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What is Management style? | 4 Basic Management styles and their Advantages and Disadvantages, pdf

Before reading What is Management style, you must know What is the term management? well, Management may be defined as the art of work done through people, with the satisfaction of the employer, employees, and the public. 

To do this, it is necessary to guide, direct, control human effort towards the fulfillment of the goal of the enterprise.

What is Management Style?

Management style is a specific way manager go about executing their goals. Management style regards the way that a manager plans, handles, makes decisions, designates, and manages their staff.

It can vary widely depending on the company or organization, level of management, industry, region, culture and the person himself. An ideal manager is someone who can align their management style in response to various factors while keeping their focus on successfully achieving goals.

Management styles are the principles that underline the process, abilities, and techniques that managers use in handling conditions and expressing leadership within a company or organization.

Management styles

Here’s a breakdown of key aspects of management style:

  • Decision-making: Does the manager make choices independently (autocratic), involve the team (democratic), or give employees a high degree of autonomy (laissez-faire)?
  • Planning and Organizing: How does the manager set goals, assign tasks, and structure the workflow? Are they detail-oriented or prefer a more flexible approach?
  • Communication: How does the manager communicate with employees? Do they provide clear instructions and regular feedback, or is communication more infrequent?
  • Motivation: How does the manager inspire and motivate their team? Do they rely on rewards and recognition, focus on fostering a positive work environment, or use a combination of approaches?

There are several core principles that underpin effective management styles. These principles provide a framework for managers to navigate different situations and get the best results from their teams. Here are some key principles to consider:

  • Planning and Goal Setting: Effective managers establish clear goals and objectives for themselves and their teams. This involves planning, delegation, and setting measurable targets to track progress.
  • Communication: Clear and consistent communication is essential for any management style. Managers need to effectively convey expectations, provide feedback, and keep their team informed.
  • Motivation and Inspiration: Great managers understand how to motivate their teams and inspire them to achieve their best. This can involve recognition, creating a positive work environment, and fostering a sense of purpose.
  • Decision-Making: Managers need to be able to make sound decisions, considering different options and potential consequences. The specific decision-making style (autocratic, democratic, etc.) might vary depending on the situation.
  • Delegation and Empowerment: Effective managers empower their team members by delegating tasks and providing them with the necessary resources and authority to complete them successfully.
  • Accountability and Performance Management: Holding oneself and team members accountable for achieving goals is crucial. Performance management systems provide a framework for tracking progress, identifying areas for improvement, and offering constructive feedback.
  • Adaptability and Change Management: The business world is constantly evolving, so managers need to be adaptable and embrace change. They should be able to adjust their style and approach to navigate new situations and challenges.
  • Conflict Resolution: Disagreements can arise within teams. Effective managers possess strong conflict resolution skills to address issues constructively and maintain a positive work environment.

Factors Affecting Management Styles

There are two main categories of factors that influence a manager’s leadership style: internal and external.

Internal Factors:

  • Organizational Culture: The prevailing values, beliefs, and attitudes within the company shape how managers interact with employees. A supportive culture might encourage a participative style, while a more hierarchical culture might favor a more directive approach.
  • Team Dynamics: The experience level, skills, and personalities of the team members influence how a manager leads. A highly skilled and motivated team might thrive with a more hands-off, delegative style, while a newer team might benefit from closer guidance and supervision.
  • Company Values: The core principles and goals of the organization can influence a manager’s style. If innovation is a key value, a manager might adopt a more collaborative style to encourage creative thinking.
  • Communication Channels: The available methods for communication within the team can impact the manager’s approach. Open communication channels might facilitate a more democratic style, while limited communication might necessitate a more directive approach.
  • Resource Allocation: The level of resources available (budget, time, staff) can influence the manager’s style. With limited resources, a manager might need to be more directive to ensure tasks are completed efficiently.

External Factors:

  • Industry Trends and Competition: The broader industry environment can influence leadership style. In a fast-paced and competitive industry, a more decisive and adaptable approach might be necessary.
  • Economic Conditions: Economic factors like a recession might necessitate a more cost-conscious and results-oriented management style.
  • Legislation and Regulations: Government regulations or industry standards can influence how managers approach certain tasks and how they interact with employees.
  • Technological Advancements: New technologies can necessitate changes in management style. Managers might need to adopt a more flexible approach to accommodate new tools and workflows.

