The primary aim of this dissertation was to offer a comprehensive analysis of transformational leadership as a headship style, as well as analyze the impact of the transformational leadership on the performance of employees. The study hoped to examine the influence of transformational leadership on the organizational commitment of Saudi Arabian employees, the effect of transformational leadership style on the performance of workers in Saudi Arabia, and the effectiveness of transformational leadership in the Saudi Arabian context.
In addition, the study aimed at establishing how leaders can use transformational leadership style to alter the organizational cultures of their companies in order to increase the employees’ level of productivity in Saudi Arabia. Using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methodology, a sample size of 41 respondents were surveyed and interviewed. The findings from the study indicated that transformational leadership style was the most preferred leadership style among the employees and managers of the three selected companies. Most of the employees indicated that their managers were easily accessible, ready to adopt change and always encouraged the employees.
On the other hand, all of the managers interviewed had full knowledge of most leadership styles, and that the transformational leadership style was the most preferred leadership styles. In addition, the study found out that transformational leadership style was considered by most managers to be the most effective. Such a choice was attributable to the fact that the business environment is constantly changing and that there is a need for employees to be productive, be motivated and form a strong vision.
Despite these results, it was evident that there is a need for more studies that use a large sample size, and seek to establish the impact of different leadership styles on employees’ performance but with the focus directed on organizations that have high productive employees in different sectors.
Background of the problem
Nowadays, transformational leadership is among the most revered leadership styles. Organizations and businesses are seeking competent and committed leaders to solve their complications in the sphere of human resources management such as growing turnover, high absenteeism rates, the increase of the working stress and burnout levels and economic fraud. These serious challenges need to be faced by a professional leader with necessary skills (Alshumaimri, Aldridge & Audretsch, 2010).
Additionally, the contemporary business environment requires that the executives take exceptional care not only of the sales and products or services quality but also of the needs of their subordinates. It is universally acknowledged that only a high level of employee commitment ensures high-quality working results, so a modern leader needs to know how to increase employee commitment (Zia, 2015; Limsili, 2008).
To align the strategic objectives of a business with the inspiration and readiness of the employees to commit to them, leaders have to influence the establishments (Hawkins, 2011). A competent leader is able to translate the abilities of employees into real results.
The features mentioned above are implemented in such a leadership style as transformational leadership. Transformational leadership makes a leader closer to their employees, allowing them to learn about the needs of the workers, their preferred working style, the factors that hinder their performance and many other details, which authoritarian leadership styles would not allow a leader to discover. In a close collaboration, a leader and employees can accommodate to changes and boost performance. Transformational leaders encourage workers to participate in the process of strategic alteration and demonstrate the full range of their abilities.
Many scientific studies of the recent decades are devoted to the problem of transformational leadership. The researchers agree upon the ability of transformational leadership to widen the outlook of employees and increase the level of their performance. Scholars also note that the existing quarrels around leadership issues indicate the need for transformational leadership in the institutions of our country (Nafei, Khanfar & Kaifi, 2012).
The business organizations nationwide suffer from high employee turnover, and the best way to solve the problems with staff commitment is to employ the transformational leadership style (Varshney, 2015). It gives a leader an opportunity to increase the motivation of employees and disclose their full potential. However, the way, in which a leader affects the attitudes and behaviour of employees, needs further analysis.
The topic of how a leader performs the influence on working performance deserves a deep research. In the present work, the researcher contributes to the analysis of transformational leadership by studying the connection between the activity of transformational managers and the increase of working productivity. The research employs a pattern that distinguishes two performance outcomes: formal and contextual performance.
Formal performance is defined as an ability to fulfil a range of responsibilities, which are officially included in one’s job description (Varshney, 2015). Contextual performance involves fulfilling the responsibilities related to increasing formal performance. Transformational leaders have a positive effect on contextual performance. Due to their closeness to employees, they are able to provide productive criticism to their employees and make them reflect on the ways to overcome the obstacles on the way to the improved performance, as well as convince them to apply increased effort to problem solving (Alshumaimri et al., 2010).
Since transformational leaders have the ability to convince their employees to assign high significance to cooperative objectives rather than to personal aims, transformational leadership can be considered beneficial for the business environment.
The presented research is intended to offer a comprehensive analysis of transformational leadership as a headship style and its impact on the performance of employees. In an attempt to identify the importance of the proposed topic, the researcher will address the following sub-topics related to the precise problems of transformational leadership:
- What is the influence of transformational leadership on the organizational commitment of Saudi Arabian employees?
- What is the effect of transformational leadership style on the performance of workers in Saudi Arabia?
- How effective is transformational leadership in the Saudi Arabian work context?
- How can leaders use transformational leadership style to alter the organizational cultures of their companies in order to increase the employees’ productivity in Saudi Arabia?
Research aims and objectives
The primary aim of the presented research is to find out whether transformational leadership has an influence on the performance of employees and, if it does, what is the nature of this influence, in what way is this influence performed and to what extent transformational leadership is able to solve the contemporary problems of the business environment. In this research, two types of performance will be addressed: official and contextual performance.
The impact of transformational leadership on the employees’ performance will be studied through these two types of performance. The value of the present research is obvious due to the fact that quantitative research that raises the problem of the relationship between transformational leadership and workers’ performance is a rare thing for the modern Saudi Arabia (Nafei et al., 2012). The proposed research aims to work with the data received from Saudi Arabian managers. The data will be obtained from multiple sources. The task of the researcher will be to find out how Saudi Arabian managers can employ transformational leadership in order to alter the organizational cultures of their companies in such a way as to increase the workers’ productivity.
The researcher aims to widen the literature devoted to transformational management by testing the ability of this leadership style to bring benefit in the Saudi Arabian business context. Despite the fact that transformational leadership is universally approved, it does not mean that this leadership style will suit the Saudi Arabian circumstances and business culture. It is known that in Saudi Arabia, unlike the countries of Western culture, management tasks are fulfilled in the environment of government corporations and family business, which leads to the domination of collectivist standards and development of the casual communal network.
The issue of the applicability of transformational leadership to the Saudi Arabian reality needs further analysis, which is one of the tasks of this research. An in-depth research in Saudi Arabian literature on the problems of management indicates that it lacks a sufficient amount of quantitative studies analysing the problems of the connection between transformational leadership and the performance of workers.
Performing the established tasks will be facilitated by the researcher’s experience in the sphere of information technology. As an IT manager in a medium Saudi Arabian company, the researcher is perfectly qualified to conduct a quantitative research in the sphere of management. The investigator has gained appropriate knowledge, having attended leadership programs in MBA modules. Such experience gives the researcher the needed quality to work with participants. Additionally, the researcher’s skills will be useful while collecting, analysing and interpreting the information.
The author of the present study will use the managers and employees of the local companies as a target population for receiving samples. To fulfil the task, the researcher will select two or three companies as an example. The methods of interviewing and surveying will both be used in this study. As participants in the study, senior managers of the sample companies will be interviewed. In addition, the author will use surveys to learn about their understanding of transformational leadership and performance.
The researcher expects many obstacles to arise in the course of the study. This fact will most likely affect the progress and the outcomes of the research. For example, receiving access to the information about the companies is quite a serious challenge due to the security measures of the companies. To handle this difficulty, the researcher has applied (via a letter) to the heads of the firms that are to be studied.
In the letter, he has emphasized the necessity to visit the companies’ facilities and explained the reasons for such a necessity. In the same way, communicating with employees might present a challenge to the researcher. It is known that workers are usually not willing to disclose the details of their working practices and working environment (Srivastava, 2003). The researcher has applied for the help of managers to solve this problem.
The researcher expects to include three companies into the study. Including more than one company increases the chance of receiving a sufficient amount of information.
Overall, the researcher is well-prepared to the tasks and challenges of the intended study.
The present research will proceed as follows. Chapter Two provides a comprehensive review of the literature devoted to the problem of transformational leadership and its influence on the performance and commitment of workers. Chapter Three provides a description of the methodology employed by the author and the way, in which this methodology was used to achieve the research objectives and aims. Chapter Four contains a presentation of the research findings, and Chapter Five presents analysis and discussion of those. Chapter Six provides general conclusions of the work and gives recommendations for subsequent research in the studied topic.
In this chapter, the researcher will provide a review of recent literature relevant to the studied topic and define the way, in which this literature is useful to the research. Overall, the works relevant to the presented research can be divided into the following categories: works related to qualitative research methods, works on leadership, mainly the transformational style, and its impact on employees and studies performed in the Saudi Arabian context.
Qualitative research methods
The book of Elliott (2005) presents an original contribution to the body of works devoted to the methodology of qualitative research in social sciences. The author introduces both quantitative and qualitative approaches to social research and text analysis, which allows the author of this research learn the way to employ both these ways. Elliott also explains what are the qualities of narrative and what meaning it has for a researcher.
The author also gives an introduction to a qualitative interview and the quantitative analysis of data. Even though the book offers quite little practical guidance, it allows to reflect on the methodology of social research. The book allows the author of the present research to master the qualitative narrative analysis.
Grbich, a sociology professor, examines the influences of postmodernist ideas on social studies in her book “New Approaches in Social Research” (2004). However, the author not merely presents some ideas; Grbich links them directly to practical implementations and current thinking. To achieve this, she has divided the book in two parts. The first one is purely philosophical and introduces the reader to ardent philosophic debates around vital concepts. The second part is practical: it presents the constituents of the research process and reflects on the way, in which they were formed by postmodernist thinking. For the present research, this book is a necessary insight into the philosophical nature of the social research process and its practical implementations.
Another work of Grbich (2013) is devoted to the problem of research in social sciences as well. This one is a comprehensive, practical guide to the use of the qualitative approach in the research process. It allows to learn more about such analytical methods as grounded theory, phenomenology in its variations, ethnodrama, content analysis, discourse analysis, visual interpretation and many more. This work allows the researcher to expand the understanding of data analysis and various paradigms and approaches to it. Not only it presents a practical guide to various approaches but also enlightens the reader on the issue of methodological assumptions that exist in the sphere of social research. The book enables the researcher to improve analytical skills and widen the perspective.
