What Are Some Pros and Cons of Autocracy?

Some advantages of autocracy can include strong, centralized leadership and an increased ability to make decisions quickly. Some disadvantages of autocracy can include limitation to a singular viewpoint and the people's potential resentment regarding their lack of input.

Autocracy is a form of leadership in which one person makes decisions for a group, often without the participation of that group. In high-pressure situations that require quick, decisive leadership, the lack of input from others streamlines the decision-making process. However, in less time-sensitive, pressure-filled situations, the potential increases that decisions made by an autocrat may lack innovation or not be in the best interests of the entire group.

With most, if not all, of the control in the hands of one person, the risk for abuse is higher in an autocratic system of government than in other systems that typically have more diffuse power structures. However, a strong, knowledgeable autocratic leader can focus group members on specific tasks that allow them to develop and demonstrate their individual strengths. This advantage can also turn into a disadvantage since group members are not likely to be involved in selecting their roles, and it is possible that they may not agree with their leader’s choice.