Corporate leadership present political connotations, which can be used either constructively or destructively depending on the organizational culture and development priorities leaders shoose. Organizations may start as awkward in the politics of leadership but get more humane and progressive according to widespread expectations. Change is often a healing process, replacing old non-mainstream approaches with popular, and standards approach leadership and culture (Arora & Rao, 2018, p. 3). Mick Armstrong made considerable concessions of the brutal methods he had deployed in the organization because he is cognizant of the necessity for gradual and progressive change to embrace popular and democratic values in the organization particularly after attaining massive success. Mick Armstrong’s leadership at Hi-Brand is a typical case of politically charged corporate leadership approach, characteristic of the historical path of many corporations that have developed to become globally successful multinational corporations. 

Case Description

            Mick Armstrong practices an autocratic leadership approach at Hi-Brand, and there are all the right reasons to establish that approach, mainly because he is the founder of the company. However, the indulgences with the venture capitalists to manipulate stock prices and other such dealing involve a direct violation of the law, which is unwarranted and potentially costly. The workers in the warehouse and other functions in the business that attract non-elite workers cannot function properly with a considerable exertion of authority. Authority is a very vital resource for leadership to deploy with the aim of instituting the relevant sort of controls for the organization to grow exponentially during their early stages of growth.

            Mick Armstrong’s single drive to exert higher authority and influence in all the aspects of work in the organization is to remove all manner of Counterproductive Work Behaviors (CWBs) completely and Hi-Brand has a practical policy approach about the same. Mick Armstrong displays a firm commitment to excellence and success both form himself, and the organizational stakeholders and factory floor workers who basically have no professional qualifications have to comply with his mean methods and controls. The introduction of technology would quickly eliminate the problem of pilferage and petty theft in the organization, which is considered a menace in the organization. The terms of employment should exhibit diversity and vigour to create room for diverse channels of entry and induction, which would widen the pool of talent acquisition.   

Essential Value of Autocratic Leadership within Organizations

            Autocratic leadership has the brand of popular resentment and vertical structures of authority, which deploy forceful and coercive methods of getting work done. However, in certain environments in which most of the work is manual and attributed to unskilled or semi-skilled labour, autocratic approaches may foster personal discipline and commitment to the work designation thereby promoting organizational profitability (Puni, Agyemang & Asamoah, 2016, p. 5). A carefully deployed autocratic leadership approach may have far greater benefits to young organizations with ambitious growth projections than other forms of leadership. The essential value of autocratic leadership is that it creates a rigid process characterized by great certainty so that workers devote more time to their designated tasks exclusively. Leadership choices in effect shape the actions and dispositions of all affiliated agents because of the intricate balance that interactions within organizations embody. For the autocratic leadership approach, low ranking managers may experience a heightened pressure to perform and deploy coercive methods to get the job done correctly and to maintain very rigorous encounters including humiliating and threatening people who do not meet standards. Professional and progressive managers may very highly revile all these methods, and hence Hi-Brand has to create its managers from among the workers. 

            Workers who spend the whole day doing low skilled, monotonous, and repetitive jobs often have very low motivation and autocratic methods can direct their focus and attention to the desired outcomes in terms of performance expectations. Moreover, such classes of workers in warehouses, and whose educational achievements are unaccounted may present incessant difficulty for managers if they are allowed freedoms of debate and deliberations. Such workers are often irresponsible, lazy, and untrustworthy to be relegated considerable latitude for autonomy. Autocratic leadership assigns all the tasks of decision-making, planning, budgeting, and controlling, which drive the operations within such organizations. Moreover, organizational ownership guides the leadership process and approaches. For organizations stated by individuals through personal finances, autocratic leadership is necessary because the founder often makes immense sacrifices at the beginning to set up the organization, and they often expect excellence in everything.    

The Challenges of Autocratic Leadership at Hi Brand

            One of the leading challenges of autocratic leadership is that it breaks down trust and honestly among workers. At Hi Brand, the lean and vertical structures of the organization necessitate excessive surveillance and searches conducted on workers daily, yet this could be replaced by alternative methods that establish trust and eliminate the need for inspection. The incessant resentment and negative feelings among workers are only sustainable, with a small number of workers (Somoye, 2016, p. 2242). However, as organizations become large and with sophisticated structures, it is impossible to sustain a very hierarchal and autocratic process because numbers mean so much more if the people are resentful about the conditions of work. Managers are prone to taking a hard-line on dissent, which may only cause escalating disagreement and adjustment among workers to sabotage the organizational goals, particularly as the organization expands. 

