Democratic Leadership Style and Follower Performance

This research sought to provide information about the relationship between Democratic leadership style and Followers Performance. Drawing on a sample of employees working in a Dairy Product Industry, we tested relationships between Democratic Leadership Style and Followers Performance. On the basis of causation and bivariate data analysis it was found that there was a strong positive association between the Democratic Leadership Style and followers Performance.

This report consists on Seven Chapters. In the first Chapter we introduced the topic, in second chapter we review the Literature, where different studies have different empirical results most of them have ensure positive relation ship between the variables. In third and fourth chapters, on the basis of theoretical framework we operationalzed the variables. In chapter five and six we create research design and analyze the data. In the last chapter we draw conclusion on the basis of Data analysis.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Since the early 1930s, leadership has remained a ubiquitous topic of exploration in the field of management, despite a modest decline in the 1970s (Hunt, 1999). The popularity of this topic was restored with the advent of concepts such as charismatic leadership, visionary leadership and transformational leadership. All of these advances emphasize that some leaders can inspire followers to pursue collective values and aspirations as well as sacrifice egocentric needs and goals. These theories also reveal that leaders can invoke and regulate emotions – rather than rely on rational processes – to motivate other individuals.

Over the last decades, the relationship between leaders’ behavior and subordinates’ perceived stress has gained increasing attention from the scientific community. The kind of leadership style influences how subordinates cope with stress. The leadership domain has recently focused on the so-called “new leadership paradigm” such as transformational leadership . Transformational leaders emphasize higher motive development, and arouse followers’ motivation and positive emotions by means of creating and representing an inspiring vision of the future. In contrast, transactional leadership explains the relationship between leader and follower as an exchange system of well-defined transactions. In turn, the leader rewards or disciplines the follower with regard to his/her performance. While several studies have focused on the relationship between these leadership styles and follower performance the relationship between the leaders’ behavior and subordinates’ work related stress has mainly been neglected. The present study addresses this gap and explores the relationships between the leaders’ behavior and subordinates’ work related stress has mainly been neglected.


The objective of the study are

To measure the impact of democratic leadership in dairy products companies

To Measure the efficiency of performance of follower of democratic leader..

To find that democratic leadership is more effective or not on the follower performance.

Significance of Study:-

This study was made for the following purpose.

It will help the managers to improve the performance of their followers or team members if they use democratic leadership style.

It will help the workers to improve their performance if they exchange their ideas with their leaders.

Chapter 02: Review of Literature

In this study, highly democratic leadership is compared with both moderate democratic and less democratic leadership styles. The moderate democratic leadership style is one that focuses on the task at hand. It emphasizes such behaviors as maintaining standards and meeting deadlines. Less democratic leadership involves exhibiting concern for the welfare of the other members of the group by expressing appreciation for good work, stressing the importance of job satisfaction, maintaining and strengthening the self esteem of subordinates by treating them as equals, and making special efforts to help subordinates feel at ease (Bass, 1990). Leaders who display Highly democratic leadership behaviors have been described as providing followers with clear visions of the future, expressing high expectations for follower performance, and displaying confidence in their followers’ ability to accomplish challenging tasks (House 1988). Leadership research has consistently found a strong positive relationship between Highly democratic leadership behaviors and follower performance (Bass, 1990) (House, 1988). Specifically, by articulating compelling vision of the future, communicating high expectations with respect to followers’ performance, and displaying confidence in followers’ ability to meet these expectations, highly democratic leaders have been found to positively influence follower performance. These findings have been supported in a variety of settings and using various research methodologies including laboratory experiments (howell & Frost, 1989), field research (e.g., Smith 1982; Avolio, Waldman, and Einstein 1988; Hater and Bass 1988; Howell and Avolio 1993), and archival studies (e.g., House, Spangler, and Woycke 1991). Howell and Frost (1989), for example, found that individuals working under an actor trained to display Highly democratic leadership behaviors had higher qualitative and quantitative task performance, higher task satisfaction, and lower role conflict and ambiguity in comparison to individuals working under less democratic leaders; they also had higher quantitative task performance, greater task satisfaction, and less role conflict than individuals working under moderate democratic leaders. More recently, in an experiment using 282 undergraduates carrying out a simulated production assignment, Kirkpatrick and Locke (1996) found a positive relationship between Highly democratic behaviors and performance, task satisfaction, and attitude toward the leader. Both Howell and Frost’s and Kirkpatrick’s studies found that individuals working under Highly democratic leaders reported that the task was more interesting, engaging, and satisfying than individuals working under less democratic leaders; this was so in spite of the fact that all individuals performed the identical task.

