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authoritarian leadership

Definition of Authoritarian Leadership

(noun) A leadership style in which a leader takes charge of all decisions, issues orders, and assigns tasks without consulting the group’s members.

Examples of Authoritarian Leadership

Authoritarian Leadership Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: au·thor·i·tar·i·an lead·er·ship

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /uh-thor-uh-tAIR-ee-uhn lEE-duhr-ship/
  • British English – /aw-thor-i-tEUH-riuhn lEE-duh-ship/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /əˌθɔrəˈtɛriən ˈlidərˌʃɪp/
  • British English – /ɔːˌθɒrɪˈteərɪən ˈliːdəʃɪp/

Usage Notes

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Additional Information

Related Terms


Lewin, Kurt, Ronald Lippitt, and R. K. White. 1939. “Patterns of Aggressive Behavior in Experimentally Created ‘Social Climates.'” The Journal of Social Psychology 10(2):271–99. doi:10.1080/00224545.1939.9713366.

Macionis, John, and Kenneth Plummer. 2012. Sociology: A Global Introduction. 4th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

Works Consulted

Brym, Robert J., and John Lie. 2007. Sociology: Your Compass for a New World. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Henslin, James M. 2012. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 10th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Kendall, Diana. 2011. Sociology in Our Times. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Cite the Definition of Authoritarian Leadership

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2015. “authoritarian leadership.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 18, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/authoritarian-leadership/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

authoritarian leadership. (2015). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/authoritarian-leadership/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2015. “authoritarian leadership.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 18, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/authoritarian-leadership/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“authoritarian leadership.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2015. Web. 18 Jun. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/authoritarian-leadership/>.