Bureaucratic Leadership

Bureaucratic Leadership is rather similar to autocratic leadership in the sense of control and attention to detail. The primary difference is that autocratic leadership infers the lead from one individual dominating while rather bureaucratic leadership can be adapted to a group of leaders. This is not the only difference but to understand autocratic leadership attributes help us to know the conditions in which this leadership style lends itself. Don't be completely put off by this description however, as it assimilates itself suitably to many modern organizations. It was adapted in many instances within the 80's and 90's to manage large corporations with tremendous success. This history alone demands at least to be heard before cast aside for modern more innovative leadership styles.

This attention to detail helps to bring control and clarity to situations which can be of great benefit. The control which is a result of this helps to bring understanding to situations while everyone knows their place and responsibility. All team members are closely supervised to succeed in their given task. Success is paramount to this leadership style and with this control these leaders know everything can be accomplished.

Defining Attributes of Bureaucratic Leadership

There are many defining attributes to be gleaned here. Leadership is spread through several or many individuals to manage the load and focus on the specifics of the team involved. Limitations are also evident with the failure of innovation and creativity, while flexibility and individuality is corrosive to this style of leadership.

  • Routine and management are two defining characteristics for this leadership style. It is very management related as the maintaining of current systems and procedures are paramount to structured success. Creativity and differences in approach are excluded from this mindset and discouraged to the point of alienation.
  • Detail and account and two words associated with these practices as the structure is very strong to deal with large amounts of people. This can be hugely beneficial for organizations with high rates of injuries or dealing with large amounts of money. The strength is found in the strict enforcement of detail and accountability to manage these resources and delegate precise procedures.
  • Layers of control are added to these organizations to attempt problem solving. The only way in which this leadership embraces change is through regulating new layers of procedure to plug the gaps that arise.
  • Ruling through information is the way in which this leader finds authority. They control the flow of information and filter it to, in a way, manipulate the reactions of the people to give power to leadership. When the flow of communication is controlled this leader adds more layers to guarantee success.

We hope you've appreciated this style of leadership and can identify its strengths to certain situations. The truth is as leaders we must be open to understanding of many leadership theories. Not only open but on occasion willing to adapt their values and conclusions to our very own teams and organizations when appropriate. Bureaucratic leadership is one of many leadership theories - click here to return to our hub.

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