Authoritarian style of leadership - Psychology and pedagogy

Authoritarian leadership style

The methods of the art of management are effectively applied in such an important aspect of managerial activity as the style of leadership, i.e. in the usual behavior for the leader in relation to subordinates, in the way he usually organizes the work of his team and implements management decisions. This, of course, applies to the teaching staff.

The authoritarian style of leadership is associated with the Latin word "full authority", "order". It is based on the blind submission of power. A powerful man seeks to assert his authority, but at the same time he tries to exert influence on others, to subordinate them to his own influence. However, the style itself can not be regarded only as negative. An authoritarian leader can be at the head of an authoritarian team that agrees with this management. Most of the members of the group will feel comfortable, as the manager, organizing the work, independently makes all decisions. If we are talking about employees who are accustomed to obedience, then the effectiveness of this style of leadership may be obvious.

The authoritarian style of leadership has the following characteristics: social conservatism, the need for hierarchy and respect for power, the rigidity of attitudes, the stereotyped nature of thinking, often herd hostility and aggressiveness, anxiety in behavior and difficulties in establishing trust relationships with others.

The authoritarian style of the teacher's work in the school was formed at the time of the Czech humanist thinker Comenius. In those years, the only source of information and assessment was the teacher. The concept of authoritarianism was fixed in public thought and pedagogy after the Second World War. Authoritarianism was investigated primarily in connection with the theme of totalitarianism.

Totalitarianism (from Latin totalis - whole, complete) - the social and political system that tries to to provide total control over all aspects of human life and is distinguished by the boundless power of the state and numerous victims of repression. Many prominent thinkers of the last century dealt with the problem of totalitarianism. Let's name among them the German-American researcher X. Arendt. According to her theory, totalitarianism is first and foremost a system of mass terror that provides an atmosphere of universal fear in the country. Analyzing the main points of her book "The Origins of Totalitarianism", we can conclude that the authoritarian style of leadership is a direct consequence of such a form of government in the state as totalitarianism.

Authoritarianism is a relaxed form of totalitarianism. A significant contribution to this problem was made by E. Fromm and T. Adorno. E. Fromm considered not only the leadership style, but also the characteristic psychological features of this type of person. In his works, Fromm analyzed the basis of masochism and sadism from an authoritarian personality.

The most frequent manifestations of masochistic tendencies are feelings of inferiority, helplessness, insignificance. Also Fromm classifies three types of sadistic tendencies. The first type is the desire to put other people in dependence on oneself and acquire complete and unlimited power over them, turn them into their tools, "sculpt like clay". The second type is the desire not only to have absolute power over others, but also to exploit them, to use and "steal", "swallow" all that they can give, both morally and intellectually. The third type of sadistic tendencies is characterized by the desire to inflict suffering on others and to observe how they suffer. Suffering can be physical, but more often it is mental suffering. The purpose of the action here can be as an active infliction of suffering - to humiliate, intimidate another - and passive contemplation of someone's humiliation and intimidation. For the authoritarian nature, there are, according to Fromm, two sexes: strong and powerless. The power automatically induces the love of an authoritarian individual and the willingness to submit regardless of who has shown it. And just as force automatically calls it "love", impotent people or organizations automatically cause its contempt. With one kind of weak man, he feels the urge to attack, suppress, humiliate.

In this regard, the authoritarian person admires the authorities and wants to obey, but at the same time he seeks to be the authority himself, so that others obey him. An authoritarian personality can have both activity, and courage, and faith. But the personality of an authoritarian nature is based on a deep sense of impotence, which he tries to overcome. Activity in this sense means an action in the name of something more than a self, and this must be necessarily indestructible and unchanged.

A significant contribution to the assessment of the authoritarian style of leadership was made by the German scholar Adorno, who showed that the transformation of hatred into love never completely comes to an end, and a part of aggressiveness is absorbed and transformed into masochism. In the notion of authoritarianism, Adorno invested political monopoly, the existence of the only or dominant party in the country, the absence of opposition, the restriction or suppression of political freedoms in society.

After analyzing the political aspects of authoritarianism, this problem began to be studied within the psychology of management. Types of leaders and the corresponding styles of leadership were studied by the German psychologist K. Levin. The researcher was inclined to democratic style of a management, therefore very shrewdly analyzed imperfections of authoritative style. K. Levin and his colleagues conducted one of the earliest psychology studies of the effectiveness of leadership styles. The experiment was conducted in a group of teenage children, who, under the guidance of adults, masks papier-mâché masks. The leaders of the three groups (it should be remembered that adults taught lessons, not leaders who spontaneously moved from the environment of children), demonstrated different methods of influencing subordinates. The experimenters then compared the effectiveness of these groups. In his study, Levin found that authoritarian leadership sought more work than a democratic one. However, on the other side of the scales were low motivation, less originality, less friendliness in groups, lack of group thinking, greater aggression shown to both the leader and other members of the group, a high level of repressed anxiety and simultaneously more dependent and submissive behavior. Compared with the democratic style of leadership, with a liberal style, the amount of work is reduced, the quality of work is reduced, there is more play, and in the interviews of the participants in the experiment, the preference is given to a democratic leader.

Boles later studies did not fully confirm the conclusions that authoritarian leadership provided higher productivity, but a lower degree of satisfaction than a democratic one. Nevertheless, Levine's research provided the basis for the search by other scientists for a style of behavior that can lead to the highest productivity of labor and a high degree of satisfaction of the members of the collective.

Each organization has its own unique features. By the definition of AA Rusalinova, the style of leadership is the stably manifested features of the interaction of the leader with the team, formed under the influence of both objective and subjective management conditions, and individual psychological characteristics of the leader's personality.

Authoritarian leader (autocrat) is an ego controller of centralization, has sufficient power, rigidly dictates his will to the performer. He takes decisions alone, directively determines the functions of subordinates, not giving them the opportunity to take the initiative, stops all criticism in their address and gives the performers a minimum of information.

The autocrat deliberately appeals to the needs of a lower level of his subordinates, based on the assumption that this is the same level at which they operate. He is always confident in his personal correctness, he is based on his own knowledge and skills, great personal capital and extensive external relations in state bodies and business environment. He alone is in all cases the ultimate authority, the supreme judge, the source of incentives and punishments. A CEO of this type can lead his company to great success, but also to complete collapse.

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