Transformational Leadership and Saudi Employees’ Change Readiness

Executive Summary

Leadership is one of the most important factors in a given business set up. The world has become very competitive. Firms face new competition from firms that did not previously exist. The management is forced to come up with strategies that can help them manage this competition. They have to be a step ahead of other firms to be relevant in the market. It is only through this strategy that they can manage the challenges that exist in the current market. This can only be achieved if the workforce is fine-tuned in a way that would make them give their best effort in every action they do within the firm. Employees are a very important part of an organization. They are the wheel upon which an organization moves in a turbulent environment. To achieve goals in the market, it would require the management to ensure that employees are always motivated in all that they do. It is only through this that an organization can change as may be required by various forces in the environment.

Transformational leadership has proven to be the solution in managing employees. It is confirmed that for a firm to be able to succeed, the management must apply principles of transformational leadership. There is a direct relationship between employees’ perception of the organization’s readiness for change, and transformational leadership. When these principles are well applied, employees will always be willing to go the extra mile to achieve the desired results.

Introduction

Background

Leadership is one of the most important factors that always dictate the success or failure of an organization in the world today. Leadership has been in existence for as long as the history of humankind can be traced. As Rousche, Geropge, and Baker (1989) put it, leadership goes beyond providing the direction for the followers. It entails going into details to discover the potential of the followers. It involves engaging the followers in a way that would make them discover themselves. It involves helping the followers develop the urge to achieve. It is the art of making people realize that they have the potential to achieve beyond their current capacity. Leadership requires the leader to challenge the followers positively in a way that would make them feel that they need to rediscover themselves.

The current corporate world has become very challenging. New firms are coming into existence with new strategies that never existed before. Technology is changing the face of the earth. This poses a serious challenge to firms operating in the current market. Firms are currently facing challenges from various corners. The customer in the contemporary market has access to vast information, thanks to the advanced means of communication through mass and social media. These consumers know that they have an array of options to choose from when they want to make any purchase. They are therefore very demanding. They are willing to pay less for a product whose quality has been improved. Bennis and Goldsmith (2003) say that customers are currently asking for more, but are willing to pay less. This reduces the profitability of firms. On the other hand, suppliers are now demanding more for the suppliers they make to such organizations. Such suppliers cite increased standards of living, inflation among other factors as a reason for increasing the prices of their suppliers. The cost of maintaining a business is very high. Various input factors have increased in price. The environmental conditions for conducting business have also been subjected to various other bottlenecks making the entire process very complicated.

A firm has to come up with means through which it can wade off these challenges and deliver quality products in the market in the best way possible. This way, a firm would be able to come out as a successful business unit that can withstand market pressures. Firms share external environmental factors. Emerging technologies, good government policies, a promising market are factors that a firm cannot consider as a competitive advantage. They are factors that are shared by all the firms in that particular industry (Proulx, 2011). A firm must therefore develop the policies that will give it a competitive edge in the market. A firm should develop mechanisms through which it can challenge the existing market threats in the best way possible. It should be able to stand out among the rest, as a firm that understands the market and can provide it with what it needs. A firm must appear positively special.

This requires proper management of the workforce. It requires a strategy that will help it have the best workforce that can drive the changes required within the firm. This is what most firms have realized and are determined to achieve. They need to go beyond simple management of the workforce. In management, we need leaders. This is because the current world has gotten increasingly democratic. Many organizations today have their employees being members of trade unions. They want to enjoy maximum benefits that their employer can afford to give them, and hate restrictions. They resent strict rules and prefer working without strict supervision. This new crop of employees may not be able to be managed using the conventional management approaches. They have to be taken from a different approach. They have to be managed in a way that would make them comfortable while at the workplace. This is what many firms are looking for in their management. This is what leadership offers to the management. This research is focused on understanding the role of transformational leadership on Saudi Arabian employees’ perceptions of organizational readiness for change.

Transformational leadership

Transformational leadership is defined by Burns (1978) as a type of leadership that uses motivation to enhance the performance of employees. Bustin (2004) defines leadership as a process where an individual (a leader) offers guidance to a group of individuals (followers) in an organizational structure. Leadership is one of the most important factors in any organization. Leadership and management share several attributes, but they differ on various fronts. Transformational leadership, as the name suggests, provides a completely new path to approaching various issues in an organization. It provides insight to the employees. One of the main aims of a transformational leader is to create a completely new approach in managing various issues within the organization. This is what the current world demands from firms. Emerging technologies are changing various approaches to management. The emerging trends need new approaches that can be used to provide a way in which they can be managed differently.

