Help with writing about leadership styles in business

Leadership styles in business can vary from company to company. One size simply doesn’t fit all. Businesses have different ways of operating and different personalities working in them. If you think about what a manager, or leader should do, in a company, the answer will be that he or she needs to get positive results. To do this he or she will need to encourage workers to perform to the best of their ability. Most people work best when they have a certain degree of autonomy, so the coercive, authoritarian style of leadership isn’t the best model for a company that wants innovative idea and creativity.

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Research conducted by David McClelland, who worked in the psychology department at Harvard concluded that there were six distinct business styles of management, all needing different types of leader. These were: -

  • Coercive styles of management,
  • Authoritative styles,
  • Affiliative styles.
  • Democratic styles.
  • Pacesetting leaders and
  • Coaching leaders.

If you read the list below, you will see far more than 6 types of management style. Coercive styles of leadership use authoritarian styles of leadership, while pacesetting leaders encourage their workers to be creative and innovative.

Successful leadership is all about being able to motivate people so that they give of their best.

Success in business

For a business to be successful it should have flexible people working in it. Employees should feel free to work in their own ways and to make suggestions. On the whole people dislike being told precisely what to do.

Employees should feel that they are an integral part of the organization they work in. Also, most employees dislike being hampered by too much bureaucracy and red tape. They should be rewarded for their efforts so that they work hard. Workers should be informed about what the company’s goals are so that they can help work towards them. Employers and managers need to be able to motivate and enthuse workers so that everyone understands that they are working together to achieve a common goal.

The bottom line is all-important for businesses, and companies that are flexible and that give employees encouragement generally have better profits than those where a coercive style of management is employed.

Before you start writing about different leadership styles you will have to do some research. There are many scholarly articles about the effectiveness (or not) of management or leadership styles.

What type of writing have you been asked to do? Will you be writing a case study about a company you know and work in? Or are you going to write an essay about different managerial styles? Perhaps you are going to write a research paper for an academic journal, or a business one. Whatever type of writing you are going to do, you need to consider the style of writing that is most appropriate for your task.

In the majority of cases you will be writing in a formal way. That usually means that there are no contractions, such as ‘isn’t’. You will need to write ‘is not’ in full. If you are writing for a tutor or lecturer, ask how you are expected to write. You can also ask for examples of the type of writing that is expected.

If your tutor/lecturer gives you examples that have been written by former students, make sure that you don’t just copy them, or chunks of them. This is plagiarism and will be penalised. Also remember that you should not copy from the internet. If you do, or if you copy from a book, you must cite your source and put what has been copied in quotation marks.

Generally, when you quote you should state which publication your quotation came from, as well as its publisher and the date (or year) it was published. You will also need to state which edition (of a book) you used, so that a reader can trace the quotation. A tutor or lecturer will need to see that you have quoted correctly. Always give page numbers for quotes.

