Directive Management Style

There are many types of management styles. Some popular styles are dictatorial and a slightly diluted version which is called authoritarian or authoritative, participative or democratic, consultative, situational, transformational, transactional and laissez faire among others. Each of these styles has variants where some attributes of one leadership style are blended with attributes of another or several other leadership styles. Directive management style is one such derivative which is not entirely dictatorial but not consultative at all, not participative or transformational but situational.

Understanding the Directive Management Style

There is a path goal theory of leadership. In that theory, four types of leadership styles are classified as ideal to embark on a path to achieve a preset goal. These four leadership or management styles are directive, achievement oriented, participative and supportive.

Directive management style is a practice where a leader tells the team members or employees exactly what they should be doing to achieve a certain goal. The job or the key responsibilities must be very clearly explained. Everything should be detailed and the employee must know what needs to be done and how. It is necessary for such leaders and managers to show how the things have to be done so the desired objective is accomplished.

Directive management style is authoritative in a way because the employees or team members don’t really have a say in anything. They are just told what to do, how and when and they do it. But directive management style does take into account the limitations of employees and situations so it is not purely dictatorial. It is situational because it considers a present context, a goal and then sets out a path for employees to tread.

Pros & Cons of Directive Management Style

Directive management style works best when workers or team members don’t know what they should be doing to achieve the goal. They have to be handheld in a way to show them the path and what they would do. This is a very effective style in industries where the employees are not experts or experienced. Relatively less trained or untrained employees work best under directive management style.

Directive management style doesn’t work in any company that has skilled laborers or talented and experienced people. Those who are equipped with knowledge and experience would not want to be told every step that must be taken. They know how to get the job done so directive management style is really redundant in such scenarios.

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