A management style is the manner in which a manager acts and adopts decisions that affect the relationship with subordinates.

There are different management styles, such as:

Autocratic (coercive)

The leader takes decisions in a unilateral manner, with superiority towards subordinates whose opinions are not taken into consideration. In this styles, initiatives are not encouraged and the team needs to obey the guidelines of the manager.

There are two types of autocratic leaders:

(a) directive who imposes his system of rules and supervises its implementation

(b) permissive who sets up the rules but allows subordinates the power of discretion in carrying out their work.

This style is best for emergency situation, in which the crisis needs to be dealt with immediately and the promptness of the response eclipses the discussion that should be carried in the team. It is also mostly used by the military and police forces.

Authoritative (Visionary)

In this scenario, the model is the “firm, but fair” manager who imposes the rules and gives clear direction, but also gives sound feedback and acknowledges a successful task.

It is efficient to impose respect, but also create a bond between the manager and the rest of the team, and to ensure a lower turnover of personnel. As for disadvantages, it does not encourage initiative either restricting the full development of the staff, as well as having the latter dependent on the leader.


This type of leader maintains control over the entire decision-making process. However, it is more inclusive of the employees in the process by trying to explain and convince them of the advantages of the decisions made. This style may apply to an expert in a relevant field who will take the time to explain his guidelines, but he will impose them on the rest of team.


It is the management style that requires an open communication from both manager and subordinates. The decisions tend to be taken by the majority, after thorough discussions and analysis. This style applies best to complex decisions which requires a wide range of specialist skills that need to be explained between the members of the team. From the point of view of job satisfaction and performance, this style accomplishes the highest level of commitment. The downside can be the long duration of time, as the process may be slowed down by the different levels of communication involved.

In reality, when adopting a decision in an organization, a manager would use a mix of management styles by alternating them between the different stages of implementation.