Transformational leadership is defined by Burns (1978) as a type of leadership that uses motivation to enhance the performance of employees. Bustin (2004)) defines leadership as a process where an individual (a leader) offers guidance to a group of individuals (followers) in an organizational structure. Leadership is one of the most important factors in any organization. Leadership and management share several attributes, but they differ on various fronts. Transformational leadership, as the name suggests, provides a completely new path to approaching various issues in an organization. It provides insight to the employees. One of the main aims of a transformational leader is to create a completely new approach in managing various issues within the organization. This is what the current world demands from firms. Emerging technologies are changing various approaches to management. The emerging trends need new approaches that can be used to provide a way in which they can be managed differently.

Transformational leadership attempts to make employees discover themselves. According to Hacker and Tammy (2004), a transformational leader will always make followers realize that they have an untapped capacity that they can exploit to get better results in every activity they are doing. Unlike management, leadership takes the front line in bringing change that is needed. It involves making the followers realize that they are part of the change. It makes employees own the whole process. They feel that some changes that are proposed are part of them and are meant to make their work easier. This way, they develop the responsibility to ensure that these changes are accomplished successfully and within the specified time. Such leadership will evoke desires in the followers to see to it that specific desires are achieved within the specified time. It is an art of tying the objectives of a firm to that of employees.

Characteristics of Transformational leadership

Transformational leadership has some characteristics that make it unique from other forms of leadership. Transformational leadership cherishes authenticity. It encourages followers to act as natural as possible. People who act naturally always tend to give their best. Passion is another major characteristic of transformational leadership. A transformational leader must be passionate about every action they take. This way, it becomes possible for the followers to take this characteristic from the leaders. Followers will develop passion when they realize that their leader has a passion for his or her actions. Transformational leadership should also embrace creativity. Creativity is very crucial in the contemporary world (Panagariya, 2008). A leader must be able to solve problems creatively. They have to encourage a culture of creativity in their employees. This way, such an organization will be able to be creative in the market.

Transformational leaders should have self-awareness. He should understand what he or she stands for and can express this feeling to the followers. This way, it would be easy to avoid cases where a leader issues instruction, which he or she can change abruptly without a clear explanation for the same (Pielstick, 1998). A transformational leader must have interpersonal intelligence. This is important to help bring people of different social backgrounds together. The organization brings together individuals from different backgrounds. It would require interpersonal intelligence to make these people reason in the same line and work as a unit towards achieving specific objectives (Pietersen, 2002).

A transformational leader must have integrity. It is important to note that transformational leadership aims to bring a completely new approach to doing various activities in s better way. Integrity will be one of the main ingredients in that leadership. It will be possible to tell others to maintain integrity only if the leaders show the same in their actions. A transformational leader must also develop clarity of purpose. The leader must be sure of what he or she wants from the followers and the leaders. According to Kouzes and Posner (2002), having a clear sense of purpose on what one does makes it possible to measure the level of success of an individual. This way, it becomes easy for such a leader to determine the rate at which the objectives of the firm are being achieved. Finally, such a leader should have a global awareness of various factors in the environment. When the leader is managing a large multinational organization, understanding factors in the immediate environment may not make one formulate policies that can benefit all the branches of the firm. Such a leader must have a global awareness of various environmental factors to transform employees and the firm in general towards the desired direction. Besides the above characteristics, transformational leadership has four main elements that help in making it unique in the market. The four are discussed below.

Intellectual Stimulation

A leader should be able to stimulate creativity in an employee. This trait makes transformational leaders be able to challenge the current capacity of the followers with a view of making them achieve the best from them. Care should be taken to avoid scenarios where the standards set on employees are beyond their capacity. As a result, employees tend to strain to achieve these objectives. In this case, the challenge will come in the form of soliciting new ideas from the followers. This way, the leader will be telling followers that they are also important in developing policies that can help transform the organization. It involves engaging employees in coming up with a creative solution to the challenges that they face in their daily routines (Rodney, 2004)

Individualized Consideration

A leader handles various individuals from different backgrounds. Although these individuals may share several characteristics, some differences make an individual unique. Individual A will have different needs from individual B, however much they may share some characteristics. Individualized consideration is the level at which a leader attends to individual follower’s needs. A transformational leader must be able to give personalized attention to the employees. They should try to make followers feel that they have a personal relationship with the leader. Such a leader is a coach and a mentor of the followers. He or she should therefore be able to talk to these people in an individual capacity (Rousche, Geropge, & Baker, 1989).

