Management style is a concept that describes the way a person in a management position will manage employees, projects, and meetings in the organization. It includes ways that managers will be using various styles of work to create authority, make decisions, plan, organize and delegate tasks to fulfill their goals.
Management styles will depend on both external and internal factors and the managers themselves. The internal factors that will have an impact on the leadership style are
- Corporate and organizational culture
- Organizational policies
- Skill level of the employees
- Employee engagement
- Level of management
The external factors that will have an impact on the leadership style although they are outside the control of an organization are
Effective managers may become adjusting and make changes in their management style to suit the conditions and achieve the set target.
Table of Contents
Types of Management Styles
There are three broad types of management styles which are further subdivided into categories. A person in a managerial position can use a variety of style to tackle the situation as per the need of the hour.
1. Autocratic Management Styles
This type of leadership style is considered the most controlling as it is the manager that holds all the power and is entrusted with the decision-making. It follows a one-way communication process and approach and that is from the managers to the employees. In this style of working the employees do not have decision-making power nor are they encouraged to share their thoughts, ask questions and suggest ideas. They have clearly defined boundaries and are monitored closely by their managers who work best by using threats, orders, and ultimatum. The objective of this style is immediate compliance of the employees
There are three subtypes of Autocratic Styles. These are-
2. Authoritative Management Style
The Authoritative Management Style is also referred to as a directive or coercive style. In these styles, it is the manager who has controlling and decision-making power. He simply dictates what is required and his decision is final in all things. The employees are punished if they fail to follow orders or perform tasks as per the satisfaction of the manager in the Authoritative style. The management micromanages the performance and monitors the activities of the employees. The managers who are using the Authoritative style believe that the employees cannot work without direct supervision.
- Employees may make decisions quickly
- Have clear goals
- Roles are well-defined
- Expectations are clear
- Smooth operations
- Increased productivity but only when the manager is present
- Increase in employee dissatisfaction
- High employee turnover
- Less employee engagement
- Less chance of professional development
- Less scope for innovation and creativity
- Inefficient processes
- The rift between management and employees
The correct time to use this management style is during organizational crises or when the decision-making has to be on an urgent basis.
3. Persuasive Management Style
Persuasive Management Style is the type of management style one where the managers use persuasive powers to convince the employees that they are making decisions that will be good for the organization, department, and the team. Using this style the managers do not order instead explain the reason behind the policies.
- The employees feel valued
- The trust level between management and employees is high
- The team can accept the decision more easily
- There is less constriction and employees respond more positively
- No scope for feedback
- The employees cannot offer solutions
- There is no chance of increasing the skill level of employees
The correct time to use this management styles is when the manager is experienced and expert in his field and he knows that persuasion will give him more results than direct orders
4. Paternalistic Management Style
In the Paternalistic Management Style, the manager is concerned about the best interests of his employees. Here the decision-making process is unilateral but the manager will make sure to explain his reason to the employees.
- The management will make sure that the employees are happy with the management decisions
- Upskilling is valued
- Employees are more productive
- Lack of innovation and creativity
- No room for questions
- Collaboration is nil
- The final decision is only with the manager
This type of management style is mostly seen in places that accept the concept of a caring leader. It is used by management when the organization is small and not in large organizations
5. Democratic Management Styles
In Democratic Management Style employees can give suggestions but do not have a say in the final decision. Here the communication is two-way both from top to bottom and vice-versa and team members can cohesively gel with each other. The Democratic style encourages employees to offer their diverse opinions and ideas.
There are five subtypes of the Democratic Management Style. These are-
6. Consultative Management Style
In the Consultative style, the manager is entrusted with the decision-making process. He consults his skilled team members and other employees to know about their thoughts and opinions and after going through all the fact takes the final decision.
The pros of The Consultative Management Style are
- Better understanding and trust between team members as well as management and employees
- Employees feel they are part of teams and ultimately it motivates employees
- Opinions matter
- Better problem-solving
- Informed decisions
The cons of The Consultative Management Style are
- Consulting staff can prove time-consuming for the manager
- Excessive reliance on consultative style makes the employees hyper and they start losing trust in the management
The correct time to use this style is in specialized fields where the employees are skilled in their fields and their voice and input matter while making informed decisions. Managers can also use it only if they are new in their job position and do not have the experience or skills to handle important decisions yet.
7. Participative Management Style
In the participative style of management, both the employees and the manager work together. Team members have access to more information and are encouraged to offer creative solutions.
The pros of The Participative Management Style are
- The management actively seeks ideas and opinions from employees as they are highly skilled
- Increased motivation
- Improved productivity
- Employees can connect with the mission and vision of the company
- Better employees engagement
- Higher creativity and innovation
The cons of The Participative Management Style are
- Participation from every corner makes the process slow
- Greater chance of resentment and conflicts
The correct time to use this management style is when the organization is going through a big change or when it wants to drive innovation to the forefront. Workforce participation at such times will lead to positive outcomes
8. Collaborative Management Style
There is an open forum in the Collaborative style of management where ideas are discussed by all the team members and employees work for the betterment of their team. Making decisions is through the majority rule. The employees feel professionally and personally fulfilled and can enhance their productivity.
