Question: Discuss TWO advantages and TWO disadvantages of an autocratic leadership style. (12) Leadership is the process of influencing others to work willingly toward goals. There aredifferent types of leadership styles, one being an autocratic leadership style. An autocratic leader is onewhich makes all the decisions and issues instructions which must be obeyed without question. Anautocratic leadership style has both advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages of an autocratic leadership style is that decisions can be made quicklywhen speed is required. This simply means that decisions can be made quickly and implemented. This isespecially important in emergencies and crisis situations. When someone needs to take charge andwhen quick and unhesitating decision making and immediate strong action has to be taken, autocraticleadership is effective. In doing so, it gives way to the coherent flow and smooth running of the businessplace. A second benefit of an autocratic leadership style in the organisation is limiting arguments.Lengthy debate has no place in the workplace and this form of leadership limits arguments. It allowsemployees to have one task, and that is to work. This would mean that employees master their skills andbecome proficient enough to help in the growth of the company. This can in effect lead to an increase inproductivity in the workplace and this can lead to reduced average costs to the firm. Reduced averagecosts are passed onto consumers in the form of lower prices which can consequently increase profits forthe business. However, the autocratic leadership style does have its drawbacks. One of the majordisadvantages of the autocratic style it that it does not allow for two way communication. This by itselfcan be detrimental to the business as it may lead to workers having low motivation and sense ofisolation in the workplace. According to Maslow in his hierarchy of human needs theory, if social needsare not satisfied, then workers will not be motivated. This can be reflected in higher absenteeism rates,higher labour turnover and lower productivity. When productivity is lowered it would mean that thefirm loses its competitive edge in the market and as such would not be able to compete in this highlyglobalized competitive environment. Penultimately, an autocratic leadership style can be disadvantageous because it may result inpoor quality decisions being made. Although managers are in the best positions to make decisions, theyoften make decisions in ignorance. The exclusion of staff in the decision making process can be adisadvantage. Workers are seen as a seabed of ideas because they come into direct contact withcustomers everyday meaning they would be more knowledgeable about the market conditions. As such,an autocratic leadership style may be disadvantageous because it can lead to poor quality decisionsbeing made which can prove costly to the firm. This is so true in this globally competitive climate wherethere is no room for costly mistakes by firms. In retrospect, even though an autocratic leadership style can have its advantages, there are alsoseveral disadvantages that may exceed these benefits.