How would you respond to this Three different leadership styles discussed by Swanson, Territo, and Taylor (2012), are the authoritarian/autocratic leader, the democratic leader, and the laissez-faire leader. An authoritarian/autocratic leader is much like a dictator. This type of leader lays out the rules and expects everyone to follow them exactly to their satisfaction. This leader micromanages tasks, keeps a close watch on the work of all subordinates, and “makes all the decisions” (Swanson, Territo, and Taylor, 2012, p. 271). This type of leader pushes the most productive work out of their subordinates; however, this leader also causes aggression and hostility among their subordinates (2012).
A democratic leader is more open to suggestions and input from their subordinates. Democratic leaders are willing to discuss matters that effect the organization as a whole, and encourage participation from their subordinates (Swanson, Territo, & Taylor, 2012). This is very different from an authoritarian/autocratic leader that wants to make all decisions themselves. This type of leader is able to encourage their subordinates to produce as much work as an authoritarian/autocratic leader; however, this type of leader does not have to micromanage each task or be continuously present for their subordinates to continue being productive (2012)
A laissez-faire leader takes a more passive approach than both the authoritarian/autocratic leader and the democratic leader. Laissez-faire leaders take a completely “hands off” approach (Swanson, Territo, and Taylor, 2012, p. 271). These types of leaders do not exert any authority, and delay in making necessary decisions, which postpones productive action being taken (2012). This type of leader is ineffective and can essentially cause problems within a department if no decision-making authority is exerted (2012). As stated by Swanson, Territo, and Taylor, “under the laissez-faire leader, less work was produced, the work quality was poorer, and the work was less organized and less satisfying to members of the group” (Swanson, Territo, and Taylor, 2012, p. 271).
According to Huberts, Kaptein, and Lasthuizen, the leadership style of managers has the greatest impact on the police department’s productivity (2007). Managers/supervisors serve as role models to their subordinates (2007). Their leadership style determines the behavior of employees, integrity of the police department, moral tone of their subordinates, and sets an example for subordinate officers (2007).
Huberts, L., Kaptein, M., & Lasthuizen, K. (2007). A study of the impact of three leadership styles on integrity violations committed by police officers. Policing. 30(4), 587-607. doi:
Swanson, C. R., Territo, L., & Taylor, R. W. (2012). Police administration structures, processes, and behavior (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. Retrieved from