising, it was unrelated to the topic. The websites and documents used were up to date or still relevant by citations in current publications. The coverage of the sources was complete and provided a good level of information. Links to related information and references contribute to greater depth on the subject. Based on these thorough evaluations, the information in this presentation has been obtained from credible and reliable online sources.
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