Laissez faire leadership

Laissez faire leadership
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Laissez faire leadership (also known as delegative leadership) is a management and leadership style which is characterized by a small concern for employees, tasks and production. The manager has often no interest in the course of affairs. He leaves all important matters to employees and gives them freedom. He uses phrases like: "They have decided", "They did." It minimizes efforts and remove the responsibility to somebody else.

“Authors defines that in this style the Leaders normally don’t want their interference in decision making process. They normally allowed to their subordinates that they have power to get their personal decisions about the work. They are free to do work in their own way and they are also responsible for their decision. Normally Leaders avoids to making decision and don’t involve in working units because the leaders gives to subordinates to completely freedom to do decisions.” [1]

Different definitions[edit]

“Bass and Avolio describe laissez-faire leadership as “the absence of leadership, the avoidance of intervention, or both. With Laissezfaire (Avoiding) leadership, there are generally neither transactions nor agreements with followers. Decisions are often delayed; feedback, rewards, and involvement are absent; and there is no attempt to motivate followers or to recognize and satisfy their needs” (p. 20).” [2]

“Robbins (2007) explained the laissez-fair style as “Abdicates responsibilities avoid making decisions” (p. 475).Similar Luthans (2005), defined laissez- fair style as “Abdicates responsibilities avoids making decisions” (p.562).Laissez- Fair is uninvolved in the work of the unit. It‟s difficult to defend this leadership style unless the leader‟s subordinates are expert and well-motivated specialists, such as Scientists. “Leaders let group members make all decision”(Mondy&Premeaux, 1995, p.347).” [3]

Laissez faire manager gives only minimal guidance to employees and does not attempt to achieve strict control over results. Managers delegates to subordinates all responsibility with belief that they will manage to achieve goals all by themselves. This type of leader does not have high authority within company and brings down results. It also gives the lowest productivity within group members. Lack of appropriate leadership might lead to stress among group and generate frustration. This type of leadership may lead to low or even no motivation to work.


Laissez-faire leadership includes several types of nonleadership such as:

  • avoiding responsibility,
  • not responding to problems,
  • being absent when needed,
  • failing to follow up,
  • resisting expressing views
  • delaying responses [4]


  1. Javed H. (2012). Impact of Transactional and Laissez Faire Leadership Style on Motivation International Journal of Business and Social Science , Vol. 3 No. 7
  2. Skogstad A., Einarsen S., Torsheim T., Aasland M. S., and Hetland H. (2007). The Destructiveness of Laissez-Faire Leadership Behavior Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Vol. 12, No. 1, 80–92
  3. Javed H. (2012). Impact of Transactional and Laissez Faire Leadership Style on Motivation International Journal of Business and Social Science , Vol. 3 No. 7
  4. Hinkin T. R., Schriesheim C. A. (2008). An Examination of “Nonleadership”: From LaissezFaire Leadership to Leader Reward Omission and Punishment Omission Cornell University, School of Hospitality Administration

Author: Natalia Pęgiel