Inspirational Motivation

The vision of an organization is always very important in achieving organizational goals. Vision helps members of an organization see where the organization is headed. It helps in marking followers be sure of what the organization expects of them. A leader must be able to pass the organization’s vision in an inspiring and appealing manner (Shachaf, 2008). The vision must make sense to the followers and it should develop an urge to achieve specific results within a stipulated period. Followers should feel inspired. They should develop an urge to surge ahead and achieve some objectives within the confines of their ability. They should be motivated to go a step further in achieving specific goals within the organization. Followers should be made to be optimistic in their activities and made to appreciate what they can achieve when they decide to delimit themselves (Ruddar, & Sundharam, 2009).

Idealized Influence

A leader is always a role model. A leader always guides others towards achieving a common goal of the organization. A leader must, therefore, be ethical in actions, and avoid cases that would lower his status among the followers. He or she should try to lead an ideal life, where preventable mistakes are avoided at all costs, especially in the face of the followers. Such a leader should instill pride in the followers. He or she should make followers proud of him or her in their actions. Such a leader should gain the respect of the followers. Above all, followers should develop strong trust in the leader (Shalaby, 2004). They should be convinced that the path taken by the firm is the right path that would lead everyone towards a common success.

Employee attitude

Attitude is always very important in defining the actions of employees. The difference between industries and creative employees and a lazy one who lacks focus is the attitude. Attitude always dictates the way an individual would approach certain issues within the firm. When dealing with employees, one of the most important factors that one has to consider is developing a positive attitude that would help every member of the organization have the urge to move forward. As state above, the attitude of employees is always determined by the actions of the management team. Instilling a positive attitude on employees towards what they do remains one of the key functions of leaders in the current society (Sherifa, 2005).

Trust in peers

Employees spend much of their time with fellow employees. They interact with their peers when doing different activities geared towards achieving specific goals for the firm. Employees should therefore develop a positive attitude towards their peers to ensure that the internal working environment is peaceful. They should trust one another and believe that their problems can be solved when they work as a team. They should share innovative ideas amongst themselves and develop a working environment where each team member is a protector of others.

Trust in peers refers to the extent to which workers in similar job positions would be willing to cooperate amongst themselves to accomplish certain tasks. In the organization, it is understood that peers interact with their age mates as far as an accomplishment of tasks is concerned. An employee would be tempted to work hard after realizing that his colleague is committed to realizing certain goals. For instance, peers choose certain models of performance once they notice that they have similar objectives. Therefore, trust in peers refers to choosing appropriate models meant for realizing high results (Huy, 2002).

Participation at work

The workplace requires the participation of all members of the organization. Employees should develop an attitude of collective participation at work. Leadership should ensure that all cases of individualism are eliminated, and its place should be a team spirit. All the members of the organization should be made to realize that they have a responsibility to participate in every activity that the organization undertakes. To achieve this, firms should ensure that there is a clear separation of duties among various groups within the organization. Divisional of labor is important because it creates a sense of responsibility. Employees will feel that they have a role specifically meant for them. They will realize that failure of them to achieve the goals set for them would lead to a loss to the entire firm. Employees would feel guilty for carrying the blame for the failure of the entire firm. They will make an effort to accomplish their tasks to avoid blames coming from their side.

Participation at work refers to the input that employees place while in their relevant stations in the organization. The level of participation differs from one employee to the other. Some employees are known to be active participators while others are dormant. This affects the productivity of the organization in several ways. Participation is also defined as the level at which the organization involves junior employees in making decisions. This has a direct outcome on the performance of the organization in the market. An organization that involves employees in making decisions would have high employee participation at work while an organization that does not consider the views of employees would have minimal participation of employees at work (Mellina, 2002).

