Leadership is a term with a variety of definitions depending on the context that it’s been defined. One common definition of leadership is “the behavior of an individual directing the activities of a group toward a shared goal.” The following paragraphs would elaborate on one major approach of studying leadership, its strengths and weakness, and an example in which it was used in an organization. (Yukl, 2010) Participative Leadership style Participative Leadership is the most common leadership style in business settings such as hospitality. Participative Leadership “involves all members of a team in identifying essential goals and developing procedures or strategies to reach those goals.” It is also known as democratic leadership. In which the leaders often provide guidance to the group. There is active involvement on the part of everyone on the team. It also expands the range of possibilities for the team. (Yukl, 2010)
Strengths of Participative Leadership
Some advantages of participative leadership involve acceptance, morale, creativity and retention. Participative leadership allows employees to readily accept policies because they were involved the policy change, development one way, or the other. Morale of employees remains high because they feel that they are part of the team. It also helps bring a lot of creativity and creative ideas to the team. (Yukl, 2010) Weaknesses of Participative Leadership One potential disadvantage of participate leadership is the time factor. This leadership style does often involve the need for more time before action is taken. The disadvantages or weaknesses of participative leaderships are fewer than its advantages. Mostly employees are confused, with too much responsibilities and little guidance from management. There is room for major errors that can affect the organization at large. This leads to lower performance, high employee turnover, customer dissatisfaction and decreased profitability. (Yukl, 2010)
Arizona Biltmore One example of participative leadership is at the front desk department of the Arizona Biltmore. Front Desk Agents are often involved in policies that pertain to the front desk. For example agents are given authority to resolve guest issues by rewarding them with dollar amount credit up to $100.00 based on the issue. Anything over $100.00 needs to be approved by a manager. In addition, employees are encouraged with incentives on room up sells. Thus, this motivates employee morale, brings about creativity with new ideas to improve their performance. On busy days the front office manager is at the front desk working with employees to assist guests.
There is active involvement with everyone on the team. One disadvantage that applies to this organization example is there are too many responsibilities for employees and little guidance. Sometimes when agents need a manager to be around with an unresolved guest issue, the manager is not around. Therefore, this type of behavior motivates guests to give negative ratings on line about service or give positive rating if their problems are resolved. Participative Leadership has its advantages and disadvantages, and would determine an organization’s improvement or downfall if used wisely. (Yukl, 2010)
Yukl, G. (2010). Leadership in Organization (7th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education.