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3 Tutorials that teach Management Styles
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Management Styles

Management Styles

Author: Sophia Tutorial

Recognize the key management styles.

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what's covered
What tools exist for managers to get their jobs done? Do you think it's preferable or desirable for managers to have different style sets in order to get their assigned job done? This tutorial will cover the topic of management styles. Our discussion breaks down as follows:
  1. Style and Motivation
  2. Management Styles

1. Style and Motivation

Part of being a manager is motivation--motivating your employees to do the best that they can. Motivation is providing a reason for the employees to work in the organization's best interest.

There are many different management styles that managers can choose from at any given time. It's important to understand, especially if you're a manager, that people have different motivators, and managers can utilize different styles to encourage and manage employees and trigger those motivators within the employees.

2. Management Styles

Now, individuals have different management styles that use, and so do organizations. Individual and organizational factors help determine what style an individual manager may or may not use.

Independent management styles depend on the personality of that particular manager, traits such as his or her intelligence and self-confidence. In addition, the corporate culture--an organizational factor--could influence an individual management style and how he or she chooses to approach an employee or manage a particular portion of the business. Both of these styles are going to jointly determine what style a manager is going to use at any given time.

Let's take a look at some of the individual management styles.

Management Style Description Pros vs. Cons
Autocratic Style This style is simply "my way or the highway." Employees will do it they way the managers tell them to do it, or they can just leave. UPS is an example of a company who uses this style. Pros: Decision making is clear--there is only one option.

Cons: Antagonizes some people who don't like that straightforward, autocratic style of management.
Democratic Style This style basically comes down to, "Let's take a vote." Everybody gets a say on the decisions that are made on a daily basis. Saturn Auto, an auto company that recently went bankrupt in the early 2000s, used a democratic management style. Pros: Everyone feels included, and it engenders a sense of empowerment throughout the company.

Cons: Slows down decisions, because you have to wait for everybody to put in their two cents in order to get anything done.
Free Rein Style This style equates to every man for himself. This is a style used by Apple Computer. Pros: Empowerment to make creative ideas that are good for the company and good for the organization. The decisions and creative ideas made by Apple, for instance, have helped catapult it to a very prominent spot in the world of business today.

Cons: Inconsistent results as you work through this process. Sometimes every man for himself can simply mean that every man gets to take a break or do something else that's more interesting to them. In this case, critical deadlines that you need to meet can be missed along the way.
Contingency Style This style is where you adapt the style to a given situation at the moment. Pros: Flexible approach. Because you're using a different style of management depending on the given situation that you're faced with, it can be quite effective.

Cons: Employees may be confused. They may not be sure if you're going to use one or the other, or what their part in it is, or how much say they have in the decisions that are being made.

Now, it's important to understand that companies using a contingency approach may change as deadlines start looming or getting shorter. Or, a company may start off with a free rein style and move to a democratic approach. However, as timing gets tight, you might see a move to a more autocratic style in order to make those deadlines and get things done in a timely manner.

Today we learned about style and motivation, and how different management styles might affect the motivation of employees. We also learned about the different management styles that organizations and individuals alike rely on in order to get their jobs done as managers: autocratic, democratic, free rein, and contingency approaches, which all have a place in modern-day management.

Good luck!

Source: adapted from sophia instructor james howard