Autocratic Leadership & It’s Models

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Autocratic Leadership

In this kind of leadership, the leader alone determines policy and makes plans. He tells other what to do and how to do it. He demands strict obedience and relies on the power of his position to reward and punish others. An autocratic leader maybe either authoritative who uses power and force or paternalistic and benevolent, who uses rewards for obtaining obedience from his employees.

The former uses the formula”Do what I say or else”and the latter uses”Do what I say because I am good to you”. In case of autocratic leadership the sociometric pattern is a star, with relationships existing only between the leader and the members but not among the members. The leader is the key person. The whole operation of the organization depends upon him.

The two important authority based models of leadership are:

A) Robert Tannenbaum’s Model –
This model measures leadership style on a single authority-participation continuum, where increase of one is possible only with the decrease of the other. The continuum is thus a zero-sum game.

According to this model there are seven varieties of leadership styles, moving from very authoritarian style at one end to very democratic style at the other end. These are as follows:

1. Leader makes decision and announces it.
2. Leader makes decision and persuades subordinates to accept it.
3. Leader having made a decision presents his ideas and invites questions so that his subordinates can better understand what he is trying to accomplish.
4. Leader presents tentative decisions subject to change.
5. Leader presents problems, gets ideas and suggestions before making decisions.
6. Leader defines problems and limits of action and lets group make decision.
7. Leader permits group to function within limits defined by situation.

B) Rensis Likert’s Model-

This man identifies the following four leadership profiles which he calls systems of management. These are:
1. Exploitative Authoritative
2. Benevolent Authoritative
3. Consultative Authoritative
4. Participative Authoritative

How one does knows whether the leadership profile of an organization should be categorized as system 1 or 2 or 3 or 4? It depends on how its employees rate the organization on the following eight characteristic as a continuum from the left extreme of systems 1 to right extreme of system 4.

The organizational variables are: Leadership, Motivation, Communication, Interaction, Decision Making, Goal setting, Control and Goal Preference.

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