Management styles vary from individual to individual, by institution, and what industry is involved. For example, the music or entertainment industry, with its glitzy and glamorous lifestyles, may differ markedly from a marketing and advertising agency! Additionally, we are all individual human beings, raised in different cultural and economic environments, as well as individual differences in family upbringing. Most command –control hierarchies may use one specific management style; other businesses may utilize different employee/management training protocols and management programs.
Categories of Management Styles
The major categories of management styles can be divided up into autocratic, paternalistic, and democratic. There could also be sub-categories or even further grouping by type, such as two main management styles of either autocratic or permissive. It depends on which conceptual model is preferred. The autocrat tends to make all the decisions without any reference or need for subordinate input. The autocrat tends towards a dictatorial form of leadership and management, but may on occasion allows subordinates some freedom in performing their work. In that case, that manager could be labeled a “permissive autocrat”. The directive autocrat management style simply expects all orders to be executed without question or input. The autocrat management style can be effective when over-seeing a large number of unskilled workers, or in times of company crisis.
The paternalistic management style is closely related to the autocrat; this individual can be dictatorial when needed. The paternalistic manager may pay more attention to the social needs and morale of workers. As the name implies, this management style individual can be “daddy-like”, or a symbolic father-figure. They may listen to the views, opinions, and feedback of employees, but the ultimate decision-making capacity lies with “pater” (Latin for “father”). The paternal management style may encourage worker loyalty at times, but still suffers from of the disadvantages of the autocrat.
Democratic Management Styles
The democratic management style allows for direct participation in decision-making by the employees and subordinates. As implied by the word “democracy”, this is a participatory two-way management style. There is more of a delegation of authority and proper leadership skills are critical, and workers may have more of a sense of responsibility, since they are playing a more direct role in decision-making. The big drawback with this management style is the ability, training, skills, and general over-all aptitude of knowing how to delegate individuals to perform the tasks required of them. Obviously someone who is computer-illiterate (although rare in the 21st century!) cannot be delegated a computer programming or systems analysis job-task. Those who are interested in management styles might consider coursework from a leadership masters degree program at an accredited university, for example Online masters of public administration.
As stated previously, there is sub- or even alternative-category management styles. Management flow charts can distinguish between democratic and permissive management styles. The participative style may take input from subordinates, but ultimately managerial decision making is that of the managers. Changes of policy are more appropriate with this management style. The laissez-faire manager sets the tasks, and allows workers complete freedom to complete the task. Confrontations and conflicts work well with this management style. There is even Management By Walking Around (MBWA), where managers simply gather information as proactive listeners. Each of the management styles can be adopted or combined to fit the business or management environment the individual works in.