Management Styles

Management Styles

Management Styles refers to the behaviour and attitude of the manager. Each manager of an organisation is able to determine which management style they adopt.

The management style that is chosen may be a Task-Oriented Approach, during which the manager focuses on getting the task completed to achieve objectives. Management styles may also be Employee Oriented Approach, in which the manager focuses on the wellbeing and involvement of staff members.

Types of Management Styles

Autocratic Management Style

An Autocratic Management Style is one where the manager tells staff what decisions have been made. A manager using this style makes all decisions alone meanwhile employees have no input and limited knowledge, therefore meaning this style uses one-way, top-down communication. This style typically involves clear directions being issued to employees and frequently checking up on the employee’s performance. Autocratic managers motivate through threats and disciplinary action, provide more negative feedback and expect compliance and obedience from their employees. The Autocratic Management Style is most effectively used in times of crisis, deadlines or when employees do not know each other well.

Advantages of the Autocratic Style

The advantages of using the autocratic management style includes that:

  • The directions, procedures and employees roles are clearly defined and are set out so that they leave little room for confusion
  • Control is centralized at top level management
  • Time is used efficiently and problems are dealt with quickly
Disadvantages of the Autocratic Style

The disadvantages of using this style includes that:

  • No employee input is permitted
  • No responsibility given to lower level staff, which causes decreased job satisfaction
  • There is an increased potential for conflict to occur due to the “us and them” mentality, which is created.

Persuasive Management Style

A Persuasive Management Style is one where the manager attempts to sell decisions that have been made to the employees. A manager uses one-way, top-down communication and makes all decisions alone. The manager however does attempt to persuade and explain the decisions that have been made to the staff, meanwhile the employees are not given the opportunity to share ideas or provide feedback. Authority and control in this management style are centralised. This management style is most effectively used and appropriate in similar conditions to that of the autocratic style

Advantages of the Persuasive Style

The advantages of using this style includes that:

  • The manager can gain some trust and support from the employees through persuasion
  • Workers believe their feelings are being considered in the decision-making process
  • Instruction and explanations remain clear and constant
  • There is more likely to be some acceptance of negative situations when the benefits of the decisions are explained to the employees.
Disadvantages of the Persuasive Style

The disadvantages of using the persuasive management style includes:

  • Attitudes and trust towards management by the employees remain negative
  • Communication is still poor and limited, as it remains one-way.
  • The employees remain frustrated because they are denied full participation

Consultative Management Style

A Consultative Management Style is one where the manager consults employees before making decisions. It involves two-way communication between the manager and the employees. Managers seek the employee’s opinion before making a decision. The decision-making power however still rests with the manager who may or may not take into consideration the employees’ input. A consultative manager recognizes good performance, believes motivating employees will help to achieve performance objectives and believes in enhancing personal relationships by offering job security, social activities and fringe benefits. This style could be effectively used when introducing and implementing new operating procedure or some organisational change.

Advantages of the Consultative Style

The advantages of the consultative management style includes that:

  • A greater variety of ideas is generated as employees are allowed to offer their perspective.
  • Employees begin to have ownership in the running of the organisation and take more interest.
  • Decisions are discussed and fine-tuned before implementation leading to tasks being completed more efficiently and with better results.
Disadvantages of the Consultative Style

The disadvantages of this style includes that:

  • The process of consulting with employees can be time consuming
  • Inconsistent opinions and decisions cause confusion
  • Employees may feel that their ideas are being ignored or overlooked which can lead to resentment or conflict.

Participative Management Style

Participative Management Style is one where the manager unites with staff to make decisions together. In this style the manager shares the decision-making power with their subordinates. The Participative Management Style is typically used in organisations with a flatter management structure and recognizes the strengths and abilities of employees. It is most effectively used when operating within rapid change.

Advantages of the Participative Style

The advantages of this style includes that:

  • Two way communication is used
  • More positive employee and employer relations as employees are allowed to give their input.
  • Optimal motivation and job satisfaction is more likely to be achieved.
  • Employees have greater opportunities to acquire skills, especially in the area of decision-making.
  • Higher levels of trust and commitment are likely to be created between the employees towards management.
Disadvantages of the Participative Style

The disadvantages of the participative management style includes:

  • Time consuming, and it may not lead to as high quality decisions being made
  • The role and control of managers may be weakened
  • Internal conflict and disagreements can arise
  • Importance of organisational structures may be minimized
  • Not all employees want to contribute to the decision-making process

Laissez-Faire Management Style

Laissez-faire Management Style is one where the employees assume total responsibility for, and control of, workplace operations. The management of the organisation set the objectives, while the employees implement them, with minimal supervision and direction. This style is favoured by organisations with decentralised organisational structures and is most effective for creative work or research with employees who are highly talented or qualified in the tasks.

Advantages of the Laissez-Faire Style

The advantages of the laissez-faire management style includes:

  • Employees feel a sense of ownership, promoting outstanding results
  • Encourages creativity amongst the employees
  • Having a flat structure can lead to more open communication
Disadvantages of the Laissez-Faire Style

The disadvantages of this style includes that:

  • Complete loss of control by management
  • Personal conflicts may occur
  • Focus can be easily eroded 

Situational Management Style or Management Theory  

The Contingency Management Theory stresses the need for flexibility and the adaptation of management styles to suit the situation. This style involves using multiple styles depending on situation that managers are confronted with rather than restricting themselves to one style, which may not be effective in all situations.

The management style that is chosen and adopted by a manager will be influenced by:

  • Manager themselves, specifically their personality, background, values, beliefs and skills.
  • The personalities, backgrounds, values, beliefs and skills of the staff
  • Internal and external constraints of the situation or task, including the time and resources available.