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The Case for Directive Leadership

Management (MGS)
Course Code
Phani Radhakrishnan

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The Case for Directive Leadership
Why Participative Management May Not Work
- A democratic style will be effective only if followers are both willing and able to
participate actively in the decision making process
Participation vs. Direction
- Participation concerns the degree to which the leader lets subordinates take on some of
the responsibility for making decisions about which tasks, projects, or results are to be
- Direction reflects the extent to which the leader delegates the responsibility for choosing
the actual means to accomplish the desired tasks, projects, or results
Consideration and Concern for Production
- Treating subordinates with concern and respect, as well as demonstrating a strong desire
for goal achievement are essential to effective leadership in the workplace
Incentive for Performance
- Successful leaders also make every effort to strengthen the connection between
performance and rewards
- The extent to which the leader links available rewards or sanctions to subordinate
performance defines a leadership dimension that we call µincentive for performance
- Leaders should create the strongest connection possible between performance and
rewards (or sanctions) that organizational constraints will permit
Which Leadership Style Is ³Best´?
- High concern for both people and production, coupled with strong incentives for
performance, are necessary in any situation that calls for the accomplishment of goals
through organized effort\
- The effectiveness of participative and directive leader behaviours depends on the
situation in which leadership is to be exercised
The Directive Autocrat
- This is the type of leader who makes decisions unilaterally and also supervises the
activities of subordinates very closely
- Directive autocratic leaders would suit situations that require quick action, with no time
for extensive employee participation
- They would be effective in an organization or subunit with limited scope or size and with
relatively unstructured tasks
- They are well suited to lead new, inexperienced, or under qualified subordinates
The Permissive Autocrat
- This type of leader still makes decisions alone, but permits followers a great deal of
latitude in accomplishing their delegated tasks
- They are well suited for situations calling for quick responses
- The tasks should be relatively simple and structured, or employees should have good
experience, ability, and initiative
The Directive Democrat
- This type of leader invites full participation from subordinates in decision making
- A directive democrat would be called for when employee involvement is important to the
decision process, such as in a very complex undertaking involving many interdependent
activities ± a situation where a timely response is less important than a technically correct
- This combination may well be the most effective of the four generic leadership
behaviours in the vast majority of leadership situations
The Permissive Democrat
- Employees get to participate in decision making as well as enjoy a high degree of
autonomy in executing the decision
- Is suitable for any organization where employee involvement has both informational and
motivational benefits
- This type of leader behaviour requires highly qualified employees, some effective
substitutes for personal direction and enough time to reach consensus