Leadership Style and Employee Satisfaction and Productivity

Leadership Style
Leadership Style

The Influence of Leadership Style on Employee Satisfaction and Productivity

1.0    Introduction

In this research study, the researcher seeks to find out how various leadership style influence the productivity and satisfaction of workers in the banking sector in the United States. My background/inspiration/motivation for the proposed research comes from the fact that I have previously worked in an organization in which the top leaders and managers did not recognize the effect of various leadership styles on employees’ satisfaction and productivity.

The employees were never inspired. They were also never motivated to carry out their job tasks very well. Therefore, the level of job performance of employees was frequently low. They were often dissatisfied and had low productivity. The research project is potentially important as it will help leaders and managers in organizations to adopt suitable styles of leadership that could help improve the satisfaction as well as productivity of their employees.

Most companies and organizations comprise employees and employers, or in other words, staff members and management or followers and leaders. Many leaders are goal-oriented (Ispas, 2012). To attain the desired goals, there has to be an interaction between followers and leaders or staff members and management, or employees and employers. The style of leadership that typifies the interaction between managers/leaders and their staffs/followers is most significant in terms of the productivity, efficiency and satisfaction of employees (Emery & Barker, 2012).

My work-based context which has led me to examine this topic is that while working in the company, I realized that as the workforce of the business organization, employees perform various duties needed to attain the company’s objectives and goals. I also realized that the satisfaction of employees is impacted by their view of their jobs and the company for which they are working for.

How employees perceive leadership behaviour is a vital predictor of employee job commitment and satisfaction. It is worth mentioning that how employees perceive the leadership behaviour of their leaders/managers is also related to their job attitudes and productivity (Mustafa & Lines, 2013). Styles of leadership could either discourage or motivate workers, which could consequently result in employees’ decrease or increase in their performance level.

Some of the sources of employees’ job dissatisfaction include absence of promotion prospects, insufficient compensation, and conflicting job demands from the leadership. For purposes of efficiency, an effective style of leadership is one which has a positive effect on the satisfaction of employees and leads to better job performance, productivity and effectiveness (Wong & Laschinger, 2013).  

The functional areas of business that I am drawing upon include employee productivity and job satisfaction. Employee satisfaction is understood as how employees in an organization feel about their jobs and the various facets of their jobs (Keskes, 2014). The seminal literature that I would use to illustrate the academic underpinning of the research includes various peer-reviewed. Over twelve journal articles would be examined in the literature review section of this research paper.

When the company’s leaders and managers adopt suitable leadership styles such as transformational leadership, the leaders would be able to inspire and motivate employees who will be able to feel satisfied with their jobs. In turn, these employees would improve their job performance and work productivity which is good for the company’s financial bottom line (Li-Fen & Chun-Chieh, 2013).

Based on the findings of the study, implications for organizations would be described which would include a discussion on the most important leadership styles that comprise leadership behaviours that could really improve employee job satisfaction and productivity. Organizations with poor and ineffective leadership styles would have to alter their leadership approaches if they are to improve employee satisfaction and productivity.  

The research would be really innovative since although existing published research would be utilized, they would be utilized within a dissimilar setting. At the moment, there is gap in the existing literature. No earlier research studies have looked into the influence of leadership style on the productivity and satisfaction of employees in various organizations in the United States.

Most previous studies that have explored this topic have focused on the impact of leadership styles on employees’ work performance in the context of organizations in Asia and not in America. As such, the study would fill this gap in literature by examining the topic in the context of companies in America.

2.0    Aims and objectives

Aim: the overall aim of this study is to delve how different styles of leadership influence the productivity and satisfaction of employees.

Objectives:

  • How does transformational leadership style influence employee job satisfaction and productivity?
  • How does transactional leadership style influence employee job satisfaction and productivity?
  • How does laissez-faire leadership style influence employee job satisfaction and productivity?
  • Which of these three leadership styles best influences employee job satisfaction and productivity?

The formulated research aim and objectives are appropriate for this study since they would help to determine how leadership styles actually affect employee productivity and satisfaction. They would also help to determine the best leadership style that company leaders and managers can adopt in order to effectively improve the job satisfaction and productivity of workers.

3.0    Identification and initial review of key literature

According to Deshpande and Hill (2015), leadership is understood as the process of influence on the subordinates, where the subordinates are inspired to attain the specified target. Another scholar, Yi-Feng (2014) noted that leadership is the process in which a person, a leader in this case, influences a grouping of people to attain a common objective.

