Kurt Lewin famously placed the study of leadership on the map.
In short he compared the effect of various leadership styles on behavior: autocratic, laissez-faire, and democratic.
The findings indicated that autocratic leadership led to more hostility and apathy
…”hostility was 30 times more frequent in the autocratic as in the democratic groups”
…”Much of this aggressive was directed toward two successive scapegoats within the group. None of it was directed toward the autocrat” (p. 298)
Lewin, Kurt (1939). Patterns of aggressive behavior in experimentally created social climates. Journal of Social Psychology, 10:2, p.271
This has been followed-up in a framework by Diana Baumrind looking at Parenting Styles, where children of authoritative (democratic) parenting tend to outperform children of authoritarian (autocratic) and permissive (laissez-faire) parenting on various psychological measures (esp, psychosocial measures).
It’s also supported by our anecdotal experience. Everyday we observer people performing at their optimal level under democratic (small ‘d’) leadership. And we see rebellion, hostility, and apathy under autocratic control, and aimless unproductivity under laissez-faire conditions.