The recession has triggered a "just do it" style of leadership in British industry, according to a new study.
A "crisis" mentality has started to take root in companies, which is in danger of hitting creativity among employees, said management consultants the Hay Group.
Research in almost 400 organisations showed that "recession-weary" leaders are generating demotivating workplaces for their staff.
Fewer than a fifth were able to create a high-performance environment.
Melody Moore, of the Hay Group, said a coercive style of leadership was effective in a crisis but was unsustainable in the long term.
"It is concerning to see a crisis mentality begin to take root in the leadership teams of the UK's firms," she said.
"Good leadership has the power to energise, engage and motivate staff to go the extra mile for their organisation.
"Poor leadership will have the opposite effect, creating a demotivating environment and leading in time to poor team performance including high staff turnover and frequent absences."