An authoritarian leadership style is exemplified when a leader dictates policies and procedures, decides what goals are to be achieved, and directs and controls all activities without any meaningful participation by the subordinates. Such a leader has full control of the team, leaving low autonomy within the group. The leader has a vision in mind and must be able to effectively motivate their group to finish the task. The group is expected to complete the tasks under very close supervision, while unlimited authority is granted[by whom?] to the leader. Subordinates’ responses to the orders given are either punished or rewarded.
Authoritarian leaders are commonly referred to as autocratic leaders. They sometimes, but not always, provide clear expectations for what needs to be done, when it should be done, and how it should be done. There is also a clear divide between the leader and the followers.
Authoritarian leaders make decisions independently with little or no input from the rest of the group. Authoritarian leaders uphold stringent control over their followers by directly regulating rules, methodologies, and actions. Authoritarian leaders construct gaps and build distance between themselves and their followers with the intention of stressing role distinctions. This type of leadership dates back to the earliest tribes and empires. It is often used in present-day when there is little room for error, such as construction jobs or manufacturing jobs.
Authoritarian leadership typically fosters little creativity in decision-making. Lewin also found that it is more difficult to move from an authoritarian style to a democratic style than from a democratic form to an authoritarian form of leadership. Abuse of this style is usually viewed as controlling, bossy and dictatorial. Authoritarian leadership is best applied to situations where there is little time for group discussion