There are various management styles in business and each style has its fair share of pros and cons. By some classifications, there are only six management styles in business. That is not a complete list as there are more variants and subcategories. Here is a brief illustration of the common management styles in business.
The oldest of all management styles in business is the dictatorial approach. Also known as autocratic or authoritarian, dictatorial management style has one decision maker. The person holds all the power. He or she would decide everything and everyone must fall in line. There is little to no scope of discussion, sharing of opinions or questioning the decision. The dictatorial or autocratic leader will intervene in every aspect of the business and will supervise one and all. There could be some deputies or trusted lieutenants, as in managers or supervisors, but it would be the owner or the chief executive who would be the sole decision maker in all regards.
Democratic & Participative
Democratic or participative leadership is the second most common management style. In this style, there is a leader, manager or owner who has the power to decide but he or she does so after due participation of other stakeholders. The stakeholders could be other managers and supervisors or even the employees. They are encouraged to share their opinions and ideas, which the head honcho may accept, reject or modify. It is not participative democracy entirely as only one person has the power to decide but others can contribute. There’s slightly greater freedom and a bit more open working environment.
Then there is directive management style which can be democratic or autocratic. Directive management styles in business are often reliant on a bureaucratic type of leadership. There is a hierarchy and decisions trickle down from the top through the ranks and files.
Some other common management styles in business are consultative, situational, strategic, transformational and laissez faire. The latter is also referred to as hands off management style. These styles are pretty simple to understand. Consultative management style is practiced by a manager or leader who takes everyone into confidence, hears everyone’s opinions and then allows a consensus or unanimity to drive a decision. Situational and transformational or even strategic management styles in business do exactly what their namesake is. Laissez faire or hands off management style provides ample autonomy to the workers and the manager, leader or business owner doesn’t have active involvement in day-to-day affairs of every employee.
There are many other management styles in business such as persuasive management, paternalistic management style, permissive management style, theory x and theory y management style among others.