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Video:What Are the Participative Leadership Theories?

with Dr. Robert Reiner

It's difficult to predict who may turn out to be a successful leader and who might not, which is where participative leadership theories come from. This video gives a broad overview of participative leadership theories.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Are the Participative Leadership Theories?

My name is Dr. Robert Reiner from Behavioral Associates in New York City. I'm going to talk about different theories of participatory leadership.

Goal of Participative Leadership Theories

A lot of this was based on trait theory approach to research back as far as the nineteenth century goes, and admittedly, they were using some pretty primitive techniques. Now, remember one thing, the goal of most psychological research is to make things predictive, and that was no different here. They were trying to identify certain personality traits that could be used to predict who was going to be a good leader.

Example of Using Leadership Theories

An example of this would be imagine that you were trying to predict at a base camp, or training camp or boot camp, in a group of ten men, which one, based on anything you could test, might later prove to be a good leader in battlefield conditions. And it was a lot more difficult than people thought it would be because the men who you seemed absolutely certain were going to be the guys who you'd want in a foxhole next to you, turned out those perceptions were not even close to accurate.

Three Leadership Styles

Now, when it comes to types of leadership, there are usually three different types. There are autocratic, democratic and a laissez faire kind of approach. The autocratic approach is more or less a dictatorship approach. The idea is that the head guy rarely, if ever, consults with any of his subordinates. The second type of governing body is democratic. This functions more or less the opposite way of what I just described. In a democratic sort of situation, the leader frequently does consult and often relies on a group of subordinates, who may also have their own set of subordinates before arriving at a decision. So, this is really governing by committee. And, in the final situation, laissez faire situation, that's as you'd expect it to be, a pretty much far less structured and more wide open form of governing body. So, that pretty much sums up the three types of leadership styles.

This has been Dr. Robert Reiner from Behavioral Associates in New York, talking to you about leadership styles. If you want more information, please go to About.com. Thank you.

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