Skill variety

In an organization, there is always a pool of talents brought together to achieve a common goal. In this pool, skills vary from one individual to another depending on experience, level of educations, and individual capability. In many cases, firms fail to realize the existence of such a variety of skills. It is therefore common to see a manager treating employees in a given department as individuals with similar experience. This makes it impossible for the employees themselves to realize that they have some special characteristics that can make them achieve specific objectives within the firm. By appreciating the existence of this variation, it becomes easy to enhance creativity and innovation, because each employee would realize the extraordinary skill that he or she possesses and can use to create a differential change in the firm. The skills should be improved to match the needs of the organization (Safizadeh, Field, & Ritzman, 2003).

Skill variety refers to the diversification of employees in terms of knowledge and understanding of responsibilities. In an organization, several skills are needed to assist in triangulation. This means that solutions to problems are easily crafted because employees are drawn from various professions. Skills play a critical role in the development of the organization because employees are the key asset of any firm. Having a variety of skills in an organization is important because employees can work in teams, with diversified dexterities (Minja, 2009).

Organizational readiness for change

An organization always faces various instances that require it to change its strategies in one way or the other to remain competitive. An organizational willingness to change always depends heavily on the management of the firm. Age plays an important role in determining the willingness to change. According to Pielstick (1998), the elderly do not resent change. They find it difficult to adapt to radical changes that have characterized the current business environment. They like gradual changes that they can comprehend and benefit from before a new one can be introduced. However, the current changes taking place in the business environment are very radical. They happen so suddenly, and it requires people, who are flexible enough to adapt to them. Readiness to change always depends on the perspective with which, leadership and followers view change. Changes cannot be ignored and however, change can be destructive if not well taken care of by the concerned authorities. The management has the responsibility to create an environment that cherishes change. This way, organizational willingness for change will be enhanced.

For change to take place, an organization must have put in place mechanisms that would help in facilitating change. Organizational readiness for change refers to the level at which the organization is prepared to embrace change. Some organizations are never ready to accept change due to the presence of change resistors. Therefore, change cannot be proposed without putting in place measures that would facilitate the new ways of doing things (Mohamed, 2010).

Statement of problem

The world has been turned into a small village. Moving from East Africa to Western Europe takes only a few hours. With the advanced communication system, it is now possible for a manager in Riyadh to monitor and direct business transactions of a branch in the United Kingdom. This shows how much, the world has been reduced. The emerging technologies have also brought new ways of operations, from production to logistics and marketing. With this has emerged a new era of serious competition among various competing firms. Firms have been forced to come up with a competitive advantage that would help them change their strategies when there is a need to and respond to any stimuli in the market (Rodney, 2004). It is becoming evident that transformational leadership is a tool that management can use to gain this competitive edge.

Purpose of study

Research can only be meaningful if it can help generate positive change in an organization. This research focused on the importance of transformational leadership in managing emerging market trends. The following are the purposes of this study:

  1. to examine the relationship between transformational leadership and employees perceptions of organizational readiness for change
  2. to examine the relationship between transformational leadership and employee’s attitudes (participation at work, skill variety, and trust in peers)
  3. to examine the relationship between employee’s attitudes (participation at work, skill variety, and trust in peers) and employees perceptions of organizational readiness for change
  4. To investigate the mediation role of employee’s attitudes (participation at work, skill variety, and trust in peers) in the relationship between transformational leadership and employees perceptions of organizational readiness for change

Conceptual Model

Fig 1 shows the conceptual framework and the relation between Transformational leadership, Employee Attitudes, and Perceived Organizational Readiness for change. The three are intertwined, as the model shows, and they will affect each other in one way or the other. Transformational leadership has a direct impact on employees’ attitude. Transformational leadership helps in developing a positive attitude that can help a firm achieve specific objectives within a specified time. Transformational leadership also affects perceived organizational readiness for change. Employees’ attitudes will also affect the perceived organizational readiness for change. It is therefore clear that transformational leadership has the ultimate ability to affect all other areas within the organization (Struwig, 2001).

Conceptual Model.
Fig.1.1 Conceptual Model.

Organization of the study

Research is always authenticated when primary data is collected from a specific organization that is operational. It is only through this that a researcher can argue that his or her research can be applied. This research was conducted within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Data was collected from a large multinational electronic company in its Riyadh branch. The choice of this company was based on the need to have a firm with global coverage. This company provided the best choice because it has branches on all the continents in the world. The company has also managed to withstand the storm of market competition because of its good leadership strategies. It has been able to transform to conform to the emerging trends in the contemporary market. In its Riyadh branch, the firm has about 300 employees. The researcher targeted 144 respondents as a sample of the entire population. The results from the sample population would be used to generalize the result for the entire population under the study.

