Definition of Democratic Leadership
(noun) A leadership style in which the leader encourages creative participation by members of the group to solve problems and builds their consensus prior to taking action.
Example of Democratic Leadership
- Mohandas Gandhi (1869–1948)
Democratic Leadership Pronunciation
Syllabification: dem·o·crat·ic lead·er·ship
- American English – /dem-uh-krAt-ik lEE-duhr-ship/
- British English – /de-muh-krAt-ik lEE-duh-ship/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /ˌdɛməˈkrætɪk ˈlidərˌʃɪp/
- British English – /ˌdɛməˈkrætɪk ˈliːdəʃɪp/
- Democratic leadership results in leaders “listening to others first.”
- Kurt Lewin, Ronald Lippitt, and R. K. White developed a leadership typology by studying 10-year-old boys in school. Their findings were published in the “Patterns of Aggressive Behavior in Experimentally Created ‘Social Climates‘” (1939). The resulting typology was authoritarian leadership, democratic leadership, and laissez-faire leadership.
- A colloquial way to understand these three leadership styles is an authoritarian leader “takes charge,” a democratic leader “includes others before acting,” and a laissez-faire leader “is hands off.”
- A (noun) democratic leader uses a (noun) democratic style to lead.
- “Authoritarian, democratic and laissez-faire types of leadership also reflect individual personality as much as any organisational plan. Then, too, in the ‘real world’ of organisations, leaders and their cronies sometimes seek to benefit personally through the abuse of organisational power. And perhaps even more commonly, leaders take credit for the efforts of their subordinates. Many secretaries, for example, have far more authority and responsibility than their official job titles and salaries suggest” (Macionis and Plummer 2012:172).
- Word origin of “democratic” and “leadership” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Goethals, George R., Georgia J. Sorenson, and James MacGregor Burns. 2004. Encyclopedia of Leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
- Helgesen, Sally. 1990. The Female Advantage: Women’s Ways of Leadership. New York: Doubleday Currency.
- Ridgeway, Cecilia L. 1983. The Dynamics of Small Groups. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
- Scheidlinger, S. 1994. “The Lewin, Lippitt and White Study of Leadership and ‘Social Climates’ Revisited.” International Journal of Group Psychotherapy 44(1):123–27. doi:10.1080/00207284.1994.11490737.
- White, Ralph, and Ronald Lippitt. 1953. “Leader Behavior and Member Reaction in Three ‘Social Climates.'” Pp. 586–611 in Group Dynamics, edited by D. Cartwright and A. Zander. Evanston, IL: Row & Peterson.
- Leadership Styles – Kendra Cherry: psychology.about.com
Abercrombie, Nicholas, Stephen Hill, and Bryan Turner. 2006. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology. 5th ed. London: Penguin.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 5th ed. 2011. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Bruce, Steve, and Steven Yearley. 2006. The SAGE Dictionary of Sociology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Brym, Robert J., and John Lie. 2007. Sociology: Your Compass for a New World. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Jary, David, and Julia Jary. 2000. Collins Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins.
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).
Cite the Definition of Democratic Leadership
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2015. “democratic leadership.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 5, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/democratic-leadership/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
democratic leadership. (2015). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/democratic-leadership/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2015. “democratic leadership.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 5, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/democratic-leadership/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“democratic leadership.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2015. Web. 5 Jun. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/democratic-leadership/>.