The above findings have been supported by the findings of studies conducted in the field. For example, in a study of 30 Highly democratic and 30 nonHighly democratic leaders from a wide variety of organizations, Smith (1982) found that Highly democratic leaders could be distinguished from less democratic leaders based on their followers’ higher performances and higher levels of self-assurance. Based on these reports of higher selfassurance for followers of Highly democratic leaders, Smith postulated that Highly democratic leaders may produce their effects on followers by enhancing their self-efficacy beliefs. While the above empirical evidence supports the relationship between Highly democratic leadership behaviors and follower performance, the effect of those behaviors on follower performance over time and the role of self-efficacy as a mediator of the relationship between leadership style and performance remain largely unexplored empirically. For this reason, I draw on Shamir, House, and Arthur (1993) and Bandura (1997) for a theoretical explanation of the motivational effect of Highly democratic leadership behaviors and how they might enhance follower selfefficacy and lead to greater sustained effort and performance over time. According to Bandura (1997, p. 101), ”People who are persuaded verbally that they possess the capabilities to master given tasks are likely to mobilize greater effort and sustain it than if they harbor self-doubts and dwell on personal deficiencies when difficulties arise.” Drawing on Bandura (1986), Shamir et al. (1993) propose that Highly democratic leaders’ expression of high expectations for follower performance and their ability to persuade followers that they can meet those expectations motivate followers to produce and sustain greater effort via the mediation of self-efficacy. Further, they propose that, by articulating a

compelling vision, Highly democratic leaders produce in followers a level of personal commitment whose behavioral manifestations produce a self reinforcing cycle that sustains itself over time. This motivational influence of Highly democratic leadership behaviors produces a positive deviation amplifying loop or performance improvement spiral (Lindsley, Brass, and Thomas 1995). Thus, while empirical evidence has demonstrated the link between Highly democratic leadership and performance, theoretical work points both to the sustainability of follower effort and performance over time and to the mediating role of self-efficacy.

Chapter 03: Theoretical Framework

Interest in leadership increased during the early part of the twentieth century. Early leadership theories focused on what qualities distinguished between leaders and followers, while subsequent theories looked at other variables such as situational factors and skill levels. While many different leadership theories have emerged, most can be classified as one of eight major types:

1. “Great Man” Theories:

Great Man theories assume that the capacity for leadership is inherent – that great leaders are born, not made. These theories often portray great leaders as heroic, mythic and destined to rise to leadership when needed. The term “Great Man” was used because, at the time, leadership was thought of primarily as a male quality, especially in terms of military leadership.

2. Trait Theories:

Similar in some ways to “Great Man” theories, trait theory assumes that people inherit certain qualities and traits that make them better suited to leadership. Trait theories often identify particular personality or behavioral characteristics shared by leaders. But if particular traits are key features of leadership, how do we explain people who possess those qualities but are not leaders? This question is one of the difficulties in using trait theories to explain leadership.

3. Contingency Theories:

Contingency theories of leadership focus on particular variables related to the environment that might determine which particular style of leadership is best suited for the situation. According to this theory, no leadership style is best in all situations. Success depends upon a number of variables, including the leadership style, qualities of the followers and aspects of the situation.

4. Situational Theories:

Situational theories propose that leaders choose the best course of action based upon situational variables. Different styles of leadership may be more appropriate for certain types of decision-making.

5. Behavioral Theories:

Behavioral theories of leadership are based upon the belief that great leaders are made, not born. Rooted in behaviorism, this leadership theory focuses on the actions of leaders not on mental qualities or internal states. According to this theory, people can learn to become leaders through teaching and observation.

6. Participative Theories:

Participative leadership theories suggest that the ideal leadership style is one that takes the input of others into account. These leaders encourage participation and contributions from group members and help group members feel more relevant and committed to the decision-making process. In participative theories, however, the leader retains the right to allow the input of others.

Assumptions of Participative theory

Involvement in decision-making improves the understanding of the issues involved by those who must carry out the decisions.

People are more committed to actions where they have involved in the relevant decision-making.

People are less competitive and more collaborative when they are working on joint goals.

