15 Best Management Styles for Your Business

Katie Sawyer

Katie Sawyer

October 26, 2018

15 Best Management Styles for Your Business

Katie Sawyer,
October 26, 2018


15 Best Management Styles for Your Business

The management style of a business is the type of behavior that is primarily displayed by managers. The predominant management style determines your business culture and includes utilizing functions such as human resources and financial resources to meet your objectives.

There are various management styles to choose from. The best styles for your business depend on elements, like the type of work you are involved in, employee personalities and your values.

Here are 15 of the best management styles that you can implement in your business.


1. Directive management style

A directive management style is where decisions are made on a top-down basis. This management style encourages decisions from the heads of the organization. It is expected that everyone will follow directives without opposition.

Managers who practice a directive style believe that their way is the best and only way to do things. They also use control to get the best out of their employees. It is not unusual for directive managers to use threats and ultimatums to achieve their goals.

An advantage of a directive management style is that managers have full control of outcomes. Mangers who use a directive approach are very focused as they cut out what is considered to be the background noise of opposing opinions.

A downside of a directive management style is a reduced opportunity for the manager to learn different and better ways of achieving their goals. Another disadvantage is that employee morale will be low because employees are not permitted to voice their opinions.


2. Strategic management style

A strategic management style concentrates on achieving the long-term vision of the business by taking a big picture approach. A strategic manager considers the company’s overall objectives when making plans and decisions. This management style facilitates an inclusive approach where customers, employees and other managers provide feedback.

Managers who employ a strategic management style normally communicate the short, medium and long-term vision of the company and delegate tasks to achieve the vision.

15 Best Management Styles for Your Business

A benefit of a strategic management style is that it allows employees to buy into the company’s vision. This could provide motivation for employees to commit to reaching the company’s objectives.

A disadvantage of a strategic management style is there can be a lack of focus because it is high-level in nature. A strategic manager will need to work with a detail-oriented person to implement plans.


3. Autonomous management style

The autonomous management style relies on employees to manage their own workload and involves a high degree of trust. This type of management style is best suited to businesses that use consultants to deliver services, for example, medical clinics and law firms. Licensed professionals, like lawyers, are qualified so are able to get on with the day-to-day management of their work.

A pro of the autonomous management style is that it allows experts to control their workload and work environment.

A con of the autonomous management style is that you need to make smart hiring decisions to ensure that the right professional is entrusted with important aspects of your business.


4. Servant management style

A servant management style introduces a spiritual aspect to business. This management style sees a business leader as a servant of employees and customers. A servant management style cares for employees on a personal as well as a professional level. Healthcare companies and care homes are some businesses that benefit from a servant management style because everyone is dedicated to achieving the common goal of providing great care.

A servant manager puts his employees first due to the belief that this is an important aspect of achieving a successful business.

15 Best Management Styles for Your Business

A benefit of a servant management style is that employees get their needs met and are likely to remain loyal to a company.

A downside of a servant management style is that some employees can take advantage of an employer’s good nature.


5. Authoritative management style

The authoritative management style is all about providing long-term direction and vision to employees. This management style is focused on the company vision and does not involve implementation.

Typically, a manager who uses the authoritative management style will motivate employees by providing honest feedback and persuasive communication techniques.

An advantage of an authoritative management style is that employees have the freedom to perform their roles in the best way they choose.

A drawback of an authoritative management style is that complacency can set in amongst some employees because they will do whatever it takes (whether legal or not) to achieve the business objectives.


6. Affiliative management style

An affiliative management style aims to create a pleasant relationship between employees and managers. This management style is centered on the idea that people are more important than their roles and job functions. An affiliative management style values teamwork and tries to get all team members to get along.

An affiliative manager puts people ahead of tasks and tries to avoid conflicts as much as possible. Employee satisfaction is a great motivating factor for an affiliative manager.

15 Best Management Styles for Your Business

A benefit of an affiliative management style is that employees enjoy strong relationships and are happy at work.

A disadvantage of an affiliative management style is that performance can suffer as this is not the focal point. This management style can also breed a sense of complacency in employees.


7. Good parent management style

A good parent management style is mostly suited to small or family-run businesses. This management style works well where you have a few employees who all work in the same area. A good parent management style facilitates a close-knit environment where it is likely that your employees will take better care of each other and your business.

An upside of the good parent management style is that employees feel appreciated for more than their work. This could result in employees being very motivated to help your business succeed.

A disadvantage of the good parent management style is that it may not be possible to maintain this style as your business grows.


8. Transformational management style

The objective of a transformational management style is to lead changes, innovate and keep the company competitive. This management style ensures that plans are put in place to guide the company through transitions to reduce negative impacts.

