What Is Paternalistic Leadership?

Paternalistic leadership is a style of leadership where a dominant male applies his organizational power to lead a group. The leader follows a fatherly managerial approach where he uses his position to control, guard, punish and reward his subordinates or followers, who are expected to remain faithful to him.

This leadership style follows the behavioral pattern of a paternal figure who leads, corrects, protects and directs his faithful ones. A paternalistic leadership style is suitable for a formal business setting that has a hierarchical structure in place.

Out of the box thinking is not required of the staff, as the leader in this case is in a position to make different decisions concerning the business. The leader should hold the interests of his subordinates at heart, as this will ensure they have a good relationship where the subordinates trust him to do what is best for them.

However, one disadvantage of this approach is when the dominant male holding this paternal leadership role embraces dictatorial styles, which lead to poor decision making and bad relationships.