Leadership Styles and its Practice in Bangladesh

Leadership stands for an influence to guide and direct a group of people having a common goal. Now-a-days it is highly concerned with the rapid growth and highest competition within all the sectors of sorts of organization seen throughout the world. Leader is a person who is considered to be the catalyst of any organization whether it will be up warded or down warded. In such a situation, the most effective and efficient leadership style is being looked up. In this way three styles of leadership have been established and recognized as the leading styles all over the world. Today, in Bangladesh these styles also followed by different organizations here. 

Concept of Leadership:
A leader is a person capable of inspiring and associate others with a dream. Again leadership has been described as the process of social influence in which the leader can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task. As we see that Alan Keith said- “leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen.

H.Koontz and C.O.Donnell said that Leadership is the art or process of influencing people so that they will strive willingly and enthusiastically toward the achievement of group goals (1997).

According to International Encyclopedia of Social Science-“leadership is the exercise of power or influence in social collectivities such as group, organizations, communities or nations (1968:105)”. 
Characteristics of Leadership:
However the definition, a leadership is to be embodied with the following characteristics. 
  1. Being visible, committed and knowledgeable
  2. Having a missionary zeal
  3. Setting aggressive quality targets and goals
  4. Ensuring that strong drivers such as zero defects, statistical tools ,time lines, cycle time, are established and pursued
  5. Pushing decision making to the lowest level
  6. Being on the forefront of customer contact(The Commonwealth of Learning 2004:180)
  7. Being an excellent communicator of values
Leadership Styles Practiced all over the World:
Kurt Lewin (1939) and others established three major leadership styles followed all over the world. These styles are (U.S. Army Handbook 1973);
1. Authoritarian (autocratic) Style
2. Participative (democratic) Style
3. Delegative (free rein) Style

01. Authoritarian (autocratic) Style:
This style is used when leaders tell their employees what they want to be done and how they want it being accomplished without getting the advice of their followers. There is also a clear division between the followers and their leader. Controlling leaders make decisions separately with little or no input from the rest of the group.
Positive Aspects: 
  1. Permits quick decision 
  2. In case of less competent subordinates, it is effective 
  3. Facilitates speedy implementation of plans 
  4. Highly satisfied leader 
  5. In case of extreme crises, this style may be the only one solution 
Negative Aspects : 
  1. Some people tend to think of this as 
  2. A vehicle for yelling 
  3. Using demeaning language 
  4. Leading by threats and 
  5. Abusing power 
  6. In-built frustration in employees 
  7. Low morale of work-force 
  8. Ill-motivated subordinates escape the responsibility and initiaves 
  9. Creativity of subordinates remains untapped 
  10. No positive development in the profile subordinates 
  11. High turn-over of subordinates due to frustration.
2. Participative (democratic) Style:
Democratic leaders offer guidance to group members, but they also participate in the group and allow input from other group members. Participative leaders encourage group members to participate, but retain the final say over the decision-making process.
  1. Assurance of basic Human Rights to every person of the state and its authorities as well as social groups.
  2. Separation of Powers between the institutions of the state
  3. Government 
  4. Courts of Law
  5. Parliament 
  6. Freedom of  the opinion of the people and also speech, press and massmedia 
  7. Good Governance
  8. Liberty of all religions
  9. Equal right to vote
Positive Aspects:
  • Possibility for developing new leadership
  • Full range of participation of all class employees
  • Satisfaction of all
  • Respects to one another.
Negative Aspects:
  • Time consuming and not cost effective in some extent
  • It is not possible to get support from all sections
  • Higher possibility of grouping
Delegative (free rein) Style:
Delegative leaders offer little or no guidance to group members and leave decision-making up to group members. In this style the leader allows the employees to make the admission. Here the leader allows the maximum freedom to subordinates, i. e., they are given a free hand in deciding their own policies and methods. However the leader is still responsible for the decisions that are made.

When to use Delegative (free rein) Style :
When employees are able to analyze the situation and determine what needs to be done and how to do it. This is also known as laissez faire leadership.

Leadership styles at a glance:
Combination of the Three Styles:
Leadership styles are followed on the basis of different determinants
  • How much time is available 
  • Are relationships based on respect and trust or on disrespect?
  • Who has the information you your employees or both?
  • Good process of employees training
  • Various internal conflicts 
  • Levels of stress
  • Type of task: is it simple or complicated, unstructured or  structured
The Perfect Leader:
Elements of an effective Leadership:

An example on following different styles is given below:
Tell your employees that a procedure is not working correctly and a new one must be established (authoritarianism)
Ask for their ideas and input on and create a new procedure (participative)
Delegate tasks in order to implement the new procedure (delegative)

Leadership styles in Bangladesh:
Bangladesh is a country of third world. The economic policy followed here is a mixed policy. Again there are different types of organization i. e., welfare agencies, private institutions and so others working here. These institutions do not follow a universal style of organizing. All the three worldwide recognized leadership styles are followed here. A brief of this practice is presented below. 
2.Participatory Style:
  1. The style is practiced in the following sectors-
  2. Social welfare organization
  3. Present Government System
  4. Political Organization 
Bangladesh enjoying democracy:
a) Social Welfare Organization:
Social welfare organizations in our country work as complementary to the government organizations. These are also well- structured. Here, we can mention the name of BRAC, Grameen Bank, ASA and so others. Members of these organizations have also opportunity to participate in decision making process. Leaders in these organizations explain the process of working to the general members.

b) Present Government System
Bangladesh is known as The People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The ruling government is elected democratically. The government is formed with members of parliament elected by the people of Bangladesh. Again the government takes decisions in respect to the society achieving the support of its parliament.

c) Political organization
Political organization is the essential part of a country. A political party represents a part of people. Here all the people enjoy the opportunity to participate in decision making process. Again the leader runs the party with his achieved experience and knowledge.

3) Free Reign Style
This style permits the employees to make the decision for an organization but the leader is responsible. In the context of our country this style is practiced at a limited range. Available practice of this style is only seen in trade unions and co-operatives.

In trade unions though there is a leading person, he doesn't play the role of decision making, but he is responsible for taking decision. Here working members or laborers take the ultimate decision, but leader can’t play as effective role for it.

Concluding Marks
Leadership is an organizational principle of considerable social impact. It is less about leader’s needs, and more about the needs of the people and the organizations he is leading. The styles of leadership are not something to be tried on like so many suits, to see which fits. Rather, they should be adjusted to the exacting demands of the condition, the particular necessities of the people involved and the challenges facing the society. There are a number of different approaches, or 'styles' to leadership and management that are based on different assumptions and theories. The style that individuals use on the basis of a combination of the preferences, values and beliefs and the governmental culture and norms which will support some styles and discourage others and thus the styles discussed above have been established and practiced over the world and in our country also.
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