Leadership Styles, Employee Satisfaction and Productivity

Employee Satisfaction
Employee Satisfaction

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Leadership Styles, Employee Satisfaction and Productivity


This study sought to identify the types of leadership styles exhibited by management, the impact of leadership styles on employee satisfaction, productivity and staff perception of leadership styles. The study will adopted a descriptive survey of non-experimental research design to investigate the influence of leadership style on employee satisfaction and productivity. The study will rely on simple random and purposive sampling techniques in selecting a total of 120 respondents for the study.

The study will also expose that leaders who exhibited democratic (participative), people-oriented or transformational leadership characteristics for that matter, enhanced staff productivity. Leadership is a process influence between leaders and subordinates where a leader attempts to influence the behavior of subordinates to achieve the organizational goals. Organizational success in achieving its goals and objectives depends on the leaders of the organization and their leadership styles. By adopting the appropriate leadership styles, leaders can affect employee job satisfaction, commitment and productivity.

Background to the study

In recent times, organizations are going through dramatic changes, including flatter and looser structures, downsizing, and horizontal approaches to information flow. On the one hand, these changes are due to rapid technological developments, global competition and changing nature of the workforce. On the other hand, these organizational transformations and innovations are triggered by interventions such as total quality management and business process re- engineering.

Leadership is regarded as a critical factor in the initiation and implementation of the transformations in the organizations. In the past, leaders were identified, selected and installed based on the trait approach. The trait theory argues that leaders have certain personalities, social and physical characteristics, known as traits, which influence whether the person acts as a leader. Proponents of this view assert that qualities such as intelligence, knowledge and expertise, dominance, self-confidence, high energy, tolerance for stress, integrity and maturity were inborn.

The approach thus, rests on the assumption that some people were born to lead due to the presence of these qualities in them while others are not. This approach has witnessed a lot of criticisms from researchers and practitioners as a result of certain inconsistencies associated with it.

Effective leadership and employee job satisfaction are two factors that have been regarded as fundamental for organizational success. A capable leader provides direction for the organization and lead followers towards achieving desired goals. In similar vein, employees with high job satisfaction are likely to exert more effort in their assigned tasks and pursue organizational interests. An organization that fosters high employee job satisfaction is also more capable of retaining and attracting employees with the skills that it needs (Mosadegh Rad & Yarmohammadian, 2006).

Several studies have also examined the relationship between the two factors and concurred that leadership has significant impacts on job satisfaction and organisational commitment (William & Hazer, 1986). High job satisfaction enhances employees’ psychological and physical wellbeing (Ilardi, Leone, Kansser, & Ryan, 1983) and positively affects employee performance (Vroom, 1964).

According to Mosadegh Rad and Yarmohammadian (2006), employee job satisfaction refers to the attitude of employees towards their jobs and the organization which employs them. In particular, leaders within organizations can adopt appropriate leadership styles to affect employee job satisfaction, commitment and productivity.

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Previous studies have examined the relationship between employee job satisfaction and leadership behavior in various settings such as healthcare, military, education and business organizations (Chen & Silversthorne, 2005). Consistent with this, the present study intends to examine the relationship between leadership styles, job satisfaction and in the public sector. Two types of leadership styles will be examined, namely, transactional and transformational leadership.

General Objective

The overall aim of the study is to investigate the influence of leadership style on employee satisfaction and productivity.

Specific objectives:

  1. 1. To determine the relationship between aspects of transactional leadership such as contingent reward, active management by exception and passive management by exception with job satisfaction among employees.

Research Questions

  1. What is the relationship between aspects of transformational leadership such as idealized influence, intellectual stimulation, individual consideration and inspirational motivation with job satisfaction among employees?
  2. What is the relationship between aspects of transformational leadership such as idealized influence, intellectual stimulation, individual consideration and inspirational motivation with job satisfaction among employees?
  3. What is the type of leadership styles that exists in the chosen organization?
  4. What is the impact of leadership styles on staff productivity?
  5. What is the impact of leadership styles on employee satisfaction?

Significance of the study

The research will be of great value to firms that need to improve staff productivity and employee satisfaction The research will also be of benefit to the research community in by suggesting areas that scholars can venture into. Thus it will act as a background research for future studies.

Research methodology

This section will provide the process of collecting the, outline the research design and the population and sample of the study. Study parameters such as the study setting, the type of data to be collected, the time of conducting the study and the limitations of the study will discussed as well.

Research Design

This study is quantitative in nature and descriptive research will be used incorporating the case study design in the study. A case study is concerned with investigating a given phenomenon in great detail. The main reason behind using this design is to establish the extent to which the variables under study influence of leadership styles on employee satisfaction, productivity and staff perception of leadership styles.

The study will adopted descriptive survey for the data collection in order to answer the research questions because the researchers did not control factors that might influence the behavior and performance of subjects under study thereby reporting the outcome as they are (Smith, 1975).This study adopted qualitative method to assess the effects of leadership styles on staff productivity and employee satisfaction.

Target population

The target population will involve the total number of all units from in the organization. This study will be conducted among the various units of the institution where selected heads and other members of staff of were sampled to obtain in-depth data on how leadership style affected staff productivity and employee satisfaction.

Sample Size Determination

The target population will indicate above as 515 and a sample of 120 will be drawn for the study. The research will considered this sample size as a representation of the total population. Nwana (1992) suggests that if the population is a few hundred, a 40% or more sample size will do, if several hundred a 20% or more sample size will be suitable, if a few thousands a 10% sample size will do. Based on this criterion, 23.3% of 515 will equal to 120 and hence the sample size drawn for the study.

Procedure for Data Collection

The research will begin the study with a visit to all the various units and departments and also interacted with a number of staff. With this, the researcher will get to know members of staff well and better understood the institution and its structures. The objectives of the study will be made known to the respondents and also assured them of treating their information with utmost confidentiality. Assurances from a researcher to respondents of confidentiality of information being sought will make the interviewees more relaxed and open in their responses.

Data Presentation and Analysis

Computer data analyses software such as the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 17) and other relevant software such as Microsoft Excel were the main tools employed to analyze. The justification for the choice of these programs was that, these techniques facilitated word processing and data analysis very easy and accurate.


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