One more practical step-by-step guide in the researcher’s literature list is Silverman’s “Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Handbook” (2005). It explains each stage on constructing and performing qualitative research. Furthermore, the author provides practical examples to support his notions. In such a way, Silverman links theoretical notions to their practical implementations, which makes the book more understandable.
Silverman’s book has been rather helpful in such parts of the researcher’s work as formulating the research question, understanding the role of theory in the research process, mastering the method of the case study, defining research tools, analyzing and interpreting qualitative data and avoiding common pitfalls that exist in the sphere of qualitative research. The book has also encouraged the researcher to be bold in conclusions and assumptions.
“Research methods in the social sciences” by British scholars Somekh and Lewin based at Manchester Metropolitan University outlines the primary quantitative and qualitative research methods and methodologies. It introduces the reader to the community of researchers and presents narrative accounts of performing research and examines the ways, in which methodology shapes research design. The authors provide a review of the common framework of social research methods and draw examples to illustrate the techniques. They also discuss problematic issues related to knowledge and understanding. For the researcher, this book was one more bridge between theory and practice, as well as a valuable tool for exploring various methodological approaches to social research.
Garner, Wagner and Kawulich, specialists in education, have edited a comprehensive work (2009) in the context of pedagogical culture. The work can serve as a practical guide to facilitate the research process and make it more efficient.
The authors of the book’s chapters are professionals with diverse experience, different specializations and professions, as well as they are from various countries of the world, which enriches a reader’s knowledge of methods in social research and the ways these methods are applied worldwide. For the investigator, this book was an essential contribution to the methodological part of the research.
Leadership and its impact on employees
A study undertaken by Alloubani, Altamari and Almukhtar (2014) indicates that transformational leadership qualities and performances are affirmatively related to managerial outcomes like cooperation success, efficiency, staff gratification, loyalty, and extra effort. Aside from this, the authors noted that transformational leadership practices boost employees’ work-oriented standards and nature self-competences of workers (Alloubani, Altamari & Almukhtar, 2014).
The results obtained by the researchers are relevant to the proposed topic and research questions. The findings illustrate the effect of transformational leadership on employees’ performance. At the same time, the study demonstrates how healthcare managers can utilize transformational leadership style to modify the organizational cultures to increase the employees’ productivity (Alloubani et al., 2014). Concerning the implication of these findings, the work will provide pertinent information about the effectiveness of transformational leadership, which will strengthen the present research.
Another study performed by Bushra, Usman and Naveed (2011) seeks to identify the connection between transformational management and job contentment of personnel employed in the banking sector in Pakistan. According to the authors, the best way for leaders to gain committed followers is transformational leadership. The scholars suggest that leaders should strive to meet the needs of their subordinates and be a beacon of hope for the society by enhancing justice and fairness. By doing so, a leader will be able to motivate his or her followers to reach their full potential (Bushra, Usman & Naveed, 2011).
Through this approach, the leaders would not only attract numerous followers but also make their members committed. The information provided by the authors will be used as evidence to support the notion that transformational leadership is beneficial.
In a similar way, another study demonstrates how healthcare managers can exploit transformational leadership style to increase the output of the employees (Lu, Barriball, Zhang & While, 2005). The authors, professionals in the sphere of nursing, have collected sufficient empirical evidence related to the job satisfaction of nurses. They identified the sources of nurses’ job satisfaction and the factors that may increase or decrease it.
According to the authors, nursing managers possess enough authority to influence the factors that shape the working environment of nurses, which affects their job satisfaction and, hence, their productivity. Therefore, this article presents a proof that leaders can expand employees’ productivity. Regarding the implication of these findings, this study will provide the researcher with a basis for the analysis of the impacts of transformational leadership on employees’ performance.
In their book “Through the labyrinth: The truth about how women become leaders,” Eagly and Carli discuss the role of women in leadership and study the way, in which this role has changed over time. The researchers devote significant attention to such issues as the glass ceiling, prejudice towards female leaders, the reaction of followers on a female leader and the possible differences between male and female leadership styles.
The authors (2007) suggest that transformational leaders should apply their individual appeal to get things done to their expectations. They believe that through this type of leadership style, executives can influence and expand the interest of the employees and attain unwavering support of the followers. Such a condition would put the interests of an organization at a primary place, which would lead to enhanced productivity.
The work of Billing (2011) is devoted to the same problem (female leadership) but has a slightly different focus. The author has performed a qualitative study to find out if women are suited for managerial jobs. Billing also examines the influence of female leaders on employees no matter what their gender is. The researcher indicates transformational leadership as a preferable style for managers. She points out that many types of research agree that this leadership style allows a manager to boost the outlook of workers and improve their behaviour to the benefit of a company.
Miles and Mangold, professors in management and marketing, respectively, devoted their article (2002) to the problem of the link between leadership style and employee job satisfaction. What is interesting, the scholars chose the perspective of an employee rather than that of a leader. Not only does this article provide insight into critical leader behaviours and their impact on employee satisfaction, but it also determines the difference between the perceptions of a leader and employee.
The authors claim that transformational leaders are able to recognize transactional desires among their followers. The scholars also indicated a connection between job satisfaction and a leader’s openness in communication. For the researcher, this work is a useful item, for it provides an employee’s perspective; it will enrich the researcher’s own perspective on the problem.
In his comprehensive work “Leadership Team Coaching: Developing Collective Transformational Leadership” (2011), P. Hawkins, a professor of leadership, presents recommendations to leaders and team coaches. He thoroughly examines the elements of a high-performance team and then explains what a leader can (and should) to expand the performance of a team. Hawkins provides numerous examples that facilitate the understanding of his recommendations.
The author also suggests that through transformational leadership style, managers can modify the organizational cultures of their companies in order to increase the employees’ productivity, as well as job satisfaction. Since Hawkins has a rich experience of studying the problems of leadership, particularly the impact of leaders on employees’ performance, his book will be a valuable source of information for the author of this research.
The researcher has also used the work written by P. Hawkins in co-authorship with Smith. In this work (2014), the authors examine the phenomenon of transformational coaching and provide the readers with a comprehensive introduction and explanation of this style of coaching. To their opinion, transformational coaching can produce a significant change in the attitudes, beliefs, feelings and thinking of the coaches.
Hawkins and Smith analyse the distinctive features of transformational coaching, its history, relationship with leadership theoretical traditions, possible practical implications, the possible approaches to it and the core competencies of a transformational coach. For the researcher, it is highly important to perceive the process of becoming a transformational leader, for which transformational coaching is essential and to which it is directly linked.
Kuchler, a specialist in leadership and human performance and associate professor in sports management, has accumulated his experience in an article (2008), in which he studied the impact of leadership on performance in Midwestern Athletic Departments. With the use of a wide range of study, the author has measured the level of job satisfaction in college coaches, employing the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire.
Kuchler believes the significant problem faced by most businesses is identifying the impacts transformational leadership on the organizational behaviour and employee performance. Since sports are a sphere, in which leadership is vital for achieving instant success, and the results of employee satisfaction become almost immediately reflected in job performance, the article will be an essential source for the research.
Limsili (2008) suggests that a competent transformational leader should centre on boosting the desires and the ambitions of employees with the aim of improving the productivity of an organization. According to the researcher, a transformational leader can nurture the employee’s obligations towards the company and inspire them to exceed their anticipated performance.
In the article of Ismail and others (Ismail, Mohamed, Sulaiman, Mohamad & Yusuf, 2009), the mediating effect of leadership is studied. The researchers have collected data from Malaysian employees to examine the correlation between job satisfaction and transformational leadership. The results supported the widespread conviction that transformational leadership is beneficial for job satisfaction.
The authors suggest that it should be noted that the attributes of transformational leaders vary from one culture to the other. For instance, in some cultures leaders are expected to take firm and critical actions to be seen as transformational. In other communities, managers need to cultivate independent approaches in order to be considered transformational. This notion is valuable for the present research, especially considering that the cultural differences in leadership are not mentioned in most part of the works devoted to leadership.
Dobbs and Walker, professionals in the sphere of leadership, presented a guide to a comprehensive organizational change on the way to adopting transformational leadership in a company. In their book (2010), the authors claim that a step-by-step change is possible for big and small businesses, as well as non-profit and educational organizations. For the present research, the book is a source of practical recommendation on employing transformational leadership style.
A group of Malaysian and Nigerian scientists has produced a quite interesting work (Sakiru, Othman, Silong, Kareem, Oluwafemi & Yusuf, 2013), in which they present the result of their study devoted to the link between leadership styles and job satisfaction in the lecturers of Nigerian universities. Having employed a broad scope of study along with a unique research sample, the authors conclude that the most commonly employed leadership style in this sphere is transformational leadership, and this fact has ensures the high level of job satisfaction among Nigerian professors.
For the present research, the article is one more source of evidence to confirm the theory that transformational leadership has a positive influence on employees’ job satisfaction in various countries and cultures, as well as in different professional spheres.
Braun, Peus, Weisweiler and Frey (2013) have analysed yet another aspect of transformational leadership: the development of trust between a leader and an employee under the conditions of this leadership style. The authors have collected samples from 360 employees belonging to 39 teams in the academic sphere. The scholars have measured the individual job satisfaction, as well as team performance.
They have discovered a relation between transformational leadership style and the employees’ trust in their supervisor. However, it was concluded that the employees did not perceive the relationship between transformational leadership style of their supervisor and their own performance. For the researcher, this article was a significant source on such an important issue as the effect of transformational leadership style on building a trustful relationship between leaders and employees.
Doctor Srivastava, an Indian scholar and specialist in leadership, devoted his fundamental book (2003) to the problems of transformational leadership. The author uses the examples from Indian business environment to support his argument. The scholar studies various aspects of transformational leadership and its impact on employees and the relationship between a leader and employees. In the present research, this book was used as a source of general information on transformational leadership style, as well as examples proving the benefits of this style in a foreign environment.
Aghashahi, Davarpanah, Omar and Sarli have conducted research (2013) to reveal a connection between leadership style and organizational commitment in Malaysian business environment. The authors have identified such elements of organizational commitment as affective, continuance and normative commitment, and studied the impact of leadership styles, especially the transformational one, on these elements. The authors collected data from a number of contact centres in Malaysia and asked employees to fill in the questionnaires. They presented sufficient evidence of a positive effect that transformational leadership had on organizational commitment, which was particularly useful for the present research.
