Different Leadership Styles in the Public Service P1/P2/M2/D1

  • Authoritarian - Authoritarian leaders provide clear instructions for what needs to be done and are very to the point. They make decisions independently with no input from the rest of the group. The common traits of an Authoritarian role would be used by an Officer in the army, they are generally being bossy, loud and abnoxious, they think they are always right and they're way is the best way. This could be used in a situation where a team needs to do things fast and effectively e.g on the battefield, if a unit is under fire the leader must shout commands and the team must respond fast as their life is on the line. This style is similar to Task Orientated in the way that the leader is the only person who puts input, this doesnt create a 'team' sort of feel and can cause low morale, but it is an effective way in most situations. In conclusion Authoritarian can be one of the most effective styles, as it gets the job done and gets it done fast, the leader uses his authoritive power to command the team, and they learn to do what the leader says straight away. This style wouldnt be effective in a situation where the team is planning out a situation, as more ideas would be better than just what the leader thinks.
  • Democratic - The team leader allows the team to apply input and ideas before the leader makes a decision. A democratic leader is very team based and likes to get everyone involved, this isnt a quick decision process as there are so many ideas being thrown around so its hard to come to a decision fast. This would be used by an officer in the fire service when planning out a rescue in a burning building. This will need the whole teams input and will be discussed between the team. Democratic is similar to People Orientated in the way that both leaders take in the opinions and care about the welfare of the team, this can be very effective in many situations as 2 heads are better than 1. In conclusion, Democratic can be a very effective style in situations where the team are planning out a situation, and all the team can put in input to make the action as effective as possible. This style would not be used in a situation where the team may be under fire, or in danger and have to act quickly, another style would be used then.
  • Laissez-faire - The leader doesn't get involved, he/she leaves the team to it. This style is normally used when the leader has a smart, on task, dedicated team he can rely on to complete the task. Although often this can be because the team leader is lazy and this can end in failure. In the fire service this style could be used by an officer. They would send his team into a burning building to rescue civilians whilst he is outside securing the area, a leader must have a dedicated team he can trust for this to work effectively. Laissez-faire is very different from Bureacratic because the Laissez-faire leader doesnt get involved with the team, they put in no input or effort. Where as Bureacratic takes control and puts in the majority of the input to make the situation run smoothly, both styles require the team to be on task all the time, but in different styles. In conclusion this can be an effective style in situations where the team is experienced and hard working where the leader has trust they will complete the task, this is not always effective as the team has no guidance or help if they need it, so they must know exactly what they are doing.
  • Transactional - The team is driven by the reward at the end and nothing else, if they fail, the team leader will take action and punish them. This would be used by an officer that is teaching basic training to the new recruits. If they do anything wrong they get punished, so the recruits learn to never make a mistake. E.g the team is on a bush craft survival task, they may get extra food if they complete the task, or none if they fail. This style is not always favoured but it is effective and often used in every day life. Transactional is very different from Tranformational because a Transactional leader is a very harsh non-team based leader, who uses actions to make the team stronger. Where as Tranformational leaders are incredibly inspirational and use words to make the team stronger. Both can be effective but in different situations. In my opinion this style is not favoured, but it is very effective in training methods for the army and other deciplinary public services. It makes the individuals mentally and physically stronger as they have to work for what they want.
  • Transformational - Transformation leaders are motivating and try to inspire their team by talking about the future and the outcome at the end of the task, this might be used by a high ranking officer while giving a speech to a group of troops, to inspire them and give a morale boost before battle.
  • Bureaucratic - Bureaucratic leaders play everything by the book, often to ensure the safety of the team and others. This would be used by a bomb disposal team leader, they give clear instructions for the task at hand and everything must be done perfectly otherwise people may die or get seriously injured.


  • People Orientated - As stated by the title, leaders are very focused on the welfare of the people, as well as always getting everyone involved and ensuring everyone is happy in the task they are doing e.g in the army if someone is injured, but not enough to be sent home or in a hospital, the officer role will have to take into account the soldiers weakness' and  will be considerate and think about the welfare of this person while assigning them a task.
  •   Task Orientated - The main focus of the leaders is to get the job done, whatever the cost. This doesn't always work as there is no motivation for the team and the team can get sick and tired of the leader. In the paramedics the leader role must give commands to his team and ensure he can trust his team to get the task done as efficiently and as fast as possible when there is a casualty that is as risk of death or serious injury if something goes wrong.
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