Three major styles of leadership exist in groups: authoritarian, democratic, and Marseillaise. Authoritarian leadel·s make all major group decisions and assign tasks to members. These leaders focus on the instrumental tasks of the group and demand compliance from others. In times of crisis. such as a war or natural disaster, authoritarian leaders may be commended for their decisive actions, In other situations, however, fey may be criticized for being dictatorial and for fostering inter group hostility. By contrast, democratic leaders encourage group discussion and decision making through consensus building. These leaders may be praised for their expressive. supportive behavior toward group members, but Jhey may also be blamed for being indecisive in crisis. Liaise-fair literally means "to leave alone" Airlessness lenders are only minimally involved in decision making and encourage group members to make their own decisions. On the one hand, laissez-faire leaders may be viewed positively by group members because they do not flaunt their power or position. On the other hand. a group that needs active leadership is not likely to find it with this style of leadership, which does not work vigorously to promote group goals.
Studies of kinds of leadership and decision-making styles have certain inherent limitations. They tend to focus on leadership that is imposed externally on a group (such as bosses or political leaders) rather than leadership that arises within a group. Different decision making styles may be more effective in one setting than another. For example, imagine attending a college class in which the professor asked the students to determine what should be covered in the course, what the course requirements should be, and how students should be graded. It would be a difficult and cumbersome way to start the semester; students might spend the entire term negotiating these matters and never actually learn anything.