When people make decisions together, the social commitment to one another is greater and thus increases their commitment to the decision.

Several people deciding together make better decisions than one person alone.

Style of leader in participative theory

A Participative Leader, rather than taking autocratic decisions, seeks to involve other people in the process, possibly including subordinates, peers, superiors and other stakeholders. Often, however, as it is within the managers’ whim to give or deny control to his or her subordinates, most participative activity is within the immediate team. The question of how much influence others are given thus may vary on the manager’s preferences and beliefs, and a whole spectrum of participation is possible, as in the table below.


Highly Democratic>

Autocratic decision by leader

Leader proposes decision, listens to feedback, then decides

Team proposes decision, leader has final decision

Joint decision with team as equals

Full delegation of decision to team


There are many varieties on this spectrum, including stages where the leader sells the idea to the team. Another variant is for the leader to describe the ‘what’ of objectives or goals and let the team or individuals decide the ‘how’ of the process by which the ‘how’ will be achieved (this is often called ‘Management by Objectives’).

The level of participation may also depend on the type of decision being made. Decisions on how to implement goals may be highly participative, whilst decisions during subordinate performance evaluations are more likely to be taken by the manager.

7. Management Theories:

Management theories (also known as “Transactional theories”) focus on the role of supervision, organization and group performance. These theories base leadership on a system of rewards and punishments. Managerial theories are often used in business; when employees are successful, they are rewarded; when they fail, they are reprimanded or punished.

8. Relationship Theories:

Relationship theories (also known as “Transformational theories”) focus upon the connections formed between leaders and followers. Transformational leaders motivate and inspire people by helping group members see the importance and higher good of the task. These leaders are focused on the performance of group members, but also want each person to fulfill his or her potential. Leaders with this style often have high ethical and moral standards.

The theory which support to our topic is Participative Theory. The theory support our hypothesis that “higher the democratic leadership style higher will be the follower’s performance.

Chapter 04: Hypothesis and Operationalization of variables

Research Question:

Is there any association between democratic leadership style and follower performance?


H1: There is Positive association between democratic leadership style and follower performance.

Ho: There is no association between democratic leadership style and follower performance.

Theoretical Definition of Variables

Democratic Leadership Style:

Leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal.

Follower Performance:

The results of activities of an organization or investment over a given period of time.

Operational Definition of Variables

Democratic Leadership Style:

Democratic Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent through its competency, intimacy, passion and integrity. 

Follower Performance:

The carrying of an act into execution productively and qualitatively by coordinating with peers by the commitment of employees.


Styles of leadership:-

Authoritarian (autocratic)

I want both of you to. . .

This style is used when leaders tell their employees what they want done and how they want it accomplished, without getting the advice of their followers.

It is useful when:-

when you have all the information to solve the problem,

you are short on time, and

Your employees are well motivated.

Some people tend to think of this style as a vehicle for yelling, using demeaning language, and leading by threats and abusing their power. This is not the authoritarian style, rather it is an abusive, unprofessional style called bossing people around. It has no place in a leader’s range.

Participative (democratic)

Let’s work together to solve this. . .

This style involves the leader including one or more employees in the decision making process (determining what to do and how to do it). However, the leader maintains the final decision making authority. Using this style is not a sign of weakness; rather it is a sign of strength that your employees will respect.

This is normally used when:-

You have part of the information, and your employees have other parts.

Note that a leader is not expected to know everything — this is why you employ knowledgeable and skillful employees. Using this style is of mutual benefit — it allows them to become part of the team and allows you to make better decisions.

Dimension of democratic leadership Style

The major dimensions of leadership are divided into four chambers:






Competence includes personal traits and technical skills. “Competence can be divided as knowledge of the topic at hand, intelligence, expertise, skill, or good judgment.”There are four elements of competence which are as follows:-

Technical Skills: Are needed to understand activities, operational processes products and services, technology, and legal requirements.

Cognitive Skills: Are necessary to analyze problems, develop creative solutions, identify patterns and trends, understand complex relationships, and develop effective mental models.

Interpersonal Skills: Such as listening, persuasiveness, social sensitivity are needed to influence people, avoid unwanted influence, develop cooperative relationships, establish and maintain networks, understand individuals, facilitate teamwork, and resolve conflict constructively.

Personality Traits: Seam less important that technical skills. Nevertheless, individual needs, core values, and temperament are clearly relevant to effective leadership.


