Differential Effects on Democratic and Authoritarian Leadership Styles on Group Problem Solving Processes
AIR FORCE ACADEMY COLORADO SPRINGS CO
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Experiments measured group goal accomplishments under four different types of leadership Style I Authoritarian with high solution accuracy, Style II Democratic with high solution accuracy, Style III Authoritarian with an inaccurate solution, and Style IV Democratic with an inaccurate solution. Groups with Style I leaders produced the most accurate estimates Styles II and IV had intermediate and comparable accuracy and Style III produced the lowest accuracy. These findings infer that authoritarian leadership is most effective under conditions of limited time, a structured task, good leader-member relations, and strong leader position power when the leader possesses high solution accuracy. Given the same condition, however, if the leader does not possess or is unsure of an accurate solution, then the democratic leadership style is more effective because it more efficiently uses all of the groups resources.