Exercise:  "Choosing a Leadership Style"

Responding Yes or No to the various questions shifts the feasible set towards either more autocratic styles or less autocratic (participative) styles.  Two situational factors in the decision situation are incorporated into the eight questions, those questions pertaining to the "quality of the decision " and those pertaining to the "acceptance of the decision."  For example, if the the leader does not have the information (Question B), a better "quality" decision can be made by tapping the information of the subordinates if they have it (Question H); if the response to B is No and the response to H is Yes, then the feasible set prescribed by the model will emphasize more participative styles.  Similarly, if acceptance of the subordinates is critical to implementation (Question D - Yes) then more "acceptance" of the the decision will be needed and the feasible set prescribed by the model will emphasize a more participative style, i.e., if subordinates are more involved they will understand the decision better, identify with it more, and be more committed to implement it.  The third situational factor in the model is "time."  If a decision must be made quickly, one chooses a more autocratic alternative in the feasible set.  If a decision does not have to be made quickly, a leader can choose to invest that time in the development of his/her subordinates, i.e., choose a more participative alternative and allow them to learn about making higher level management decisions.