Another research performed by Malaysian scholars, Rashed and Daud (2013), is devoted to the connection between leadership and organizational commitment as well. The authors have studied the organizational commitment of Malaysian university staff and the way, in which leadership styles can contribute to the expansion of their commitment. The scholars have held a survey among the academic staff. The results proved that transformational leadership was a winning style if the task is to boost the commitment of the staff, and this fact ensured the organizational success of a department.
The study performed by Chu, Lin, Chang and Chuang (2013) examines the relationship between transformational leadership on the one side and collective efficacy and cognitive trust on the other side. The researchers have collected data from 39 teams and discovered that transformational leadership helped mediate cognitive trust of a leader and that of the employees. The authors have concluded that leveraging cognitive trust in a leader is essential to achieve organizational success and ensure collective efficacy, which increases employees’ performance. This connection is rarely studied in the relevant literature, which makes this article a valuable source for the present research.
The work written by Belias and Koustelios (2014), specialists in leadership, examines the link between transformational leadership and employee satisfaction in the banking sector. The authors provide a critical review on the topic. They emphasize the fact that job satisfaction is directly connected to the organizational performance of the employees, the organizational culture and the climate in the working environment. It is especially important that the authors indicate the factors influencing leadership styles such as demographics. The evidence collected from the banking environment is particularly valuable for the present research.
Yun, Cox and Sims (2007) have studied another aspect of transformational leadership’s influence: team citizenship. In their article, the authors explored the way, in which leadership influences citizenship and responsibility. According to their research hypothesis, it was leadership style that shaped organizational citizenship behaviour. The authors have performed three-wave data collection. The results were used to prove that empowering and transformational leadership had a strong positive impact on organizational citizenship behaviour. This article allows the researcher to involve the citizenship aspect into the transformational leadership discourse.
Studies performed in the Saudi Arabian context
A study performed by Zia (2015) indicates that transformational leadership is the best approach to reducing employee turnover and increasing their productivity. The study was conducted using personnel of a banking sector in Saudi Arabia. The investigation focused on four banks in the country. The research was started with the aim of recognizing the influence of this form of the leadership style of bank administrators on worker’s job gratification and organizational obligation. In the study, Zia notes that efficient management of bank’s personnel is chiefly reliant on the quality of leadership organizations exhibited.
The findings of Zia (2015) indicate that leadership is very authoritative in instituting highly resolute, inspired, and productive employees. If executives need a positive impact on persons, crowds, or organizations, they must adopt transformational leadership styles. As such, Zia points out that a leader must transform his or her leadership styles from customary tyrannical form to approachable and modern style. For the present research, this work is a source of evidence that transformational leadership can be effective in the Saudi Arabian business context.
The outstanding article of Alshumaimri, Aldridge and Audretsch (2010) presents a result of their research on the problem of transfer revolution. The authors have established a task to find the reason, for which a technology transfer revolution is currently occurring in Saudi Arabian universities, turning its economy into an innovative and extremely competitive one. The authors studied the recently introduced policies and procedures to answer this question. This article is also a valuable source of information for the present research for the following reason. Previously to studying the leadership practices that are implemented in Saudi Arabia, it is necessary to examine the educational environment, which has a strong impact on future leaders. The article will allow the researcher to study the educational environment.
One more way for the researcher to study the university environment of Saudi Arabia is to use the article of Varshney (2015). In this work, the author presents the results achieved by the Khaled Alfaisal Administrative leadership Development Program and the assessment centre. The purpose of the assessment centre was to evaluate the students’ candidatures according to their leadership abilities while the program allowed students to enhance their leadership skills and boost their competency. What is even more important, the author has performed an analysis of the effectiveness of the centre in the particular Saudi Arabian context.
The work of Nafei, Khanfar and Kaifi (2012) raises an important question: how does the way people learn correlated with the way people lead others. The article addresses two basic issues: employees’ evaluative attitudes towards leadership styles and organizational learning and the relationship between organizational learning and leadership styles. Moreover, the study was conducted in the Saudi Arabian context, for the authors used several Saudi Arabian banks as a research sample. The article has a scope of study that is broad enough to make general conclusions about the correlation between leadership and learning. This article offers a new perspective since it connects leadership and learning. Therefore, it will make a great contribution to the present research and widen the perspective of the researcher.
All the reviewed works have contributed, to a greater or lesser extent, to the knowledge of the author of the present research and provided the necessary evidence to support the author’s theories.
In order to examine the problem of transformational leadership and its impact on employees, the researcher developed a comprehensive methodology that is suitable for the chosen task and the goals established in Chapter 1. In the following chapter, the researcher
- Presents the details of the investigation process such as the characteristics of the participants, the role of the researcher, data gathering and analysis
- Describes the way in which the selected methodology corresponds with the aims of the research
- Explains the reason for which this methodology is beneficial.
Participants of the study
The researcher selected several Saudi Arabian companies as a target population. Overall, three to four companies were involved. Within these companies, the investigator collected data from the employees, as well as from the managers. The approximate number of participants was 25. The researcher selected employee participants, both men and women, of any age and various cultural backgrounds, with working experience of 3 to 5 years. The researcher selected managerial participants, also men and women of any age and nationality, some of whom occupied the positions of department managers or general managers.
The researcher primarily looked for persons with 10 to 20 years of working experience. The participants were selected from managers and employees of the targeted companies randomly. Such a selection of participants was defined by the tasks of the present research. To understand the impact of leadership styles on employees, it was necessary to involve employees as participants of the study. In addition, to understand how a leadership style is performed, it was logical to invite managers as participants. Since people of different age, nationality, and both genders were represented in contemporary companies, the same was represented in the sample of the research.
The researcher performed a series of meetings with the participants with the purpose of interviewing them. This decision was made because conducting all the interviews at a single meeting was inconvenient for the researcher and it would hinder the working process at the company. The researcher conducted the interviews whereby the questionnaires were handed to the participants at a single meeting.
All the meetings were held at the companies’ premises during the working time since other options were inconvenient for the participants. However, the participants were allowed to fill in questionnaires at home during their free time. To make the entire process of data collection consistent with the rules and prescriptions of the company, the researcher received special permission for conducting interviews and questionnaires among the staff from the administrations of the chosen companies.
In the course of this research, a number of ethical and political concerns were expected to arise and affect the results of the study. The researcher assumed responsibility for handling ethical dilemmas that might have occurred during the research process. Among the most complicated ethical problems that would affect the outcome of the research was the issue of consent. To be more precise, defining the leadership styles of the managerial participants was challenging.
It was known that managers were likely to withhold the information related to their leadership styles due to their unwillingness to disclose corporate secrets to strangers. To handle this problem, the researcher examined the body of existing psychological literature regarding the behaviour of research participants and consulted specialists and research experts (Grbich, 2004). The approval for data collection was received from the heads of the targeted companies, which facilitated the task of the researcher and solved one of the ethical dilemmas. Additionally, the researcher followed the prescriptions of the code of research ethics and considered the ethical rules of the studied companies. In the course of the research, the rights of the participants were respected. The respondents participated in the research voluntarily.
During the publishing of results, the participants’ anonymity and confidentiality were observed. All the participants were sufficiently informed about the purpose of the research, the social value of the research, and their roles in the research process before data collection started. Besides, the participants were notified of the expected period of the research work, the mode of possible assistance, and the involved research-related risks.
Therefore, the researcher selected a sample that was consistent with the task of the research, and he was informed aware of the ethical ways of treating the participants.
The role of the researcher
The role of the researcher was a remarkably interesting aspect of this research. Ideally, in quantitative research, the role of a researcher is non-existent as one is only needed to collect data, and the participants act independently. The independence of the participants ensures the absence of bias and the sufficiency of empirical data. The data collected by different researchers should coincide. Conversely, in qualitative research, the role of a researcher is central. In this case, the qualities of the studied subject go through the mind of a researcher to receive appropriate description. If two researchers conducted a qualitative examination of a subject, the results might be different.
Since this research used a mix of qualitative and quantitative methodology, the role of the researcher was ambiguous. On the one hand, the participants of the study acted independently, i.e. their answers on interviews and the results of the questionnaires were not be influenced by the researcher. However, after data collection, the investigator analysed the information to make a conclusion about the influence of transformational leadership on organizational performance. To perform this task, the researcher assumed an active role, using his knowledge, logic, and experience for making an appropriate conclusion. Such a change of roles was fully consistent with the research tasks and goals.
The researcher expected the following biases:
- Interview bias – misunderstanding the results of an interview, analysing the interview answers in such a way as to benefit the research
- Miscalculation of outcomes – this bias is less likely to occur considering the professional competence of the researcher
- Selection bias – selecting participants among those employees, who visibly demonstrate a positive attitude towards transformational leadership
In the present research, transformational leadership was taken as an independent variable. The dependent variable included organizational commitment and the employees’ productivity.
For data collection, the following design was developed. Three ways of receiving data were worked out – interviews and questionnaires, which were different for each of the two categories of participants (managers and employees) from the targeted companies, and the acquisition of facts related to the working processes of these companies. The targeted companies provided the researcher with the necessary information regarding leadership styles employed by their managers.
The investigator performed interviews personally to comprehend the personal views of the participants. During the interview sessions, the employee participants were asked to share their perspectives on transformational leadership style and the way in which it affected or may affect their performance. During the dialogues, open-ended queries were used. The answers ranged from “I strongly agree” to “I strongly disagree.” To protect the research results from the risk of a participant involving other topics (not related to the research) in the conversation, only a small number of questions were employed, and the rest or the queries were close-ended. Feedback forms were used for data collection as well.
The combination of interviews and questionnaires was suitable for the task. Interviews allow participants to express their thoughts even though this type of data gathering is open to bias. On the other hand, questionnaires do not require the presence of a researcher, which makes them less open to bias, but they offer but a limited opportunity to express an opinion. Having combined these two types, the researcher can make up for their drawbacks and unite their advantages.
In this research, the data collected from the targeted companies over the last two years was used.