McClean, Burris and Detert (2013) stated that leadership means using a leading strategy to offer inspiring motives and to improve the workers’ potential for development and growth. All in all, leadership refers to the process of influence between subordinates and leaders in which the leader influences the behaviour of the subordinate to attain the goals and objectives of the organization (Abualrub & Alghamdi, 2012).

The success of an organization in attaining its specified objectives and goals is contingent on the company’s top leaders and the styles of leadership they use. When suitable styles of leadership are adopted, the leader can affect employees’ commitment, satisfaction, and productivity on the job (Jamaludin et al., 2011). A leader plays a vital role in the accomplishment of a company’s objectives through creating a climate which influences the behaviour, motivation and attitudes of employees.

Employee productivity is crucial to a company’s bottom line. To perform better and improve their level of productivity, workers need to have the proper working conditions. Ahmad et al. (2013) stated that proper working conditions encourage staff members to put up the right behaviour or attitudes to their work. Employee job and organizational commitment relates positively to job satisfaction, organizational career support and supervisory support. Workers who find that their companies positively evaluate their job performance have a high likelihood of exhibiting a high job satisfaction level.   

Employee satisfaction, as Wong and Laschinger (2013) pointed out, is how staff members feel about their work duties and the various facets of their work tasks. Employee satisfaction is a vital concern in all business organizations given that it is focused on utilitarian as well as humanitarian perspectives. Employees, as per the humanitarian perspective, should be treated respectfully and fairly.

As per the utilitarian view, employee job satisfaction could result in employee behaviours which affect organizational performance and functioning (Quintana, Park & Cabrera, 2015). Factors such as working conditions, company policy and administration, salary, supervision, personal life and security, relationship with other workers, the work itself, responsibility attainment, and recognition affect employee satisfaction with the job. 

3.1      Leadership styles

This research study is focused on three styles of leadership: transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire. Transformational leadership: this style of leadership motivates the followers through appealing to higher moral values and ideals which could inspire the staff members to carry out their work tasks exceeding expectations and transform both organizations and individuals (Keskes, 2014). A transformational leader emphasizes the follower’s personal development and intrinsic motivation.

This leader seeks to align the needs and aspirations of the follower with the company’s desired outcomes. By this means, this leader is able to foster commitment of the followers to the company and inspire the followers to go beyond their anticipated job performance and productivity (Jackson, Alberti & Snipes, 2014). As regards the dynamic business environment and complex organizations of today, a transformational leader is mainly considered a perfect change agent with the ability to lead his/her followers during periods of high risk-taking and uncertainties.

The transformational leader’s main objective is basically to work to transform or change the needs of the follower and redirect their thinking. This leader inspires and challenges his/her followers with a sense of excitement and purpose (Ispas, 2012). The leader with this style of leadership exhibits the following characteristics: intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration, and charismatic leadership.  

Transactional leadership: this leadership style is founded on bureaucratic authority as well as legitimacy in the organization. Transactional style of leadership gives emphasis to task-oriented goals, assignments and work standards. It is focused on employee compliance and task completion and is dependent on organizational punishments and rewards to influence the performance of employees (Emery & Barker, 2012).

A transactional leader gains legitimacy by using promises, praises and rewards which would satisfy the immediate needs of the followers. This leader engages his/her followers through giving rewards in exchange for the attainment of the set objectives and goals. All in all, a transactional leader focuses her leadership on motivating her followers using a system of punishments and rewards.

Ispas (2012) noted that a transactional leader focuses on improving the effectiveness of the established procedures and routines. Such a leader is more concerned with sticking to the current rules than with making alterations to the company. Transactional leaders establish and standardize practices that would help the company attain the following: increasing productivity, efficiency of operations, goal-setting, and maturity (Techoresh et al., 2014).

Laissez-faire leadership: this is typified by a general or total failure to take managing responsibilities. With this style, the leader fully gives the employees all the power and rights to make decisions. It allows the followers to have total freedom in making decisions with regard to performing their job (Jamaludin et al., 2011).

Laissez-faire leadership style gives the followers independence but the leader provides support and guidance whenever requested. In essence, the leader who adopts this style of leadership gives his/her follows all the necessary materials to carry out their objectives and goals. Even so, the leader does not take part directly in making decisions unless the followers ask for his help (Quintana, Park & Cabrera, 2015).   

In most organizations, the effectiveness of an organization is very much contingent on the style of leadership used by its leaders. A leader and his/her style of leadership plays a vital role in the success of a company. The adopted style of leadership has a major effect on employee satisfaction on the job as well as job performance. Employees who have higher job satisfaction tend to have greater job commitment and job productivity (Belnio, 2011). All things considered, organizations require strong leadership styles which stimulate the productivity and performance of employees.

