Advantages and Disadvantages of the Participative Management Style


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Advantages and Disadvantages of the Participative Management Style

There are many different types of managers, and many managerial styles that you can employ in your own work. Still trying to figure out what kind of leader you want to be? You might consider the participative management style. In today’s blog, we’ll discuss what the participative management style is, as well as the advantages and disadvantages, so you can decide if it’s right for you.

What Is the Participative Management Style?

The participative management style is also sometimes called a democratic management style. In the participative model, everyone on your team gets a say in decision-making, and decisions are often made by vote. The role of a manager is to encourage members of your team and help to ensure every voice is being heard and everyone is participating. This type of management style is a contrast to the autocratic management style, in which the manager makes the decisions and doles out tasks and the team simply does those tasks.

Advantages of the Participative Management Style

This is a popular management style among teams and participative managers tend to be popular managers. Some of the benefits of a participative management style include:

Boosted Morale

Everyone likes to feel that they have a voice, especially when it comes to their work. By showing your team that you value their input and that their vote actually makes a difference, you’re going to have a team that feels much more confident and motivated. Having a voice in every decision also makes them more invested in the work they do, which will likely lead to a better output. 

Fair Problem-Solving

Sometimes it can be difficult to problem-solve when all you have is your own perspective. This can lead many managers to feeling stuck in a rut. However, with participative management, you get a variety of perspectives, from different angles of your team. This helps you to get a fuller picture of the issue and the different issues that need to be addressed. In the end, problem-solving is more fair and often more comprehensive.

Increase in Productivity

When your team is happier and  more invested in their work, they are likely to be more productive. Many employees become burned out when they feel that their company doesn’t care about them or that what they do doesn’t matter. By giving your employees a voice in decisions, you are showing them how important their work is. In return, they will be more motivated to work.

Improved Communication

It’s always important that the whole team be on the same page when it comes to the work that needs to be done. By having everyone work together to come to a decision, this is much more likely to happen. Participative management leads to stronger senses of communication and collaboration within your team. 

Disadvantages of the Participative Management Style

There may be a number of benefits to the participative management style, but no management style is absolutely perfect. There may be some situations where participative management does not work or challenges to overcome even when it does.

Difficult To Gain Everyone’s Participation

For participative management to work, everyone on the team must participate. But this can be difficult to do because your team will have all types of personalities — some of whom don’t understand how important their participation is. You will have to encourage everyone to take part in decision-making for this style to work.

More Conflicts

The more voices there are, the more likely it is that there will be differences of opinion. Sometimes these conflicts are settled smoothly, with everyone behaving maturely. Sometimes, those conflicts can become more drawn out. They may drag out the decision-making process or cause resentment within the team. It’s important for participative managers to understand how to resolve conflict between teammates.

Company Security

Another issue that could potentially arise is security. In order to give everyone a voice, everyone on your team will need to be more informed about the company’s processes, even those that might have been confidential before. You can tell your team that this is all sensitive information, but the more people who know the more risk there is to security. This can become especially concerning if someone leaves the company.


In order to adjust to the participative management style, you may have to take some time to train and educate your employees on it. While this may be worthwhile in the end, training can be costly and time consuming. However, it’s worth noting that this is the same for almost any big change to your company.

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