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Leadership: Types and Styles Report

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Updated: Jun 3rd, 2020


The purpose of this report is to examine present leadership approach or organizational behaviour aspects of the organizations, for instance, this report will consider leadership related issues and problem management process of Apple Inc, Ryanair, Tesco Plc and Samsung.

Different Leadership Style

Autocratic Leadership Style

At present, most of the modern organizations would not like to follow this approach considering key characteristics of this approach; however, some features of this style are –

  • Autocratic leadership is power-centred, which ignoring preferences of the other team members,
  • It is one of the oldest and hardest approach;
  • Men would like to follow more autocratic and directive style than women;
  • However, leaders of the organisations enjoyed ultimate and unlimited power to take their decisions;
  • Leaders implement of the plans without consulting with the employees;
  • However, Leaders can provide rewards and penalties for the performance of the employees;
  • The workforce have to strictly pursue the direction of the top management, but the higher authority would never take into account the feedback of the staff for the future development of the organisations;
  • At the same time, the leaders think they have better understanding on the management system than the employees;

Transformational Leadership Style

Weihrich & Koontz (232) pointed out that transformational approach is an executive leadership, which incorporates social change to improve motivation, assurance and performance level of the employees; on the other hand, Robbins & Judge (367) stated that transformational leaders have a clear collective vision and most significantly, they manage to communicate it successfully to all staff. However, key features of this style are:

  • However, leaders inspire the employees to be more innovative to achieve organizational goal;
  • It can transform an employee’s self-interest for the good of the team;
  • In addition, leaders trust their employees and give freedom and space to breathe and grow;
  • However, the key purpose of this strategy is to boost organizational performance, increase customer satisfaction;

Participative Leadership Style

It is more applicable to the contemporary organisations as the leaders notify the workforce about their strategic plan and assess the feedback of the employees for decision-making and implementing strategies; however, key features of this style are –

  • At the same time, leaders consider the feedback of the employees in case of stress management process;
  • The managers would train and help the staff (particularly new workers) to balance their family and work life to develop job satisfaction rate and decrease staff turnover

Situational Approach of Leadership

Most of the modern day consultants, researchers, and experts now prefer to recommend a situational leadership style instead of a highly autocratic or a highly democratic approach because situational approach does not follow any specifically rigid or inflexible style of leadership – rather, the leader of particular businesses take decisions considering present position of the company. Additionally, Robbins & Judge (57) pointed out that the situational factors refer to level of motivation of subordinates, the ability of the organizational members, leader-subordinate relationship, how leader perceive the situation, the level of stress, mood and so on; all these factors lead to efficient development of an organisation because of amplified motivation as well as high quality outcomes in production

Current Leadership Style of Apple

According to theorists, during Steve Job’s period, no uniform leadership style governed Apple’s operations; however, Job’s departure meant a major transformation for the company in terms of coping up with new organisational styles. CEO transformation could be a concern for Apple, as it shifted from a strong ‘heroic’ boss to a new ‘egalitarian-version”; however, Little (1) suggested that Tim Cook, the new Chief Executive Officer, seems to be quite cohesive-leader, who is glad to delegate responsibilities and create an organisational-culture of shared-leadership for sustained improvement, demonstrating the signs of being a democratic leader.

Current Leadership Problem of Apple

One of the major leadership problems that Apple is facing currently is the mismanagement done by Tim Cook (Apple’s new CEO) in terms of administering labours’ rights and their working conditions especially at Chinese manufacturing plant. Apple’s current leadership style is failing gradually to supervise and ensure workplace safety for its human resources in the international factories and failing to control and compel the overseas suppliers to conform to the company’s code of conduct. Duhigg & Barboza (1) reported the concerns by explaining about a blast at a Foxconn-factory, because of which four workers died and eighteen others were wounded.

Duhigg & Barboza (1) also added that a few months earlier, 137 labours of an Apple-supplier were wounded as those employees were instructed to apply a toxic-chemical for clearing iPhone-screens; after some days, two blasts at iPad-plants, including the Chengdu one, killed four employees and wounded seventy- seven others. The most alarming factors about Apple’s current leadership style is the negligent behaviour from the part of the top management in terms of ensuring the company’s compliance with the code of conduct and corporate social responsibilities – because, prior to those explosions, the company was warned by some authorities regarding the risky surroundings within the Chengdu-factory.

Consequences of This Problem

Although Tim Cook is trying to demonstrate his sincerity towards the labours and minimise public concerns raised due to the above stated problem by visiting the factory, according to field research, most people are viewing such efforts from him as a part of his strategy to obtain a better position in a report from the Fair Labour Association (FLA). According to McGregor (1), FLA is a supervisory body, which inspected working-standards in the Foxconn-factory (a key supplier of Apple); as a result, Tim Cook’s visit just prior to the publishing of this report seemed to be a nothing but a part of his tactic.

It is important to state that the report published by FLA has identified a minimum of fifty problems connected with the company’s code of conduct and China’s labour-regulations, including the number of working-hours for each week by Foxconn-workers; the average time worked at each of the three-plants in question was much higher than 60 hrs each week during production periods. It is also notable that according to the conducted field research, such poor leadership practices, which has caused these dilemmas for Apple, has in turn significantly troubled and threatened the company’s public reputation and goodwill and uncovered its poor corporate social responsibility practices.

How Apple is dealing with the Issue

Apple is trying to handle strongly the consequences of the problem of the leaders to fail to supervise and ensure workplace safety for human resources in the international factories and to fail to control and compel the overseas suppliers to conform to the company’s code of conduct. According to field research, as a part of its actions to smartly deal with the issue, the company started to publish a list of those of it suppliers who are failing to conform to the company’s code of conduct – it has already published the list of one hundred and fifty- six suppliers. The most important step in dealing with the issue is that Foxconn and Apple have agreed with the report’s results and stated that they would work together to execute FLA’s recommendations; in performing FLA’s advice, Foxconn will be hiring tens of thousands of new workers, and considerably increasing earnings whilst keeping working-hours within suitable standards.