A literature review

Introduction

Society today has gotten very sophisticated. New technological inventions have redefined the social structure of the world’s society. According to Walizer (1978), the world has seen radical changes in various fields that have had a huge impact on various facets within the firm. As this scholar notes, the new developments have brought new approaches to managing people. It is now very important for a firm to design better ways that it can use to manage people. The strategy that was used to manage people in the 1980s and 1990s may not applicable in today’s organization. A lot has changed, and with these changes come various challenges that a firm must be ready to face. A firm must be in a position to develop a creative way of managing the employees (Shoult, 2006).

Given the trends in the market today, there is a need to have leadership in the managers. The workforce in the current labor market does not need managers. They do not need an authority who symbolizes some form of oppression. They need leadership. They need leaders who will help in guiding them towards their desired direction. They need to have people in the managerial position that can help in guiding them towards the desired goal (Vassiliev, 2002). It is important to note that management has been associated with a dictatorial kind of leadership. The original concept of management was operating as dictatorial leadership. However, the world today resents any form of dictatorial leadership. Democracy is the new language that is currently spoken by many employees in different within different markets.

Firms need to design leadership that will encourage democracy within the organization. According to Belanger (2011), transformational leadership provides the best way through which a firm can manage its workforce.

Transformational Leadership and Trust in Peers

Teamwork is very important in any organizational setting. Bringing together individuals with different character traits is one of the most difficult tasks in an organizational setup. Making such people think in one line may take a lot of time, as they have to get accustomed to one another. Geographical boundaries have been eliminated. Diversity is very common in current organizations. Most organizations currently are characterized by people from different demographics. It is challenging to create an environment where such people would be integrated into a single unit. Despite this difference, a leader must ensure that this difference is played down (Biswas, 2011). A leader must ensure that members of an organization work as a single unit irrespective of their diversified culture.

To achieve this, transformational leadership is very important. It would be necessary to develop trust among the peers in a way that they will always be comfortable for them to share information as would be appropriate. The first step towards achieving this is developing organizational culture. The organizational culture will supersede any other cultural beliefs that existed before. According to Drake, Wong, and Salter (2007), developing a strong organizational culture requires transformational leadership. A transformational leader will be able to instill a new culture in the employees in a way that would ensure the peaceful coexistence of all the members of the organization. This would nurture trust among peers. As Vincent (2008) puts it, this move will create an environment of trust among people within the organization. They will believe that they have the responsibility to protect their peers, and so does their peers. There will be mutual agreement among employees on how to approach different issues affecting the organization in a very candid way. This way, an organization will be able to approach some issues affecting the organization as a team. They will be able to understand how best differently tasks can be assigned to different individuals based on their level of knowledge.

Mellina (2002) noted that organizations must have strong leaders for them to perform well in the global environment. Such leaders must be in a position to motivate leaders to achieve organizational goals and objectives. In this regard, he noted that transformational leadership can provide good leaders who attain high results for the organization. However, the leaders must come up with measures through which trust could be created between them and the employees. Transformational leadership has the capability of allowing behavioral integrity, which permits the development of trust among employees of the organization. Mellina (2002) noted that a strong relationship between transformational leadership and trust exist. He set two hypotheses that guided his study. One of the hypotheses was that behavioral integrity is positively related to transformational leadership. He employed a cross-sectional survey study in analyzing the major variables. One of the tenets of transformational leadership is that employees must be incorporated in the decision-making process. Through this, employees develop trust towards the management, which leads to improved performance among employees.

Transformational leadership and Skill variety

Transformational leadership is very relevant in maintaining a pool of highly skilled employees. Shachaf (2008) says that innovation is very important in the current market. Transformation leadership is marked by the nature or task of organizational systems. In other words, transformational leadership should aim at achieving positive results. Leaders should therefore commit themselves to change to achieve transformational leadership. For a leader to acquire skills, he or she must embrace the tenets of transformational leadership. Moreover, transformational leadership is only achieved through a variety of skills (Miller, 1991). The two variables are closely related implying that leaders should know how to acquire them.

