Directive Leadership Case Study

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Leadership: Miller et al. (2002) viewed leadership style as the pattern of interactions between leaders and subordinates. It includes controlling, directing, indeed all techniques and methods used by leaders to motivate subordinates to follow their instructions. The importance of leadership is evidenced by the substantial volume of academic and practitioner literature on the topic. Leadership, considered by many to be management’s most important role, involves influencing individuals and groups toward accomplishing goals.
Based on the review of the major theories of leadership, the researcher selected three specific leadership styles for inclusion in the current study. Two leadership styles, directive (autocratic) leadership and participative
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Directive leadership is defined as telling subordinates “what they are expected to do, how to do it, when it is to be done, and how their work fits in with the work of others” (Hughes et al., 1999, p.71). Directive leadership has been described as autocratic, task-oriented, and persuasive and manipulative (Muczyk and Reimann, 1987; Yukl, 1989; Bass, 1981). Though it can be effective in communicating a clear and concise vision of the organization’s strategic goals, directive leadership is transformational only by force.
Participative Leadership. In contrast to directive leadership, participative leadership involves consulting with subordinates and considering their opinions and suggestions (Yukl, 1989). Participative leadership is associated with consensus, consultation, delegation, and involvement (Bass, 1981). In keeping with a basic tenet of transformational leadership theory, participative leadership has the potential to enhance the dissemination of organizational and managerial values to employees. Employees who work for a participative leader tend to exhibit greater involvement, commitment, and loyalty than employees who work under a directive leader (Bass, 1981). Consequently, employees who are allowed to participate in the decision-making process are likely to be more committed to those
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Empowerment is defined as a process where employees are provided the necessary authority and autonomy that enables them to exercise control over decisions in the workplace (Conger and Kanungo, 1988). Empowering leadership is associated with increased autonomy, increased decision-making latitude, increased upward influence, and decreased monitoring (Keller and Dansereau, 1995; Spreitzer et al., 1999). Recent discussions in the academic literature describe empowerment as an aspect of change-oriented leadership (Masi and Cooke, 2000). Conger (1989), for instance, referred to leadership as “the art of empowering others”. Empowering leadership comprises many of the elements of participative leadership, such as employee involvement and autonomy. While participative leaders expect their subordinates to consult with them in the decision-making process, empowering leadership goes a step further by authorizing employees to solve problems and make decisions regarding customer needs without consulting a supervisor (Conger and Kanungo, 1988). Empowering leadership is the most transformational in nature as it requires a strong sense of shared commitment and mutual values to be
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