Program Management

Autocratic Leadership Style

Autocratic Leadership is a leadership style characterized by individual control over all decisions and little input from group members. Autocratic leaders typically make choices based on their own ideas and judgments and rarely accept advice from followers. Autocratic leadership involves absolute, authoritarian control over a group.

Definition: Autocratic leadership is a management style wherein one individual controls all the decisions and takes little to no inputs from other individuals in the group.

Leadership Styles
Figure 1: Leadership Styles [1]

When is Autocratic Leadership Effective

This style is effective in emergencies and when absolute followership is needed. This leadership style is also effective sometimes with new, relatively unskilled workers who need clear direction and guidance.

Some of the primary characteristics of autocratic leadership include:

  • Little or no input from group members
  • Leaders make the decisions
  • Group leaders dictate all the work methods and processes
  • Group members are rarely trusted with decisions or important tasks

The downside of autocratic leadership includes:

  • Viewed as bossy, controlling, and dictatorial, which can lead to resentment among group members.
  • Group may dislike that they are unable to contribute ideas
  • Lack of feedback from group members
  • Lack of initiative from group members

Other types of leadership styles:

AcqLinks and References:

  • [1] Nickels and McHugh, “Understanding Business” McGraw-Hill Irwin 2010

Updated: 9/10/2021

Rank: G44

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