The Influence of Leadership Styles on Employee Satisfaction and Productivity

Leadership Styles
Leadership Styles

The Influence of Leadership Styles on Employee Satisfaction and Productivity

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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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Psychological Foundation of Leadership

Psychological Foundation of Leadership
Psychological Foundation of Leadership

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Psychological Foundation of Leadership

Identify ways that a leader could use symbolic acts to strengthen a cultural value of teamwork and collaboration in the Psychological Foundation of Leadership.


Identify the qualities of a change leader. Also, explain how leaders can serve as role models for change. Question 1 –

Symbolic acts to strengthen a cultural value of teamwork and collaboration.
Teamwork and collaboration are vital components of successful businesses and alternative ventures. Insightful leaders understand the need for developing a culture and strengthening the value of teamwork in their followers. The use of symbolism is instrumental to the strengthening of the cultural value of teamwork and collaboration.

Symbolism involves the use of actions, objects, and events to convey a targeted meaning or impart a given sense or emotion in an individual or group of people (Hambrick & Lovelace, 2017; Sergiovanni & Corbally, 1986, pp. 112 – 113; Winkler, 2009). This section identifies and expounds on several acts by leaders that serve to strengthen a cultural value of teamwork and collaboration.

Open communications
Many employees consider the leadership in a corporate environment as being unreachable. Such a notion may serve to erode a sense of teamwork in the employees since they may not feel like part of a team. To address such concerns, the leadership in an office and corporate setting should find ways to foster a sense of openness in the work environment.

This could include the use of open floor plans of office space, and the abolition of the bureaucratic chain of communication between employees and management (Ford & Sturman, 2011). Such actions represent an example of a symbolic act by the organization’s leadership to show an effort toward the improvement of communication as a tool to create a culture of teamwork and collaboration.

Psychological Foundation of Leadership

Unifying tasks
A critical factor in the creation of a culture that fosters teamwork and collaboration in a harmonious environment is the ability to unify different people. However, the leadership in any organization can achieve this through the creation of tasks within the workplace that create a need to collaborate with other members of the team. A case example is a development of unifying tasks that require input from various members with different skills.

In such a scenario, the leaders would not create a team but instead allow the individuals assigned to the task to seek for and collaborate with other people to complete the task. In this way, therefore, the use of unifying tasks is a symbolic gesture by leaders to strengthen the cultural value of teamwork and collaboration.

Appraising the role of each
The importance and success of any leader lie with the achievement of goals by the individual followers. In this light, therefore, it is essential that the leader provide sufficient motivation for the employees. Ford and Sturman (2011) maintain that instilling beliefs, values, and norms through laws, stories, and legends are imperative to teaching culture within an organizational setting. Besides, the creation of various rituals at the workplace ensures that the followers are informed on the culture and expect the leaders to operate in a given manner (pp. 115 – 119, 123 – 124).

Such rituals may include the appraising of the best performing individuals and groups. This creates a recurring act that fosters better work morale to ensure the followers, especially when operating in a group setting strive to outperform each other. Such appraisals, therefore, not only serve to create an ongoing culture in the organization, but also help to strengthen teamwork and collaboration.

Question 2 – Qualities of a change leader
Emotional intelligence
To spearhead change, a leader needs to have a high level of emotional intelligence. This involves the ability to judge and control their emotions as well as discern and use the emotions of other people. In this case, active change leaders can determine the emotion and moods of their followers and act suitably. Besides, a high emotional quotient can direct the moods of their followers to allow for the right attitudes and mood for the completion of a given task. A key factor is the ability to motivate people that they can succeed at the tasks assigned to them as well as their personal lives.

Psychological Foundation of Leadership

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Active listening, communication, and persuasion
An effective change leader is one who understands the importance of efficiency in communication. A fundamental principle of communication in such a scenario is the ability to listen to the front line people. While most leaders shut out the opinions of frontline staff, change leaders use them as critical assets to learn about the various business metrics (Dallas, 2015). Change leaders should also be able to communicate their ideas effectively to other personnel, which is vital to the implementation of the needed change. The ability to persuade people and bring them on board to accomplish the laid out ideas is essential to change leaders since not every individual is convinced of the need to change (Gleeson, 2016).

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Fostering change requires adequate knowledge in the current situation, as well as the intended outcomes from the change process. Therefore, it is crucial that a change leader is knowledgeable in addition to being a seeker of information. This level of knowledgeability should not be limited to the areas of concern or operation but should be as diverse as possible. The diversity of knowledge for a change leader allows for the adoption of new skills and strategies that are applicable in their areas, which leads to growth and the achievement of the required changes.
Psychological Foundation of Leadership

Change agents are responsible for not only the achievement of the required change but also for the various personnel and resources tasked under their administration. As such, a change leader requires a high level of accountability. They should be accountable for the timelines to achieve the set goals, maintaining communications and partnerships, and motivation levels among the followers among other such factors. In the same way, the change leaders demand a high level of accountability from their peers and subordinates (Rylatt, 2013)

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How leaders can serve as role models for change
An effective change leader can serve as an example to their team as well as to other leaders. Among the ways one can serve as a role model for change is to align their words with their actions. Another is practicing self-reflection to exercise similar standards for themselves, as they demand of other people in their teams.

Establishing clear communication of requirements and goals is essential to a successful leader and is an admirable trait. Finally, the leader should show a sense of selfless empathy by being considerate of the needs and well-being of others beyond the task. With such approaches, the leader should have a presentable image that others can emulate.

Psychological Foundation of Leadership


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Winkler, I. (2009). Symbolic Leadership. Contemporary Leadership Theories, 59 – 63.

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