Either style may be beneficial in some situations but detrimental to organizational objectives (i.e. patient health and welfare) in others. A typical example of an appropriate use of authoritarian leadership would be in a working group consisting of individuals who have varying degrees of expertise and professional experience, particularly if they also have little experience working together as a group. On the other hand, the democratic style might be more appropriate in working groups consisting of very similarly skilled individuals with similar degrees of experience, especially where they have also worked together extensively and have demonstrated good self-management, decision-making, and collaboration within the group.

Leadership vs. Management

The principal difference between leadership and management is that leadership pertains more to people whereas management pertains more to operations (Marquis & Huston, 2008). Generally, organizational leadership involves improving the organization by addressing motivational issues and other factors that contribute to the morale and individual perspective of individuals.

Conversely, organizational management involves improving the organization by addressing operational issues that contribute to the efficiency and economy of business operations. A simplified way of characterizing leadership and management would be that the former pertains mainly to the goals and values and attitudes of people while the latter pertains more to the processes and procedures of operations (Marquis & Huston, 2008).


Marquis, B.L. And Huston, C.J. (2008). Leadership Roles and Management Functions in Nursing: Theory and Application. (6th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.

Medley, F. And LaRochelle, D.R. “Transformational leadership and job satisfaction.”

Nursing Management, Vol. 26, No. 9; (1995). Retrieved January 9, 2011 from:

Rosengren, K., Bondas, T., Nordholm, L., and Nordstrom, G. “Nurses views of shared leadership in ICU: A case study.” Intensive and Critical Care Nursing, Vol. 26,

No. 4; (2010):.

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