            Power is often associated with politics and the multitude of awkward manipulations and unprofessional approaches of achieving ends through unorthodox means. Autocratic leaders often elevate their junior managers based on loyalty and trust as opposed to competence and excellence. In a simplistic organization with very little sophistication, authoritarian leadership with vertical hierarchies may win in business. However, when the industry gets highly sophisticated, and workers have a wide variety of institutions to get work and institutions compete fairly with specific rules enforced by governments and regulators, the autocratic process performs poorly. Mick Armstrong’s excellence was attainable because the organization was still young and simple hierarchies enabled the company to survive. Nonetheless, as the organization expands and the competition in the industry becomes sophisticated, it would be utterly impossible to exercise vertical power systems that defeat progress. Autocratic leadership also bear the problem of leadership transition because many of the personnel along the hierarchy were appointed or handpicked on the basis of their closeness to the leader at the helm. Once such leaders leave, the individuals within the regime may find it hard getting along and the organizations descend in leadership chaos.    

Recommendations: The Necessity for Transition to Democratic Organizational Culture

            Although Mick Armstrong founded the organization on very rigid management approaches, which have spurned the corporation to massive success and excellence, highly successful corporations with elaborate growth potential has to make a change and divert to democratic methods of control and organizational cultures. A democratic organizational culture promotes the active participation of all workers in the formulation of strategies and decision-making, which has the potential of liberating workers to beat the expectations and excel. Within large highly endowed and successful organizations, the democratic approach of leadership is most desirable because it relieves the tensions and hatred often associated with the rigid autocratic models.  

            The organization should adjust its approach to the management process by remodelling management functions to include new departments for human resource management for training and elaborate induction process for suitable workers. It is also necessary for Mick Armstrong to desist from all manner of manipulations involving venture capitalists within stock market systems to adjust company stocks without elaborate accounting results. The legal challenges and other management disputes would easily bring down the company unless a serious audit is carried out and fundamental fixing carried out rapidly. A transition to a democratic leadership process would yield better compliance with national employment regulations and laws, thereby reducing potential incidences of legal challenges to the organization. Moreover, autocratic leadership diminishes an organization’s commitment to ethical leadership because it thrives based on force and intimidation for compliance. The involvement of union officials maybe defeated just for a time and the intimidation of workers into fear can only function just for a time before a severe debacle (Landa & Tyson, 2017, p. 565). In this regard, the mounting pressure from all quarters is an indication that the Armstrong leadership cannot stand the pressure and has to take calculated steps at addressing the multitude of challenges facing the organization.    


            Autocratic leadership has its positive and negative consequences for diverse forms of organizations and industries. However, Mick Armstrong demonstrates an effective approach to his leadership approach, which has made the organization highly successful and profitable. Finances are a suitable measure of the effectiveness of any organization. However, it is noteworthy that as organizations grow and become sophisticated, the industries they operate within also become diversely sophisticated, which calls for democratic management process and ethical leadership as the backbone of the organizational culture. The rising challenges from concerned journalists, the probing by the workers’ unions seeking dialogue and the legal challenges witnessed in the organization all point to the urgency for instituting rectitude so that all operations are formalized, and the organization meets expectations of diverse stakeholders and regulatory institutions.  


Arora, S. and Rao, R.K., 2018. Integrating Leadership, Power and Politics and Its Impact on  Organization. IMPACT: International Journal of Research in Humanities, Arts and  Literature (IMPACT: IJRHAL)6(4), pp.1-6.

Landa, D. and Tyson, S.A., 2017. Coercive leadership. American Journal of Political Science,  61(3), pp.559-574.

Puni, A., Agyemang, C.B. and Asamoah, E.S., 2016. Leadership styles, employee turnover  intentions and counterproductive work behaviours. International Journal of innovative  research and development5(1), pp.1-7.

Somoye, K.G., 2016. The Effects of Power and Politics in Modern Organizations and its Impact   on Workers’ Productivity. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and  Social Sciences6(11), pp.2222-6990.