Leadership is the ability to influence followers to achieve group goals (Tost, Gino, & Larrick, 2013). The autocratic and participative leadership styles will both achieve the outcome, but the techniques are different. Autocratic leaders use a hands-on approach while participative leaders use a political tactic. Despite the method, a conflict will arise. The leader’s actions will determine if there are a winner and loser or if the parties will compromise.
Leaders who employ an autocratic style use direct actions to dictate the rules, regulations, events, and culture (Nelson & Quick, 2011). In short, this type of leader makes all the strategic decisions for the followers (Gill, 2014). Followers have little power to stray from the leader’s guidelines (Nelson & Quick, 2011). Autocratic leadership is stereotypically a masculine style of governance (Arnold & Loughlin, 2013).
Donald Trump, Chairman and President of The Trump Organization (http://www.trump.com/biography/), is an example of an autocratic leader. In 2006, Trump was voted BusinessWeek Magazine’s “the world’s most competitive businessperson” (Trump, 2016). Some question whether his motivation stems from competition or narcissism, but regardless of his reasons, Trump is a real estate and entertainment mogul who strikes on an opportunity and oversees every detail of his organization (Caldicott, 2015; Trump, 2016). As a private company, Trump’s children hold the titles of Executive Vice President and Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions (Trump, 2016). Allowing his children to be in the high-power positions could be a sign of trust, or it could be a power play to ov...
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...ners (Nelson & Quick, 2011).
Autocratic and participative leadership influence followers to achieve a goal, but this are where the similarities end. Autocratic leaders have extensive control over all of the organization’s decisions, whereas participative leaders adopt a diplomatic approach and solicit employee contributions to problem-solving. Donald Trump runs The Trump Organization with little input from outside influences. Google’s founders choose to create an environment where all levels of employees can interact and exchange ideas. Both strategies are efficient and successful. Despite the type of leadership style, it is imperative the heads use a cooperative conflict management style hearing both sides of an argument and opening the floor for discussion and negotiation. As a result, the conflict resolution will produce three winners vice one.
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