Authoritative versus Democratic Leadership

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AUTHORITATIVE VERSUS DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP 3

Authoritativeversus Democratic Leadership

Authoritativeversus Democratic Leadership

Leadershipis an important factor that can determine if an organization or acountry will succeed or not. There are many leadership styles whichexists and used in various parts of the world. This paper seeks tocompare the two styles of leadership namely democratic andauthoritarian leadership in various aspects and offer recommendationson the most appropriate style to be followed in the 21stcentury.

Authoritarianleadership is the style where the leader dictates what needs to bedone without any consideration of the participants. The leaderformulates the policies, procedures and directs what goals that needsto be achieved by the participants. The choice that the leaders makecomes from their minds and judgment, while giving orders andenforcing them within the system with little or no feedback that’sexpected from the audience. Democratic leadership is the style whereevery participant is actively involved in the decision making.Discussions on the ideas and the goals that need to be achieved arehighly encouraged within the group. The leader encouragesparticipation of every member in the group and they are all involvedin drawing the roadmap to be used to achieve the set goals.

Inthe democratic style, the leader’s role is to choose theparticipants that are supposed to be in the group while givingguidance and directions on which the discussions ought to revolvearound. However, in authoritarian leadership, the person in chargehas the sole mandate on the decisions that needs to be made. Theequality of every member is guaranteed while creating a goodenvironment for the flow of ideas freely in a democratic leadership,while there exists no forum for discussions whatsoever in anauthoritative style. The democratic style gives the members theopportunity to be engaged in the decision making thus the feeling ofownership of ideas within the setup. This feeling gives the membersthe confidence that they need to make their contributed ideas worktirelessly as they become results oriented unlike the authoritativeleadership where the system makes the members feel untrusted with thetasks that they have been given as the leader is the owner of theideas and they exist only to make the leaders flourish.

Inauthoritarian style, the members do not own the process thus creatingan environment that only makes the work done and this keeps themorale of the participants at low levels all the time and this styleis in contrast with the democratic one where creativity is encouragedand members are rewarded for it. However, a leader in the democraticstyle reserves the sole right over the final decisions that have beendiscussed, healthy and more creative solutions are provided in anydiscussions. This makes a way for the best solution to be adopted incase of any problem that requires a keen approach. However, in theauthoritarian style, the leader is the sole decision maker and couldbe restricted to a limited option as there are none other solutionsto be deliberated upon except those in their minds.

Wherethere is the sense of urgency in a task that requires instantresponse, democratic style may give poor results. This is where theauthoritative style works best as the style gives the participant nochance for the discussion and the task has to be completed within thestipulated time. The authoritarian style also fits well where theskill of a participant are not in a position to make personaldecision, thus needs to be given clear guidelines to strictly follow. Where roles of the participants are not clear, the democratic stylemay lead to the failure of accomplishing the projects and this canonly be countered by the authoritarian style where orders are givendirectly to the participant.

Inconclusion, in comparison to the two leadership styles discussedabove, democratic leadership best fits the expectations of the 21stcentury working conditions. This is because it encourages fullparticipation of the members creating a team rather than theauthoritarian style where it encourages individualization.