In this leadership project the definition of participative will be given. There will also be some background given on what makes up a participative leader. The advantages and disadvantages of using this approach will be given and whether or not this approach worked in the group that I studied. The different leadership styles will be discussed how they were incorporated into my research project. In this research paper I will give an explanation of how I became a participative leader and how it affected the group that I was studying.
Participative leadership or participative democratic leadership "is a style of leadership in which the leader involves subordinates in goal setting, problem solving, team building, etc., but retains the final decision making authority (Business Dictionary, 2010)". The aspects that make-up a participative leader is the fact that it encourages group supervision, so that there can be better communication among subordinates and leaders, cohesion in the organization, and less conflict among the group in order for the organization to run efficiently. This style of leadership helps to bring out the strengths of other individuals in the organization so they can have some input into what needs to be done and how it should be done in order to be beneficial to the organization. As a participative you must be willing to let others have some of the power in the organization, so that there can be less stress on the leader and helps with the continued success of the organization.
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The benefits of being a participative leader is the fact that it helps the leader to places more emphasis on his/her subordinates talents, skills, creativity and thinking power of the team because the subordinates tend to be more familiar with what works for the organization in order for it to continue to be successful. Another benefit of this leadership style is that it gives a leader the opportunity to recognize and determine if its employee has the potential to become a future leader of the organization. A third benefit is that there is more decision acceptance because employees are more likely to accept a decision that another co-worker at a hand in because it is based on past experience. This style also encourages the active participation of all employees form top to bottom in all aspects of decision making activities in the organization expect for the final decision in which is left up to the leader.
Another benefit to this is that it increases the number of solutions that the leader and subordinates have to choose from in order to find the best possible solution that will best benefit the organization. There are situations in which participative or democratic leadership should not be used and it is when there is not enough time to get everyone opinion on how things should be done in a given situation. I believe that leaders should always make the time to get everyone's opinion because the subordinates tend to know what works in the organization. Another situation in which participative leadership should not be used is when it is "more cost-effective for the leader to make the decisions (Vector Study.com, 2008)".
Another reason why this study should not be used is when the manager feels threatened by its subordinates input because other management personnel may feel that they don't know anything about their job. Another reason why this style should not be used is in a situation where the subordinate's safety is put at risk, i.e. there are not enough employees available to complete the task even if the leader has stepped in to help. A last reason not to use this style of leadership is when there is major resistance from employees and it will be better to stick with the leadership style that is already in use in the organization. The leadership approaches used up to this point in our text are Charismatic leadership, democratic or participative, Laissez-Faire, people-oriented, task-oriented, transactional and transformational leadership.
A charismatic leader is a leader who acts with high energy in his/her company, this type of leader are too high strong of a leader and does not fit my leadership style. A Laissez-Faire leader is a leader that doesn't care what his employee does because his employees already have the knowledge of what needs to be done, this type of leadership style doesn't have enough interaction between leaders and employees. The people-oriented leader makes sure that its employees have the proper support on issues, training and development so everyone can be happy. My reason for not using this style of leadership is because the leader only offers support but doesn't actually help his employees.
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Task-oriented leader is concerned with the job and the assigned work of each employee needed to get to the overall goal. This leadership style to me presents for there to be a lot of stress and conflict in the organization and that is one thing that I do not want for my employees. Transactional leadership is a leadership style that implies that group members are willing to follow all the leaders' orders when they take on a given task. The reason why I did not use this leadership style is because it makes me feel as if I were a dictator; I want employees to have their own opinions and not just mine.
A transformational leadership is a leader that looks at everything and likes employees that get things done. I liked this leadership style because this style looked to the future but it didn't get any input from employees on how future plans would be met. The last leadership style was democratic or participative leadership in which the leader invites input from employees on how things should be ran in the organization and is willing to help employees to complete a task when they are shorthanded but ultimately make the final decision on what is going to be done. I choose this style because it allows me to work hands on with my employees, so that I can find out what their ideas are, changes that should be made, and how to solve problems in a quick and efficient way.
The reason why I consider myself a participative leader is the fact that I use authority when needed to help employees who are not fully knowledgeable of all procedures in the organization. I also feel that in using this style of leadership helps me to better interact with my employees, so that I can have a better understanding of who I am as a leader, see how my employees work in a given situation, and see if any changes need to be made for there to be continued success in the organization. I also feel like I am a good at delegation because I am able to see how knowledgeable an employee is and can delegate some of my leadership responsibilities to them. I know that I am not an expert in all aspects of the organization but I welcome as much input as possible from employees and other leaders in order to come up with a solution that will be beneficial to the organization.
Mrs. Crumpton has a Masters degree in leadership and owns a consulting firm that helps companies with leadership issues that they are facing in finding what leadership style would be affective for the success of their organization. Mrs. Crumpton has 15 years of experience in studying organizations and directing them on which way would be affective for them. The company that Mrs. Crumpton was hired to analyze was SC Company, it has been in business for about 8 years and the major issue in the company has been that the production manager has been ineffective and the employees in Mr. Edwards department have been applying their own leadership styles. Ms. Andrews is the assistant production manager in the department uses charismatic leadership style because other employees in the department like her high energy in getting things done in the department.
Mrs. Andrews realized that by talking to Mrs. Crumpton that she was more of a Laissez-Faire leader who doesn't give employees any input on how or what they are suppose to be doing because she feels that they are knowledgeable enough to do it on their own. Mr. Edwards on the other hand was afraid to show his leadership style because he felt that it would be rejected by his employees. Mrs. Crumptons analyzation of Mr. Edwards is that he is a participative leader. Mr. Edwards agreed with this analysis because he welcomes employees input on what should be done and how problems should be solved in the company. He proposed this type of leadership style to his employees and they welcomed it because they saw that he was more involved with what they were doing. The other employees in the production department said that they would take on this leadership style because it allows for everyone's input on a given situation.
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The employees in the production department would use this style to better deal with changes that have been made and helps in the analysis of future leaders. Employees also like this style because they have more freedom and are able to voice their concerns without anyone telling them that their opinion doesn't matter when trying to find a solution to a problem. In my opinion on the given leadership style is that it worked because it helped the leader to determine what leadership style that it had. This leadership style also worked because it helps to bring the department together as a team and helped with productivity and cohesion.
The strengths of the participative leadership is that employees tend to "feel important, respected and recognized as valuables" to the company (Moutet, 2010). Another strength of this leadership style is that it helps employees to show their department what they learned and what they hope to accomplish while using this style. This style also encourages employees to do more in the company and become more excited about what they do in the company. A weakness of this style of leadership is that the decision process can be time consuming.
Another weakness is that this style can be misused because a manager tends to put off more of the decision making process on employees, so that they can avoid doing it themselves. A third weakness is that this style allows others to push their views off on others, causing the leader to pick that view because they feel pushed into it. The last weakness of this style is that it can cause a failure of management control causing more problems in the company. A manager must keep control of all aspects of this leadership style, so that he and employees don't get overwhelmed and they don't feel that they are being pushed to do too much.
In conclusion I gave background on what participative leadership is and what makes up a participative leader. I also listed the other leadership styles and explained why I did not pick those styles. This leadership project allowed me to express the benefits and disadvantages of using this style of leadership. There was also a scenario given to show how this leadership style was used and whether it worked in this situation or not.