Leadership Styles and Job Satisfaction
The major leadership styles in today’s organizations include autocratic leadership, bureaucratic leadership, laissez-faire leadership, charismatic leadership, democratic leadership, participative leadership, situational leadership, transactional leadership, and transformational leadership.
Considerate leaders or expressive leaders who show concern for people lead a highly productive group, with much of the followers having high levels of job satisfaction. Conversely, working with a leader who does not provide support or consideration and who engages in hostile behaviors can cause stress. This may result in lower job satisfaction levels, in turn reducing productivity, and increasing absenteeism and turnover. Task-structured leaders or instrumental leaders who show less concern for employees and more concern on initiating structure lower job satisfaction levels among the workforce, which in turn increases employee grievances, absenteeism, and employee turnover.
Highly skilled workers experience poor satisfaction levels when working under autocratic leaders and experience high job satisfaction when working under servant leaders who try to serve the employee and fulfill their needs.
The efficacy and collectivism displayed by transformational leaders and the inclusive nature of participative leaders contribute to better job satisfaction. Similarly, charismatic leaders and visionary leaders make a conscious effort to improve job satisfaction.
Leadership styles, however, do not remain constant. Each leadership style has its advantages, disadvantages, and relevance in certain situations. For instance, a leader may have knowledge and skills to act effectively in one situation but may not emerge as effective in a different situation; and a leader might consult with subordinates in one situation and behave in an autocratic fashion in another situation. Such changes in leadership and effects on job satisfaction cannot be denied. Managers strive to improve employee job satisfaction by using leadership styles appropriate to the situation.