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Lewin’s Leadership - Three Major Styles of Leadership

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Capstone Project

Xueyi Chen

Lewin’s leadership has three major styles of leadership: autocratic, participative, and laissez-fair. An autocratic style of leadership involves the task-oriented style. The focus is on getting things done, and relationships are secondary. In the autocratic style, the leader makes decisions without consulting with others. An autocratic style works best when there is no need for input on the decision, where the decision would not change as a result of input, and where the motivation of people to carry out subsequent actions would not be affected whether they were or were not involved in the decision‐making. Autocratic leader behaviors involve structuring the roles of subordinates, providing them with instructions, and behaving in ways that will increase the performance of the group.

A participative style constantly seeks input from the employees. Setting goals, making plans, and determining objectives are viewed as a group effort, rather then the manager making all the decisions. Participative leader behaviors include showing concern for employee feelings and treating employees with respect.

A laissez-fair style gives employees total freedom to make decision on how things will get done. The leader tends to be removed from the day-to-day activities but is available to help employees deal with any situation that may come up. The laissez-fair style minimizes the leaders’ involvement in decision-making.

Democratic leaders, also known as participative leaders, accept input from one or more group members when making decisions and solving problems, but the leader retains the final say when choices are made. Group members tend to be encouraged and motivated by this style of leadership.

This style of leadership often leads to more effective and accurate decisions, since no leader can be an expert in all areas. Input from group members with specialized knowledge and expertise creates a more complete basis for decision-making.

Because I always consider suggestions made by others in the group, I provide direction, but also offer support and accept feedback from the team when it comes to giving orders. I am more motivated when I feel involved and valued in a team and I accept input from group members all the time. What’s more, I want the people in my group to feel like they are involved in the process and can add something to the group.

The key strengths of participative leadership style are increased productivity and job satisfaction. When employees are afforded an opportunity to be involved in the organization’s decision making process, they are likely to develop a strong sense of commitment to the organization as well as increase their performance. Job satisfaction is another key strength of this leadership style. Most employees display high levels of job satisfaction when they notice their suggestions and/or recommendations are taken seriously and in some instances implemented within the organization. Further, since this particular leadership style does



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