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3 Examples of Paternalistic Leadership

 , December 24, 2017
Paternalistic leadership is a style of leadership patterned after the family unit whereby the leader is expected to protect members of the group and help them to grow. This is related to culture and is more prevalent in Asia and several European nations at the corporate level. The following are illustrative examples of paternalistic leadership.


A paternalistic government may provide merit goods free of charge or may reduce their cost with subsidies. They may heavily tax things they view as harmful such as tobacco. Paternalistic government is also associated with laws, regulations and enforcement that govern every aspect of life. For example, laws against things such as gambling that the government views as detrimental to communities.

Executive Leadership

Paternalistic executive leaders may view employees as important stakeholders. As such, they may prioritize employee needs over the interests of investors. For example, a firm that offers employment for life and goes to great lengths to avoid layoffs when a business unit is unprofitable.


Managers who seek to build people up by supporting them, developing their skills and giving them opportunities that are well suited to their talents and interests. By building people up, a manager can develop a loyal and powerful professional network. For example, a manager who views a talented young employee as a future ally as opposed to a current threat.


Paternalistic leadership isn't mutually exclusive with other styles of leadership. For example, a paternalistic leader may be a transformational leader or an authoritarian.
Overview: Paternalistic Leadership
DefinitionA style of leadership patterned after the family unit whereby the leader is expected to protect members of the group and help them to grow.
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