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Autocratic Management

Selecting the right management style will be crucial to your success as a manager. But the process of choosing is easier said than done. There are more than a dozen types of management that you can read about in textbooks, publications, and the Web that deciding which one among them to use is going to take time because you need to consider many factors before coming up with the best decision.

One of the better-known management styles is called Autocratic Management. There are a lot of literatures written about it. For many years, it was the most widely accepted style but it is no longer as popular today. Jobs have become complex, and the need for talented and highly motivated workers have increased over the years, that the carrot and stick method employed by the Autocratic Management style is no longer rendered effective.

But what exactly is Autocratic Management? This article aims to give you in-depth information about this almost-extinct style of management.

An Overview of Autocratic Management

Autocratic management allows managers to make all the decisions, without really taking into consideration their subordinates’ opinions, feelings, ideas, and concerns. A manager adopting this style of management dictates orders to his or her employees and is often taking control of every situation that they are in. An autocratic manager is very directional and he is able to build a powerful image of himself and the company.

With this style, you can expect managers to implement processes and assign projects to subordinates, in a “no questions asked” manner. The manager is able to get what he wants because he will not take no for an answer. Because all decisions are made by the manager, you can expect them to reflect his personality, opinions, beliefs, and preferences.

The Advantages of Autocratic Management

This style of management comes with a handful of advantages, and these are:

  • Decisions are made quickly and more efficiently. There is no longer a need to thoroughly discuss matters with employees so the time it takes to make decisions is cut short.

  • Updates and changes are relayed to everyone so that they can be implemented right away. Employees cannot say ‘no’ when their manager implements something so you can expect changes to be implemented and acted upon right away.

  • Managers are given authority to run a team or a department, making them more confident about their own abilities. Because this style of management enables managers to project a high authority over their subordinates, it makes them feel like they know what’s best for the team and for the company.

  • It can help project a strong and solid image for the company, as a whole. With smooth-sailing implementation and quick decision-making, it makes a company seem like a well-managed business.

The Disadvantages of Autocratic Management

But, of course, it also has its share of drawbacks, such as:

  • Ideas are coming from the managers alone. Instead of encouraging employees to share fresh ideas and new concepts, everything will come from the managers and no one else.

  • Employees feel like the company does not value or care for them. They often feel useless because they are not given a say on anything.

  • Employees become less motivated to work but may still be productive out of fear of losing their jobs. While there is still an acceptable level of productivity, companies running on Autocratic Management will not be able to experience what it’s like working with highly motivated individuals.

  • Lack of initiatives coming from the staff. Giving orders without asking other people’s opinions does not encourage people to take initiatives and they would instead wait for their managers to tell them what they need to do.

  • High turnover rate. Because of their low morale, many employees would decide to give up their job and seek employment in other companies that put a high regard on human relationships and employee potentials.

When to Use Autocratic Management

In spite of the fact that the disadvantages of this management style far outweigh the benefits, it is still useful for certain organizations. Moreover, there are situations that make it an ideal management style to use.

The military can very well benefit from this type of management. The same is also true for airline crews and ship crews, since they perform repetitive functions day-in and day-out. As for circumstances, it seems that Autocratic Management will be more effective when natural disasters strike, because without unilateral control, chaos could easily occur.

However, for today’s modern businesses, the idea of using Autocratic Management is simply risky and could very well lead to dire consequences for the company. Most organizations today work in teams and therefore, teamwork is necessary for employees to perform their tasks successfully. If they are managed by a person who does not care about what they have to say, then it will only serve to hamper the team’s spirit and lower their morale.

To put it in perspective, Autocratic Management will only work for organizations that employ people who work on simple and repetitive tasks every day.

Who Should Be an Autocratic Manager?

Choosing a management style entails making considerations on several factors, such as the manager’s skills, personality, and abilities. An Autocratic Manager is someone who has a high self-esteem; one who is not afraid to speak up and put his ideas into words and actions. He should have charisma and the power to convince people to see things from his perspective so that he can do his job effectively.  Additionally, he must know how to make decisions especially during critical times because as an autocrat, all decisions will come from him. Now unless you have all the qualities mentioned above, it might not be a good idea to adopt this style of management in handling your team.

People often think that Autocratic Management is bad for any company or organization. And while there is some truth to this, you should also realize that when handled skillfully and correctly, this management style could contribute to making a business successful.