Efficiency of Leadership Styles


This paper provides a concise overview of historical leadership styles, including democratic, authoritarian, laissez-faire, bureaucratic, transactional, transformational, and servant leadership. Each leadership style is briefly defined, highlighting key characteristics and historical examples where applicable. The abstract concludes by emphasizing the importance of understanding these leadership styles in the context of which they were employed to determine their overall efficiency. Leadership has evolved over centuries, with various styles emerging to meet the diverse needs of societies and organizations. Democratic leadership emphasizes participation, decision-making through building a consensus, and collaboration. Authoritarian leadership involves centralized control, strict adherence to authority, and limited input from followers. Laissez-Faire leadership delegates decision-making authority to the people, allowing them freedom and autonomy. Bureaucratic leadership relies on hierarchical structures, standardized procedures, and policies that can easily be replicated. Transactional leadership operates on the basis of rewards and punishments for meeting or failing to meet short term goals and standards. Transformational leadership inspires and motivates people to follow a leader’s vision and charismatic influence. Servant leadership prioritizes the needs of others over the needs of the leader and fosters a culture of service and collaboration. Understanding historical leadership styles provides valuable insights to the evolution of leadership practices and their level of efficiency at different times throughout history.

Keywords: Democratic, Authoritarian, Laissez-Faire, Bureaucratic, Transformational, Transactional, Servant

Year Manuscript Completed

Spring 2024

Senior Project Advisor

Tricia Jordan, Ph.D.

Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree

Field of Study

Social Sciences

Document Type

Thesis - Murray State Access only

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