The simple act of making decisions is an essential task leaders must perform effectively to succeed. Behavioral theories of leadership focus on how leaders approach a situation and whether they dictate orders or involve others to encourage support. Research into decision-making behavior has identified three broad categories of leaders: autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire (Changing Minds, 2011). This paper will focus on these behavioral theories of leadership, primarily concentrating on participative leadership.
An autocratic leader tells employees what to do and how to do it. On the opposite extreme, a laissez-faire leader allows employees to make their own decisions with little …show more content…
In my recent departmental reorganization participative leadership was utilized as each employee had the opportunity to weigh in as several points along the process. The process was most representative of consultation as the leadership team was responsible for final decisions.
Research has also shown participative and consultative styles of leadership can increase employees’ organizational commitment. Ismail, Zainuddin, and Ibrahim (2010) studied the impact of participative leadership style on organizational commitment and job satisfaction. They found participative leadership has a strong and direct impact on employee’s organizational commitment, which, in turn, has a significant effect on job satisfaction. In addition, the researchers suggest that participative leadership may improve performance and decrease turnover.
Other potential benefits to participative leadership include: 1. Decision quality. Because employees are often armed with knowledge lacked by the leader, involving them in decision making often boosts the quality of decisions. 2. Decision acceptance. Simply, people support what they help create. When employees are involved, they identify