A plus side to a transformational management style is that it allows a company to survive during times of transition and change.

A downside is that employees may feel that a constantly changing work environment is unstable and, therefore, look for alternative employment.


9. Participative management style

A participative management style aims to build a harmonious company culture by trying to get employees to agree with decisions. This management style is suitable for environments that rely on sharing ideas through brainstorming. Managers use a participative management style to develop new ways to solve business issues.

A participative manager takes on board everyone’s ideas. They encourage their employees to engage in discussions and also consider every contribution that has been made.

15 Best Management Styles for Your Business

An advantage of the participative management style is that it helps to build trust among employees and managers.

A disadvantage of the participative management style is that it can take a long time to achieve anything because time is spent getting input from all employees.


10. Effort-based management style

An effort-based management style is focused on the outcome of work, as opposed to the process. This type of management style is suitable for companies that heavily rely on project-based work, for example, creating marketing campaigns.

A benefit of the effort-based management style is that employees have the autonomy to work in the ways that suit them.

A disadvantage of the effort-based management style is that projects can go over budget in the absence of strict quality assurance.


11. Lead by example management style

A lead by example management style concentrates on exhibiting the behavior that you want others to adopt. You can use a lead by example management style for any skill or behavior that you want your employees to emulate. Your personal approach can have a positive impact on your business and can motivate your employees to adopt your positive qualities.

15 Best Management Styles for Your Business

An advantage of the lead by example management style is that you do not need to learn any new skills because you just have to be yourself.

A disadvantage of the lead by example management style is that employees could also repeat your mistakes and any behavior that is less than ideal.


12. Pacesetting management style

A pacesetting management style is where a manager determines the pace of tasks that need to be accomplished. This management style is generally associated with fast-paced environments with pressure to achieve targets.

A pacesetting manager will take the reins to show employees how quickly a task can be done. This manager expects employees to accomplish the task to the same standard as management. Tasks will be reallocated to more ‘capable’ employees if someone is struggling to meet the standards.

The pro of the pacesetting management style is that employees work in environments with a high-energy buzz. Employees may also push themselves harder as they do not want to be regarded as incompetent and have their tasks reassigned.

The con of the pacesetting management style is that some employees are unable to cope with the pressure associated with the expected high standards. Employees can suffer from burn out if they are constantly subject to a fast-paced environment.


13. Collaborative management style

A collaborative management style involves encouraging all employees, irrespective of seniority, to share problems and ideas. This management style is driven by the belief that sharing suggestions and concerns can contribute to the success of a business. Creative businesses, for example, marketing and advertising, benefit from this management style.

An advantage of the collaborative management style is that all employees feel valued because their opinions are respected. This could result in employees making an extra effort to suggest great ideas.

A disadvantage of the collaborative management style is that managers need to communicate with a great deal of tact to avoid hurt feelings and resentment when an employee’s idea is not good enough.


14. Coaching management style

The coaching management style is concerned with developing employees to achieve their full potential. This management style involves mentoring and coaching for professional development. A coaching management style involves delivering training to equip employees for success in senior management roles.

A coaching manager aims to help employees to progress in their careers by emphasizing strengths and improving weaknesses.
A plus point of the coaching management style is that employees continue to be invested in the company because they are eager to learn and advance in the organization.

A negative aspect of the coaching management style is that only managers of a certain caliber are suitable to be coaches due to the high level of expertise and skills required.


15. Authentic management style

The authentic management style places an emphasis on encouraging employees to be themselves in every aspect, for example, personalities and skills. An authentic management style allows employees to drop any pretense and feel comfortable in being themselves. This management style is suitable for environments where openness and honesty are valued.

A benefit of the authentic management style is that employees are relaxed and this may result in an increased level of creativity.

A disadvantage of the authentic management style is that some employees may be uncomfortable in such an open environment and prefer to have a strictly professional appearance at work.


The best management style for your business is likely to change to allow you to adapt to different circumstances. How you manage your employees may change, however, an aspect that remains constant is paying your staff accurately and on time. Deputy provides a workforce management solution to schedule your hourly employees so they get paid only for the hours worked. Click on the button below to start your trial now.

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Important Notice
The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are of a general nature only and are based on Deputy's interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice. Deputy is not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article and no warranty is made by us concerning the suitability, accuracy or timeliness of the content of any site that may be linked to this article. Deputy disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Katie Sawyer
Katie is the Director of Content Marketing at Deputy. She's happiest when she can help people do more of what they love. She likes telling stories, meeting new people, and being a word nerd.
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