Exploring Different Management Styles
Managers are often responsible for many roles within an organization, and how they choose to handle different situations will depend on their management style. A management style is best described as a method of leadership that is used by managers. There are two contrasting management styles that each have their own distinct characteristics; these are autocratic, and permissive. Autocratic and permissive management styles can be further broken down into subcategories.
Autocratic and Permissive Management Styles
An autocratic management style is one in which the leader makes decisions unilaterally with subordinates not being included in decision making and performance management. A permissive management style is one in which the manager allows subordinates to participate in making decisions. Permissive managers also generally allow a considerable degree of autonomy in completing day to day work tasks. Autocratic and permissive styles can be combined with democratic, in which subordinates are allowed to partake in decision making, and directive, in which subordinates are told exactly what to do.
- With directive democrat management, subordinates are generally closely supervised but are allowed to participate in decision making.
- With permissive democrat management, subordinates are given some latitude in carrying out their tasks and are involved in making decisions.
- With directive autocrat management, subordinates are supervised closely, and decisions are made unilaterally by the leader.
- With permissive autocrat management, subordinates are given a degree of latitude in carrying out their tasks however decisions are made unilaterally by the leader.
Democratic Management Style
With a democratic management style, subordinates are involved in making decisions. Democratic management involves extensive communication from both managers and subordinates. This management style can be particularly useful when various specialized skills are needed to complete a project. Democratic management can only be successful when decision making processes are streamlined and managed properly. With democratic management, subordinates tend to participate more and have higher job satisfaction.
Persuasive Management Style
Persuasive management styles share certain characteristics with autocratic management. Persuasive managers will control all decision making but they will spend more time with subordinates. This is done in order to make employees understand the benefits of the decisions made by management. Persuasive managers are not necessarily more inclusive of their employees but they tend to be more aware of subordinates.
Laissez-faire Management Style
A laissez-faire manager tends to be looked at as more of a mentor than a manager or leader. With laissez-faire management, employees essentially take charge and managers take a back seat role so that employees creativity can flourish.
Managers have to be willing to adjust their management styles depending on the situation they are dealing with. Management styles may need to be adjusted based on the amount of guidance and support required. A good manager is one that is able to adjust their management style to suit the needs of their employees in order to help an organization succeed. Managers should be willing to delegate tasks when needed, participate when support or help is requested, and tell employees what needs to be done.
It is good for managers to be able to identify their management style as it can help in determining how best to handle subordinates. To continue reading about management styles, consult the resources listed below.
- Management Styles - An overview of the autocratic and permissive management styles. Includes examples of situations in which different styles are used.
- Leadership Styles - An article from the Wall Street Journal exploring the characteristics of different leadership styles.
- Leadership and Management - Several articles that discuss management styles and their specific characteristics.
- Seven Neurotic Styles of Management - Exploring how neurotic management styles can negatively affect employees, and the organization as a whole.
- Common Conflict Management Styles - Information on the different conflict management styles that are used to handle conflict in organizations.
- Classroom Management Styles - A page explaining the different management styles that are often utilized in classroom settings.
- Leadership Styles of Famous Leaders - An article that explores the different approaches to leadership that were used by famous leaders.
- Leadership Styles Assessment Test - A thirty question assessment that will help identify your distinctive leadership style.
- Leadership Styles are Partly About Culture - An article from Forbes that explains the cultural differences in leadership styles.
- Is Your Leadership Style Right for the Digital Age? - Information on adjusting leadership styles to keep up with advancement in digital technology.