Scholars define transformational leadership as the ability of the leader to bring about change in the organization. In other words, the leader must learn to do things differently for him or her to be declared a transformative leader. In particular, transformational leadership refers to the ability to influence the organizational standards, outlooks, ways of life, and behavior of employees. This entails closely with other leaders in the organization, as well as incorporating employees in the decision-making process. Improving the performance of the organization entails changing the habit and behavior of employees. This would include changing the behavior of individuals. In many organizations, people are known to resist change because it interferes with their ways of life. In this regard, leaders must allow their juniors to adjust slowly. Without skills, the leader must not be able to offer sustainable leadership. Skills play a critical role in ensuring that leaders succeed in their endeavors (Long, 1997).

Transformational leadership and participation at work

Transformational leadership tends to raise the morale of workers in their daily activities. Works feel valued when the organization incorporates their ideas into the decision-making organs. Transformational leadership is associated with consultation, democracy, fairness, and collectivism (Sherifa, 2005). This means that a leader rarely comes up with ideas without obtaining the views of other stakeholders. Several scholars suggest that transformational leadership raises the morality and motivation of workers. In other words, the type of leadership offered under transformational leadership raises the level of human conduct and moral aspirations of both leaders and followers.

Transformational leadership effects both leaders and followers (Minja, 2009). This implies that it influences their performance at the workplace. In the places of work, workers feel motivated when they are consulted. For instance, an employee would be more productive in case he or she is consulted before changing the working hours. In some organizations, employees boycott work because they are not consulted before new policies are implemented. It is established through research that new employees respond positively to non-material rewards as compared to material reward (Mitchell, 2010). Offering transformational leadership is one of the non-material rewards. This is because transformational leadership encourages human relations that are based on consultation (Mitchell, 2010). On the side of employees, they feel honored and appreciated while managers would have an opportunity to perform well because employees would be willing to cooperate in every aspect.

The transforming effect is felt in the entire organization meaning that all stakeholders stand to benefit from transformational leadership. A transformational leader will always aspire to explore new opportunities. Such leaders know that growth is achieved through change, innovativeness, and an improved working environment. In many organizations, it is argued that transformational leaders are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the status quo is avoided at all costs. In this regard, such leaders instill a sense of adventure in the organization. Moreover, they scan the environment to establish fresh and new ideas. In other words, this type of leader would always do everything to ensure that things are done differently in the organization (Mohamed, 2010).

Transformational leadership and organization readiness for change

In organizations, change is inevitable. However, some individuals in organizations are always resistant to change. Change comes with several effects, which are mostly negative to those who are reluctant to embrace technology. In this regard, the change should be implemented in a very careful way to avoid any conflict. Change is one of the most important factors that an organization must take into consideration when drawing its strategic goals and objectives. Change is constant. This statement is intriguing yet it is the best definition of change from a philosophical point of view. Change and constant are two extremes under a normal dictionary definition. However, from an analytical perspective, change is constant. Scholars argue that change brings nothing new. It only enhances what is already in existence (Huy, 2002). The overarching purpose of change management is to accelerate the speed at which people move successfully through the change process so that anticipated benefits are achieved faster. As such, the change should not be viewed as a shift from what is the norm. The only issue is that it brings new methodologies of handling daily activities (Moran, 2011).

In his book, the former leader of the Strategic Management Society reprimanded himself and others for their sightless adherence to the strategic forecast practice. His disputation rests with the exploration of the authoritative, scientific explanation to the future. He demonstrates how planning can asphyxiate obligation, constrict an organization’s dream, make change unfeasible, and lead to the politicization of an organization. However, the only solution offered is transformational leadership, which is compatible with change. Transformational leadership prepares individuals for change. Organizations must always ensure that people are prepared psychologically before they are introduced to changes. For instance, the organization should take employees through a training program to allow them to acquaint themselves with the new policies in detail. Transformational leadership allows employees to prepare amicably before they are engaged in new policies.

Trust and organizational readiness for change

As a starting point, management is classified as a set of activities (including planning and decision-making, organizing, leading, and controlling) directed at an organization’s resources (human, financial, physical, and informational) to achieve organizational goals efficiently and effectively (Mellina, 2002). In the definition, several key concepts are used. Foremost, it is comprehended that management applies uniformly to a public, private, nonprofit, and religious organization (Mouton, 1990). Management is an organizational phenomenon and not exclusive to the world of profit organizations. In a business set up, the top management is always under a constant challenge of planning how to manage change. Strategic change management has become one of the strategic duties of a firm. It is considered strategic because it affects the entire firm from the top management to the junior-most employees and all the departments of the firm. Change management is considered strategic because, just like strategic goals and objectives, the change should be initiated by the top management of the organization and channeled to other employees of the organization. Older members of society, especially those that have already gotten used to a certain way of doing things may not find it easy to shed their normal ways of approaching their duties. They are used to the normal methods and fear that they may not be in a position to adapt to these changes fast enough and as such would be seen as incompetent.

