Democratic-style leadership is consistent with management theory that views workers, or members of the leader's group, as resources rather than as drains or something to be coped with or otherwise got over. Even where some hierarchical structures are in place, communication processes are meant to travel up, down, and laterally within an organization, and management practice diffuses decision-making events "throughout the organization. Even important decisions involve input from employees at all levels" (Hamiton & Parker, 2001, p. 58). The democratizing influence of such practice implies that communication will be interactive, not simply a matter of transmission of messages (commands) from managers to employees.
The implication, too, is that such communication must take place in an environment of openness, honesty, and shared confidence (Hamilton & Parker, 2001, p. 58), which tends to yield cooperation and productivity. Because enterprise activity is necessarily collaborative, communication effectiveness is of paramount concern. Openness for leaders involves disclosure (sharing) of information with subordinates plus the reception or feedback from them. The authors of the best-selling One Minute Manager valorize simple, direct, and honest explanation of what is expected by management of workers, together with regular follow-up and evaluation of performance, and a commitment on the part of management to both people and results (Blanchard & Johnson, 1981, p. 18). That is, the more a manager facilitates subordinates' work (p. 19), the more likely the workers as members of the leader's group are to be productive and to produce high-quality work. Leadership that focuses on facilitating rather than defining the details or methods of the work of employees starts with making clear "what our responsib