3.2      Conceptual framework

Deshpande and Hill (2015) pointed out that the style of leadership adopted by leaders in an organization is of great importance in influencing the job satisfaction of workers. Quite a few researchers have learned that dissimilar styles of leadership would engender dissimilar working environment and affect employees’ work satisfaction directly (Keskes, 2014; Jackson, Alberti & Snipes, 2014). Mustafa and Lines (2013) observed that the transformational leadership style may intrinsically promote more work satisfaction largely because of its capacity to impart a sense of intellectual stimulation and mission.

A transformational leader tends to motivate and encourage her followers to assume more autonomy and responsibility, which in turn enhances the workers’ sense of achievement as well as job satisfaction (Emery & Barker, 2012). Transformational and transactional leadership styles have been extensively associated with organizational and individual consequences. Both these styles of leadership have a positive correlation with employees’ perception of work, organizational satisfaction, and leader.

Abualrub and Alghamdi (2012) stated that workers are by and large most satisfied whenever they view their supervisors as individuals who exhibit task-oriented and relational behaviours. In his study, Belonio (2011) found that different styles of leadership including laissez-faire, transactional and transformational styles affect different facets of employee satisfaction with their jobs. This researcher also noted that a mix of the different styles of leadership would result in more job satisfaction and improve productivity and performance of employees (Belonio, 2011).  

In their study, Ahmad et al (2013) found strong correlations between employee satisfaction and transformational style of leadership compared to transactional style of leadership. These researchers also found a dissimilar facet between transactional and transformational styles of leadership on employee work satisfaction. According to Ahmad et al (2013), transformational leadership style had higher ratio and beta which demonstrated greater influence on employee work satisfaction than transactional style.

In another study, Li-Fen and Chun-Chieh (2013) discovered that both transactional and transformational styles of leadership had an effect on employees’ work performance, although the transformational style had higher leadership outcome than transactional style. The laissez-fair style has been shown to have a noteworthy effect on total employee job satisfaction (Belonio, 2011).

Transactional leaders can increase the productivity of their followers particularly when productivity of the workers is measured quantitatively and punishments or rewards are fairly given. Transformational leadership results in the process of transforming the workers’ value, emotion, as well as objectives for the specific performance and productivity basing upon their talent (McClean, Burris & Detert, 2013).

3.3      Research question and hypotheses

For the proposed study, the research question is as follows:

  • How do various styles of leadership influence employee productivity and satisfaction?

The following hypotheses are formulated basing on the conceptual framework.

Hypothesis 1

Alternative Hypothesis H1: there is a significant influence of transformational leadership on employee satisfaction and productivity.

Null Hypothesis H0: there is an insignificant influence of transformational leadership on employee satisfaction and productivity.

Hypothesis 2

Alternative Hypothesis H2: there is a significant influence of transactional leadership on employee satisfaction and productivity.

Null Hypothesis H0: there is an insignificant influence of transactional leadership on employee satisfaction and productivity.

Hypothesis 3

Alternative Hypothesis H3: there is a significant influence of laissez-faire leadership on employee satisfaction and productivity.

Null Hypothesis H0: there is an insignificant influence of laissez-faire leadership on employee satisfaction and productivity.

Quantitative research studies in general have research questions and hypotheses (Park & Park, 2016 .I will seek to test and prove that the alternate hypotheses are true.

4.0    Research approach

4.1      Research methodology: quantitative research

This is a quantitative research study. A quantitative research study is generally concerned with discovering facts regarding social phenomenon and assumes a measurable and fixed reality (Park & Park, 2016). This type of research methodology is used to explain phenomena through gathering statistical data which are then analyzed through the use of numerically based techniques.

The main sources of quantitative data include secondary data for instance company reports; observations that might either entail coding observational data to translate that data into numbers, or counting the frequency with which a certain phenomenon crops up, for instance the frequency with which a certain word is utilized in interviews; or surveys, which is reliant on several questions asked to the respondents in the same manner to many participants (Venkatesh, Brown & Bala, 2013).

The independent variables are leadership styles whereas the dependent variables include employee job satisfaction and productivity. The job satisfaction and productivity of employees are contingent on the leadership styles. A deductive approach is utilized considering that this is a quantitative study. A deductive approach, as Venkatesh, Brown and Bala (2013) pointed out, focuses on developing a hypothesis basing upon an existing theory; a deductive design tests a theory.