It is therefore established that an organization must be prepared amicably before it is introduced to changes. As earlier noted, change is a complex process that involves sacrifices. A leader may speak in a manner suggesting that he supports change yet he does not have the goodwill to implement the tenets of the new order. In this regard, trust plays a critical role in ensuring that new policies aiming at bringing about change are implemented (Pimple, 2008).

Since the market is very competitive, sales executives face a big challenge of handling enlightened consumers. In this case, Huy (2002) observes that the organization should be ready to develop mechanisms through which market competition would be handled. This means that the management should always be willing to embrace change at all levels. The scholar notes that some factors must always be considered when implementing change in the organization. The factors should always be observed in case the workers are to accept. One of these factors is trust. In many organizations, individuals are reluctant to accept change because it interferes with their positions.

In this regard, the management should be trustworthy because employees are usually assured that their jobs are secure yet they end up being sacked mainly because they do not have competent skills to implement the new policies. Organizations need transformational leaders because they are known to consult workers before coming up with new changes. Moreover, strategies employed by transformational leaders are consistent with change. The scholars note that transformational leaders are usually trusted because they will always seek the advice of employees before executing the new policies. Trust, transformational leadership, and organizational readiness for change are closely related. A transformative leader is usually trustworthy because he or she informs employees on what is about to happen. Moreover, he or she prepares employees for change in the organization. This is done through offering training.

Skill variety and organizational readiness for change

Some measures should be put in place to ensure that the implementation of the change model is successful. The first measure is that there should be a clear procedure for monitoring change. All models are guidelines. You should always evaluate the relevance of each step vs. your situation and your project. Large projects often demand detailed analysis and documentation, while small projects can be finished with much lesser work. The concerned individuals should know the basics of the objectives and goals of the organization. With this, they should assess the effect of change against what was expected. The second measure is that the implementing parties should have a clear timeline set for the achievement of various objectives. There should be regular meetings to review the success of the organization. Another measure is that the management should set short-term manageable objectives to be achieved within a given timeline. A mechanism through which objectives would be measured should exist. This way, it would be easy for the management to determine if the implementation process is effective, or if some changes might be necessary. Above all, the stakeholders should all be made to appreciate the need for change and the potential benefits that may accrue from the same (Panagariya, 2008).

For the above measures to be achieved, the organization must have skillful leaders. In most cases, transformational leaders are skillful leaders. Change cannot be achieved without sufficient skills. Therefore, an organization should be prepared for change by imparting relevant skills to its employees. In this case, only change-oriented leaders are in a position to design policies that would help employees cope easily with change. Such leaders are always transformational leaders. It should be noted that leaders with various skills implement change. For instance, a leader should be equipped with communication skills, consultation skills, teamwork skills, and other relevant leadership skills (Sohrab, & Farhad, 2006).

Participation at work and organizational readiness for change

Some change models are used by various organizations, given the fact that different scenarios exist. Some of the most popular models of change include the ADKAR Model for change, Stephen Covey Seven Habits Model, Kubler Ross Stages of Change, and Kurt Lewin’s Strategy of Unfreeze-Change-Refreeze. These strategies are suitable in different scenarios (Peter, & Graham, 1994). They have their advantages and disadvantages that make each most suitable in different applications. Given the scenario of Saudi firms, the best model would be Kurt Lewin’s three-staged Model of Change Management of Unfreeze, Change, and then Freeze. Unfreeze is the first stage where the firm would need to appreciate that given the current market forces, there is a need for change. As such, every member of the organization prepares psychologically for a possible change. After unfreezing, the next step changes. The members, having accepted the need for change, would embrace the same and adopt new strategies brought about by change.

The freezing stage, also known as refreezing, involves establishing stability after the adoption of change. In Saudi Arabia, leadership matters as far as change is concerned. In this regard, transformational leadership should be embraced to achieve high results. Employees should be taken through the tenets of the change model before they are instructed to implement it at various levels (Peter, 2008).

