Uniformed services usually use an autocratic leadership style

ZIMSEC O Level Business Studies Notes: Autocratic Leadership style

  • Under this style of leadership there is an autocratic leader
  • The leader is an authoritarian i.e requires and expects strict obedience and authority
  • The leader is a dictator
  • The leader assumes all the responsibility responsibility
  • Communication is mainly one-way (downward communication) in the form of commands and orders
  • There is little feedback which usually comes in the form of ¬†acknowledgement and status reports
  • The leader can be a tough autocrat or a benevolent/paternalistic autocrat
  • She/He makes all the decisions and has all the authority
  • There is little to no input from subordinates
  • Leader dictates all the processes, methods and goals
  • Subordinates are expected to follow orders and execute tasks without question
  • It is also known as an autocracy


  • There is a clear chain of command
  • Decision making is quick
  • Effective in times of conflict or emergency for example in the uniformed services such as soldiers, the police or fire fighters


  • Group members become dependent on the leader
  • Can lead to poor decision making as the decisions depend on the leader’s ability and skills
  • Is not suitable for complex decisions
  • Can lead to resentment and negative impact on employee morale
  • Stifles creativity

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