By considering both internal and external factors, managers can choose a leadership style that best suits the specific situation and optimizes their team’s performance.

4 Basic Management styles

1. Visionary Management Style:

In this management style, managers inspire their staff by explaining their goals and the reason behind them. They convince their team to work towards executing their vision.

In other words, the visionary leader is the person who provides a perfect roadmap for the organization or company, and the employees are the ones who follow this map as a guide to pave the path forward.

Characteristics Needed for Visionary Management Style :

  1. High Emotional intelligence.
  2. Skills in long-term thinking and making strategies.
  3. Being open-minded to give feedback about something.
  4. Flexibility when face difficulties.
  5. Ability to inspire, motivate and mobilize groups.


  • Creates a clear and inspiring direction for the team.
  • Motivates employees with a sense of purpose.
  • Encourages innovation and out-of-the-box thinking.


  • Can be seen as dictatorial if not paired with good communication.
  • May not be effective with teams needing more hands-on guidance.
  • Relies heavily on the leader’s vision being accurate.

2. Democratic Management Style:

In this style, managers support employees to give their opinion during the decision-making process, but ultimately responsible for the final decision.

Unlike the top-down management style, where only the leadership team can make decisions, the democratic management style encourages participation from the employees and is relatively objective.

Characteristics Needed for Democratic Management Style :

  1. A sense of judgement.
  2. First-class communication skills.
  3. Ability to make sense of perspectives and opinions.
  4. Decision-making skills.
  5. Open-minded nature.


  • Encourages participation and ownership among team members.
  • Leverages the collective knowledge and skills of the team.
  • Fosters a collaborative and supportive work environment.


  • Decision-making can be slow and cumbersome.
  • Requires strong facilitation skills from the leader.
  • May not be effective in situations requiring swift, decisive action.

3. Coaching Management Style:

In this Coaching Management Style, managers see themselves as the coach and their employees are considered as valued members of their team.

This management style puts importance on the personal and professional growth of the employees. Managers act like mentors rather than a boss. This means they’re willing to serve as an advocate, always available to share advice and guidance to their employees.

This style creates interest in employees.

Characteristics Needed for Coaching Management Style:

  1. Need problem-solving skills.
  2. Desire to help employees personally and professionally.
  3. Ability to connect with others.
  4. Ability to build trust.
  5. Ability to build meaningful relationships.
  6. Strong feedback skills.


  • Helps employees develop their skills and reach their full potential.
  • Provides ongoing feedback and support for growth.
  • Creates a culture of continuous learning and improvement.


  • Requires significant time investment from the leader.
  • May not be suitable for all personalities or skill levels.
  • Relies on the employee’s willingness to be coached.

4. Laissez-faire Management style:

Laissez-faire management style includes no interference from management. Employees are encouraged to participate in the decision-making and problem-solving process. Which creates a friendly work environment for the employees. Employees will appreciate having the reliance, trust, space and autonomy to work in the ways that will maximize their output.

Managers should monitor their team’s performance and also be ready to involve themselves whenever their employees lose focus.

Characteristics Needed for Laissez-faire style of Management:

  1. Ability to be handed off but available when needed.
  2. Ability to trust in your members.
  3. Ability to appreciate your employees’ decision and problem-solving ability.
  4. Should have conflict management skills.


  • Empowers employees with a high degree of autonomy.
  • Encourages creativity and independent problem-solving.
  • Well-suited for highly skilled and self-motivated teams.


  • Can lead to a lack of direction and focus.
  • May not provide enough support or guidance for some employees.
  • Risks decreased accountability and potential for missed deadlines.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to management. The most effective style considers internal factors like team dynamics and company culture, alongside external influences like industry trends and regulations. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of different styles, and adhering to core principles like clear communication and empowerment, managers can adapt their approach to create a work environment that fosters a motivated, productive, and successful team.

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Sukanta Maiti

I am a Mechanical Engineer by profession, Blogger, and Youtuber by passion. I have been in the engineering field since 2014. I am passionate about sharing all my knowledge about engineering, management, and economics to my readers.

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