Intimacy refers to the leader’s ability to build and maintain relationships. All too often we expect people to buy into the position of leadership and be loyal to the title rather than to the person that fills the position. “The first thing a leader must declare is not authority because of rights, but authority because of relationships”.

Effective Management: Social skills help to understand the feelings of others and the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively.

Cooperative Relationships: Skills such as empathy, social insight, charm, tact, and diplomacy are essential to developing and maintaining cooperative relationships with subordinates, superiors, peers, and outsiders.

Influencing: Empathy and social insight is the ability to understand motives, values, and emotions. Understand what people want and what motivates them is necessary for effective influencing strategies.

Resolving Conflict: Being able to listen to people with problems, personal complaints, or criticism is necessary for resolving conflicts in a constructive manner.


“Your passion for something is an indication of what you find worthy in and of itself. It’s a clue to what you find intrinsically rewarding.” Passion refers to the drive to make a contribution and to create something meaningful and valuable – a sense of worth. It’s sometimes referred to as enthusiasm, hope, or aspirations.

Enthusiasm: Originally meant inspiration or possession by a divine afflatus or by the presence of a God. Today the word simply means intense enjoyment, interest or approval.

Hope: An emotional belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances within one’s personal life. Hope implies a certain amount of perseverance such as believing that a positive outcome is possible even when there is some evidence to the contrary.

Aspirations: Providing a climate where people feel free and motivated to cultivate and implement constructive ideas is the challenge of talented leaders.


Most people can manage when things go well, but true leadership is how we cope with people when times are tough. Integrity is what drives us regardless of our situation or position. Too many leaders are ready to assert their rights but not assume their responsibilities. They are looking to the organization to make people responsible to follow. They look for a new title, another position, sometimes a new job. They never come to realize that they lack authority because they lack integrity. “Integrity means that a person’s behavior is consistent with espouse values, and the person is honest, ethical, and trustworthy.”

Honesty and Trust: “If people anywhere are to willingly follow someone – whether it be into the battle or into the boardroom, the front office or the front lines – they first want to assure themselves that the person is worthy of their trust.”

Courage: “The strength to lead in these difficult circumstances, meaning that courageous leaders are strong and unlikely to quit.” This kind of courage displays itself in an organization when a leader is willing to admit his mistake, when she is willing to stand up for her beliefs, or when he must challenge others.

Self-Discipline: “People have to know themselves and understand their environments in order to adapt and learn.” The most basic defining moment demands that leaders resolve the issue of self-discipline. “The higher leaders climb up the corporate ladder the greater their burden of responsibility and their need to reevaluate themselves and their whole self.”

Dimensions of Follower Performance:-

Quality of Work

Completing the work accurately, neat, well organized through effective.

Documentation:- Fulfilling the documentation requirements and having proper record of files.

Safety Consciousness:-Acting with proper safety habits, maintains equipment, corrects unsafe conditions.


Supervision of others:- Guiding and assisting to acquire skills and achieve performance goals and results.

Communication Skills:- Articulate in expressing facts, ideas and thoughts with clarity both orally and in writing.

Public Contact & Service Skills: Honesty , tact, courtesy, awareness of and sesitiviy to customer and co-worker need.

Commitment Towards organization

Attendance (punctuality):- punctual to work , meetings and from breads; does not abuse leave time.

Initiatives:- Self-motivated and makes effort to compete work with minimal supervision.

Customer Satisfaction:- Giving full time and paying full attention toward customer in order to satisfy the customers to make them loyal.


Complete the assigned task effectively and efficiently.

Efficiency and effectiveness:- Achieving the assigned targets with the given timeframe.

Overall Cost Programs:- Delegating the task to junior in order to save time keeping in mind the cost of the task.

Budget:- Completion of the tasks within defined budget.

Claims: – Any Amount, stock or compensation toward third party called lack for adjustment.

Dimensions, Elements and Statements of Questions

Section 01 Leadership Style



Statement of Questions


Technical Skills

I always update my technical knowledge of my organization through peers and my own experience.


Cognitive skills

I walk the talk, I model the behavior I want from my team.


Interpersonal Skills

I feel happy to know that my staff is clear about company’s goal.


Personality Traits

I don’t scream or lose temper.


Effective Management

I avoid making judgment of premature evaluation of ideas or suggestion.


Co-operative Relationship

I set down performance standard for each aspect of my staff job.



