APT Initiatives
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Minimising Workloads, Maximising Performance
Established in 1999

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Autocratic leaders

Tend to make all the decisions and insist on obedience – he / she sets the objectives, policies, standards of performance, and plans the work activities – allocating roles, tasks, timing and work groups. Communication, therefore, tends to be one way, ie downwards; distance themselves from the group and rarely assist / participate in tasks assigned to the group except when explaining / demonstrating. In adopting such a style a leader would appear to believe in a Theory X approach to management. See McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y. There are a number of potential advantages: Fast decision making; Tight control – stemming from a clear chain of command; Motivation – satisfaction of safety needs (Maslow) – as people know what to expect. Thus, it can help to maximise productivity and ensure a fast response to changing customer and business needs. Potential disadvantages include: Over-dependence on leader – inability to make decisions without consultation, resulting in high levels of supervision and associated costs; Low morale and motivation – some people may feel oppressed and frustrated by the lack of responsibility or participation in decisions. This can make them feel under-valued, unfulfilled, negatively affecting the satisfaction of esteem and self-actualisation needs.

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