The Washington Post noted that these steps could wave all through the customer- electronics market; in addition, for Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook, executing the transformations would convey multitude of fresh challenges as well; conversely, if Foxconn complies with the report’s advice, it is quite natural to see the equipment costs going up, consecutively increasing product prices for final consumers. Consequently, Tim may confront fury of shareholders who, notwithstanding how well-done by Apple, will not wish to witness products-prices to increase; temporarily, as Apple has said it would follow the suggestions, all eyes will be on how well it complies with those because FLA stated that the conditions at those plants were “no-worse than any other plant in China.”

Among other steps taken to deal with the issue, Tim is transferring additional business-wide e- mails, which address Apple- workers as team, organising an agenda to go with workers’ contributions to charity, reforming Apple’s mostly sovereign education-division, and separating it to a sales team and a marketing team and creasing them into the well- built business. It is important to state that as part of the internal changes in leadership, Tim endorsed Vice President Eddy to the company’s senior-vice president of Internet-software and services, and he gave the previous iTunes-executive the control of the iAds segment; in addition, Tim is becoming further liberal in exploiting US $81.6b in cash and cash-equivalents for dividends or a stock-buyback

Leadership Approach of Tesco

According to the annual report of Tesco, Terry Leahy was the former CEO of this company who was one of the most successful leaders of his generation as he expanded the operation of this company in 13 countries outside the UK and increased profit margin incredibly (7). However, new CEO of this company Philip Clarke has worked at Tesco throughout his career and he has already decided to follow participative leadership style to attain even greater success in the future, for example, he will consider the feedback of the staff to take part in decision-making and implementing strategies (Tesco Plc 7). On the other hand, new CEO would like to concentrate more on the key areas of performance by motivating the employees of this company; therefore, participative leadership approach will be appropriate style to increase profit margin along with the share price in the stock market.

According to the original field survey report, the major challenges to the Philip Clarke are global financial crisis, reduction of the purchasing power of the customer, intense competition in the retail market, high cost to train employees, develop teamwork, increase staff turnover rate and so on. Here, it is important to mention that new CEO is committed to develop leadership skills and knowledge of the expatriates while most of the employees of this company recruited from international market; therefore, he has allocated big budget to train the expatriates to develop their efficiency.

The Times 100 reported that Tesco Plc is committed to provide the best quality of products and services; therefore, the managers of this company follow different leadership style to control different sectors (3). For instance, the top management of this company vested power to the store managers to manage the company effectively and take right decision to save the company from unusual crisis, such as, liquidity crisis, dissatisfaction of the employees, sales fall for global financial crisis and so on. However, store manager of this company stated that he has more than ten years experience to control a medium-sized Tesco store and he manages about 20 managers whose are responsible to manage over three hundred employees. At the same time, store manager Stephen further pointed out that they considered some convenient leadership styles that sit between autocratic and democratic; however, they selected such strategies to encourage employees to participate in decision-making in some extent and to help the managers to persuade their teams to take prompt decision at crisis period. In addition, store managers have to face many critical conditions; so, they need to consider democratic approach to observe circumstantial issues related with major stock reduction programme, change customer behaviour and so on.

Leadership Approach of Ryanair

Tony Ryan family has established Ryanair in 1985 with only twenty-five workers to provide schedule passenger service; however, the financial condition of this company before 2003-04 was the worst while its share price declined from €6.750 to €4.860, and sales profits decreased more than 25 percent due to lack of efficient leader who can take right decision on crisis moment. In addition, this company was in bankruptcy situation in 2004 and it was essential for the leaders to take some effective measures to save the company from bankruptcy; as a result, the CEO of Ryanair Michael O’Leary had taken some challenging decisions, such as, fixed the price range from €0.99-€199.990, introduced one-way pricing policy, and reduced the operating costs. At the initial stage, this company experienced losses above IR£20 million despite growth in passenger volume in 1990 and it was difficult to find out proper way to recover its economic condition, but for the contribution of O’Leary, it has now more than seven thousand employees to operate business in 950 routes and carry out about 66 million passengers.

Some effective decisions of Michael O’Leary were controversial, such as, the share price of Aer Lingus has been fallen radically from €1.40 to €0.50 due to global financial crisis and O’Leary decided to bid to takeover this company, which was the subject of the Anti dumping regulation of European Commission. Therefore, the competitors particularly the CEO of Easyjet questioned about the leadership quality of O’Leary, which became one of the major leadership problems to Ryanair because it has to consider ethical code, regulation of EU, companies act 2006, issues related with corporate social responsibility. According to the field survey report, current and former workforce of this company have admired O’Leary’s leadership style because he has aptitude to direct people without any training and has inside power to inspire and support both staffs and the buyers; in addition, the respondents pointed out that the CEO is following democratic leadership approach to enhance operating system.

Works Cited

Duhigg, Charles and Barboza, David. 2012. Web

Little, Nicky. 2012. Web.

McGregor, Jena. Apple’s Tim Cook faces leadership challenge on labor issues. 2012. Web.

Robbins, Stephen, and A. Judge. Essentials of Organizational Behaviour, Pearson London: Prentice Hall, 2008. Print.

Tesco Plc. 2012. Annual Report 2011 of Tesco Plc. PDF file. Web.

The Times 100. 2012, Web.

Weihrich, Heinz, and H. Koontz. Management a Global Perspective, New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill, 2005. Print.

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