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Participative Leadership: Strengths and Weakness Essay


Organizations often desire to achieve high performance. According to scholars in organizational behaviour, organizational leadership is one of the key determinants of organizational performance. Organizational leaders need to choose the right approach of leadership that can help steer the organization towards meeting its goals. There are different approaches of leadership.

Each approach or leadership has its strength and weaknesses; thus, organizational leaders have to be careful when choosing the leadership approach to adopt (Ballantyne, Berret & Wells, 2011). This paper discusses participative leadership as one of the styles of leadership. The paper gives an overview of the approach, followed by the strengths and weakness of participative leadership.


According to Mumford (2010), participative leadership, which is also known as democratic leadership, is one of the most desirable approaches of leadership in contemporary organizations. It entails the involvement of all organizational members in key decision making. The final decisions are approved after wider consultations have been made across the entire organization.

The presumption of this kind of leadership is that each employee has a given piece of information that can aid the organization in meeting its objectives. Therefore, employees are consulted on most of the wider plans of the organization. Here, organizational managers are often seen as facilitators of the leadership process in the organization.

They code the ideas of organizational members into key decisions in the organization. In this era where more people are enlightened, most organizations are borrowing the principles of this approach of management in order to make the best use of the diverse knowledge and skills of their employees.

This is replicated in the decisions of most organizations to form decision making groups, where all organizational members are given a chance to air their views on organizational decisions (Mumford, 2010).

Strengths and weakness

The participative approach of leadership has numerous strengths. First of all, participative leadership promotes a healthy working environment through making each member feel important and needed in the organization. This promotes self esteem of each member of the organization. It also raises the level of communication and cooperation in the organization.

By allowing all members to participate in the decision making process, the quality of decisions reached are often of a higher quality. Lastly, the approach gives employees room to gain understanding of the complex processes and issues in the organization (Mumford, 2010).

This approach also has numerous weaknesses. Fist of all, the approach elongates the span of time that is taken to make decisions, thus it may not be favourable for responding to emergency situations. Secondly, the decisions reached may be too complex to implement. The rationale behind this is that the decisions are reached out of a wider consultation and input processes. Therefore, whereas the decisions may be of a high quality, they may as well be complex and hard to implement (Mumford, 2010).


Participative leadership
Key areas Strengths Weakness
Goals Activities designed by all organizational members Time taken to make decisions is too long
Behaviours Cohesiveness, high self esteem, and cooperation
Desired outcomes Higher quality and inclusive decisions Complex decisions

Organizational example

An example of an organization that uses the participative approach of leadership is Microsoft Incorporated. Bill Gates, the president of the company, embraces participative leadership through empowerment of the subordinates who work on the innovative projects of the company.

Employees at Microsoft are allowed to work in groups, where each employee gets a chance to come up with innovative ideas. One best way of participative leadership is providing employees with resources and allowing them to work on organizational projects (Nayab, 2011).


Organizational leadership, more so the approach of leadership is critical to the performance of an organization. The paper has explored the participative approach of leadership, where it has been noted that this is the most desired approach of leading contemporary organizations.

The main strength of this approach is that it encourages the exploration of the skills of employees. Its main weakness is that it may take too long to make decisions.


Ballantyne, S., Berret, B., & Wells, M. E. (2011). Planning in reverse: A viable approach to organizational leadership. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Mumford, M. D. (2010). Leadership 101. New York, NY: Springer Pub.

Nayab, N. (2011). Five Real-World Examples of Successful Leadership. Retrieved from

This Essay on Participative Leadership: Strengths and Weakness was written and submitted by user Carlos Munoz to help you with your own studies. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.

Carlos Munoz studied at American University, USA, with average GPA 3.14 out of 4.0.

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Munoz, C. (2019, September 24). Participative Leadership: Strengths and Weakness [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Work Cited

Munoz, Carlos. "Participative Leadership: Strengths and Weakness." IvyPanda, 24 Sept. 2019,

1. Carlos Munoz. "Participative Leadership: Strengths and Weakness." IvyPanda (blog), September 24, 2019.


Munoz, Carlos. "Participative Leadership: Strengths and Weakness." IvyPanda (blog), September 24, 2019.


Munoz, Carlos. 2019. "Participative Leadership: Strengths and Weakness." IvyPanda (blog), September 24, 2019.


Munoz, C. (2019) 'Participative Leadership: Strengths and Weakness'. IvyPanda, 24 September.

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