First described by Daniel Goleman in 2002, the authoritative leadership style was one of six leadership types documented. The authoritative leader is seen as an expert in the company, and is able to clearly identify the goals that will lead the organization to success.
Even though the authoritative leader is the one that identifies the goals of the organization, they allow followers to figure out the best way to accomplish these goals.
Goleman believed that certain leadership styles were more effective under certain conditions. This is known as situational leadership. The authoritative leadership style is most effective in situations where the company, or followers, seem to be drifting aimlessly. For example, it is effective when a group, or organization, has been isolated and their overall strategy, and fit, within a larger organization is no longer clear to the followers.