The information collected from questionnaires was converted into statistical data with the use of the Likert scale. The use of the Likert scale corresponded with the research tasks since it allowed the management of collective and self-directed survey responses with a standard range of responses into measurable data. The researcher completed the following process. First, certain scores were assigned to the answers of the participants. Next, the researcher calculated means, standard deviation, and interval data according to the task. The use of the Likert scale is justifiable since it is known for its efficiency and the recognition as a perfect method of measuring (Brace, 2008).
Next, SPSS program was employed to work out the means of statistical analysis of the collected data. The SPSS platform was of great help in developing regression analysis. The program allows the management of datasets (particularly survey data) and analysis with advanced statistical procedures. Additionally, it provides a convenient and understandable interface, which facilitates the work of the researcher.
Finally, the researcher proceeded to the qualitative part of the analysis. Having studied the concept of transformational leadership in theory and conducted a comprehensive examination of the existing literature on the issue, the investigator accumulated his theoretical knowledge and analysed the collected quantitative data in the light of the existing theories to emphasize the qualities of the studied subject.
Trustworthiness of the method
The present research used constructional epistemological approach. This method is believed to be one of the most effective in analysing social phenomena. In contrast to the other methods, the constructionist theory allows a researcher to use the outlooks of the participants with the consideration of the condition that is being deliberated (Somekh, 2005). Furthermore, such an approach allows a researcher to employ a mixed method of investigation.
Mixed methods determine the use of both quantitative and qualitative approaches while collecting and analysing data. Therefore, the researcher is allowed to use the advantages of qualitative and quantitative methodology (Elliott, 2005).
A mixed method approach expands the validity of research findings coupled with allowing the researcher to provide a comprehensive examination of the studied phenomenon, which is inconsistent with the use of only one of the approaches (either quantitative or qualitative) (Silverman, 2005). Moreover, the mixed method allows a researcher to employ more useful and accurate data collection tools as compared to using a singular method (Garner, Wagner & Kawulich, 2009). For instance, it is quite helpful to use focus groups as a means of informing the progress and development of a questionnaire, which is impossible in the case of using only a qualitative or quantitative approach. Therefore, the chosen methodology is both valid and reliable.
As mentioned above, the chosen mode of research poses a number of ethical problems. However, the chosen methodology does not contradict the ethical rules and prescriptions of any of the targeted companies. Additionally, the researcher assumed the responsibility of maintaining a stable balance between the need to collect comprehensive data and respect the rights of the participants and the rules of the companies including the prohibition to disclose certain details to outsiders.
As stated above, the overall goal of the researcher was to examine the link between transformational leadership and organizational performance in general as opposed to studying the rates of performance and leadership styles of certain companies. The selected methodology gave the researcher the ability to generalize through its qualitative component. Having collected quantitative data, the researcher was in a position to make a general conclusion with the use of the existing qualitative theoretical base regarding the issues of leadership.
The researcher assumed the responsibility of delivering valid and consistent results of the study. The reliability of the collected data would be tested through applying the same questionnaires twice to the same group of individuals. The researcher could also involve outside specialists to test the accuracy of his judgement regarding the analysis of the data. The data is valid since the research design is modelled to measure the necessary components to the understanding of the link between transformational leadership and organizational performance.
Defence of the chosen methodology
The researcher believes that the selected methodology is consistent with the nature of the studied subject and beneficial for the research. The studied subject is the impact of transformational leadership on the employees’ organizational performance. As such, impact is a qualitative subject, and it cannot be measured by quantitative methods. On the other hand, the factors related to the studied subject such as employee productivity can be measured. To ensure the comprehensive examination of the subject, a combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies were employed.
Overall, the methodology of the research corresponds with the aims of the research and the nature of the examined subject. The qualities of the research sample, the role of the researcher, data gathering method, data analysis tools, and other characteristics of the chosen methodology are advantageous for the present research.
The following chapter contains the presentation of the data collected by the author in the course of the research. The data were collected via interviews and surveys conducted among the managers and employees of the targeted companies. The researcher has interviewed participants from three Saudi Arabian companies: NourNet Company (Member of ASTRA Group), based in Dammam; Soroof International Company, based in Khobar; and Zamil group, also based in Khobar. The participants have different varying working experience and job positions, which was reflected in the results of data gathering. Overall, the participants from the three companies include 16 managers and 46 employees.
The results of the employee surveys
The researcher has held surveys among 41 employees from all three companies. The surveys have given the following results.
The results of the data gathering process demonstrate that the employees, who have taken the survey, belong to different age groups. However, the majority of such participants (around 88%) are aged between 18 and 30 years, and the second largest group (about 9%) is 31-40 years. As little as 2.4% of the participants have selected the “41-50 years” option, and no participants were aged over 50.
The questionnaires also demonstrate that the working experience of the employees varies significantly. While the majority of the employees, who have taken the survey, have either less than 3 or 3 to 5 years of working experience in the company they are currently employed at (these groups are 39% and 41%, respectively), as much as around 20% of such participants have more than 5 years of working experience at their current company.
An overwhelming majority of the employees participating in the survey (71%) consider that their managers have proven to be honest and consistent at work. Only 8 participants (20%) disagree with this notions. The figures of those, who completely agree and completely disagree with such a characteristics of their managers are equal – around 4.8%.
The figures regarding the question of whether a manager demonstrates the signs of integrity are quite similar to the results of the previous question. The majority (around 66%) of the answerers agree with this statement, and a few participants (7.3%) completely agree. At the same time, the number of those participants, who completely disagree with the statement, is rather small (4.8%), and 22% disagree.
The results regarding the question whether the manager supports developmental culture are even more striking. Around 90% of the participants of the employee survey have expressed their agreement with such a statement, and 2.4% (one participant) have selected “completely agree.” As little as 4.8% disagree and 2.4% completely disagree with the statement about their manager supporting developmental culture.
The participants mostly agree on the fact that their manager motivates them at work: For this question, only “yes” and “no” options were available. 39 participants out of 41 have demonstrated that their managers do motivate them at work, selecting “yes,” which makes it more than 95%. Only 2 participants (4.8%) have answered “no.”
The next question offered those participants, who have answered “yes” about the inspiring role of their manager, to rate the abilities of their manager as an inspirational leader on the scale from excellent to poor. Thus, 39 participants were allowed to answer this question. Of them, the vast majority (77%) consider their manager an excellent inspirational leader. 20% (8 participants) rated their managers’ abilities as good. Only 2.4% (1 participant) selected “average.” No participants rated their managers as below average or poor inspirational leaders.
The next question was intended to find out how accessible are the managers of the participants to the staff. According to the 95% of the respondents, the managers are easily accessible; of these participants, 92% consider their managers very easily accessible, and 7.6% characterize their managers as easily accessible. 2.4% of all participants consider their managers accessible but not easily, and 2.4% of the respondents believe that their manager is not accessible at all.
As much as 85% of the participants are sure that their managers encourage change. At the same time, only 15% of them do not think that their managers encourage change. This question has only “yes” and “no” options, and the details are left for the next question.
In the following question, those participants, who have answered “yes” to the previous question (in our case, 35 persons) were asked to rate their managers regarding their ability to approve of changes and accept alternative views using the scale of poor to excellent. 71% of the participants graded the abilities of their managers as excellent, and 23% consider these abilities good. Only 5.7% of the respondents answered “average,” and no participants have described the abilities of their managers as below average or poor.
Finally, the participants were asked to grade the problem-solving skills of their managers. The results allow to suggest that the managers of the three companies are generally good at solving work-related problems. Of the 41 participants, 73% described their managers as excellent problem-solvers, almost 22% consider their managers good at problem-solving, and 4.8% consider their managers average problem-solvers.
The results of the employee interviews
The researcher has selected 5 employees from all three companies, who were able and willing to present their thoughts and opinions in the form of an interview.
Of the participants, who were interviewed, two had a 3-year working experience at their current companies, and other two participants have been working at their companies for 4 years. One participant has told about a 9-year experience.
Each interviewee was asked to describe their level of job satisfaction with the use of a scale of very dissatisfied to very satisfied. While 3 put of 5 participants told they were satisfied with the job, 1 participant confessed to being very satisfied, and 1 selected “neither.”
Next, the interviewees were asked to assess their loyalty to their employer and rate it on a scale of 1 to 10. To facilitate the assessment process for the answerers, the researcher offered them subquestions inquiring whether they consider looking for a job at some other company, recommend other people to work at their company, strive to improve their performance, and have values that are consistent with the objectives and mission of the company. The answers of the interviewees belonged to the upper part of the scale: 2 participants rated their loyalty as 8, 2 as 9, and 1 as 7. Similarly, being asked to rate their performance on a 10-point scale, the interviewees gave high figures: 2 respondents reported an 8-point performance, 2 selected 7, and 1 confessed to maintaining a 6-point performance.
Then, the participants were asked to specify the leadership styles that they felt familiar with. The proposed list included the authoritarian, paternalistic, democratic, laissez-faire, transactional, and transformational leadership styles. All 5 participants were familiar with such styles as transformational, democratic, and authoritarian. As many as 4 employees have also heard about laissez-faire and transactional leadership. Only 1 participant recognised the paternalistic style. Being asked about their preferred leadership style, 4 out of 5 participants selected the transformational style, and 1 decided on the democratic style.
Next, the interviewees were asked to assess the effect of management style on their work performance. To facilitate the answering, they were offered to analyse if the management style impacts their concentration, sense of belonging to the team, loyalty to the company, and motivation. All the participants agreed that the management style affects their performance. On the scale of “extremely – very – moderately – slightly not at all,” 3 participants rated this effect as “extremely” and 2 as “very.” Having made this assessment, the interviewees were proposed to name the most effective leadership style regarding these options. While 1 participants selected democratic leadership, the rest agrees on the transformational style.
In the next question, the participants were asked to arrange seven managerial traits in order of their importance. In 3 cases out of 5, acceptance of change, motivation, and ability to resolve issues were put on the first 3 places in the list. 4 participants put focus on teamwork within the first 4 places. 2 participants consider integrity and honesty the most important managerial qualities.
