Function of Managerial Leader and Leadership Style

Function of Managerial leader


There is anumber of function to be performed by a leader. There is no single set of functions which are performed by the leader. It is observed that a leader performs one set of functions in one situation and in another situation his functions may be quite different. The functions to be performed by a leader also depend on the nature of the organization and its business. However, there may be some general functions of a managerial leader.

According to management scholars, a leader performs about 14 functions generally and these functions can be categorized into three broad groups:

Setting & Achieving organizational goals

  1. Goal setter:
    A leader may either establish the organizational goals and objectives himself or he may participate with the seniors or subordinates with regard to determining and formulating the organization’s goals and objectives.

  2. Planner:
    Planning is one the functions to be performed by a leader. It is intermediate between the formulation of objectives and execution. A leader prepares a work plan, work schedules and operational procedures and assigns the tasks to the subordinates.

  3. Executive:
    A leader performs the role of an executive and in this regard, a leader takes the responsibility to see whether appropriate works and activities are rightly and correctly carried out or not.

Planning operations of the organization

  1. Expert:
    A leader is an expert in the principal activities of all organization. Generally, it is observed that the technical information and skills are useful in instructing and guiding the subordinates for effective work procedure.

  2. External group representative:
    In a large organization, for external contact dealing with all the workers may not be possible. It may not be economic and convenient too. In such situation, a single representative may deal with outside individuals or groups.

  3. Substitute for individual responsibility:
    A leader being accepted by the people , followers, and subordinates, very easily relieves other members of the group of certain responsibilities, and latterly, they all express their trust in his decision.

  4. The controller of internal relation within the organization:
    One of the functions of the leader is to see, supervise and control the function of various sections of his organization and try his best to coordinate the activities with the organization.

  5. Administrator of reward and punishment:
    As a leader, he is involved in a day to day affairs of the business and supervises the activities. Thus, he is also involved in administration and encourages, upgrades and promotes the workers who deserve and simultaneously he also reproves, transfers and fires the poor performers.

  6. Arbitrator and mediator:
    A leader always tries to maintain harmony among the workers. Being head and leader, he always tries to keep the peace among competitive subordinates.

Symbolic figure for the group

  1. Exemplar:
    A leader, as he commands some specific qualities, capable of making fine distinctions, having subtle senses to elaborate the situation and take the right decision to achieve something, has been accepted as a model for others to emulate.

  2. The symbol for the group:
    A leader is accepted as an honorable symbol of the group. He provides a kind of continuity and stability to the group. He stands for the group despite changes in circumstances and membership of the groups.

  3. Ideologist:
    A leader must have his own unique ideas concerning the group, its work, mission etc. He is accepted by the followers as the source of beliefs also. Thus, he is required to function, act and perform as an ideologist.

  4. Father figure:
    A leader, being the head acts as a father figure within the organization. By playing this role, he fulfills an emotional role for the members of the group. The followers also feel some sort of security with a sense of strength in themselves.

  5. Scapegoat:
    The leader also functions as a scapegoat. He provides a ready target for the aggressions of the members of the group. If he fails to achieve a target, the failure can be projected upon him. For example- a marketing manager may be blamed for the sales decline in the market and the stock remained unsold in the warehouse because of his inefficiency and wrong sales planning and execution.

Leadership Styles

There are several theories on leadership behavior and styles. The behavioral pattern of leaders in directing the behavior of the members in order to achieve the organizational goals is known as a leadership style. Leadership style depends on upon several factors and it is dynamic. A leader may adopt various leadership styles at different types and situation. Again, the style may be changed due to the changes in the perception of the followers and organizational atmosphere. Thus, leadership styles can be categorized into three types. They are:

  1. Autocratic leadership
  2. Democratic leadership
  3. Laissez Faire leadership

Autocratic leadership


In this style of leadership, leader alone determines policies and makes plans for the group or organization. It means the power, authority, and decision-making rights are centralized in the leader. Through which, a leader directs others what to do and how to do. Perhaps, he assumes himself as god and follows the formula as ‘Do what I say.’ Thus, the person who does not follow him, he will be punished.


  • It provides strong motivation and reward to the leader.
  • It permits quick decision making.
  • It increases the work efficiency and productivity.
  • It makes leader easier to implement the decisions in the organization.


  • It is less popular in the long run process.
  • An autocratic leader dictates the subordinates.
  • In the absence of leader an organizational gets threatened.
  • There is one-way communication.

Democratic leadership


In this style of leadership, all and entire group is involved and participates in and accepts responsibility for goal setting and achievement. It means subordinates enjoy freedom in action and the leader also show much concern for the people. The power and authority are decentralized and the leader takes a decision by consulting the subordinates.

Under this method of leadership, a leader encourages and inspires the subordinates in such a way and manner that they will be ready to take initiation and show their creativity by participating in setting plans and policies. It involves the subordinates to participate in decision-making process. So, this style of leadership is being preferred and practiced by many organization and workers participation in management is getting popularity in these days.


  • It facilitates to make the best decisions.
  • It motivates the subordinates to operate the assigned job using their zeal and enthusiasm.
  • It facilitates to take corrective action effectively and efficiently.
  • It develops positive attitues and reduces resistance.


  • It is time-consuming.
  • Subordinates may feel frustrated when they are not consulted on time.
  • It discourages the leaders.
  • It requires persuasive and communicative skill.

Laissez Faire leadership


Under this style of leadership, a leader entrusts the decision-making authority to his subordinates. The leader delegates all his authority so that the subordinates themselves take decisions. This type of leader is known as Laissez Faire leader. He avoids using power and leaves it to his subordinates to establish the goals. He lets them plan, organize and proceed to attain the goals. He does not direct and hardly makes any contribution to the overall effort. Hence, it is a permissive style of leadership where there is least intervention by the leader. There is complete freedom for a group or individual for decision-making.


  • It helps to increase the efficiency of the subordinates
  • There is a positive effect on the job satisfaction and morale of the subordinates.
  • It increases the devotion of the subordinates towards the organization and its activities.


  • It is a delay on operation.
  • It discourages the leader to increase the efficiency and creativity.
  • This style is suitable if the subordinates are not qualified to accept the responsibilities which are delegated.


Sharma, P., Shrestha, A., Pant, H., Gautam, I., Thapa, R. B., & Upadhyay, P. (2011). Buddha Publication.

Khanal, Soma Raj., Aslami, Surendra Thapa., Dhakal, Sutaram., (2068)
Taleju Prakashan

  •  A leader performs about 14 functions generally and these functions can be categorized into three groups:
  1. Setting & Achieving organizational goals
  2. Planning operations of the organization
  3. Symbolic figure for the group
  • Leadership style is of three types and they are:
  1. Autocratic leadership
  2. Democratic leadership
  3. Laissez Faire leadership

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