Coercive Leadership Style

Definition

First described by Daniel Goleman in 2002, the coercive leadership style was one of the six leadership styles documented.  The coercive leader demands immediate compliance with their orders.  The coercive leader has a style that is best described as:  Do what I tell you, or else.  The coercive leader accomplishes tasks by bullying and sometimes even demeaning the followers.

Explanation

The coercive leadership style is best used in situations where the company or followers require a complete turnaround attempt.  For example, it is effective during disasters or dealing with under performing employees, usually as a last resort.  Under those conditions, the immediate compliance with an order or instruction quickens the road to recovery.

Unfortunately, Goldman's research indicates this style has a very negative impact on the overall work climate.  This style provides little opportunity for reward, and by demanding compliance with orders, it removes from workers all responsibilities for their individual actions.

Related Terms

conditional leadership, transactional leaders, transformational leaders