Then, the participants were inquired about the transformational leadership style, its definition, and the traits associated with it. The results suggest that all 5 participants are acquainted with this style. While giving the definition, 4 of 5 interviewees mentioned the word “change.” 4 participants selected adaptability and proactivity among the traits associated with transformational leadership. As many as 3 interviewees also consider creativity a transformational trait.
Being asked about a person, whom they would call a transformational leader, 3 participants named their managers, and the other 2 named famous persons (Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt). Among the reasons, for which they consider this particular person a transformational leader, the participants mentioned such features as the readiness to lead a change process and accept new ideas.
In the rest of the interview, the participants performed an evaluation of their manager as a leader. First, the interviewees were asked to select the traits that they have noticed in their manager regarding leadership. 4 interviewees mentioned acceptance of change, ability to resolve issues, and motivation as the traits of their managers. All the participants selected honesty, and 2 participants also mentioned accessibility. In addition, 3 participants rated the impact of the manager on their motivation as “extremely,” 1 participant as “very,” and 1 as “moderately.” As a response about inspirational managerial behaviour, the participants mentioned being close to the followers, the ability to take blame for the whole team, curiosity, and treating employees with different positions equally.
Being asked about the traits that their managers lack, 1 interviewee selected accessibility, and 1 mentioned focus on teamwork. Other participants expressed a conviction that their managers do not lack any of essential leadership traits.
Next, the participants were allowed to present their thought about the extent, to which their managers can be considered transformational leaders. While 3 participants selected “extremely.” 1 answered “very,” and 1 selected “moderately.” The interviewees also were proposed to describe a situation when their manager acted as a transformational leader. 3 participants presented situations, in which their managers were promoting changes. 1 participant described a case when their manager took a risk wisely, and another participant told about their manager adapting to the alterations in market conditions.
Then, the respondents were asked to describe their attitude to their manager in an open form. The majority (3 out of 5) of the participants have mentioned such attitudes as admiration, deep respect, complete trust, friendship, and loyalty. 1 participant told that, while being trustful and loyal to the manager, they do not entertain any personal feelings such as admiration or friendship to their superior. 1 interviewee confessed to being quite indifferent towards their manager but respectful towards their position and performance.
To the question regarding the possible changes in the leadership style that can lead to the improved performance, 3 participants responded that they do not consider any changes necessary. 1 participant told that the manager needs to be more accessible to the employees, which would boost their motivation and, consequently, their work performance. 1 participant considers that the manager needs to follow the guidelines of transformational leadership to improve the performance of the employees.
The results of the manager surveys
The investigator has asked 9 managers from the three companies to participate in a survey. The surveys have given the following results.
Even though the data demonstrate that the managers belong to different age groups, it can bee seen that the majority (56%) are aged between 31 and 40. 2 out of 9 participants have selected the range of 18-30, and 2 participants are aged between 41 and 50.
None of the participants have been in a managerial position for less than 5 years. Almost 56% of the participants have been in this position for 9 to 10 years. The second largest group (22%) is composed of the participants, who have been in this position for 7-8 years. Only two participants out of 9 have been a manager for more than five but less than 7 years. However, no participants possess managerial experience of over 11 years.
Being asked to assess the level of their honesty, the participating managers demonstrated that they generally consider themselves honest while in the workplace. The participants responded in the following way. More than a half (56%) of the participants has described their level of honesty as “good.” One participant confessed to being excellently honest. 22% of the managers consider their level of honesty an average one.
Similarly, the respondents were proposed to select the term that best describes their level of integrity. In the same way as with honesty, it can be seen that the participants consider that they do possess some level of integrity. Almost a half (44%) of the participants think that their level of integrity is “good,” while 33% believe that it is “excellent.” The other 22% think that they demonstrate an average level of integrity.
The answers to the next question have demonstrated that the managers, who took part in the survey, are generally aware of the importance of team effort and consider that they support a developmental culture that promotes it. To this question, the overwhelming majority (around 78% of the participants) responded that they always support such a culture while the other 22% think that they do it occasionally.
Next, the participants were asked to tell whether they think that they motivate their employees in the workplace. The only possible answers were “yes” and “no.” The answers have demonstrated the agreement between the participants and the belief that they are generally able to motivate the employees. 100% of the participants selected the answer “yes.”
The next question was a follow-up to the previous one since it asked those participants, who answered “yes,” to estimate how often they motivate their employees, with such possible answers as “almost all the time,” “most of the time,” and “occasionally.” Around 44% of the participants believe that they motivate their followers almost all the time, and an equal group of participants has selected “most of the time.” 11% of the participants have mentioned the occasional motivation.
Another significant figure demonstrates that most of the managers, who took part in the survey, consider themselves accessible enough for their employees. Being asked about their accessibility as managers, 56% of the respondents selected “very easily accessible,” around 33% chose “accessible,” and one participant confessed to being not easily accessible.
The next question was intended to estimate the readiness of the managers to perform and welcome organizational change. The participants were offered to answer whether they welcome change, with two possible answers, “yes” and “no.” All but one participant have selected “yes.” Next, those welcoming change were asked to estimate their ability to facilitate the process of change sensitively. 56% of those answering this question (5 participants) consider their ability good, around 22% believe that it is excellent, and 1 participant thinks that it is average.
Finally, the participants of the survey were asked to rate themselves in terms of the ability to solve difficult problems at the workplace. It turned out that, while all the participants believe that they are able to solve such problems (nobody has selected the variants “below average” and “poor”), they estimate this ability in a different way. The majority of the respondents (around 44%) has described their ability to solve complex problems as “excellent.” A significant part (almost 22%) of the answerers consider themselves good problem solvers. Two participants, which is around 22%, confessed to being “average” while solving complex problems at the workplace.
The results of the manager interviews
The researcher has invited 7 managers leading various departments in the three targeted companies to take part in the managerial interview. The interviewing has given the following results.
First, the interviewees were asked to name their position in their current company and the number of years they have been working for it. The interview results reveal that the participants occupy diverse managerial positions. Only around 29% of the interviewees have been working at their current company for less that 10 years. The majority of the participants (57%) have spent more than 10 years working in this company.
Next, the managers were asked to assess the overall job satisfaction among their followers. The results suggest that the participants generally believe that their followers are satisfied but estimate this satisfaction differently. The participants are divided into two almost equal groups: 43% of them are sure that the employees are very satisfied while the other 57% characterize the level of job satisfaction among their followers as “satisfied.”
Then, the managers were proposed to estimate the loyalty of their employees using a scale from 1 to 10. To facilitate the estimation process, the researcher offered them additional questions regarding the interest of the employees in improving their performance, the match between their behaviour and the goals and mission of the company, and their interest in the tasks and duties, as well as their use of the proactive approach. The managers gave high grades to the loyalty of their employees, with the rates no less than 7 and the mean of 8.
The managers were also asked to estimate the performance of their followers using the same scale. The participants did not venture to rate their employees’ performance as 10, perhaps still seeing room for improvement, but all the answers were 5 and higher, with the mean of 7.
In the next question, the participants were asked to specify the leadership styles that they are familiar with, mention their preferred leadership style, and name the person, who serves as their role model in terms of leadership. The answers to the question have demonstrated the remarkable awareness regarding leadership style among the managers. 100% of the participants reported being acquainted with such leadership styles as authoritarian, democratic, laissez-faire, transactional, and transformational.
As much as 71% of the participants also told that they are familiar with the paternalistic style. It is quite interesting that 86% of managers mentioned transformational leadership as their preferred leadership style, and the rest (around 14%) has selected laissez-faire. As their role models in the field of leadership, the participants named a variety of persons, including King Abdullah, Sheikh Nasser Al Mutawa Alotaibi, the CEO of their company, and such leaders of American business as Warren Buffet and Steve Jobs.
Having answered that, the participants had to estimate the extent, to which the style of leadership affects the working performance of the employees. To make the process of estimation easier, the investigator offered additional questions regarding this issue. The questions allowed to analyse the impact of the leadership style in motivation, concentration and efficiency, sense of belonging to a team and loyalty. All the participants consider the leadership style and important factor influencing the performance of the employees, with 71% answering “extremely” and the rest selecting “very.”
Following this, the managers were asked what leadership style (out of the six styles mentioned in an earlier question) they consider the most effective and why. The overwhelming majority (6 participants out of 7) named the transformational leadership style the most effective. Among the reasons for such a choice, they named the ability to adapt to the ever-changing conditions of the business environment, the positive impact on employee performance and motivation, and the ability to form a strong vision. The participant, who selected laissez-faire, mentioned its positive impact on the initiative of the workers.
Next, the participants had to arrange seven managerial traits in order of their importance. 57% of them put acceptance of change, motivation, and ability to resolve issues on the first 3 places. 86% of the participants consider that integrity and accessibility should be put within the first 5 places in the list.
In the next question, the participants were asked whether they were familiar with the transformational style and proposed to give a definition, as well as to select the most important traits of a transformational leader. 100% of the participants were familiar with the term, and most of the definitions were connected with the concept of promoting and adapting to change. Adaptability, creativity, and proactivity were the traits that were inevitably present in the list of traits made by each participant. In the next question, the participants were asked about a person, whom they would name a transformational leader, and the reason for this choice.
The participants named various leaders; in general, they stressed such features as adaptability and readiness to initiate organizational change, as well as proactivity, as reasons for choosing this particular person.
Answering the question regarding their ways to make the employees follow them, the participants mostly mentioned being open and honest with the employees and finding the ways to inspire them.
Next, the participants had to select the traits that, as they believe, they demonstrate in the workplace. Among the most popular choices were integrity, honesty, motivation, acceptance of change, and ability to resolve issues. The participants also agree on the fact that having a strong vision is the most motivational to the employees.
Being asked to specify, to what extent their leadership style is transformational, 43% selected “extremely,” 29% selected “very,” and 29% chose “moderately.” The participants have described situations, in which they acted as transformational leaders, and told how they have developed this style. The participants agree on the fact that having a strong vision can improve the performance of the employees.
The researcher has collected a significant amount of data from the managers and employees of the three selected companies in the form of surveys and interviews. The gathered information allows the investigator to perform the analysis of the attitude towards transformational leadership in the Saudi Arabian business context.
* – based on interview results.
