Employee skills and motivation are crucial to organizational success. Hence, every organization has their own leadership style. Historically, researchers have studied leadership styles from a various perspectives. The leadership analysis started from early 1900s until 1950s (Cousin, 2007). Basically, leadership style links very closely with a management style. Therefore, the qualities of leadership style in each organization play an important role in dealing with management matters. Some leadership style may be best suited for certain organizations and some may be not. According to Northouse (2001), leadership style can be defined as “a process whereby one individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal” (Northouse, 2001, p. 15). In which, includes the total pattern of explicit and implicit actions performed by the leader. Additionally, it is also a way for an organization to manage its workers and their work activities in which will vary depends on the factors such as the characteristics of the workers, the work activities involved and the organization culture as well. In general, management styles can be divided into four main categories: directive, supportive, participative, and achievement-oriented (refer to Figure 1 in Appendix 1).
The first type of leadership style is directive. Initially, directive leaders provide specific directions to their employees. Directive leadership style has the primary objective of immediate compliance from employees. Although some people refer the directive leaders as coercive, it is actually depends on how someone's perceived or views about this thing since different people have their own way in managing something. Some people may see this in a positive way and some may view this leadership style in a negative way. Equally important, some people may unclear on how the thing should work, giving them specific directions will motivate them (Carpenter, Bauer, & Erdogan, 2010). Directive leadership is somewhat similar to the autocratic leadership in which the leader tells the employees what to do. For instance the team workers in Apple Company feel loss and do not know how they are supposed to come with a new marketing plan. If the team leaders give a proper direction, the workers will feel motivated to do the new plan and they even able to come out with an effective plan. However, this type of leadership style will only work well with the leader and the employees. Contrarily, it does not really suitable to use “when managing professional employees with high levels of expertise and job-specific knowledge, telling them what to do may create a low empowerment environment, which impairs motivation” (Carpenter, Bauer, & Erdogan, 2010, p. 547).
Supportive leadership style is the second type of leadership style. Carpenter, Bauer and Erdogan (2010) stated that supportive leaders provide emotional support to employees. (Carpenter, Bauer, & Erdogan, 2010) In other words, the leaders that practicing this kind of leadership style will be more likely to treat their followers in manners, a bit caring, encouraging and of course he/she is a type of leader that will not allow their emotions get in the way while making a decision. Ogbonna and Harris (2000) stated that supportive leadership (occasionally referred to as leadership consideration) focuses on the degree to which the behaviour of a leader can be viewed as sympathetic, amicable, and considerate of subordinate needs. (Ogbonna & Harris, 2000) Supportive leadership is believed as the best types of leadership style which the leader has good value and attitude. They treat their followers as they are good friends. For example, the leader of an organization will meet their employees face to face and talk wisely when he/she noticed that there is something wrong in their employee work performance. As a result, this type of leader will be able to create a good atmosphere within the organization with that kind of pleasant attitude. Additionally, the supportive leadership is predicted to be effective when followers or employees are under a lot of stress or when they are performing boring and repetitive jobs (Carpenter et al., 2010). In simpler words, supportive leadership also would be effective when the employees feel unmotivated, unable to focus or they are having problem to fulfil a specific task that has been given by their leader.
The third type of leadership style is participative style. Basically, this leadership style allowed every employee (from the bottom to the top) in the organization to speak up and voicing their opinion. Whereby, participative style will involve the employees on board when making an important decision for the purpose to increase productivity and the growth of an organization. A leader will meet and consults with their employees to obtain new ideas and opinion. Eventually, participative leader integrates the employee's ideas into decision making on how to upturn the organization performance from time to time. When there are employees with a high level of ability and the important decisions was relevant to them, then this leadership style become more effective (Carpenter, Bauer, & Erdogan, 2010, p. 547). For those employees that have a high internal locus of control, or the belief that they can control their own destiny, participative leader will give the employees a way of indirectly controlling organizational decisions, which will be appreciated. For example, industrial relations have three key players. The three key players are employee, employer and government. This three key players need to participate in any discussion to build a strategy planning and achieve their shared vision which is the mission in every organization.
The fourth type of leadership style is achievement-oriented style. Achievement-oriented is a style where the leaders set the goal and encourage the employees to achieve the goals. (Carpenter, Bauer, & Erdogan, 2010, p. 548) This leadership style focuses on work-related goals where the leader challenges their employees to achieve the organizational goals. This leadership style might be effective when the employees of an organization have a higher level of ability to achieved motivation. For example, when the employees have high motivation in doing their work and they are skillful to do their work, this might affect the performance of the organization also the leadership style. The manager might clarify the objective of the organization to the employees where this will helps them together achieve and make a better planning as everyone is alert the path in order to achieve the goal. This might help to make sure the employer knows their job specification and helps them to focus on their jobs to achieve the organization's goals. According to Negron(2008), this leadership style is suited for the workers, those who need a morale booster to increase their confidence in the ability to perform the task given. This leadership style might set a goal where it is expected to the workers to accomplish within their ability. For example, each of workers had been given according to their interest and their ability. Some of the workers can perform well but somehow some of them need a booster to help them perform better in an organization. This leadership style might help in giving booster to the workers in term of set a goal and briefly discuss how to achieve the goal practically.
In conclusion, there are four leadership styles stated by Carpenter, Bauer and Erdogan back in 2010 and these four leadership styles may differ with each other in the leader's style of providing the direction of the organization, implementing plans and influence followers' motivations. As mentioned before, the directive leaders provide specific directions to their employees while supportive leaders provide emotional support to employees. The participative leadership style is open in giving an opinion from each level in the organization while achievement-oriented leaders will set a specific objective and encourage the employees to achieve the goals. To sum up, basically, a good leader is a person with a high integrity and the ones that committed to the organization as well as working together with the employees to accomplish the organization's objectives and goals. This person leads by example, the ability to communicate and adapt to various types of people, showing concern, and consistency in all dealings.
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