Authoritarian Leadership Style

Authoritarian Leadership Style

Although generally considered as a traditional, outdated, and non-preferred style of leadership, the autocratic style still can be used effectively in certain situations. It is a leadership style characterized by individual absolute control over a group. If you work for an autocratic leader, your job is usually to do what you're told. Learn more about this style and situations where this could be an effective style to use and when to avoid this type of approach. Analyze the characteristics of this style to evaluate if your followers consider you an authoritarian leader!

Authoritarian Leadership Style:

An authoritarian leadership style is being used when a leader who dictates policies and procedures, decides what goals are to be achieved, and directs and controls all activities without any meaningful participation by the subordinates. Authoritarian leaders are commonly referred to as autocratic leaders. Direct supervision is what they believe to be key in maintaining a successful environment and followership.

In fear of followers being unproductive, authoritarian leaders keep close supervision and feel this is necessary in order for anything to be done. Authoritarian leaders use their power to influence and tend to be task-oriented. It is also referred to as a directive or controlling style of leadership. Autocratic leadership allows quick decision-making and eliminates arguments over how and why things get done. Autocratically -led organizations are generally not supportive of personal relationships, but much more keyed to chain-of-command.

Characteristics of Authoritarian Leaders:

1. The authoritarian leadership style or autocratic leader keeps strict, close control over followers by keeping close regulation of policies and procedures given to followers.

2. Authoritarian leaders provide clear expectations for what needs to be done when it should be done, and how it should be done.

3. Authoritarian leaders make decisions independently with little or no input from the rest of the group. Staff and team members have little opportunity to make suggestions, even if these would be in the team's or the organization's best interest

4. Authoritarian leaders uphold stringent control over their followers by directly regulating rules, methodologies, and actions.

5. Authoritarian leaders construct gaps and build distance between themselves and their followers with the intention of stressing role distinctions

6. Authoritarian leaders seldom foster creativity in decision-making

7. Authoritarian leaders believe that followers require direct supervision at all times or else they would not operate effectively

Communication Patterns of Authoritarian Leadership:

  • Downward, one-way communication (i.e. leaders to followers, or supervisors to subordinates)
  • Controls discussion with followers
  • Dominates interaction
  • Independently/unilaterally sets policy and procedures
  • Individually directs the completion of tasks
  • Does not offer constant feedback
  • Rewards acquiescent obedient behavior and punishes erroneous actions
  • Poor listener
  • Uses conflict for individual gain
  • Give orders and assign tasks without taking the subordinates into confidence
  • Intercommunication between members is little
  • Directions are given as commands, not suggestions 

Situations where Effective:

  • Authoritarian leadership is best applied to situations where there is little time for group discussion.
  • Autocratic leadership style works well if the leader is competent and knowledgeable enough to decide about each and everything
  • Authoritative is considered one of the most effective leadership styles in case there is some emergency and quick decisions need to be taken.
  • The decision of an autocratic leader is fast and time-saving
  • Increase in productivity when the leader is present
  • Produces more accurate solutions when leaser is knowledgeable
  • Is more positively accepted in larger groups
  • Enhances performance on simple tasks and decreases performance on complex tasks
  • Also effective and useful when the group is not educated

Situations where In-Effective:

  • Most people resent being treated this way
  • Not effective for complex tasks
  • Not effective where creativity and innovation are required
  • Increases aggression levels among followers
  • Increases turnover rates
  • Abuse of this style is usually viewed as controlling, bossy and dictatorial
  • Often leads to high levels of absenteeism

Conclusion:

Late Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple was the exemplar of this style of leadership. Although it is not a generally recommended style of leadership, research does support that when an organization is under extreme pressure authoritarian leadership may very well be necessary and can help in the turnaround of the organization. We advise caution while applying this style with mature people in your team. 

Related Links

You may also like Types of Banks: Different Banks & their Classifications (Global) | Adaptive Leadership Style | Agile Leadership Style | Appreciative Leadership | Authentic Leadership Style | Bureaucratic Leadership Style | Charismatic Leadership | Collaborative Leadership | Crisis Leadership Style | Cross-Cultural Leadership | Democratic Leadership | Directive Leadership Style | Emergent Leadership | Facilitative Leadership | Laissez-Faire Leadership | Leadership Styles | Lean Leadership Approach | Level Five Leadership | Narcissistic Leadership | Narrative Leadership Style | Scientific Management Style
Creation Date Friday, 08 March 2013 Hits 20192 Leadership Theories, theories of leadership, types of leadership

You May Also Like

  • Characteristics of Leadership

    Characteristics of Leadership

    There are four characteristics of leadership that help us to understand the character of leadership as a concept. 1. Leadership is a process, 2. Leadership involves influence, 3. Leadership always occurs in a group context and 4. Leadership involves goal attainment. These are the four components that make up the character of the 'leadership' term and help us to define the leadership concept. All of these components of leadership have common characteristics.

  • Narcissistic Leadership

    Narcissistic Leadership

    Narcissistic leadership is a leadership style in which the leader is only interested in him. Narcissists are good for companies that need people with vision and the courage to take them in new directions. Such leaders sometime might be highly successful, but is it a style to be followed. Learn the various types of narcissistic leadership and the characteristics of such leaders.

