Laissez Faire means to let go. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level Business Studies Notes: Laissez-faire leadership style

  • Is also known as the free-reign style
  • It comes from a French phrase which means to let go
  • The free reign leader sets goals for subordinates and
  • sets the parameters within which they should work
  • Once the goals/objectives have been established the reins of control are dropped
  • The subordinates are left to achieve their objectives
  • The leader grants authority and responsibility to the group
  • Group members are told to work things out themselves and do the best they can
  • Communication is mainly horizontal among group members
  • Leaders provide guidance


  • Fosters creativity
  • Empowers group members and allows them to pursue their dreams
  • Allows for innovation and gives experts an opportunity to tackle complex problems
  • Is suitable where the workers are self-starters
  • Is suitable for artistic pursuit such as painting where it would not be possible to narrowly define duties
  • Motivates workers


  • The group can drift aimlessly
  • Makes coordination and planning difficult
  • Is not suitable when workers are lazy and not self-starters
  • Loss of control by management
  • Depends on the competence of the workers involved and is therefore risky
  • Some goals may be neglected as workers pursue their interests only

To access more topics go to the O Level Business Notes page