Like various types of leadership, there are many management styles in practice today. Some are more popular while some are more effective in given contexts. While some management styles can be clearly defined, some approaches are a blend of various puritan styles. In here, we shall take a look at the different types of management styles that have been defined.
What Are the Different Management Styles?
The oldest management style is also the most discussed and heavily critiqued. It is the dictatorial or autocratic management style. It is also known as authoritative management style. In this approach, one person or a group of people enjoy absolute authority or power. They exercise their power without considering the opinion of others. The decisions are simply let known and everyone has to fall in line. There is no room for discussion, opinions or even criticism.
All other management styles can be considered contrarian to dictatorial or authoritative management style, barring a few exceptions. Persuasive management style is largely authoritative. In such an approach, the decision making powers still rest in one individual or a group of people but the decision makers persuade those affected to fall in line.
Paternalistic management style is an approach where the manager or the leader considers himself to be a father figure and treats everyone as a family member. While the workforce may be one large family, the practice is often dictatorial. It is an extension of the paternalistic values that are found at large in society.
Participative and democratic management style is more popular these days. Decisions are not taken by the absolute senior management but every team has some contribution to make. Opinions are taken, views are heard and discussions are encouraged before the company decides on anything. Absolute powers don’t rest in anyone. There are different types of management styles within the ambit of democratic or participative styles. Consultative management style, laissez faire leadership and permissive management style are some of the variants.
Laissez faire management style is an approach where the manager doesn’t indulge in active supervision or monitoring of the staff. It is a hands-off approach. Everyone knows their responsibilities and duties. Accordingly, everyone goes about their job.
There are variants of these different types of management styles. For instance, there is theory x and theory y management styles that combines authoritarian leadership for theory x people who are basically lazy and uninterested in the job whereas participative leadership is recommended for theory y people who are committed, talented and driven or inspired to get the job done.