Transformational leadership chosen for the discussion in this post is arguably the best way how to organize communication between leaders and teams in businesses. The reason is that, in theory, it is the most balanced approach, which requires a lot of adaptation and learning. Nevertheless, it seems that it is not so easy to become a transformational leader so the well-structured theory might remain pure abstract principles. Leaders are limited to transformation because of resource constraints and personal habits (Baškarada et al., 2017). For example, leaders can fail to motivate and encourage others when they do not feel support and appreciation from their subordinates. In addition, modern scholarship uses the term “Pseudo-transformational leadership” to describe situations when subordinates perceive that their leader has manipulative intentions under the mask of transformation (Lin et al., 2017). In other words, leaders can be insincere in their desires for the company’s transformation. Thus, in my practice, the elements of transformational leadership should be used carefully. It can contribute to my set of leadership skills because I value the interconnection of different approaches in one supervision style.
Finally, there is a small objection to the idea that authoritarian leadership is beneficial during periods of turbulence and crisis. In my opinion, other types of leadership can also be effective in such circumstances. Authoritarian control requires the ignorance of other opinions about the trajectory of development. In reality, it can lead to an increase in error probability because leaders may get inaccurate information or be biased about certain approaches. The integral idea here is that humans are prone to mistakes. Hence, it seems that collective discussion with subordinates may bring more positive results than pure authoritarian control of the staff.
This post values the benefits of transformational leadership because it effectively confronts incivility in the workplace. Because the limitations and implications of the transformational approach were discussed by myself previously, there is a sense to focus on laissez-faire leadership. The notion of laissez-faire takes its roots in the libertarian economic theory of Ludwig von Mises. Afterward, the principle of laissez-faire was an integral part of the neoliberal politics of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. In the leadership scholarship style, leaders’ communication with subordinates is based on trust and confidence in employees’ skills (Al-Malki & Juan, 2018). Thus, employees should be independent professionals who know how their mistakes might be corrected in such settings. The negative consequences of laissez-faire leadership can be increased stress and anxiety among subordinates. The idea here is that not all people can bear personal responsibility and control themselves in times of crisis, so some subordinates may become insecure and fearful. As recent studies show, laissez-faire leadership is not associated with increased anxiety compared to transformational types (Nielsen et al., 2019). Therefore, leaders can legitimately implement some ideas of the laissez-faire leadership style.
Concerning my expertise in organizational leadership, the principles of laissez-faire leadership can contribute to my professional practice. I argue that laissez-faire is not about giving all responsibilities to subordinates and “doing nothing” but constructing reliable links between two sides. Firstly, it requires the effective recruiting of the staff to ensure the skills of independent expertise of all team members. Secondly, independent and free cognitive work increases the chance of innovative ideas for modernization. This fact qualitatively distinguishes this approach from the authoritarian one. Thus, laissez-faire leadership instructs me about the key value of proper staff recruiting.
Al-Malki, M., & Juan, W. (2018). Impact of laissez-faire leadership on role ambiguity and role conflict: Implications for job performance. International Journal of Innovation and Economic Development, 4(1), 29-43.
Nielsen, M. B., Skogstad, A., Gjerstad, J., & Einarsen, S. V. (2019). Are transformational and laissez-faire leadership related to state anxiety among subordinates? A two-wave prospective study of forward and reverse associations. Work & Stress, 33(2), 137-155.