  • Adaptive Leadership Style

    Adaptive Leadership Style

    Adaptive leadership is a style of leadership that emphasizes the importance of each and every person and role within the company. Adaptive leadership views the organization as an ever-changing, living organization, where employees can learn, adapt, and grow. Adaptive leaders mobilize people towards a common goal and also have the courage to experiment with new ideas and approaches. Adaptive leadership is the practice of mobilizing groups of people to tackle tough challenges and thrive. Learn how to adopt this style and how to become an adaptive leader!

  • Bad Leadership Style

    Bad Leadership Style

    A good leadership style is something that every effective leader must have in order to succeed, but identifying what that entails or does not entails might be difficult to understand. Most of the research on leadership focuses on the exemplary, best practices, and positive attributes of effective and successful leaders. This article talks about a new approach to learn leadership using lessons from bad leadership. That is the lessons to be learned by examining leaders who have not effectively exercised their power, authority, or influence.

  • Directive Leadership Style

    Directive Leadership Style

    This style is characterized by leaders making decisions for others and expecting followers to follow instructions. The directive leader is adept at giving instructions, setting expectations, and establishing timelines and performance standards. However, it is possible for the same leaders to display both directive and supportive behavior as per the demands of the situation.

  • Scientific Management Style

    Scientific Management Style

    Frederick Winslow Taylor started the “Scientific Management Movement”, and attempted to study the work process scientifically. Scientific management, also called Taylorism, was a theory of management that analyzed and synthesized workflows. It is a system for increasing the efficiency of manpower to its maximum potential and streamlining production to improve efficiency. This article explores this theory in more detail.

  • Authoritarian Leadership Style

    Authoritarian Leadership Style

    Although generally considered as a traditional, outdated, and non-preferred style of leadership, the autocratic style still can be used effectively in certain situations. It is a leadership style characterized by individual absolute control over a group. If you work for an autocratic leader, your job is usually to do what you're told. Learn more about this style and situations where this could be an effective style to use and when to avoid this type of approach. Analyze the characteristics of this style to evaluate if your followers consider you an authoritarian leader!

  • Qualities of Leadership

    Qualities of Leadership

    The ten most important qualities that define a good leader are self-awareness, interpersonal and communication skills, ethical values, organizational consciousness, self-confidence, adaptability and flexibility, imagination and creativity, focus & result-orientation, continuous self-development and accountability and ownership for his actions. These ten qualities of leadership every good leader should possess to a certain extent and must continually strive to develop them.

  • Definition of Leadership

    Definition of Leadership

    Leadership has been defined in different ways by different sets of scholars. In very simple terms leadership can be defined as the skill of a person to influence an individual or a group for achievement of a goal in a given situation. One can use different dimensions and perspectives to define leadership. Through the evolution of leadership thought, leadership has been defined in various ways discussed here.

  • Factors of Leadership

    Factors of Leadership

    There are four major factors in leadership called Leader, Follower, Communication, and Situation. The success of the leader is dependent on how the leader is effectively able to communicate and motivate followers to perform desired tasks using the appropriate leadership style best suited for the given situation. Interdependencies and dynamics of these four factors of leadership must be considered by a leader to be effective.

  • Tasks & Roles of Leadership

    Tasks & Roles of Leadership

    What are the functions which a leader does to establish as a leader? What are the activities undertaken by them to become great leaders, rather revolutionary leaders? The most important tasks done by a leader in all situations are defining the vision, mission, and goals, leading the team, administrative functions, motivating followers, decision making and conflict resolution, and continuous development.

  • Cross-Cultural Leadership

    Cross-Cultural Leadership

    Understanding of how individuals of different cultures interact with each other is very important. Not all individuals can adapt to the leadership styles expected in a different culture whether that culture is organizational or national. In a fast-paced business environment, developing a richer understanding and sensitivity to other cultures is a skill that leaders must possess. Learn to be effective in a cross-cultural setting.

  • Emergent Leadership

    Emergent Leadership

    Emergent leadership occurs when a group member is not appointed or elected as leader, but rather that person steps up as the leader over time within-group interactions. Have you ever faced challenges in getting accepted into your new role of position as a leader? Groups don't automatically accept a new "boss" as a leader. Emergent leadership is what you must do when taking over a new group. Learn more about emergent leadership.

  • Facilitative Leadership

    Facilitative Leadership

    Facilitative Leadership is all about involving the employees in the decision-making process at all levels enhancing their sense of ownership, responsibility, and motivation. Facilitative leadership style uses a number of indirect communication patterns to help the group reach consensus and build commitment for the decision taken. To be effective in modern organizations, managers need to become facilitative leaders, learn what it means to be a one.

  • Democratic Leadership

    Democratic Leadership

    Participative leadership is one of the most effective styles and creates higher productivity, better contributions from group members, and increased group morale.  The democratic leadership style consists of the leader sharing the decision-making abilities with group members by promoting the interests of the group members. Learn more about this leadership style and situations when it is effective.

Explore Our Free Training Articles or
Sign Up to Start With Our eLearning Courses

Subscribe to Our Newsletter


© 2020 TechnoFunc, All Rights Reserved