Managerial Leadership Style and Its influence

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Managerial Leadership Style and Its influence of Team Functionality


This essay experiments how different managerial leadership styles influences the team functionality and team behavior in an organization. At the present context it is important for effective team working and team unity for an organization to succeed in a dynamically changing business world. This has created the need for a visionary leader who can lead the team and maintain team unity in order to drive the organization towards success.

The complexity in maintaining team unity has led the need to have a effective leadership too. Reviewing the leadership styles would investigate how the team is being influenced by different leadership styles.


There are different leadership styles for different business environments. These leadership styles need to be clearly understood in order to drive the team of employees who are working. A leader is like a ship captain navigating the organization. 

Leadership styles that would be reviewed are listed as following

? Charismatic Leadership

? Participative Leadership

? Situational Leadership

? Transactional Leadership

? Transformational Leadership

? The Quiet Leader

? Servant Leader

Charismatic Leadership

Charismatic leadership is where the leader uses his or her interpersonal skills of influencing others by charismatically rather than forcing by authority or giving orders. People will feel happy and motivated to carry out tasks on behalf of this leader. As Max Weber defines Charismatic Leader could be defined as where "people work with full devotional and maintain a high level of loyalty by carrying out the tasks of the superior"(definition redrafted) , as the definition states there is high belonging and a tremendous amount of loyalty is being maintained by full filling the tasks of the leader. The leader has a great influence on the person making he or she believe that the leader is taking personal care for his or her development in what ever the tasks they do creating a sense of belonging towards the person . Further the leader knows the psychology of the person he or she dealing with and according to the personal character the leader adopts a management style to influence the person.

Persuasive and influential skills are mostly used by charismatically characterized leaders where they maintain a strong level of positive ness and self confidence towards his or her followers and expect the same from the follower. The body and the verbal languages used are so attractive that the follower eventually becomes a loyal person and naturally full fill the tasks on behalf of the leader without being commanded. Charismatic leadership tries to shape the society in order to maintain a higher quality of current social standard, which is innovation [ C Marlene Fiol et al 1999]

When it comes to team leading the team members are created with a confidence that the team that they belong is superior among their rival teams and success comes through ultimate unity. The team guided by charismatic leaders would have the following qualities

? High sense of loyalty and belonging towards the team

? Each team member respects his/her team mate as a family person

? Tasks are done willingly

? High level of confidence and trust and mutual understanding is maintained

As for the above listed qualities the team unity and team spirit are maintained at a higher level and they work under one umbrella led by the leader.

In real life situation charismatic leaders could be religious leaders or political leaders. The Best example to quote for a charismatic leader , where he was able to gather so many followers in Mahatma Gandhi , where he maintained a strong level of self confidence in his followers in getting the independence through Democratically Influenced Policies and not fighting, When taking the management style of Gandhi he had a strong influence and belief in his followers that they believed in democracy and stood for that over their life time .

As for the above example in Charismatic leaders are able to influence people through their policies and actions rather than using authority and power.

Participative Leadership

This is where the leader involves in the decision making process. In a participative leadership when people are single they cannot operate and decision making is a challenging process. The leader believes that when joint decisions are taken with the help of a team , there is more strength and the decision is much stronger towards achieving the final goal.

In a participative leadership firstly the leader discusses the idea with the team. Each person gives a suggestion and finally the best suggestion would be collectively agreed by the team and implemented. Participative leadership style involves a four step approach in decision making , where the leader first tells the problem among the team, then each team member contributes his her view, the next step all the opportunities and alternatives are discussed finally the best decision is taken that is to be implemented.

In a participative decision making process the team has the following qualities or features.

? Each team member is experienced or has the technical skills in what ever area they are specialized

? People having different skills join and work together in a team run by participative leadership style

? Each team member is empowered to give his or her idea

? There is always room for collective discussions in order to fulfill a particular task

? Most of the tasks are delegated but still the final responsibility is with the leader

The Chairman for Wal-Mart was considered as the best person for Participative leadership where he discusses most of the problems with his employees. The best solution is accepted and that employee is recognized and rewarded. The motto of Sam Walton believed in team working rather than individual working and also collective success. He also introduced lot of profit sharing schemes for his employees and motivated their entrepreneur skills and gave a presence that they are also part of the company.

At the present stage participative management is mostly practiced in software firms where project teams discuss their problems with the project manager and Participative leadership was a successful management strategy for problem solving and decision making.

Situational Leadership

Doing and surviving business in the current business environment is a challenging task. There are opportunities as well as threats. In a dynamically changing business environment it is important to have visionary leaders who can take quick decisions using the situation. In a situational leadership it is the action what they do affects the organization towards success or failure.

There are three factors what needs to be considered in a situational leadership style where there is a situation , there is a leader and the supporting followers who are ready to act according to the leader's orders.