  • Authoritarian/autocratic leadership – this is the one in which the boss tells everyone what to do and does not give others the freedom to think and act for themselves. This type of leader doesn’t ask others for their views on any matters pertaining to the running of the company. The problem with this type of leadership style is that employees quickly become disgruntled and they will probably end up leaving. as they have become alienated. The leader is dogmatic and inflexible.
  • Democratic leadership is the antithesis to authoritarian leadership. Staff are involved in the decision-making processes and they are asked to give their opinions. Although the boss probably makes the final decision, there is a process of consultation so that everyone feels that they are able to contribute to the process. The boss, or leader is not afraid to delegate responsibility to others. Arguably the most important feature of this leadership model is that there is a two-way communication process. Democratic leadership is mainly preferred because it encourages creativity, competence and honesty.
  • Strategic leadership is similar to democratic leadership, but this model usually involves the head of the company or organisation. One of the most important points to make about this leadership style is that leaders do what they are expected to do for the benefit of the company when it is going through a process of change. This type of leadership style involves strategic thinking and perhaps planning to ensure that new policies are understood and workable.
  • Transformational leadership is concerned with making changes to, and within, a company. Leaders of this type are able to get the very best out of people. They motivate others to do better than they believed they could do. They basically encourage and assist people to achieve things they initially thought were impossible. This makes people feel empowered and they typically have greater job satisfaction and committed.
  • Team leadership is all about having and creating a clear picture of a company’s future. These types of leaders concentrate on building a team of people who share the same vision for the way forward. The team should have a good sense of the direction that should be followed. However, there are disadvantages to this style of leadership because using teamwork as a method of establishing cooperation does not always work. If the leader is weak, then this model will undoubtedly fail.
  • Cross-cultural leadership exists in multi-ethnic settings. International companies need leaders who are flexible and who can work in different work environments, perhaps in different cultures and countries. Being able to adapt to different cultures is very important in today’s globalised world. Globalisation has meant that people of different cultures often work together, so understanding other cultures is a key to success.
  • Facilitative leadership is about managing group dynamics. It is all about the people who make up the workforce and it aims to help workers achieve the results that are needed for the business to be successful.
  • Laissez-faire leadership models have been researched thoroughly and have been found to be the least effective of all. Basically, in this model, workers are allowed to work without any interference from those in charge.
  • Transactional leadership is a style that does not really seek change. It’s based on exchanges between management and the workforce. Workers can reap rewards if they carry out orders. A transactional leader will explain what is expected and then tell workers how best to achieve results. Rewards are given when objectives are met. These could be bonuses or pay rises for example.
  • Coaching leadership is all about teaching and supervising. Such a leader will identify areas where workers need to improve. Once these are identified, training is given to enhance skills. It is a good way of providing motivation as well as encouragement, and it can also inspire workers to do their best.
  • Visionary leadership is all about leaders who understand that it is the workforce that does the work A visionary leader guides the workers to use appropriate steps and methods to achieve the company’s goal.
  • Servant leadership may sound like a contradiction in terms, but it involves power-sharing. The boss will ask employees for their opinions and endeavour to persuade them to make collective decisions.
  • Charismatic leadership depends on the charm and charisma of the leader. He or she influences employees through his or her personality. This isn’t always a good thing, as the success of a project depends on continued leadership. If the charismatic leader is not present, his or her influence wanes and a project might fail.
  • Situational leadership arose from a theory propounded in 1969 by two management experts. They were Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard. This theory suggests that leaders employ different styles when working with different people. For example, leaders will behave and speak differently when talking with employees on the shop floor and behave in a different manner when speaking with executives.
  • Bureaucratic leadership is when the boss insists on everything being done according to certain rules. This style of leadership is valuable when sticking to rules (such as health and safety ones), is important. It tends to stifle innovation and creativity, however. It does work in situations when there is a well-defined hierarchy.

These types of leader and leadership styles are the most common. however, as research is ongoing. other styles and types may be identified in the future.

A leader needs to be emotionally intelligent. This is important for managing oneself, as well as others. A good leader must understand his or her own emotions, as well as understanding how those emotions affect other people.

It’s a good idea for a leader to be aware of his or her limitations, strengths and weaknesses. As well as this, a good leader should be self-confident and confident that he or she has the ability to lead. A weak leader is no use to a business.

Good leaders can keep their emotions in check so that no animosity surfaces, as this could alienate colleagues and cause ill-feeling. What is needed is a cool head and an empathy with people. They also need to display their integrity and honesty, this is how trust is built up. An erratic manager will never gain the respect of those who work under him or her. Apart from this a good manager should be conscientious, setting a good example to other workers. A good leader should also be adaptable and willing to change as new circumstances arise.

Business leaders need to strive towards a standard of excellence in their company. They also need to seize every opportunity to take the initiative and drive the business forward.

If the industry is service orientated, one attribute of a good leader is to be able to recognise what clients and customers need. Empathy, the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is also extremely useful for a business leader to have. Another good attribute to develop is that of understanding the politics of any given situation. A good manager builds useful networks and can read situations that might affect the business. It is important to be able to accurately read the business climate, whether internationally or locally.

Leaders need to be visionaries, rather like the late Steve Jobs. They must have the innate ability to take charge and encourage others to perform to the best of their ability. They must use all their powers of persuasion to exert a positive on others in order to achieve goals. They have to be good listeners and communicators too. They also have to encourage people to be flexible and perhaps to change direction. They must be able to build good relationships, build teams effectively and manage conflict.

Do you need help and guidance to write your leadership assignment?

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