Participative management style is an approach or practice wherein the manager instills principles of democracy in a workplace. The modus operandi, decision making and all kinds of planning are done through open discussions and involves the participation of all relevant team members. A participative management style at the very top would involve a chief executive or chairman taking into account the opinions of every board member or the entire senior management. A senior manager practicing participative management style will always take the team of junior managers and possibly all the team members into confidence and will make everyone a stakeholder in all facets of their job.
Advantages of Participative Management Style
This type of leadership or management style allows every employee to be a part of the larger team. Everyone’s opinion is given importance and everyone gets to share their views or at least participate in the discussions that would influence their job, career and thus future. One never knows where the next big idea can come from and participative management facilitates that. Companies that have authoritarian or autocratic management styles often don’t allow anyone to open up. That can hurt the company and the employees.
Participative management style is good for employee morale, it creates a level playing field for everyone and it is good for growth as diverse opinions and conflicting views often resolve a problem sooner than only one person applying her or his mind to the issue.
There are many advantages of participative management style, from reduced attrition to healthy competition in the workplace, increased loyalty to growth of the company if it is people centric. This type of management style is also instrumental in creating leaders. A system where only one person does all the thinking and deciding will not allow others to grow, become responsible and thus be experienced enough to take on leadership roles. Participative management style can create good managers or leaders.
Disadvantages of Participative Management Style
When everyone gets to air their opinion, there will be some nonsensical views and some futile discussions, arguments and endless meetings. That can become redundant and a sheer waste of time, effort and resources, also money. Participative management style needs to be checked before it goes out of hand and makes every team member feel that they can disrupt things or get away with whatever they want in namesake participation. The participation has to be constructive, always.
Participative management style can be difficult for any manager who doesn’t know how to control his or her flock, for conflicting opinions and numerous views can often lead to self doubt and can make problems more complicated instead of solving them.