The Coca-Cola Company employs a blend of leadership styles that ensure its success in achieving goals. First, they use the democratic form of leadership that entails top management sharing the process of decision making with all staff so as to promote equality (DuBrin, 2016). The style is consultative and allows employees to give their ideas on issues that affect them (Boundless Business, n. d). Managers allow employees to take charge but expect feedback in the end. Feedback collected by all the Coca-Cola managers worldwide help in making strategies. However, employees are responsible for any mistakes they make. The leadership style makes employees feel appreciated thus raising the level of productivity.
Additionally, managers at Coca-Cola make use of the authoritarian form of leadership (Shetty, 2011). Here, managers are strict and will always check if instructions given to employees are adhered to. The manager makes the final decisions without giving room for questions and there is a strict professional relationship between employees and managers (Boundless Business, n. d). This style is mostly employed on the factory floors to limit conflicts and to promote speed in work execution. The negative side of the style is that it reduces on job satisfaction.
The company has also developed the norm of laissez-faire where managers keep low involvement in employee affairs. They only delegate duties and offer little direction to employees (Boundless Business, n. d). The laissez-faire style is sometimes described as the “hands-off” leadership style because managers delegate tasks to the employees but do not go around monitoring how strictly employees carry them. Managers assume that employees, given an opportunity, will work passionately from day to day guided by the values and pride they acquire in doing what they do. Consequently, managers and directors lay back and leave employees to work.
In addition, managers allow employees to give suggestions that are later forwarded to them for the final say in decision making. This is referred to as consultative management and Coca-Cola highly uses it (Shetty, 2011). The method has an advantage of enhancing motivation among employees by having their voices heard. However, it makes decision-making slow as it requires both employees’ and managers’ input. Coca-Cola aims at embracing all sorts of differences among its employees, be it ideological or cultural (Baah, 2015). This has been facilitated by the adoption of consultative leadership. Employees set goals, get appraised, and awarded thus increasing efficiency.
To achieve effective consultative management, Coca-Cola makes use of various bodies and leadership elements (The Coca-Cola Company, 2014).First, there is the Diversity Advisory Council that consists of representative staff from all classes. The organ gives opinions on how the company should achieve diversity. Secondly, there are staff forums that allow employees to mingle and share, which leads to professional development. The company also promotes teamwork to ensure high standards and efficiency. The company also encourages employee involvement to recognize and develop talent, involve staff in product design, and reach every staff within 16 days (The Coca-Cola Company, 2014).
Leadership functions including planning, organizing, leading, and controlling are conducted by top level management of the company, which has three levels of flat hierarchy (The Coca-Cola Company, 2014). Tactical goals that are made annually are delegated to top managers in liaison with low level staff. Long-term strategic goals are allocated to the Managing Director in liaison with headquarter heads. Finally, operational goals are made by the Managing Director of the company and enacted in consultation with lower level staff. Decision making is centralized with deep consultation among all parties. To enhance efficiency, the company is divided into functional departments based on employee talents, skills, and work specialty (The Coca-Cola Company, 2014). Departmental managers lead the various departments and they report to the general manager. Departments include finance, human resource, production, sales and marketing, and industrial relationship. Managers are appointed based on their ability to perform all the managerial functions and proficiency in communication (The Coca-Cola Company, 2014).