Types of Organizational Leadership

by Kayla Lorday; Updated September 26, 2017

Organizational leadership combines the art of leadership and the science of management with the aim of guiding an organization. Organizational leadership requires leaders to be familiar with the work force and the organizational goals. Such leadership supplies direction and work force management for a corporation to accomplish its goals. There are various ways to achieve these goals and several personality styles to see it achieved. There is no one-type-fits-all leadership style for all circumstances or companies. Instead, there are several styles that work.

Classic Leadership

Autocratic leadership: Leaders have total power over their staff or team. Employees and team members have little or no chances for making suggestions. Autocratic leadership typically results in increased staff turnover and levels of absenteeism since most people generally do not like being treated in this manner.

Laissez-faire leadership: Leaders allow team members to work without constant supervision. When members are knowledgeable and proficient self-starters, this style is effective. It works best if the leader keeps an eye on what's being accomplished and communicates with the team. This leadership style can also be present when supervisors don't apply adequate control.

Democratic leadership or participative leadership: Leaders encourage team members to play a part in the decision-making process, even though the final decisions are made by the leaders. Involving team members not only assists in developing people's skills, but also improves job satisfaction. Team members are motivated to work harder because they believe they control their own destiny. This approach is more time-consuming, but the end result is better. When team work is valued and quality is more important than speed to market, then this approach is best.

Situational Leadership

Transactional leadership: Leaders accomplish tasks within the confines of the status quo. The "transaction" is typically the company recompensing employees for their efforts and compliance. This "by-the-book" style centers on designing assignments and incentive structures because it assumes the person labors just for the reward, and for no other motive. Large, bureaucratic organizations typify this approach. Information-based or creative tasks don't always work with this approach.

Transformational leadership: Leaders motivate workers continually with a shared vision of the organization. Transformational leadership is about implementing new ideas. These individuals set a good example, and are continually changing themselves. They stay flexible and adaptable, and continually improve those around them as they help team members see past their individual interests and concentrate more on the interests and needs of the team. Transformational leaders are inspiring and allow the team to accomplish great things because they are trusted.

Other Leadership Styles

Task-oriented leadership: Leaders are solely focused on completing the job at hand and can be rather domineering. Task-oriented leaders are “hands on” in defining the work and the specific functions, build structures, strategize, manage and monitor. This approach may bring many of the shortcomings of autocratic leadership because task-oriented leaders are not predisposed to think much about their teams’ welfare. Task-oriented leaders also have difficulties in staff motivation and retention.

People-oriented leadership or relations-oriented leadership: Leader are entirely focused on managing, encouraging and improving their team members. This is the converse of task-oriented leadership. It tends to promote satisfactory teamwork and inspired collaboration because of its participative nature.

About the Author

Based in Brooklyn, New York, Kayla Lorday has been helping nursing students complete health-related papers and reports since 2001. She holds a Master of Science in atmospheric science from Colorado State University. Lorday is a holistic/alternative medicine enthusiast.

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