Studies in Leadership: Leadership and Democratic Action

By Alvin W. Gouldner | Go to book overview

Contexts: Manipulation and Authoritarian Leadership
IN THIS section, the challenge to democratic values and the concern for their defense--the practical and ethical core of the volume--comes into sharpest focus. Several major questions are reiterated throughout the articles presented here:
1. What are some of the characteristics of authoritarian and democratic leadership? It is vital to know the former for diagnostic purposes and for judging when some sort of therapy or remedy is required. It is equally necessary to begin to spell out in a positive way the characteristics of democratic leadership, not only that we may recognize deviations from them, but also that their influence as regulative ideals may be made more potent.
2. What are some of the sources of authoritarian leadership? This is an important question because it should lead to data that can guide our remedies, making them less of a trial-and-error procedure.
3. What are some of the consequences of authoritarian leadership? An answer to this has certain prognostic value. Knowledge of some of the directions which authoritarian leadership may take and, particularly, some of the resultants which may weaken or impair authoritarian leadership itself, is useful for therapeutic purposes.
4. How can authoritarian leaders be effectively opposed? And not only effectively opposed, but opposed in such a way that democratic values are not lost in the process.

Almost all of the articles of this group touch in one way or another on each of the problems raised above, though some concentrate on

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