A Business Encyclopedia

Participative Decision Making

Definition: In the Participative Leadership Style, the leader encourages his subordinates to contribute their ideas or opinion in the group situations and share responsibility in them.

There are four major types of decision-making style that a leader adopts to get the group goals accomplished. These are:

  1. Collective Decision Making: Under this leadership style, all the group members take the decision collectively, and the responsibility of such decision rests with the entire group. This type of style is advantageous only when the clear lines of authority and responsibility are defined among the group members.
  2. Democratic or Participative Decision Making: Here, the leader collects all the ideas and opinions from the group members and then takes the final decision by himself. Once the leader has taken the decision, he communicates the same to his subordinates and tries to resolve the objections if any.
  3. Autocratic Participative Decision Making: Under this leadership style, the authority of final decision making rests with the leader alone, who makes decisions on the basis of the solutions obtained through the discussions with group members. Here, the leader collects all the ideas and opinions from the group members and then arrive at a final conclusion.The difference between the democratic and autocratic decision making is that in the latter the decision making is fast since it is goal-directed whereas the democratic style is people-oriented and hence the decision making is slow. Thus, the results are obtained faster in the case of the autocratic participative decision making.
  4. Consensus Decision Making: Under this style, the leader gives up his responsibility to take decisions on the group members and arrive at the final conclusion through a majority of the group.

Generally, the group members are involved in setting goals, problem-solving, and team building. But the authority of final decision-making rests with the leader himself.

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