I provide my staff with opportunities to refresh the skills.


Resolving conflict

I check staff’s work on a regular basis to assess their progress and learning.



I admit when I do not the answer.



I provide my staff with opportunities to refresh therir skill.



I am able to provide negative feedback in a balanced and constructive manner.


Honesty and Trust

I keep confidential information very confidentially.



I share the credit and ccolades with those who contributed.


Self Discipline

I am fair and treat all staff members with respect and equal coordination.

Section 02 Follower Performance

Quality of Work


My team completes documentation and the verified them before entering into new task.


Safety Consciousness

My team members record and enter data consciously.


Supervisions of others

My team adopts internal controls system voluntarily.


Communication Skills

My team tries to satisfy customers in their language.


Public Contact

My team member takes active part in public awareness.


Punctuality and Regularity

My team members are in office exact according to time schedule.



My team members are self motivated and complete their work with in minimal supervision.


Customer Satisfaction

My team members don’t go for new customer until they satisfy the current one.


Efficiency and Effectiveness

my team achieve Targets at their assigned time.


Cost Programmes

My team members always try to avoid to perform extra cost functions.



My team members never go beyond the budgeted expense.



My team members are initiatively conscious about claim from others.

Chapter 05: Research Design

This research is explanatory in nature. In the research the quantitative techniques for data collection has been used. The data was collected in a survey by questionnaire from middle level employees in production department of dairy industry .

Our target population is the employees of Dairy Products Companies. We choose Haleeb Foods Ltd, Nestle Milk Pak Ltd and Shakarganj Milk Products. Our sample size is 1000 employees of Production department of all three companies. We conducted the survey from 400 employees from Nestle, 400 employees from Haleeb and 200 employees from Shakarganj Group.

For this systematic random sampling techniques of probability method has been used.

Data Transformation and Presentation

We have tried to measure the Level of Democratic Leadership Style and Follower Performance. It was operationalized with the help of dimensions and elements. We had constructed number of statements on each element with 5 response categories using Likert Scale i.e Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree and strongly disagree. We scored each of these items form 1 to 5 depending upon the degree of agreement with the statement. The statements was both positive as well as negative. For positive statement we had scored straight away from 5 to 1 i.e Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree and strongly disagree. For the negative statement we have to reverse the score i.e 1 for strongly disagree, 2 for disagree, 3 for undecided, 4 for agree and 5 for strongly agree. Reason being that negative multiplied by a negative becomes positive i.e a negative statement and a person strongly disagree with it implies that he has a positive responsive so we give a score of 5.

We have two variable i.e democratic leadership style and follower performance let us say there were 15 statement measuring for different elements and dimensions measuring level of leadership style and 10 statements measuring level of follower performance. when on each statements of commitment the respondent could get minimum score of 1 and maximum score of 5, on 15 statements a respondent could get a minimum score of (15*1 = 15) and Maximum score of (15*5 = 75) and for follower performance minimum score of (10*1 = 10) and maximum score of (10*5 = 50). In this way the score index ranges from 15 to 75 for democratic leadership style and 10 to 50 for level of follower performance.

By transforming the score from score index into scale, we had categorized score ranges below 35 is for less democratic, 35 to 55 for moderate democratic and above 55 for highly democratic for leadership style. And for follower’s performance it was categorized like score ranges below 20 is for unsatisfactory performance, 20 to 35 satisfactory performances and above 35 is for outstanding performance.

Univariate table for Democratic leadership style

Table1: Democratic leadership style

Leadership style



Highly Democratic



Moderate Democratic



Less Democratic


15 .




Table 1 consist on three column ie. Leadership Style, Frequency and Percentage points of respondants. In leadership style, we have catorised it in three forms i.e Highly Democratic, Moderate democratic and Less Democratic. In Frequency column, there were 1000 persons sample out of which 550 are highly democratic, 300 are Moderate democratic and 150 shows the response of Less democratic.

Univariate table for Follower Performance

Table2: Follower Performance

Follower Performance















Table 2 consist on three column ie. Follower performance, Frequency and Percentage points of respondants. In Follower performance, we have catagorised it in three forms i.e Outstanding, satisfactory and unsatisfactory. In Frequency column, there were 1000 persons sample out of which 575 are giving outstanding performance, 270 are giving satisfactory performance and 155 are giving unsatisfactory performance.

Bivariate table

Table 3: Democratic leadership style and Follower Performance


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