Coercive leadership might not be the most preferred choice for modern leadership structures. Yet, it is often essential for an organization. It ensures that all the employees work according to the commands with no innovation.
The advantages and disadvantages of coercive leadership go hand in hand. Coercive leaders are rigid in their rules and instructions and expect everyone in the company to abide by them. This kind of leadership style helps build decorum within the organization. Moreover, it requires micromanagement and leaves no room for diversity. Read the article to know everything about coercive leadership.
What is Coercive Leadership
Coercive leadership is an authoritarian style of leadership. It is built on providing instructions to the employees about each process. It includes all information like what to do, how to do it, protective measures, regulatory compliance, etc. Coercive leadership pushes the employees to stick to the given guidelines without any changes.
Coercive leaders are strict in their conduct. They do not allow room for mistakes or modification. This leadership style is usually adapted in manufacturing facilities, especially pharmaceuticals, chemical plants, and food industries. Negligence from the workers can be life-threatening to the consumers. Small businesses that need proper functioning may also opt for coercive leadership.
The role of a coercive leader is not restricted to commanding the employees only. They work hard to find out problems and think of suitable solutions. Such leaders are responsible for making decisions for the whole department or company. Coercive leaders have complete control over the processes. They utilize authoritarian and dictating approaches to get work done correctly.
Advantages of Coercive Leadership
Increased productivity is one of the most fundamental benefits of authoritarian leadership styles like Coercive. When the employees comply with the instructions provided by the company, they do not waste their time innovating products. They stick to the process methods passed down from their leaders. The team understands the managers’ expectations well and works to come up with the expectations. It also eliminates the need to wait for multiple leaders to continue working.
The coercive leadership style offers better control over the workers by setting boundaries. It allows the leaders to train and coach the employees per the system’s needs. The employees are aware that they must come up to the expectations of the managers. They are responsible for their actions and must act according to the provided layout.
When companies implement coercive leadership in a company, le chances of deviation are less. It reduces the culture of working casually or bending the rules by the employees. Strict enforcement of coercive leadership ensures each person performs the assigned task. Coercive leaders do not alter the rules for anyone. The managers do not need to supervise the employees once they understand the system directly.
Coercive leaders understand the related rules and regulations deeply to ensure the proper functioning of the organization. They can better implement these regulations through strict actions than soft leadership methods. It also ensures better compliance with company policies like harassment and attendance.
This leadership style is most suited for organizations where employees have a laid-back or free-style working approach. It might provide comfort to the workers. Yet, sometimes it may damage the company in the long run. The coercive style motivates and pushes employees to achieve their assigned goals efficiently. It improves productivity and enables the employees to contribute better to the company’s success.
Better Workplace Safety
Proper implementation of safety rules and measures within the company ensures better safety. The employees must adhere to the rules to avoid accidents during different processes. Sticking to safety precautions keeps the employees safe and other coworkers.
While all leaders choose the best for their organization, coercive leaders are better at it. They assess each employee’s performance within the given role. If the worker is not fit for that particular place, the manager may shift them to another department or role. Coercive leaders can also include or exclude policies that do not go well with their leadership system.
Disadvantages of Coercive Leadership
No Room for Diversity
Many emerging leadership styles appreciate the diversity of opinions. But coercive leadership is not one of them. Coercive leaders do not ask for opinions or suggestions from their team. They believe in a top-down hierarchy and give instructions only. The workers have to work according to the guidelines whether they like it or not.
No Room for Innovation
Just like the lack of diversity, these leaders do not appreciate innovation as well. Workers might think of performing a task smartly to wind it up early. Nevertheless, coercive leaders would not like this freedom of innovation. They improve workplace safety by ensuring compliance with regulations. Therefore there is no space for innovation in this leadership style.
Leaders Need to be Vigilant
Coercive leadership does not require keeping a close eye on their employees all the time. Yet, your workers must know that you are monitoring them closely. If any employee gets away with misconduct regarding any process, they will feel free to do it again. Coercive leaders need to be vigilant while managing a huge team to avoid problems in the workplace.
As we mentioned, this style of leadership improves productivity. However, productivity is long-term. People often get tired of working under a strict boss performing the same tasks every day. The boost in productivity is short-lived under coercive leadership. Continuously working under pressure will eventually diminish the employee’s motivation and reduce productivity.
Dislike of the Leader
Today, nobody wants to work in a slave-master system. People look for workplaces that offer diversity and innovation. When the workers do not feel comfortable talking to the leaders, they keep a safe distance from them. Employees understand that the manager is in power and they have to work according to his style to stay in the office.
Increased Employee Turnover Rate
Unsatisfied and demotivated employees work in such an atmosphere only for a short period. They do not want to stick around with cruel bosses for a long time and find an escape. More workers tend to leave the company and move to another better workplace. It increases the burden on other workers timely and increases the company’s cost of recruitment.
Characteristics of Coercive Leadership
We have discussed the advantages and disadvantages of coercive leadership. But, do you know what comprises coercive leadership? Here’s a brief description of the characteristics of coercive leadership.
Coercive leadership is an authoritative leadership style with top-down communication. The top hierarchy (managers) only communicates the guidelines to the down (workers) hierarchy. It is not two-way, as workers do not give any input. This system eliminates creativity from the organization, and everyone works on the instructed pattern.
This leadership style not only shuns innovation at the team level but also at the managerial level. Mostly the leaders work on the same rules and regulations as before. They might introduce or eliminate new policies for the benefit of the company. However, it is quite less likely to happen, and the company follows a rigid set of rules throughout.
Employees who understand and follow the instructions of their leaders are rewarded according to their performance. The reward criteria are also strict in this leadership style. Any mistake or change in the working procedures can reduce the chances of rewards.
The Bottom Line
Coercive leadership is autocratic leadership, where the manager orders the employees. A similar number of advantages and disadvantages of coercive leadership makes it difficult to decide. It improves productivity and reduces hazards in the organization. However, it also results in job dissatisfaction and demotivates employees in the long run. The dissatisfied workers often look for better places to work, resulting in a high turnover rate.
Matthew is a Co-Founder at BusinessFinanceArticles.org. Matthew was a floor manager at a local restaurant in Wales. He lost his job after the pandemic and took initiative to make a team and start the project.