Why dictatorial leadership style may work in the modern office
Posted Wednesday, June 27 2012 at 18:47
Meet Mr Karanja– a proud business man who owns a number of businesses but his pride and joy is a two- storey restaurant in Nairobi industrial area. The restaurant is strategically situated and as such gets a number of customers.
Customer service is not top notch, the place is not always as clean as it should be, but the ambience (space wise) of the restaurant and its location attracts a good number of clients to keep it open.
Mr Karanja runs the business alone and with an iron fist – he manages the place with complete authority and no one else can question his decisions.
He controls the team, making decisions and running operations without seeking or considering input from his direct reports.
According to Mr Karanja, his employees are just a replaceable resource and not the core of the organisation.
He preaches and believes in top-down communication, wherein orders are given by the higher hierarchical level to the lower ones.
He feels most qualified and experienced, considers his views to be most valid, lacks confidence in others abilities, is very critical of differing opinions, rarely gives recognition, is easily offended, uses others for his benefit, is action oriented, and highly competitive.
The concept of “employee satisfaction” does not hold importance for Mr Karanja.
This kind of management is called the autocratic or authoritarian management style— it is also known as totalitarianism or dictatorship. It does forge an atmosphere of discipline in the organisation.
However, it will inevitably cause dissatisfaction and a lack of “creative space” for the employees.
Because of this management style – workers do not stay more than six months. Absenteeism and the rate of turnover, is too high.
Sadly, because the rate of unemployment is so high in Kenya— Mr Karanja will always find new employees.
Hardworking, humble Kenyans who need to feed their children and put food on their tables. The domino-effect is that the business might never reach its optimum output in terms of gross profit and growth.
The amount spent hiring new inexperienced workers, training them and then losing them in a split second, does take a toll on the business.