The pros of The Collaborative Management Style are
- Employee empowerment
- Higher employees engagement
- Greater creativity and innovation
- Employees put their best work forward
- Find collaborative solutions
- Open communication
- Better outcomes
- A decrease in employee turnover
The cons of The Collaborative Management Style are
- If the majority decision is not in favor of the company then the management has the authority to change it. This breeds resentment and mistrust amongst the employees
The correct time to use it is when an organization is trying to encourage innovation, collaboration, and employee engagement.
9. Transformational Management Style
Transformational Management Style is considered growth-focus as managers encourage their employees to do better and accomplish superior levels of efficiency and productivity. The managers work together with the employees to set a prime example of work ethics and raise the bar for achievements.
The pros of The Transformational Management Style are
- Increased innovation and creative thinking
- Employees can adapt to change and disruptions easily
- Team members become agile
- Increased flexibility
- Better problem-solving
The cons of The Transformational Style are
- Employees will be unable to keep pace and this can have an impact on
- their physical and mental health
The correct time to use it is when the organization belongs to a fast-paced industry. It is also applicable when a department, organization or industry is anticipating change.
10. Coaching Management Style
In the Coaching Management Style, the manager acts as a coach and treats his employees as valued members. He puts the onus on professional development and is the guiding force behind employee performances. In the coaching style preference is given to long-term development and this is why the manager promotes upskilling and learning in the workplace.
The pros of The Coaching Style are
- Employees can learn and develop
- Workforce feels valued
- Higher employee engagement
- A strong bond between employees and management
The cons of The Coaching Management Style are
- Toxic environment
- Short term projects are unable to garner the necessary support
The correct time to use this style is when the company wants to promote talent within the organization. Hiring and recruitment is a time-consuming and expensive process and the company can save both time and money by implementing this style of management.
11. Laissez-Faire Management Styles
The Laissez-Faire Management Style promotes a laidback approach to leadership. The manager delegates the work and steps back from active day-to-day responsibility in Laissez-Faire. It is now up to the employees to take ownership and deliver it within the required time frame. Decision-making and problem-solving are solely the responsibility of the employees in the Laissez-Faire style.
There are two subtypes of the Laissez-Faire Management Style. These are-
Delegative Management Style
In the Delegative Management Style, the manager assigns the task but does not micromanage. The employees are given the freedom to complete their tasks as per their wishes. The manager is responsible for reviewing the assigned work and offer advice on how to make improvements in future projects
The pros of The Delegative Management Style are
- Creativity and innovation are at the forefront
- The workforce is highly skilled
- Employees are given the space to work to the best of their abilities
- Effective teamwork
- Better problem-solving
The cons of The Delegative Management Style are
- Lack of proper direction and uniformity
- Breeds conflict and resentment when the workforce feels the contribution of management is less
The correct time to use this management style is when the team members are more skilled than their managers. It is also preferred in companies with decentralized leadership
Visionary Management Style
Visionary Management Style is all about inspiring managers. The management believes in sharing their vision, explaining their goals and convincing the team members to follow their decision. The managers do not interfere in day-to-day activities and are good at motivating the workforce.
The pros of The Visionary Management Style are
- Managers offer regular feedback
- A higher level of employee motivation
- Employee satisfaction is high
- Employee turnover is low
- Quick problem-solving
The cons of The Visionary Management Style are
- This style cannot be faked and if the manager is not inspiring by nature then it can prove harmful for the organization
The correct time to use it is when a company wants to drive innovation. This style is considered picture-perfect for managers in organizations with strong purpose and tech companies who want to disrupt industries
Elements that can Influence your Management Styles
The elements that can influence the management styles of an individual are
Personality, Skills and Maturity
Look at your personality, skills, and maturity level, and then decide which style is suitable for you. Do not rely on your team members to compensate for your shortcomings. If you are in a high position and working on a project that needs micromanaging you can opt for Autocratic Styles but if you are looking at suggestions from team members you can opt for Democratic Styles of management.
Maturity of Team Members
Look at the maturity and experience of the employees working under you. Are they highly skilled or are only capable of following orders. You can suit your style accordingly. Choose Laissez-Faire Styles for highly skilled employees and Authoritative Style for people who are adept at following orders
Is your team experienced or relatively new? Use the Visionary style for the new team members that need supervision and Laissez-Faire Styles for the experienced team that does not need constant direction.
Is your project short-term and urgent or is it a long-term project? The short project often face lots of issues and needs a Directive style whereas you can opt for a Transformational Style for the relaxed long-term project
The culture of a country has a direct impact on the individual’s style of management. In countries like India, you will find managers prefer the Authoritarian Style whereas in countries like the United States the managers are more chilled out and prefer Democratic Styles
Why it is Important to know your Management Style?
Each person is different and so is the case with management style. It is important to understand which one is your natural style and which ones can you pick up with hard work and determination. Give some time to yourself, dig deep and contemplate which of the styles will prove beneficial in the long run.
It becomes vital to know about your style as it will give you a fair idea of your strengths and tell you about the areas that need improvement. It is also important to know about your style because you can align it with the needs of your team and make a viable difference in handling the employees effectively.