A Business Encyclopedia

Autocratic Leadership

Definition: In the Autocratic Leadership Style, the leader centralizes the decision-making power in himself and give directions to his subordinates as to what they are supposed to do and how they are required to perform the given task. Thus, a leader enjoys the full authority and imposes his will on others.

The autocratic leadership style is also known as authoritarian, directive or monothetic style. Here, the leader makes the decision by himself without taking any advice from others. No one can question the decision made by the autocratic leader; he structures the complete situation, and the subordinates are required to do what they have been told by the leader.

This kind of style is suitable for the situation, where the leader knows the solution of the problem and can very well direct his subordinates to get the task accomplished quickly and efficiently. Especially, in military, construction and manufacturing jobs, the subordinates prefer an autocratic leadership style, where they can focus on the specific jobs and leave the complex decision making to the leader.

At times, the autocratic leadership style can be negative as the group members may feel insecure and afraid of leader’s authority. Since the autocratic leader takes a decision on his own with little or no input from the subordinates, may demoralize the group members, as they are not able to contribute their ideas and use their expertise or knowledge in certain situations.

Also, it has been observed that in the autocratic leadership style less creative solutions are obtained that may hurt the overall performance of the group. Hence, the creative group members may detest this style of leadership.

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