Advantages And Disadvantages Of Autocracy: Leadership is a crucial talent that can be applied to any profession or career as the case may be, and there are several leadership styles to choose from. Some are encouraging and collaborative, while others are commanding and dominating. Autocratic leadership refers to a form of leadership in which a leader takes choices without consulting others.
Individual control over all decisions and limited input from group members describe autocratic leadership. There is only one person who has the authority to judge everything, and there is no one higher up to question his choice. Autocratic leaders are known to make decisions primarily on their own ideas and judgments, rarely accepting suggestions from followers.
Autocratic leadership entails total, dictatorial authority over a group with no participation from others in the decision-making process.
Although this type of leadership is most commonly seen in government, it may also be found in some corporate or organizational systems. In this piece, I shall consider the important advantages and disadvantages of autocratic leadership. But first, a quick review of autocracy.
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What Is Autocracy, And What Causes Its Emergence Or Development?
The name “autocracy” is derived from two Greek words: “auto,” which means “by itself,” and “Kratos,” which means “government” or “power.” It is apparent that this is a non-democratic government in which total authority is necessary and there are no institutions in place to check or manage the leader.
Autocracy is a centralized governance style in which a single individual has all of the state’s power. This individual’s judgments will not be questioned or overturned, and they will not be subject to any constraints. An autocrat is a person who is in charge of a governing system like this.
Absolutist monarchies, such as those seen in Eastern Europe before the French Revolution, were the most common kinds of autocracy throughout history. Autocracy may also be defined as a sort of contemporary tyranny.
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How Does Autocracy Begin Or Originate In A Setting?
When a single person decides to consolidate authority in himself and is in control of all of a country’s affairs, this is known as an autocracy. Autocracies can only exist in the presence of an autocrat, who is motivated by the desire for total authority.
Different processes, such as a public election, can be used to build this centralized government structure. It is sufficient if the newly elected ruler then proceeds to undertake a series of adjustments that gradually trend in this direction. You may utilize the same republican powers and “legal” tactics.
Force is also employed to construct an autocrat, such as through coups, military invasions, and armed conflicts. Autocrats use intimidation and violence to maintain their authority.
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What Are The Features Of Autocracy?
a. Personal or political autonomy, as well as the autonomy of any other entity or organization, are not recognized.
b. Civil, political, and social rights are not guaranteed.
c. Freedom of expression, information, and the press does not exist. The right to join a group is taken away from individuals.
d. The autocrat is unconcerned about society or its constraints. They’re also not subject to the broader public’s authority. The tyrannical tyrant is above the law.
e. Individual demands and claims are routed through autonomous institutions, which are destroyed and outlawed.
c. To put an end to any dissent, they use repression and violence.
d. Any attempt to orchestrate or mobilize is met with intimidation and thuggery or coercion.
e. There are no free elections, and no political rights exist.
f. They are backed by a new oligarchy that was established by the same dictatorship. It might be the military, religious organizations, business organizations, or labor unions. Neither of these has the ability to compete for power.
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Advantages (Merits) Of Autocracy?
1. The Authoritarian Style Allows For Quick Crisis Handling: A strong authoritarian leader is well-prepared to cope with a crisis. They can easily deal with these problems since they are the only ones who have the power to make decisions.
Their knowledge becomes a valuable addition to the organization, and they may even step in during a staffing shortage to quickly resolve an issue in almost any circumstance. When compared to other leadership styles, this aids in the successful resolution of emergencies.
2. Decisions May Be Taken More Quickly: Multiple layers of leadership are not a problem for autocratic dictators. They are not obligated to wait for senior management input or confer with a leadership team. There is just one person in command of everything. That implies a choice is made based on the leader’s schedule and no one else’s.
This is beneficial because team members may continue work, reschedule deadlines, and eliminate roadblocks that could reduce their total productivity.
3. There Is A Great Opportunity For A Rise In Productivity: The task of disseminating information is usually delegated to autocratic authorities. They develop rules or laws based on their personal experiences, which are then translated into specific instructions for workers. Workers are more inclined to focus on production rather than issue solving when they are given clear guidance and a road to success.
There are fewer delays since best practices are constantly followed. This may lead to fewer mistakes over time, resulting in increased earnings.
4. It Relieves Tension From Their Subordinates: Autocratic leaders relieve their teams of the burden of duty since they are alone responsible faor the judgments they make. Some employees are apprehensive about being asked to make a big decision that may affect the company’s future.
Some people find the thought of coming up with new ideas to be unsettling. They simply want to go to work, do their job, and return home with a paycheck. Assisting this is totalitarian leadership.
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6. Within The Authoritarian Leadership Style, Safety Is A Key Priority: Certain job conditions necessitate a high amount of control. There may be hazardous scenarios or working settings that need the completion of difficult jobs. These conditions allow for a 0% error margin.
When an autocratic leadership style is applied in these settings, the regulations and procedures give more control, which encourages a stronger commitment to safety.
7. It’s A Pretty Simple Leadership Style To Pick Up: The authoritarian leadership style is simple and straightforward. It’s a working style that governs how individuals should work. It’s a case of “do it my way or get off the way” in many instances. Workers either complete the task at hand or look for another employment.