As the above picture illustrates the three factors are integrated together it is the leader who is going to take the necessary action and drives the team forward according to the situation in place.

The team qualities in a Situational Leadership Style

? The staff members are followers rather than contributors where they 100% rely on their leader' orders

? Committed for anything

? The staff need proper guidance as to what needs to be done from the leader

? Team Co-Ordination and Co-Operation needs to be maintained by the leader otherwise the staff would not work as a team

? Team spirit and motivation needs to be forced it would not be a natural factor among the staff.

For an effective situational leadership to prevail the following should be in place as identified by Yukl(1999)

? Subordinate effort : where the co-employee is ready to do the set task according to his/her ability

? Subordinate ability and role clarity: the employees are inducted what to do and how to do it

? organization of the work : where the work is structured and the utilization of resources are well planned

? Co-operation and cohesiveness: the group needs to be maintained

? Resources and Support : people , materials and tools

? External Support : Support from External people like suppliers

Situational leadership presently available mostly in a factory or fast food restaurant like KFC when sudden orders come it is the leader who must allocate the team , resources in order to fulfill these customer orders

The situational leader needs to have qualities such as quick decision making skills, forecasting skills, commanding skills in order to handle a particular situation and drive the organization forward.

The classic example for Situational Leadership can be quoted for Honda Chairman Yoshihide Munekuni. Honda launched a Motor Bike in USA which could not be sold for the Big Bikers because it did not meet the quality and the project was a total failure. Suddenly the Chairman noted that there was a demand for their small motorbike which was used to ride among the factory floor among the normal people. Then the Honda company Launched the small Chally Motorbikes which became popular among the people and as a result the Honda company was able to sustain its motor bike market. This is a classic example for situational leadership by Honda Chairman . Presntly Honda is adopting the Just In Time techniques also which is another classic example for Situational

Leadership producing according to the customer orders.

In a dynamically challenging business environment it is important to have situational change leadership strategies.

Transactional Leadership

In transactional leadership the employee is given a task by the leader and if the task is done he/she is rewarded if not punished or held personally responsible. The leader acts like a commanding officer and the employee just does the tasks what ever being allocated and at the end of the month receives the salary as the reward.

Leadership Qualities in a Transactional Leadership

? The leader uses the authority and power to get things done

? The leader needs to have a commanding skills

? Controlling power is essential

Team Qualities in a Transactional Leadership organization

? The team always awaits for orders from the leader

? Team loyalty and team spirit is less in a transactional leadership

?The ability to innovate and creative skills are less

?Money is the motivating factor

Transactional leadership is run mostly in Military or Police organizations where the employees need to carry out tasks set by their supervisors. The promotion and rewards are based on performance.

Transformational Leadership

This type of leadership is practiced in an industry where there is innovation, creativity and passion. The leader has an idea and distributes the idea to potential followers; these people get together and work for the success of this leader's idea to blossom.

Leadership Qualities and Attributes for a Transformational Leader

? The leader has the ability to innovate and create successful ideas

? Has the energy and passion to succeed in the idea he/she believes

? Always enthusiastic about the success of this idea

? Has a tremendous amount of will power

Team qualities and attributes guided by a transformational leader

? Keep trust and believe the leader's vision would succeed

? Maintain team loyalty and spirit

? Work collectively towards the vision of the leader under one umbrella

? Ability to innovate and create

? Highly talented individuals with multi skilled ability

As the above figure illustrates the leader needs to have innovation, creativity and a strong team to back in order to successfully implement the idea.

For a transformational leadership quality the best example would be to quote the Microsoft Chairman Billgates and his team mates Steve Balmer and Paul Allen where they joined as a team and developed Micro Soft to this level. Billgates had the forecasting power that his business idea would succeed by creating a user friendly operating system which would transform the entire world whilst he knew that the need for computer usage would increase in future during his time. The vision what he had made him to be one of the world's richest business magnets, and a successful team to back his vision.

Transformational leadership is always not successful, careful consideration needs to be given when following a promise of a visionary leader where some times changing career for employees may be dangerous. It is better to try the idea on a trial and error basis and after seeing the outcome it could implemented.

Still each and every organization succeeding has a visionary leader behind its success.

Quiet Leaders

These types of leaders frequently believe in action rather than words. They wish to empower other and show the path of success. These leaders are 100% charismatic leaders.

Characteristics of Quiet Leaders

  • Believe in tasks rather than action
  • More focus on acquiring intellectual and conceptual skills
  • Always cautious of every step they take and await for the correct opportunity
  • Focus more on quality at every step
  • They always innovate with creative ideas.