Analysis and Discussion of Research Findings
After gathering and arranging the results of interviews and surveys held among the managers and employees of the three targeted companies, the researcher proceeds to the analysis of the collected data. To present the analysis, the investigator has broke down the subject in the following categories: the understanding of transformational leadership, the attitude towards this leadership style, the impact of transformational leadership on the organizational commitment, loyalty to the company, collaboration between managers and employees, employee job satisfaction, the motivation of the employees, promoting change and adaptability to the changing environment, problem-solving, proactivity and organizational performance, as well as the applicability of the transformational leadership style in the Saudi Arabian context.
The understanding of transformational leadership
The study has demonstrated that Saudi Arabian employees and managers are generally aware of the transformational leadership style.
All the interviewed employees reported that they were familiar with the transformational leadership style. While giving the definition of this style, the overwhelming majority of the employees used the concept of change in some way: “promoting change,” “adapting to change,” “managing change,” etc. Among the other managerial traits associated with the transformational leadership style, the employees named the ability to accept new ideas, adaptability, proactivity and creativity.
In addition, when asked about a person, whom they consider a transformational leader, the employees named either their managers (who, as it is demonstrated below, mostly consider themselves transformational leaders) or famous persons, who are known as transformational leaders, These facts suggest that the employees have an accurate understanding of the definition, specific traits and the existing examples of the transformational leadership style.
Similarly to the employees, the managerial participants of the study demonstrate a perfect understanding of this leadership style. All the managers were familiar with transformational leadership and named the features associated with it, such as the ability to adapt to changing conditions, positive influence on the performance and motivation of the staff, and strong vision, which are recognized in the scholarly literature on leadership.
Therefore, both managers and employees of three Saudi Arabian firms are aware of the transformational leadership style and are able to give it an accurate definition, as well as support their thinking with correct examples. Since the participants were selected on a random basis, these facts may mean that the transformational leadership style is well-known by Saudi Arabian managers and employees in general.
The attitude towards transformational leadership
The researcher was also able to analyse the attitude of the participants towards the transformational leadership style, both explicit, i.e. when the participants expressed their attitude towards this style directly, and implicit, i.e. when they claimed that they value particular features which they earlier or later linked to transformational leadership.
The majority of the employees claimed that the transformational style was their preferred leadership style. Moreover, most of the employees selected the transformational style as the most effective leadership style. It was also mentioned that the employees consider such traits as adaptability, proactivity, and the promotion and acceptance of change connected with transformational leadership. At the same time, the employees name acceptance of change as one of the most important managerial qualities. Therefore, not only do the employees consider transformational leadership effective, but they also recognize that its primary feature is significant and should be demonstrated by a manager.
The majority of the managers named transformational leadership as their preferred style. They also confessed to having leadership role models (both foreign and Saudi Arabian), who are recognized and revered as transformational leaders. The overwhelming majority of the managerial participants believe that the transformational style is the most effective headship style. Similarly to the employees, they consider it beneficial for the adaptation to changes in the environment. In addition, they think that this style is advantageous for the motivation and performance of the employees. Most of the managers are sure that acceptance of change is the most important quality of a manager.
As it can be seen, the managers strive to make their leadership consistent with the transformational style, and the employees acknowledge that this style is effective.
The effect on organizational commitment
As it is considered in the scholarly environment, organizational commitment has a direct and strong positive influence on the performance of the employees. Therefore, to analyse the effect of transformational leadership on the performance, it is also necessary to find out how this style affects organizational commitment (Limsili, 2008). As it can be seen from the reflections of the researcher on the attitude towards the transformational leadership style, the majority of the managers consider themselves transformational leaders and strive to behave in the workplace according to this style.
Hence, if the organizational commitment among the employees of the three companies is relatively high, then the impact of transformational leadership on the organizational commitment in the Saudi Arabian context is positive.
It is clear that organizational commitment can hardly be measured in figures since it is a personal feeling rather than some precise figure. Nevertheless, the researcher is able to base a judgment on the answers that the employees gave regarding their commitment, as well as on the assessment of their managers regarding their loyalty to the company. Being asked to rate their loyalty to the company, the employees presented figures with the mean of 8.2, which means that they generally consider themselves loyal. As for the assessment of the managers, the also consider that the level of the commitment of their followers is high.
In addition, the results prove that the employees are aware of the impact of leadership style on their organizational commitment. When the employees were asked to estimate the effect of management style on their performance, commitment was one of the factors for consideration. Given the fact that they consider this effect to be high, the employees recognize the positive effect of leadership style on their commitment. Therefore, transformational leadership has a positive effect on the organizational commitment of the Saudi Arabian employees.
Manager as a role model
As it is widely acknowledged, being a role model for the followers is an important quality for a leader. If a role model is active and industrious, the employees will follow this model and increase their effort, which will lead to the improvement of their performance. Therefore, it is highly important to find out whether the employees of the targeted companies see their managers as their role models. To find this out, the researcher decided to analyse how the employees rate their managers in terms of accessibility, honesty, integrity and strength, as well a check whether the employees name the managers as their role models directly.
The results demonstrate that the majority of the employees consider their managers to be honest and consistent. Most of the employees also believe that their managers demonstrate the signs of integrity. Almost all the employees believe that their managers are decisive and accessible. A considerable part of the interviewed employees, being asked about an individual, whom they would call a transformational leader, named their managers, which, considering their positive attitude towards transformational leadership, is a sign of their respect towards the managers. Furthermore, the majority of the employees openly acknowledged that they respect their managers, as well as they confessed to feeling admiration to their leaders and regarding the managers as friends.
All the mentioned facts allow the researcher to see the full picture, in which the managers of the targeted companies mostly serve as role models to their employees and are considered such models by their followers.
Collaboration between managers and employees and among the employees
A close collaboration between a manager and their employees, as well as that among the employees is an important part of the performance since it has a significant impact on organizational learning. Collaboration is especially important for the contextual performance due to the fact that it allows to transcend the borders of formal performance.
The results of the employee survey demonstrate that the overwhelming majority of the employees believe that their managers support a culture focusing on team effort, which means that the managers promote close collaboration among the employees. In addition, almost all the employee participants agree that their manager is accessible. A great part of the managerial participants also consider themselves accessible.
For a manager, being accessible is a strong base for the close collaboration with employees. In addition, a significant part of the participants told that their managers accept alternative views, which is the first step to a collaboration between managers and employees.
Being asked about the methods, which they use to get their employees to follow them, the interviewed managers told about being open and honest with the employees and seeking the ways to inspire them. Such a method implies a close collaboration between a manager and their followers. The fact that the majority of the employees, who were interviewed, described their positive feelings (such as respect, admiration and friendship) towards their managers contributes to the likeliness of a strong collaboration between the leaders and their followers in Saudi Arabian firms.
The role of job satisfaction in the overall employee performance is hard to overestimate. Being satisfied with the conditions in the workplace, the tasks, the managerial attitude, and other factors related to their job, employees demonstrate higher results. It is clear that the relationship with supervisors has a serious impact on job satisfaction (Ismail, Mohamed, Sulaiman, Mohamad, & Yusuf, 2009; Sakiru, Othman, Silong, Kareem, Oluwafemi, & Yusuf, 2013).
As it was already proved, the managers of the studied companies serve as role models to the employees, as well as they ensure a close collaboration between themselves and their followers. Moreover, the majority of the employees are friendly on good terms with their managers. This fact definitely affects the job satisfaction of the employees in a positive way. To investigate the issue of job satisfaction further, it is necessary to check the answers of the employees, as well as their managers, regarding the employee job satisfaction at the targeted companies. Being asked directly about their level of job satisfaction, 4 of 5 interviewed employees reported being satisfied with their job.
Therefore, the majority of the employees, who have answered this question, recognize the presence of job satisfaction in themselves. The managers were also asked to assess the level of job satisfaction of their employees. All the interviewed managers believe that their followers are satisfied, with the almost equal division between “satisfied” and “very satisfied.” Since the results shown by managers were quite similar to those of the employees, the trustworthiness of the results is confirmed.
Along with the information regarding the role model and collaboration, the results of the surveys and interviews regarding job satisfaction demonstrate that the employees of the studied companies are generally satisfied with their job.
The strong effect of employee motivation on the performance and, consequently, the productivity of the employees is universally recognized (Bushra, Usman, & Naveed, 2011). A true transformational leader is able to find out what motivates their employees, as well as they always know whether their employees are motivated enough or not. As it was already established in this chapter, the employees of the three targeted companies are committed to their organizations, demonstrate a considerable level of job satisfaction, are on good terms with their managers, whom they see as the role models, and are also in a close collaboration with their managers.
These facts can most likely be proof of the employees being strongly motivated. To confirm or refute this statement, it is necessary to check the answers of managers and employees regarding motivation.
The decisive majority of the employees, who took part in the survey, told that their manager motivates them at work. Those employees, who consider their managers to be motivators, rate the inspirational abilities of their leaders as excellent or good. Most of the interviewed employees mentioned motivation as one of the traits exhibited by their managers. Similarly, the managers believe that they are generally good at motivation. Every manager, who took part in the survey, considered so, and the majority of them think that they motivate their employees most of the working time. Half of the interviewed managers think that motivation is among the most important qualities of a manager.
Along with the facts regarding the job satisfaction and the relationship between managers and employees, the direct answers of the participants regarding job motivation support the notion that the employees at the studied companies are strongly motivated.
Promoting of change and adaptability to the changing environment
It is a known fact that transformational leadership is especially effective in the times of organizational change. This leadership style allows to identify the need to change and mobilize staff and resources effectively to perform the change process (Hawkins & Smith, 2014). The managers of the examined companies have demonstrated their willingness to follow the guidelines of the transformational leadership style.
It is, however, still needed to check whether the collected data support the notion that these managers encourage change and manage it effectively. To fulfil this task, it is necessary to compare the answers of managers and employees regarding the issues related to organizational change.
First of all, it should be mentioned that the majority of both managers and employees have explicitly stated that they prefer the transformational leadership style. Along with that, they understand the features of this style regarding change. Therefore, the participants recognize the necessity of being adaptable to change. Most part of the employees, who participated in the questionnaire, consider that their managers encourage change.
