436. In the late 1930s researchers identified three basic leadership styles.
a. directive, nondirective, and semipassive.
b. autocratic (authoritarian), democratic, and laissez faire.
c. relaxed, anxious, and tense.
d. assertive, nonassertive, and aggressive.
B. The classic study regarding leadership styles was conducted by Lewin, Lippitt, and White in 1939. The importance of the study was that it demonstrated that leadership styles do make a difference. In this famous study, 10- and 11-year-old children met with an adult who behaved in an autocratic (authoritarian), democratic, or laissez faire fashion. The French term laissez faire implies that group members can do as they please without leader interference or direction. Children displayed the best behavior when treated in a democratic fashion, while aggressive behavior occurred in response to the other two leadership styles. Generally, the autocratic style proved to be the style members liked least. The study revealed that hostility was 30 times greater in autocratic groups than it was for the other two. This study set the stage for the National Training Laboratories (NTL) mentioned in a previous question. Do not, however, assume that the democratic style is always best. It is not. The autocratic mode seems to be superior when an immediate decision is necessary. When a group has made a decision, and is committed to it, the laissez faire style is usually the leadership model with the most merit. It is interesting to note that although member satisfaction is often highest in response to democratic leadership, this style does not necessarily lend itself to high productivity, according to Stogdill, who reviewed the major research studies related to this topic. Your exam might also mention the charismatic leadership style in which the leader uses his or her personal power, charisma, and attractiveness to abet facilitation. Just for review purposes, choice �d� describes the three communication modes used by assertiveness trainers to determine or discriminate (as it is often called) client response patterns.