Research Proposal: Leadership Style of Dr. Manmohan Singh

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Leadership Style of Dr. Manmohan Singh

Leadership Styles

Manmohan Singh's Leadership Style

In this era of rapid change, incremental focus is being placed on the management function within any social, political and/or business entity. In this order of ideas, the specialized literature presents the reader with a multitude of information on Leadership Styles. While some managers opt for a specific style, others use a combination of more than one style. The aim of this paper is to assess the leadership style implemented by Dr. Manmohan Singh. In order to achieve this desiderate however, it is first necessary to briefly present some leadership styles as revealed by the specialized literature. This process is required so to get basis for benchmarking the actions and decisions of Dr. Manmohan Singh. The paper will come to an end with a section on concluding remarks.

Leadership Styles

The Skagit Watershed Council (2008) identifies three types of leadership styles:

authoritarian (autocratic)

participative (democratic) and delegative (free reign).

The authoritarian leadership style occurs when all of the decisions are taken by the manager and they are implemented top-down. The role and say of the employees is barely existent, with their single task being that of executing the commands received from management. This style is only advisable to be used on rare occasions and it stands chances of success when three simultaneous conditions are met -- the leader is pressed by time and needs to quickly resolve a problem, the leader possess all the necessary and correct information required to solve the problem, and third, he has full trust in the employees, who are responsible and motivated. The autocratic leadership style if often confused with a behavior in which the leader is aggressive towards the staff members, yet this is not the true scenario, as a good leader should never be abusive of his subalterns, regardless of the implemented managerial style.

The second leadership style is one in which decisions of what to do and how to do it are made based on communications and information collected from the staff members. The final decision still falls in the hands of the manager, but the employees do have a say and their opinion matters. This leadership style may be mistakenly interpreted as a sign of weakness, but it is in fact a move that will show the employees that they are valued. It is then only natural to understand why some organizational leaders present the participative management style as a non-financial incentive which stimulates employees to increase their levels of on the job satisfaction and as such also increase their levels of performance. Aside employee satisfaction, the benefit also relies in an ability to make better informed decisions. In this order of ideas, it can be concluded that the participative style is a sign of strength. In terms of the moments when it is appropriate to implement it, this generally occurs when the manager does not possess all the information and the missing data is possessed by the employees.

The final leadership style, the free reign, occurs when the manager has a minimal role in the decision making process, delegating the large majority of the responsibilities to the staff members. Nonetheless, despite the fact that the employees decide what to be done and how to do this, the leader is still responsible for the decisions made and their final outcome. The free reign style is best to be implemented whenever the manager has too many tasks on his hands and possesses skilled and trusty employees to which he can delegate the respective chores. Restrictions do exists and it is advisable for a careful supervision in situations of delegative style (The Skagit Watershed Council).

3. Dr. Manmohan Singh's Leadership Style

Dr. Manmohan Singh is India's fourteenth prime minister and he is highly appreciated by both political as well as academic communities as a "thinker and a scholar. He is well regarded for his diligence and his academic approach to work, as well as his accessibility and his unassuming demeanour" (Embassy of India). Dr. Manmohan Singh is a notable member of the international community and the recipient of numerous awards, among which the most notable are the 1956 Adam Smith Prize from the University of Cambridge, the 1987 Padma Vibhushan, the 1993 Euromoney Award for Finance Minister of the Year and the 1993 and 1994 Asiamoney Award for Finance Minister of the Year for Asia (Website of Dr. Manmohan Singh).

The Prime Minister's leadership style has seldom constituted a matter of media interest, ergo the limited number of sources debating on the topic. However, in order to answer the question related to his managerial method, it is possible to assess some of his actions and decide on which of three leaderships approaches they could be integrated.

The autocratic leadership style was implemented throughout the early 1990s, as Dr. Manmohan Singh became the Ministry of Finance for India. At that stage, the country's health was in great trouble and an analysis of the financial highlights (fiscal deficit of 8.5% in the GDP and national debt twice the size of today) indicates that India's economy was "on the verge of bankruptcy" (India Elections, 2009). During this time, the new minister understood the necessity of introducing reforms and had all of the information necessary to developing and implementing the adequate reforms. The initial responses to his actions were shy, but nevertheless, Dr. Manmohan Singh convinced his subalterns through autocratic decisions as this was what the country needed at that time. Among his main accomplishments are the liberalization of Indian economy, changes in the corporate affairs as well as improvements in the living standards of the population.

Only a few days ago, Dr. Manmohan Singh militated once more for a participative leadership style when he urged the international community to include Africa in the decision making process and also to intensify its endeavors to support regional development. The speech was voiced at the fifteenth session of the Non-Aligned Movement Summit held in India and the Prime Minister pointed out that a participative leadership style would be in the best interest of both parties. It would as such improve living conditions within the countries on the African continent on the one hand, and would also support economic developed for the western countries on the other hand (Thaindian News, 2009).

In terms of the delegative style, examples of such approach are less obvious. However, it is often stated by his subalterns that Singh is an "unassuming personality" (India Marks, 2009) and mentions of his friendly and fair approach have also been made. Singh is probably the less corrupted politician in India (BBC News, 2009). Additionally, it is impossible to assume that all his achievements could have been reached without the support of his team members. It can be safely concluded that India's current Prime Minister has also implemented the free reign leadership style when such situations arose. Ultimately then, it can be argued that Dr. Manmohan Singh has combined all three styles of leadership. His ability to successfully combine them was given by the many years of expertise in the field, but also by the vast education, as Singh is a graduate of all Oxford University, Cambridge University and the Panjab University (Website of Dr. Manmohan Singh).

4. Conclusions

Today's world is fiercer than ever in several aspects mostly materialized when it comes to the demands and expectations. In order to cope with the emergent requirements, leaders diversify their approach of the subordinates. Yet, three distinct styles can be identified in the autocratic style, the democratic style and the last, the delegative style. Through the first style, the manager is the party to make all of the decisions, without an analysis of the feedback from employees. Through the second style, decisions are generally made based on both… [END OF PREVIEW]

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