Most successful leaders in today’s corporate world have confessed to have been mentored by managers employing a command and control management style, also referred to as a top-down approach. This is the most commonly used leadership style when an organization is undergoing change. During such a period, managers have to stamp their authority else there will be slow adjustment to new conditions.
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Besides, conflicts and disagreements may arise. An example of such a scenario is commonly seen when an organization need to move to new offices or adopt new technologies. In such a situation, if a command and control style is not exercised, conflicts may ensue between managers and their employees, particularly those who do not accept or find it difficult to adopt the changes.
A command and control style is based on maintaining power and control over people and organizational processes. Conversely, there are many untrue assumptions that drive the use of this management style, for example, leaders always assume that they know everything and will tend to command without involving employees.
In addition, most leaders tend to think that they as bosses, they have to make all decisions without seeking for advice or assistance from any entity. This mentality highly affects the success of the organization because the workers always feel undermined and this lowers their work morale.
Clarity and decisiveness are vital to the success of the top-down management style. The leader should be decisive but willing to make changes when situations call and to clearly communicate what is expected of everyone.
This management style projects an image of a confident and well managed organization because the rules set by management will be followed without failure. Additionally, to have any level of success, leaders should be ready to open their eyes and ears to listen and take ideas from third parties, mostly the employees.
This management style has been viewed as dictatorial and leads to demotivation. Ina addition, it gives power and authority to powerful people within the organization and demands absolute compliance from the people under them; this makes employees feel less respected.
Managers employing a command and control style will always use threats on employees and this demoralizes and reduces their productivity. This style also results into a manager getting a negative image from employees and once this occurs, there is always loss of respect from the workers. Consequently, most employees, especially the competent ones, will often seek for opportunities elsewhere.
A manager-employee relationship is a two-way traffic; when a manager involves employees in change processes, there will be a high likelihood of success of the change. A participative change process is often considered the best management style.
Under this style, employees’ opinions are sought even though the leader makes the final decision. As a result, the employees feel valued by the organization and in addition, management may obtain information useful towards increasing the productivity of the workers.
Another management style that involves the participation of employees is the democratic management style. This leadership style entails allowing workers to make decisions on their own, and the organization’s decisions are made taking into consideration the employees’ opinions.
Comparably, in the command and control style, the leader makes all decisions. When employees are involved in the running of the organization, it motivates them and increases their work output.