The ability of the managers to accept changes was mostly rated excellent and good. The interviewed participants place adaptability among the most important managerial qualities. Most of the managers, who took the survey, consider themselves welcoming change. The interviewed managers mostly believe that welcoming change is highly important for a manager. As for their own leadership, the majority of the interviewed managers believe that adaptability is their trait.
The data collected from the managers and employees of the studied companies support the statement that the managers of these companies are generally able to manage the process of change and identify the need to start such a process.
It is considered that creative and effective problem-solving is an important part of being a transformational leader (Alloubani, Altamari, & Almukhtar, 2014). The acceptance of alternative thoughts is an integral part of problem-solving since it allows a manager to consider not only their own prospective solution but also those of their employees. Problem-solving also has a direct influence on the productivity since problems are obstacles on the way to achieving higher results. Given the importance of problem-solving for the transformational leadership style, it is necessary to find out whether the managers of the examined companies can be named good problem-solvers.
As it was already established, a considerable part of the participants believe that the managers accept alternative views and focus on team effort, which facilitates problem-solving. The answers of the employees demonstrate that they entertain a good opinion of the problem-solving skills of their managers. The vast majority of the surveyed employees rated their managers’ problem-solving skills as excellent, and a smaller group rated those as good. The interviewed employees mentioned the ability to solve complex problems as a trait exhibited by their managers. In the same way, the surveyed managers rated their problem-solving skills relatively high, and most of the interviewed ones included the ability to resolve issues in the list of their qualities.
Having considered the answers of the participants regarding the problem-solving capacities of the managers and their acceptance of alternative thinking, the researcher concluded that the managers of the examined companies are good problem-solvers, and they use the solutions worked out within the guidelines of the transformational style. Therefore, problem-solving is one more aspect, in which transformational leadership is beneficial for the performance of the employees in the targeted companies.
Many leadership scholars believe that proactivity is an integral part of transformational leadership. Proactivity allows to perform preventive measures, thus removing obstacles on the way to higher performance. A contemporary leader is expected to be proactive. Not only does transformational leadership require a leader to be proactive, but it also contributes to the overall proactivity of the team. Therefore, it is necessary to find out if the managers of the studied companies exhibit proactivity and encourage it in their employees in order to establish whether transformational leadership helps boost employee performance in the aspect of proactivity.
While answering the interview questions, 4 employee participants out of 5 acknowledged that proactivity is a trait associated with the transformational leadership style. Apparently, the managers share the opinion of their employees regarding the importance of proactivity. Being offered to estimate the loyalty of the workers, the interviewed managers were presented “the use of the proactive approach by the employees” as an additional question to facilitate the estimation. Given that the managers generally rated the loyalty of their employees high, it seems that they also rate the proactivity of the employees high.
The results presented by the managerial and employee participants of the study suggest that the managers of the examined companies promote proactivity, which definitely has a positive impact on employee performance. Since the majority of the managers claim to strive to the ideal of transformational leadership, such a conclusion means that transformational leadership contributes to the potential improvement of the performance of the employees in terms of proactivity.
As it was already discussed in the present chapter, the performance of the employees is influenced by multiple factors, on which, in the case of the three studied companies, the transformational leadership style has a strong positive impact. In particular, the commitment of the managers and employees of these companies to transformational leadership has led to a positive dynamics of such aspects as organizational commitment of the workers, the collaboration between managers and employees and that among the employees, the job satisfaction of the employees, their motivation, the adaptability to change, the problem-solving abilities of the managers and the use of proactive approach by both managers and employees. It is clear that these positive dynamics suggest the high level of performance.
The interviews of both managers and employees contain some questions regarding performance. In the employee interview, the participants were asked to estimate their performance using a 10-point scale, and none of them rated their performance lower than 6. Moreover, the majority of the answerers gave rather high figures (mostly 7 and 8). Such flattering rates are supported by the answers of the interviewed managers. Being offered to rate the performance of their employees using the same scale, managers also gave high figures. Despite the fact that no one selected 10 (probably seeing some room for improvement), the answers were no lower than 5.
The answers of the employees demonstrate that they consider their performance high, and this statement is supported by the assessment of their managers. Therefore, it should be concluded that the impact of the transformational leadership style, which the managers of the companies claim to use, has a strong and multifaceted positive impact on the performance of the employees of these companies.
Transformational leadership in the Saudi Arabian context
As it was stated at the beginning of the research, the effectiveness of the transformational leadership style in the Saudi Arabian business context was a complicated question. Even though it has been proven by numerous studies that transformational leadership is beneficial for the motivation and productivity of the employees in the Western business world, this fact could not mean that the same can be applied to the Arabic business environment.
It was also stated that, in Saudi Arabian corporations, unlike Western ones, the way, in which the tasks of management are fulfilled, is influenced by the collectivist standards of business and the development of the casual communal network. For this reason, doubt could be expressed that transformational leadership would work in the Saudi Arabian context.
However, the present research has discovered many surprising facts about the use of transformational leadership in Saudi Arabia. First, it was found that the managers and employees of the local firms are acquainted with the transformational leadership style and know its basic requirements. Second, the managers widely use this style to the benefit of their companies. Both managers and employees recognize its positive impact on the performance of the employees.
Third, this process is not a sign of “Westernization”: the interviewed participants name both Western (Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, Winston Churchill) and Saudi Arabian (King Abdullah, Sheikh Nasser) transformational leaders as their role models. It is possible that the specific circumstances of Saudi Arabian business can even be beneficial for the flourishing of the transformational leadership style in the local companies (Zia, 2015; Alshumaimri, Aldridge, & Audretsch, 2010). The topic of the impact of the specific local conditions on the development of transformational leadership is both significant and interesting, and it awaits further research.
Having collected the data from the participants, the researcher has analysed the information, using such categories as the understanding and attitude towards transformational leadership, employee commitment, manager as a role model, collaboration of managers and employees and among the staff, job satisfaction and motivation, organizational change, problem-solving, proactivity, and employee performance. The researcher has concluded that, in the Saudi Arabian context, transformational leadership is beneficial in all these aspects.
Conclusions and Recommendations for Further Research
The success of any organization depends largely on the effectiveness of the leadership style adopted (Al-Mailam, 2004). Many organizations and businesses are working extra hard to ensure that the right leadership style is adopted in the daily operations of the concerned business or organization (Chen & Silverthorne, 2005). The study focussed on collecting a significant amount of data from the managers and employees of the three selected companies in the form of surveys and interviews. The gathered information allowed the investigator to perform the analysis of the attitude of the employees and managers towards transformational leadership in the Saudi Arabian business context.
This study was conducted primarily to offer a comprehensive analysis of transformational leadership as a headship style, as well as analyze the impact of the transformational leadership of the performance of employees. The study hoped to examine the influence of transformational leadership on the organizational commitment of Saudi Arabian employees, the effect of transformational leadership style on the performance of workers in Saudi Arabia, and the effectiveness of transformational leadership in the Saudi Arabian context. In addition, the study aimed at establishing how leaders can use transformational leadership style to alter the organizational cultures of their companies in order to increase the employees’ productivity in Saudi Arabia
The study used a mix of qualitative and quantitative methodology, whereby questionnaires and interviews were used to collect the required data. Thus, the study sampled 41 employees from the targeted three companies. The study had a few limitations.
First, the reliability and validity of the study results were depended on the efficiency of the questionnaires to collect the required information about transformational leadership style and its efficiency in improving the performance of employee in organizations. Second, interview bias was also a limitation. It included cases of misunderstanding the results of the interview and analysing the interview answers in such a way to benefit the research. Third, there was the problem of miscalculating the outcome. However, this bias was less likely to occur because the researcher had high level of professional competence.
Selection bias was a limitation for this study also since it was challenging for the study to select the right participants among the organization’s employees, who visibly demonstrated a positive attitude towards transformational leadership. In addition, the study was limited to the willingness of the participants to provide the necessary feedback as far as the objectives of the study were concerned.
Limitations of the study
This study had a few limitations, which adversely affected the collection of reliable data on the impact of transformational leadership on the performance of employees in the selected companies. First, the study used questionnaires to collect the required data for the study. As such, the reliability and validity of the study results were depended on the efficiency of the questionnaires to collect the required information about transformational leadership style and its efficiency in improving the performance of employee in organizations.
While the questionnaire is a suitable data collection tool, it lacks the personal touch and the influence of the researcher in probing for more information during the process of data collection. For this reason, the data collected was limited to the openness of the list of questions used. Second, interview bias was also a limitation in this study. This included cases of misunderstanding the results of the interview and analysing the interview answers in such a way to benefit the research. Such bias tends to affect the reliability of the final results and findings as far as the concept of transformational leader and its impact on the performance of employee was concerned. Third, there was the problem of miscalculating the outcome.
However, this bias was less likely to occur because the researcher had high level of professional competence. Selection bias was a limitation for this study also since it was challenging for the study to select the right participants from the organization’s employees, who visibly demonstrated a positive attitude towards transformational leadership. In addition, the study was limited to the willingness of the participants to provide the necessary feedback as far as the objectives of the study were concerned.
Future studies should ensure that such limitations are not available. For example, to ensure that the tool of data collection used is reliable, it is recommended that future study carry out pilot studies to establish any negative issues arising from the use of a given data collection tool. On the other hand, future studies should avoid the problem of miscalculating outcomes of any given study.
Key Findings of the Study
The objective of the study was to examine the impact of transformational leadership on employee performance. Thus, the employees were asked their opinion as far as the behaviour of the managers was concerned. Majority of the respondents (71%) consider that their managers have always been proven honest and consistent at work. Secondly, a high percentage of the respondents (66%) pointed out that the managers demonstrated signs of integrity during the daily management of the company’s operations. Thirdly, most respondents (90%) pointed out that the managers were in support of developmental culture.
Fourthly, 95% of the respondents were motivated to work by their managers. Additionally, the study discovered that 77% of the respondents considered their managers to have the qualities of an inspirational leader. On the other hand, most of the respondents considered their managers to be easily accessible, while 85% showed that the managers encourage positive change in their respective companies.
