This style is also known as the participative leadership style. A leader with democratic style practices leadership through consultations and invites decision sharing. Followers participate in making decisions and arrive at a decision after consultations and discussions.
Subordinates are encouraged to use their abilities and knowledge, exploit their potential and assume greater’ responsibilities. Such a leader emphasizes both people and work.
This style enhances staff morale and improves job-satisfaction, boosts group-cohesiveness.
However, this style also has some disadvantages:
When subordinates prefer minimum interactions with the leader, or view the manger as incompetent, this style may not be useful.
Over a period of time, subordinates may expect to be consulted on everything even if it does not fall into their purview.
When they are not consulted, they feel insulted, become resentful and un co-operative and conflicts may arise.
This style is appropriate when:
(1) An institution has communicated its aims and objectives to the subordinates and the subordinates have accepted them.
(2) There is ample time for participative decision-making and task completion.
(3) Subordinates desire active involvement in institutional issues.
(4) Subordinates have experience and knowledge of the matter under consideration.
(5) Rewards and involvement are used as the primary means of motivation and control.
(6) The manager wants to develop analytical and self-control abilities in his subordinates.
(7) The manager has a genuine desire to hear subordinates’ ideas and opinions on the issue before making a decision.
This leadership style is found to be associated with subordinates’ job-satisfaction and not their performance.