Team Characteristics Lead by Quiet Leader

  • There would not be any direct communication
  • Most of the team members would be isolated and more focus on action
  • Team spirit and motivation is not visible

The team supporting quiet leader

According to Joseph L Badaracco (2002) quiet leaders are more action oriented. They do what is best for them and the organization, where certain instance they try to shape the process of working practices so that it would benefit the organizations as a whole. They take risks when it is necessary even if they are faced with loosing their job.

The main problem with quiet leaders is they do not communicate at all because of this they are not noted and are not recognized.

Less research has been done on this area but, quiet leaders are all among us for example in an Police Department, where they are investigating a case. The higher rank officials are doing this in the traditional way, but a normal rank officer will try to look at it in a different way and makes his initiative to investigate the case. He investigates and finds the culprit but there is a sad situation here the higher rank officials may not recognize his talents and do not reward him. Still the officer would not be disappointed without not getting a reward but work more sincerely to the Police department.

Servant Leaders

These leaders focus on serving the society. These type of leaders would like to help the society mostly the disadvantaged people in the society. As these leaders gain experience they get wiser and try to empower others to become like them.

Characteristics of the Team Led by Servant Leaders

  • They enjoy the job as serving the society
  • More ambitious rather than money minded
  • Enjoy educating other for personal growth
  • Leader is respected for his

The classic example for a Servant Leader we could quote the US President Baraka Obama where he served the deprived people and poor people practicing as a Civil Lawyer rather than a Commercial Lawyer. Presently his wisdom and skill has bought him up to this level in the society.

The above discussions highlight the characteristics of leadership and the influence they have on the team.

Other Forms of Leader Ship Styles

Coercive Leader

This leader takes the decision for him/her self. Coercive leader does not consult others when taking major decisions. Team mates are treated like slaves only this leader focuses on the results, and in the long run this leader does not have any loyal followers. These type of leaders do not motivate their team people at all. The attitude of these leaders effect the moral and innovativeness of their team mates. This leader ship is best suited in an urgent situation. For example when a major heart operation is taking place it is better to adopt this type of leadership , where the chief doctor would be controlling the situation because they are doing this operation to save a life.

Authoritative Style

This type of leadership defines a clear direction for the team and where they know the organizational objectives and strategies and work towards achieving the business case. People working under this type of leadership style are motivated to come up with innovative and creative ideas. This type of leadership is more effective when there is no clear direction . Example Authoritative style leadership is practiced more on software firms.

The Affiliative Style

The main aim of the affiliative leadership style is to create harmony and keep employees happy and win their loyalty, whilst improving communication and coordination. This type of leadership motivates employees to be innovative and carry out the jobs which are best for them and the organization. This leadership builds strong emotional buildings between team members by showing interest in their personal lives too. This type of leadership could also create the atmosphere to employees that poor performance would be tolerated which would hinder organizational growth in the long run. This type of leadership is practiced mostly when a group of experts or friends get-together and run their own business. Despite any friendship or expert ship still there should be some form of control which needs to ensure ultimately the organization succeeds.

For Affiliative leadership we could code the example of a group of  Chartered Accountant friends getting together and starting their own accounting practice . Here there would be informal authority among the partner friends , but still during office hours they need to adhere to organizational rules and regulations as to set an example for student accountants.

The Democratic Style

This form of leadership encourages team members to take part in decision making and risk taking, whilst teaching them to take up responsibilities. The main drawback of this leadership is where the main decision taking process would take long because of arguments and opinions may differ among team members. This leadership always allows employees to come up with new ideas but still there should be a strong leader to take control of the whole organization.

Democratic form of leadership is practiced in parliament mostly when the Readings for the Finance Budget.

Conclusion and Review

Adopting the appropriate leadership style depends on the industrial segment and the type of business the organization operates The leader needs to understand the organization strategy the skills of the team and the business case in order to adopt a suitable leadership strategy.

According to the above model the above factors shown in the diagram need to be considered.

There are other models too which are not discussed, but those are the famous and popular models which are being practiced, in the industry.

In reality the leader will adopt different styles based on the situation and team members. Also when it comes for individuals leaders will adopt different management styles based on the individual. Finally there is no specific leadership which is the best , but the leader needs to make the correct decision and be a guide to the team which ever method adopted.


1) Management for Information System Professionals Compiled by Michael Kennedy Head of Department of Accounting and Finance London South Bank University.


3) Joseph Badaracco  May/June 2002 Ivy Business Journal : The Anything impossible -but unmark able lessons of the quiet leader by

4) Virginia P Richmond, John P Wagner James Mccrosky 1983 The Impact of Perceptions of Leadership Style, Use, of Power, Conflict Management Style on Organizational Outcomes

5) C. Marlene Fiol , Drew Harris, Robert House Charismatic Leadership: Strategies for Effecting Social Change.