The study discovered that all the interviewed participants had knowledge of different leadership styles, and majority of them (80%) indicated that they preferred the transformational leadership style over the others. All of the respondents pointed out that the type of leadership style adopted in a company had considerable effect on their performance. In addition, 80% of the respondents pointed out that the transformational leadership style was the most effective style of leadership. Considering the traits of transformational leadership style, most of the respondents pointed out the readiness of the managers to instil a change process in the organization, as well as accept new ideas were the key features to look for in a transformational leader.
In a survey that targeted the managers indicated that all of the managers interviewed had full awareness of most leadership style, and that the transformational leadership style was the most preferred leadership style among the managers.
In addition, the study found out that transformational leadership style was considered by most managers to be the most effective. Such a choice was attributable to the fact that the business environment is constantly changing and that there is a need for employees to be productive, be motivated and form a strong vision. Additionally, all the managers pointed out that the ability to resolve issues, accept change, be honest, show integrity and motivate others were the most important features to maintain in the workplace.
Key Concepts of the Study
The study focussed on several concepts including the understanding of transformational leadership, the attitude that managers and employees had towards this leadership style, the impact of transformational leadership on the organizational commitment, loyalty to the company, collaboration between managers and employees, employee job satisfaction, the motivation of the employees, promoting change and adaptability to the changing environment, problem-solving, proactivity and organizational performance, as well as the applicability of the transformational leadership style in the Saudi Arabian context.
The study reviewed the whole concept of transformational leadership style in relation to the performance of employees and the ability to achieve organizational goals amidst changing business environment.
It was evident that Saudi Arabian employees and managers are generally aware of the transformational leadership style. All the interviewed employees reported that they were familiar with the transformational leadership style. Similarly, the managerial participants of the study demonstrated a perfect understanding of this leadership style. All the managers were familiar with transformational leadership and named the features associated with it, such as the ability to adapt to changing conditions, positive influence on the performance and motivation of the staff, and strong vision, which are recognized in the scholarly literature and class notes on leadership.
As such, most managers and employees in Saudi Arabian firms are aware of the transformational leadership style given that the study sample was considered to be representative of the business scenario in Saudi Arabia. This can be attributable to the fact that the sample of the study was selected randomly, implying that the transformational leadership style is well-known by Saudi Arabian managers and employees.
Secondly, the analysis of the attitudes of the participants towards the transformational leadership style indicated that most of the employees preferred the transformational leadership style over other leadership styles such as the transactional style.
Most of the employees indicated that the transformational leadership style was the most effective type of leadership style. In addition, it was evident that the transformational leadership style was the most preferred because its adaptability, proactivity, as well as the ability to promote the acceptance of change in a business environment. Nonetheless, the study found out that the acceptance of change was the most important quality of managers. For this reason, it could be seen that most managers and employees preferred the transformational leadership style primarily for its effectiveness in achieving high organizational productivity.
The study also examined the effect of transformational leadership style on the organizational performance. Evidently, the performance of employees has a direct and positive effect on the commitment of organizations. According to Malloy and Penprase (2010), it is important to examine the level of organizational commitment resultant from transformational leadership style. In addition, there was the need to examine the effect of transformational leadership style on the level of employee job satisfaction. According to Herrmann and Felfe (2012), job satisfaction has a significant effect on the productivity of employees in any given organization.
Often, the level of job satisfaction of employees is highly determined by the leadership style of the managers. As such, managers in any company act as the role models to the employees by providing the guidelines to be followed in the given company (San and O’Higgins, 2012). In the case of this study, it was evident that most of the employees had good relationship with their managers, and that the managers encouraged them in their daily activities. Such a positive relationship between the employees and the managers is important in enhancing employee job satisfaction. The employees used in the study reported to have a high level of satisfaction in their job. This was attributable to the fact that most of the organization applied the transformational leadership style.
On the other hand, the study found out that the level of motivation in an organization is very important in achieving high organizational performance. According to Shafie, Baghersalimi and Barghi (2013), the level of motivation in any organization determines the performance of employees. The study discovered that most of the employees pointed out that they were motivated by the managers, was attributable to the application of transformational leadership in the daily management of the given organization. According to Thahier, Ridjal and Risani (2014), a transformational leader has the ability to understand the factors that motivate employees in an organization. For this reason, it is important for organization’s leaders to adopt motivational leadership style to improve the performance of the employees in the given organization.
Recommendations for Further Research
Based on the findings of the study, it was evident that the type of leadership style adopted in an organization plays a significant role in the performance and productivity of the organization’s employees. In spite of this, it was evident that there is limited research on the concept of leadership style and its impact on the performance of employees. For this reason, there is a need for more research that examines thoroughly the role of different leadership style in the performance of the employees in any organization. As such, it is important for further research to be conducted to examine the significance of different leadership styles in an organization.
Future research should consider examining the effect of different leadership on employee level of job satisfaction, impact on employee motivation, as well as whether or not given leadership style influence the retention and attrition rates of employees in an organization. Results from such studies can be very effective in offering the necessary comparison between the studied leadership styles and their general effect in an organization.
Additionally, the study used only 3 companies where 41 employees were selected for the survey and the interview. For this reason, the results and findings from the study are limited to the case study of the three companies. In the future, there is a need for a study that uses a large sample. Such a large sample size is effective when it comes to significance of different opinions from numerous study participants. Furthermore, large sample sizes are very effective in reducing chances of errors in any given study.
Different organizations use different types of leadership styles. In spite of the fact that this study was comprehensive, it focused only on leadership styles that were employed in the three companies selected for the study. As such, the study overlooked some of the strategies implemented by various line managers to achieve high productivity among employees.
For this reason, it is important for future studies to focus on establishing the impact of a given leadership style of employees’ performance but with the focus directed on organizations that have high productive employees in different sectors. In addition, exploring the effect of departmental changes on the performance of employees can also give reliable information as far as the role of different leadership styles in the performance of employees is concerned.
This study had various limitations that adversely affected the reliability of the study findings. Future studies should ensure that such limitations are not available. For example, to ensure that the tool of data collection used is reliable, it is recommended that future study carry out pilot studies to establish any negative issues arising from the use of a given data collection tool. On the other hand, future studies should avoid the problem of miscalculating outcomes of any given study.
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Appendix I: Letter for the Management of Participating Companies
RE: Permission to Conduct Academic Research Study
I am an MBA student at the University of Liverpool and I am writing to request for permission to engage your company employees and managers in a research survey that I wish to conduct as part of the academic course work.
My dissertation is on “Transformational Leadership and its impact on employee performance” and I would therefore like to gather data from the employees through questionnaires based on the same topic. The questionnaires would take about 15 minutes to complete and participation to take part on this survey is voluntary.
I also wish to assure you that the company name will not be displayed in the dissertation document without your permission and the information will only be used for the purpose of this academic study. I will also be willing to share with you the findings of this study should you be interested.
Your approval to conduct this survey will be highly appreciated.
Appendix II: Letter for Survey/Interview Participants
RE: Request to Participate in Academic Research Study
I am an MBA student at the University of Liverpool and I am writing to request you to take some time to participate in a research survey that I wish to conduct at your company as part of the academic coarse work.
My dissertation is on “Transformational Leadership and its impact on employee performance” and I would therefore like to gather data from willing participants through questionnaires based on the same topic. The questionnaires would take about 15 minutes to complete and participation to take part on this survey is voluntary, with an option to withdraw at any time.
I also wish to assure you that the company name and any personal information you will provide will not be displayed in the dissertation document without your permission. The information will only be used for the purpose of this academic study. I will also be willing to share the findings of this study should your company be interested.
Your participation in this survey will be highly appreciated.
Appendix III: Employees Questionnaire
Employee Personal Information
- Name: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (Surname) (Middle Name) (First Name)
- Gender (select one)
- Marital Status (select one)
- Other (divorced, separated etc.)
- Below 18 years
- 18-30 years
- 31-40 years
- 41-50 years
- 51-60 years
- 0ver 60 years
- Nationality (please specify your nationality)_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
- How long have you worked in this company/organization?
- Less than 3 years
- 3-5 years
- More than 5 years
Management and Work Related Information
- Does the manager show qualities of being honest and consistent?
- Strongly agree
- Strongly disagree
- Does the manager show qualities of Integrity?
- Strongly agree
- Strongly disagree
- Does the manager support a developmental culture? (For example being decisive and focusing team effort)
- Strongly agree
- Strongly disagree
- Do you feel motivated or inspired by the manager in your place of work?
- If “Yes” (in 10 above), how would you rate the manager as inspirational leader?
- Below average
- How easily accessible is the manager to the staff/employees?
- Very Easily accessible
- Easily accessible
- Not Easily Accessible
- Not accessible at all
- Does the manager encourage change? (for example accept alternative views)
- If “Yes” (in 13 above), how would you rate the manager in terms of encouraging alternative views/ accepting change?
- Below average
- How would you rate the manager’s ability to resolve complex work related problems/issues?
- Below average
Thank you for taking part in this survey.
Appendix IV: Managers Questionnaire
Managers Personal Information
- Name: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _(Surname) (Middle Name) (First Name)
- Gender (select one)
- Marital Status (select one)
- Other (divorced, separated etc.)
- 18-30 years
- 31-40 years
- 41-50 years
- 51-60 years
- 0ver 60 years
- Nationality (please specify your nationality)_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
- How long have you worked in management position?
- Less than 5 years
- 5-10 years
- 10-15 years
- 15-20 years
- More than 20 years
Manager’s Personal Qualities and Values
- How would you describe your level of honesty?
- Below average
- How do you rate yourself in terms of Integrity?
- Below average
- Do you support a developmental culture that focuses on team effort?
- Yes, I always do so
- Yes, Occasionally
- No, I don’t
- Do you ever inspire /motivate your staff/employees in the workplace?
- If “Yes” (in 10 above) how often does you inspire/motivate others?
- Almost all the time
- Most of the time
- How easily accessible are you to other members of staff/employees?
- Very Easily accessible
- Easily accessible
- Not Easily Accessible
- Not accessible at all
- Do you encourage change in the organization?
- If “Yes” (in 13 above) how would you rate yourself in ability to facilitate change sensitively?
- Below average
- How would you rate yourself in terms of ability to resolve complex problems in workplace?
- Below average