Explain what is meant by democratic leadership. Evaluate the effectiveness of employing a democratic leadership style on the success of Harrods. Use E-library sources to find another example that had also been successful using a democratic leadership style.
Democratic leadership style is an open and collegial style where ideas between the leaders and the subordinates flow freely as the discussions are held in an open manner and where all members opinions are respected. It’s often participative and involves employees in the decision making process. It involves the redistribution of power and authority between employees and managers to provide employee involvement in decision-making. The following features characterize democratic leadership:
•Distribution of responsibility: A manager that leads democratically will distribute responsibility among his group to facilitate participation in decision-making. •Empowering group members: Leaders must empower their members so that the members can accomplish their responsibilities. Empowerment includes providing training and education necessary for delegated task completion. •Aiding group decision-making process: A major role of a democratic leader is to ensure democratic deliberation in making group decisions. This means that a leader should act as a facilitator and mediator between group members and ensure that a psychologically healthy and respectful environment is maintained. Advantages of Democratic leadership:
•Democratic leadership techniques generally will do a better job creating job satisfaction because it fosters a sense of participation, control and autonomy. •Greater employee participation in decision-making may also lead to greater innovation and creative solutions to problems that will better serve an organization.
Disadvantages of Democratic leadership:
•It may not be as efficient as a more traditional centralized and authoritarian form of direction. •It may be more costly to the organization in time and resources. •Accountability may sometimes present a problem.
Employing democratic leadership at Harrods has the following advantages: •Employees felt that they are more important to doing the job as they have been given more responsibilities and methods to share their opinions. •The pressure has been reduced from mangers as they delegated more responsibilities to employees and were left out with more strategic decisions to be made. •Performance at Harrods have increased because the employees felt that they are more important and have more self-confidence. •The workflow of departments became more fluent as the department heads and employees have a degree of freedom to make decisions. The only disadvantage was that top management has lost some of its powers over the employees, but the overall benefits exceeds the cost which acts in favor of Harrods management. Another example of Democratic leadership company is Apple as it gives its employees the freedom to make decisions and to be creative in the workplace.