A research strategy is then designed to test the formulated hypotheses. Deductive implies that the researcher reasons from the particular to the general. If a certain case example or theory appears to imply a causal link or relationship, it may be true in most instances. A deductive approach will test to find out whether or not this link or relationship derived from circumstances that are more general (Barnham, 2015).

All in all, a deductive design could be explained through hypotheses, which could be derived from the theory propositions. Put simply, the deductive design focuses on deducting conclusions from propositions or premises.

There are several strengths of the quantitative research method. Some of these include the fact that a quantitative study provides data which is descriptive in nature, and quantitative research is considered as being more objective and reliable. In addition, quantitative research can effectively reduce and restructure a complex problem to a few variables, it can be used in testing hypotheses and theories, and uses statistics in generalizing a study finding (Barnham, 2015).

Furthermore, quantitative research examines associations between various variables and establishes cause and effect in very controlled circumstances. Quantitative research is also helpful in studying many people, the findings of the research are relatively independent of the investigator for instance the statistical significance, and collecting data through the use of quantitative questionnaires is relatively speedy.

It also provides accurate, numerical, quantitative data (Venkatesh, Brown & Bala, 2013). Analysis of data is moderately less time consuming since statistical software could be employed. However, quantitative data is generally less comprehensive compared to qualitative data and could overlook a desired response from the study subject.  

4.2      Research design: quantitative case study  

A case study is understood as a detailed study of a certain situation instead of a comprehensive survey (Venkatesh, Brown & Bala, 2013). A case study design would be used in which the researcher will focus on three cases of three different companies based in California. Quantitative questionnaires would be utilized in data collection. The data collected would be in numerical form that could be easily put into categories, measured in units of measurement, or put in rank order.

The questionnaire surveys would have closed-ended questions and rating scales that would produce quantitative data. The data would be utilized in constructing tables and graphs or raw data (Venkatesh, Brown & Bala, 2013). In this study, the subjects include employees in three different organizations that are based in California. As such, the data would be collected in 3 companies.

The questionnaire surveys would be sent to the participants through email to fill. After completing the questionnaires, the respondents would send back the completed questionnaires for data analysis. For this study, the sample comprises employees from three companies in the banking sector. The companies are in San Diego, California where the study will be carried out. A total of 60 participants would be selected for the study.

The type of sampling method that will be utilized by the researcher in the proposed study is purposive sampling. In essence, this is the premeditated selection of the informants on account of certain characteristics or traits that they possess (Guarte & Barrios, 2011). Using purposive sampling method, staff members in 3 different companies in the financial/banking sector would be picked to take part in the research as study subjects. The 3 companies are all located within one state; California, although they have branches in other states also.

These participants would be picked by the researcher since they are working in an organization in which specific leadership styles which the researcher is interested in are practiced; hence they are well positioned to give crucial information as regards to how various styles of leadership as used by their leaders influence their satisfaction as well as productivity.

The researcher would address ethical issues through the use of informed consent, confidentiality and anonymity. Through informed consent, the study subjects will get to understand that they are participating in the study. They will also get to understand what the research is requiring of them. The information in the informed consent would include the following: the study’s purpose, methods to be utilized, likely outcomes of the study, in addition to any related risks, inconveniences, discomforts, and demands which the study subjects might encounter.

The confidentiality and anonymity of the study subjects would also be protected. To protect confidentiality, the data would be treated confidentially in terms data storage, data analysis and publication. The private and sensitive information of the study subjects such as names and address would be held in confidence. Any identifiable information would not be divulged to third parties. By removing the name of the participants and any identifiable information, their anonymity would be protected.

4.3      Data analysis: Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)

Since this would be a quantitative study, quantitative data analysis would be performed on the collected data. In particular, the information would be analyzed through statistical inferences and numerical comparisons. The data would be reported through statistical analyses.

Since there are quite a few dependent variables, the researcher will utilize Multivariate ANOVA or MANOVA quantitative data analysis tool in analyzing the influence of various styles of leadership on the productivity and job satisfaction of employees. Besides the use of MANOVA in the analysis of data, graphs would also be utilized to display the collected data through tests of correlations between 2 items, to statistical significance.

