Autocratic Vs Democratic Leadership Essay

Total Length: 821 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 9

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Leadership Styles

Autocratic leadership is the style of leadership in which the leader assumes total control of the entire decision making process. Whatever the leader says is what goes. This style of leadership is seen in very hierarchical settings, such as the military, where there is a clear chain of command: the leader at the top passes down the orders to those below, who pass them on out to their subordinates. There is no room for questioning the leader or for inserting one’s own will into the process: one gets orders, and one obeys them. As De Cremer (2006) points out, there is no room for latitude—one must stick to commands as they are.

Autocratic leadership traits are most often associated with masculinity or with male-dominated organizations (Eagly & Johannesen-Schmidt, 2001). This style of leadership is often associated with bullying, perhaps for that reason (Hoel, Glasø, Hetland, Cooper & Einarsen, 2010). It focuses not on feelings or on understanding or on developing relationships but rather on the idea that when the boss makes a decision and gives an order the only thing that matters is that the subordinate does what is expected of him without complaining. Autocratic leaders are take-charge types of people and they do not like it when others get in their way—though this does not mean they will not solicit others for information or advice; at the end of the day, however, they know that the decision is theirs, and once made it is expected that all will conform.


Democratic leadership is the opposite of autocratic: instead of power being concentrated in the hands of one person, democratic leadership allows it to be possessed by all. The leader will solicit a vote from all who participate or have a stake in the decision making process by asking those members to give ideas and help solve the decision making process. In democratic leadership style, the leader is concerned about the various feelings and opinions of those around him and wants them to be involved in the governance and oversight of the organization so that they can feel invested in it and can be part of the solution (Harris & Chapman, 2004). Indeed, democratic leadership is associated with inclusivity and making members of groups feel welcomed and important in terms of having input (Foels, Driskell, Mullen & Salas, 2000). The main focus of democratic leadership style….....

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References

De Cremer, D. (2006). Affective and motivational consequences of leader self-sacrifice:The moderating effect of autocratic leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 17(1), 79-93.

Eagly, A. H., & Johannesen?Schmidt, M. C. (2001). The leadership styles of women and men. Journal of social issues, 57(4), 781-797.

Foels, R., Driskell, J. E., Mullen, B., & Salas, E. (2000). The effects of democratic leadership on group member satisfaction: An integration. Small Group Research, 31(6), 676-701.

Furtner, M. R., Baldegger, U., & Rauthmann, J. F. (2013). Leading yourself and leading
others: Linking self-leadership to transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 22(4), 436-449.

Gastil, J. (1994). A definition and illustration of democratic leadership. Human Relations, 47(8), 953-975.

Harris, A., & Chapman, C. (2004). Democratic leadership for school improvement in challenging contexts. Democratic Learning: The challenge to school effectiveness, 164-178.

Hoel, H., Glasø, L., Hetland, J., Cooper, C. L., & Einarsen, S. (2010). Leadership styles as predictors of self?reported and observed workplace bullying. British Journal of Management, 21(2), 453-468.

Skogstad, A., Einarsen, S., Torsheim, T., Aasland, M. S., & Hetland, H. (2007). The destructiveness of laissez-faire leadership behavior. Journal of occupational health psychology, 12(1), 80.

Xirasagar, S. (2008). Transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership among physician executives. Journal of Health organization and management, 22(6), 599-613.

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