This leadership approach does not involve attendance at a certain training conference or understanding of specific leadership philosophy. There’s no need to pay attention to emotions, deal with personal concerns, or locate other sources of inspiration.
8. This Type Of Leadership Can Yield Authoritative Short-Term Outcomes: When a company has to produce short-term results quickly, many organizations choose an authoritarian leadership style. When a firm is facing a crisis, a leader with authoritative qualities may take command and make fast adjustments.
This allowed for a speedy resolution of the problem, allowing the firm to resume its goal.
9. Even Inexperienced Teams May Deliver Professional Outcomes In Autocratic Leadership: When an autocratic leadership style is applied to an inexperienced team, the leader’s expertise might compensate for the competence difference. Everyone benefits from the leader’s controlled abilities. Because they are given explicit directions to follow, they are able to reproduce outcomes.
Autocratic leaders can nevertheless get the job done if there isn’t enough time to build personal abilities or learn something new.
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10. It Gives Everyone A Clear Target To Aim For: The autocratic leadership style allows everyone to focus on specified goals or aims to achieve by providing direct monitoring and emphasizing order and discipline.
Open channels of communication guarantee that everyone in the team is on the same page. Those who cross this threshold are promptly discovered and reintroduced. In the workplace, this results in increased speed, production, and efficiency.
11. It’s A Type Of Leadership That May Be Used In Three Distinct Ways: While directed contact between the leader and team members is the most common form of autocratic leadership, there are two additional types of autocratic leadership. The leader’s subordinates are informed what they must do, how they must do it, and when the deadline is in the directing format.
The authoritarian boss has the ultimate word in the permissive kind, but direct reports have greater latitude in how they carry out their obligations. The essential features of this leadership style are used in the paternalistic form, with a specific emphasis on employee wellness as part of the process.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Autocracy?
1. There May Be A Lack Of Accountability: For two reasons, the autocratic leadership style encourages a general lack of accountability. The first is concerned with the accomplished work. When the leaders are in charge, there is no way for team members to accept responsibility for the quality of the completed assignment.
The second example is a boss who refuses to take responsibility for duties that he or she has delegated to a subordinate. Both of these issues diminish employee morale and assign blame to someone, even if the situation is not their fault.
2. The Leader’s Autocratic Leadership Style Is Extremely Reliant On Him Or Her: One of the main reasons that autocratic leadership fails is because it is completely reliant on the leader’s abilities and expertise. If the leader leaves, the team will be impossible to operate because everyone was focused on their individual roles.
When the leader’s instructions are no longer there, a team might grow so reliant on him that it ceases to operate. As a result, certain entities that use this form generate an inheritance chain, allowing someone else to take over leadership immediately.
3. It Has The Potential To Develop An Undesirable Culture Within The Company: The ethics of the leader in charge determine the quality of a team, structure, or organization that practices autocratic leadership. It will be tough for any employees to modify the atmosphere if that leader does not provide a fair working environment.
Within autocratic institutions, no one may have the ability to hold a rogue leader accountable to the firm and force them to change their ways. That is, the leader’s personal morality becomes the business’s corporate reality.
4. Autocratic Dictators Are Micromanagers: When a leader is supposed to act in an authoritarian way, it might be difficult to switch that position on and off at will. As a result, many executives who use this leadership style end up becoming micromanagers, even if that is not their intention.
They need to maintain consistency on a personal level, which means they can no longer afford to delegate authority to their crew.
5. It’s A Lack Of Trust-Based Leadership Approach: In an autocratic leadership style, rules are set for staff to follow in order to ensure consistency. That “need” is fueled by a general lack of faith. People need to work in a trusting setting to be productive.
Because they are obligated to make the rules the priority, autocratic leaders are unable to prioritize trust. That implies the workers create alliances with the rules rather than with individuals, which lowers morale over time.
6. It Is Tough To Remedy Unsatisfactory Performance With This Leadership Style: If an autocratic leader’s outcomes fall short of company expectations, it might be difficult to remedy the problem.
Many firms have had to entirely restructure their underperforming teams since the leadership in place shaped everyone’s identity. Because the leader makes all of the decisions, a new leader must be appointed, requiring everyone to start again.
7. It Makes The Leader’s Job More Difficult: The leader is responsible for every activity of the team under most autocratic leadership models. They are responsible for a review of the team’s work. They must make every choice in the team’s best interests..
As a result, leaders that use this technique are usually busier than others. Even though low-skill activities must be completed, it is the leader’s obligation to ensure that copies are made, coffee is ordered, and papers are filed appropriately.
8. For Team Members, It May Become A Depressing Experience: Even unskilled workers might suffer significant levels of dissatisfaction in an authoritarian atmosphere. Although productivity may be higher, resentment may rapidly grow if employees have no input in the process. It’s much worse if employees have the ability to express themselves but their ideas are never implemented. People only survive here because no one cares about what they do.
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For certain settings, the benefits and drawbacks of autocratic leadership are obvious. However, in some situations or emergencies, a strong leader may be required to maintain order. In less stressful situations, though, debating an issue before advancing may be preferable. Autocratic leaders aren’t always the best communicators, but they do have the finest ideas. Autocratic leaders, on the other hand, must bear full responsibility for the outcomes. However, the majority of employees may be dissatisfied and devalued as a result of this. This might also result in some high-quality employees quitting their jobs.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.