5.0    Research plan

Task / activityJul 25 2016Aug 5 2016Aug 9 2016Aug 20 2016Sep 10 2016Sep 15 2016Sep 25 2016Sep 27 2016Nov 3 2016Nov 5-10 2016Nov 12-15 2016Nov 17-27Dec 3-5Dec 12
Complete the Literature Review11 days            
Submit Project Proposal 5 days           
Holiday  30 days         
Exams     11 days       
Data Collection       36 days     
Data Analysis         6 days    
Create Arguments based on Collected Data          4 days   
Submit Draft           10 days  
Receive Feedback            3 days 
Submit Final Report             1 day

6.0    Reference

Abualrub, R. F., & Alghamdi, M. G. (2012). The impact of leadership styles on nurses’ satisfaction and intention to stay among Saudi nurses. Journal Of Nursing Management, 20(5), 668-678. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2834.2011.01320.x

Ahmad, A. R., Adi, M. N. M., Noor, H. M., Rahman, A. G., & Yushuang, T. (2013). The influence of leadership style on job satisfaction among nurses. Asian Social Science, 9(9): 2-14

Barnham, C. (2015). Quantitative and qualitative research. International Journal Of Market Research, 57(6), 837-854. doi:10.2501/IJMR-2015-070

Belonio, R. J. (2011). The effect of leadership style on employee satisfaction and performance of bank employees in Bangkok. The Leadership Quarterly, 43(5): 1-5

Deshpande, A., & Hill, C. (2015). Leadership styles: a case of two hospitals in the US. Proceedings For The Northeast Region Decision Sciences Institute (NEDSI), 1-23.

Emery, C. R., & Barker, K. J. (2012). The effect of transactional and transformational leadership styles on the organizational commitment and job satisfaction of customer contact personnel. Journal Of Organizational Culture, Communications & Conflict, 11(1), 77-90.

Guarte, J., & Barrios, E. (2011). Estimation Under Purposive Sampling. Communications In Statistics: Simulation & Computation, 35(2), 277-284. doi:10.1080/03610910600591610

Ispas, A. (2012). Conceptual approach of leadership and employees’ individual performance relationship. Annals Of The University Of Oradea, Economic Science Series, 21(1), 1021-1026.

Jackson, A. R., Alberti, J. L., & Snipes, R. L. (2014). An examination of the impact of gender on leadership style and employee job satisfaction in the modern workplace. Journal Of Organizational Culture, Communications & Conflict, 18(2), 141-153.

Jamaludin, Z., Rahman, N. A., Makhbul, Z. M., & Idris, F. (2011). Do transactional, transformational and spiritual leadership styles distinct? : a conceptual insight. Journal Of Global Business & Economics, 2(1), 73-85.

Keskes, I. (2014). Relationship between leadership styles and dimensions of employee organizational commitment: A critical review and discussion of future directions. Intangible Capital, 10(1), 26-51. doi:10.3926/ic.476

Li-Fen, L., & Chun-Chieh, T. (2013). The influence of leadership behavior and psychological empowerment on job satisfaction. International Journal Of Organizational Innovation, 5(4), 21-29.

McClean, E. J., Burris, E. R., & Detert, J. R. (2013). When does voice lead to exit? It depends on leadership. Academy Of Management Journal, 56(2), 525-548. doi:10.5465/amj.2011.0041

Mustafa, G., & Lines, R. (2013). Influence of Leadership on Job Satisfaction: The Moderating Effects of Follower Individual-Level Masculinity-Femininity Values. Journal Of Leadership Studies, 7(4), 23-39. doi:10.1002/jls.21307

Park, J., & Park, M. (2016). Qualitative versus Quantitative Research Methods: Discovery or Justification?. Journal Of Marketing Thought, 3(1), 1-7. doi:10.15577/jmt.2016.03.01.1

Quintana, T., Park, S., & Cabrera, Y. (2015). Assessing the Effects of Leadership Styles on Employees’ Outcomes in International Luxury Hotels. Journal Of Business Ethics, 129(2), 469-489. doi:10.1007/s10551-014-2170-3

Techoresh, P. J., Sopon, D., Dâlc, B., & Emmanouilidis, E. (2014). Tools for predicting satisfaction as a mirror and reflection of the managerial style of leadership. Managerial Challenges Of The Contemporary Society, 7(2), 119-125.

Venkatesh, V., Brown, S. A., & Bala, H. (2013). Bridging the qualitative-quantitative divide: guidelines for conducting mixed methods research in information systems. MIS Quarterly, 37(1), 21-54.

Wong, C. A., & Laschinger, H. K. (2013). Authentic leadership, performance, and job satisfaction: the mediating role of empowerment. Journal Of Advanced Nursing, 69(4), 947-959. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.06089.x

Yi-Feng, Y. (2014). Studies of transformational leadership: Evaluating two alternative models of trust and satisfaction. Psychological Reports, 114(3), 740-757. doi:10.2466/01.04.PR0.114k27w2

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