Leadership Styles and Management: Company’ Performance

HR management related to leadership and management

Leadership and management are the two key Human Resource (HR) management topics discussed in the ‘Enterprise Rent-a-Car’ case study. From the case study, it is evident that leaders and managers are equally required in organisations even though they do not perform the same duties (McLeod, 2014). For instance, motivation is the main defining line between leadership and management. It is also possible for leaders to double up as managers and vice versa.

To begin with, managers have subordinates. This implies that several junior employees usually work below the rank of managers. When an honorary title is used, subordinates may not be present under a manager. In most instances, managers tend to exercise their power or authority to get things done the right way. Hence, they may find themselves applying a transactional or autocratic style depending on their preferred leadership systems.

On the other hand, leaders are expected to have followers. Since leaders largely perform the role of leading and inspiring those who follow them, the issue of subordinates does not arise. However, some leaders may have subordinates only if they also act as managers in organisations (McLeod, 2014). Besides, effective leadership is often associated with a transformational style of management. Leaders are anticipated to be charismatic and motivational to their followers. In other words, leaders must appeal to their respective followers. People can be easily attracted to their cause by strong charismatic leaders.

Moreover, leadership tends to focus on people while management emphasises on organisational processes. Nonetheless, a loud personality is not necessarily oriented towards people-focussed leadership. Followers can be loyal to a calm and quiet leader who propels vision and encourages those under him/her. The latter also explains why leaders should be in a position to see risk while management tackles the risk as it comes.

Literature on leadership and management

Most past studies on leadership and management have failed to create a clear distinction between the two terms. Leadership and management have been applied interchangeably for a long time to mean the same thing. It was not until recently when better and more coherent definitions of leadership and management came into sharp focus in various bodies of literature.

Why is it important?

As pointed out in the case study, there is no single business organisation that can ignore the input of leadership at the workplace. All the potentials bestowed in employees can be transformed into reality only through effective organisational leadership.

To begin with, it is crucial to mention that any business entity relies on leaders as an instrumental part of the human resource structure. In any case, organisations mainly rival each other in the market by the nature of leaders in place and not products being offered. For example, the success story of Enterprise Rent-a-Car is pegged on effective leadership that generates the desired services to customers. Unless leaders are well-positioned in an organisation, it can be practically impossible to attain the set goals. Better leaders also develop better and more productive employees. These result in customer satisfaction owing to improved products and services.

Moreover, leadership, on its own plays a crucial role in the core functions of management. For instance, organisational leadership must be supplied by the existing management to execute various operations. Organisational goals and objectives can swiftly be realised through teamwork facilitated by management teams. The management utilises the ideals of leadership to accomplish teamwork at any given time in the life of an organisation.

Impacts on company performance and customer satisfaction

When an effective leadership and management team is put in place within an organisation, it directly propels positive growth. Leaders and managers who understand their roles and responsibilities have a better opportunity to lead teams and achieve the set goals and objectives. In the case of Enterprise Rent-a-Car case study, the robust leadership and management styles have enabled the organisation to meet the ever-changing tastes and preferences of customers. As a result, customer satisfaction is a major achievement at the company. When the targeted market is satisfied, it creates a spiral effect and consequently leads to the positive performance of an organisation. Satisfied customers are highly likely to come again or refer other potential buyers into the same company. The net impact is substantial growth and performance.

Difference between leadership and management

As an example, leadership is supposed to create change while the management of an organisation often reacts to change. Therefore, leadership and management largely supplement each other since none can do without the other.

The necessity of using the autocratic style of leadership

Although employees might readily dissent an autocratic leadership style in an organisation, there are several instances when it can be suitably applied. For instance, when the workforce displays the X behavioural traits, it calls for an autocratic style of leadership. Also, an organisation might adopt this style as a deliberate management strategy to attain specific goals. Better still, a certain prevailing situation or nature of work in an organisation might warrant the application of an autocratic leadership style (McLeod, 2014).

A workforce that does not like to work or is inherently lazy can only be pushed to deliver the set objectives through an autocratic style of leadership. In such a case, the leadership and management teams are left with no other option apart from being authoritative.

Democratic style of leadership and motivation of employees

According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the most important needs must be met first before proceeding to the less vital ones. For instance, we cannot meet secondary needs before satisfying primary or basic needs such as food, housing and clothing. Motivation is a crucial need for employees within the context of an organisation. If the workforce is fully motivated (either verbally or in-kind), it improves productivity. One of the best motivation factors in organisations is a democratic style of leadership. Leaders and managers do force ideas to employees at the workplace. Rather, a system of consultation and consensus-building prevails (Leadership vs Management, 2014). As a result, employees feel valued and recognised. Besides, an open-door policy created by this leadership style promotes a friendly and more cordial working environment that eventually motivates workers.

The laissez-faire style of management and better customer service

The free market power is the main attribute of a laissez-faire style of management or leadership. A leadership structure that permits a laissez-faire system usually eliminates restriction in the creation and flow of ideas as well as other competences. Hence, individual employees can come up with unique and diverse ideas on how to satisfy customers instead of relying on consultations and persuasions from other employees (Johannsen, 2014).


Johannsen, M. (2014). Types of leadership styles. Web.

Leadership vs. Management (2014). Web.

McLeod, S. (2014). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Web.

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