The Six Types of Management Styles

No business can thrive without adequate leadership. This usually comes in the form of a management team that is appointed to make decisions in the company. It is expected that teams perform at a certain standard once there is some form of leadership in the mix. While the members of a workforce are typically competent individuals, management exists to give them a sense of direction with their work. Furthermore, a good leader is also able to evaluate and determine the strengths and weaknesses of each team member, so that optimal use can be made of the pool of skills within a team.


The way in which management is conducted is known as a management style. Currently, there are six different known styles and this article briefly outlines what makes each type unique.


The democratic management style puts the power for decision making in the hands of the employees, just as much as it is in the hands of management. Any decisions to be made are done so through a system of agreement. Once most employees agree on a decision, it is usually taken. This style of management is best when there are numerous decision possibilities. Note, however, that the consideration for all parties means that this is a slow form of decision making.


Unlike with the democratic style, decision making power rests within the hands of management. Input is not usually taken from subordinates, and should any be taken, it is usually minimal. If the decisions made using this style can be considered good decisions, then this can be viewed as a good style to use. While this style offers the benefit of fast decision making, it can play a part in lowering staff engagement and morale.


This management style borrows elements from both the autocratic ad democratic management styles. Subordinates are usually a part of the discussions that lead to decision making as they offer a valuable perspective. However, a leader using the consultative style only communicates with employees to get other opinions. The reason for this is to attempt to ensure that the decisions taken are in the best interest of employees. Be that as it may, communication with them is simply a data gathering tool as management ultimately makes the decisions. This style facilitates employee dependency on the leader, however, employees who are left out of the consultation process can experience lowered morale.


The Laissez-faire management style is the opposite of the autocratic style. While employees are involved in the decision-making process just as they are in the democratic style, management is not usually a part of that vote. In fact, management usually plays a more advisory role here. Of course, decision making is a slow process when this style is used.

Management by Walking Around (MBWA)

This is one of the oldest management techniques and it surrounds listening ability. The idea is that management walks around and gathers the thoughts of employees on adjustments that can be made and problems that exist. Decisions are usually made in the form of policies based on the feedback received.


This management style is also known as a charismatic style. Here, management maintains absolute power in decision making, however, these decisions are usually made as a result of some persuasion of management by subordinates. This style only works when employees are fond of and are willing to support the management team.


There are numerous ways to go about management, however, it is recommended that the style used in an organization is a great fit for both the organization and the personalities of the team.


The Six Types of Management Styles

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