Regarding employee’s participation at work, Pietersen (2002) observed that several factors influence workers as far as embracing change is concerned. These factors determine whether an employee would adopt change policies or not. For instance, the clarity of purpose is one factor that is directly related to the performance of workers in the organization. Employees would only embrace change policies that are clear to them. In many organizations, the management fails to design a change policy that is understood easily by the majority. According to Pietersen (2002), this causes conflicts between the management and the organization. Additionally, honest communication is another factor that influences employees to adopt change policies. For employees to accept new policies, the organization must always relay information in time to avoid any confusion. Just like other scholars, Pietersen notes that participation is another factor that influences the performance of employees. An organization that involves employees in policy formulation and implementation performs well in the market.

Conceptual framework and hypotheses

The following are some of the hypotheses that this research seeks to investigate and confirm in this research.

  • Hypothesis 1: Transformational leadership is associated positively with Trust in peers
  • Hypothesis 2: Transformational leadership is associated positively with Skill Variety
  • Hypothesis 3: Transformational leadership is associated positively with participation at work
  • Hypothesis 4: Transformational leadership is associated positively with perceptions of organizational readiness for change
  • Hypothesis 5: Employee attitude (trust in peers, skill variety, and participation at work) plays a mediator role in the relationship between Transformational leadership and Organizational readiness for change

Methodology

Introduction

This chapter focuses on various aspects of research development. It includes methods of data collection, its analysis, and presentation procedures. Every research project applies a certain research method to achieve its objectives depending on its goals. The methods used to research this project compared closely with the methods proposed in the project proposal (Anderson, 2004). This was so because the project proposal had been proven to be workable. In research, design deals primarily with aims, uses, purposes, intentions, and plans within the practical constraints of time, location, money, and availability of staff (Hakim, 2000).

In this study, respondents were briefed in advance. This was necessary to ensure that respondents were prepared psychologically for the task ahead. This would also help in ensuring that the response was given in time to allow timely analysis. The officials of the firm under the study were given relevant notice by the researcher. The study population was also amicably informed to get prepared for the study. The briefing was important because it could enhance the reliability of the study. It is also ethical to inform people before researching them (Badenhorst, 2007). The findings were also made public to the researcher as one way of ensuring morality in the study. Furthermore, the researcher observed researcher-researched ethics by keeping away from criticism. This chapter also focuses on the literature review as one of the methods used in the collection of secondary sources of information. It gives the reason why literature review was used as a method to collect data. The chapter gives an overview of the purpose of collecting and analyzing data and the basic questions used to gather the desired responses. Alternative methods of data collection are very important in research for they avail to the researcher several ways through which data can be collected.

The chapter brings back the research hypotheses. This is important because it is at this stage that the researcher goes into the field to gather information. It is, therefore, necessary that the research hypotheses are brought to focus because they would be the guiding light in the process of gathering data (Baily, 1996). The researcher would be trying to confirm the hypotheses. To eliminate criticism, this chapter clearly states the scope of the study. There are limits beyond which this research may not hold because of the method used in data collection and analysis. It is therefore important that limitations are clearly stated to make it clear to readers of this material how far this research reveals what it purports to.

Since the main method of data collection was a primary source, the questionnaire was the main instrument used to collect data. This chapter brings out the questionnaire format, reasons for choosing this format, its advantages and disadvantages. Briefly discussed in this chapter are the pilot study and its results. In a research process, sampling is very important because a certain population can be too big to facilitate a study of the whole population (Bell, 2001). This chapter discusses sampling theories, the importance of research design, methods of sampling-giving their advantages and disadvantages, and the determination of the sample size. Also discussed in this chapter is the data analysis technique. In so doing, the researcher hopes to bring to focus the channel through which data would be collected. This is not only meant to bring clarity to this research but also help young researchers who will be interested in furthering research in this field to know the steps necessary to reach the desired results in a given research. The researcher has ensured that the methodology is not only important to the professionals in this sector, but also other related sectors such as insurance, marketing, procurement among others.

Table 3.1 Participated employees’ characteristics.

Characteristics Frequency Percentage
Age (in years)
21-25 19 13.19
25-30 51 35.45
31-35 53

13

36.81
41-45 13 9.03
46-50 6 4.17
51-60
1 0.69
Gender
Male 138 95.83
Female 6 4.67
Education
High school 1 0.69
Associate diploma 0 0
Diploma 3 2.08
Bachelor degree 116 80.56
Master degree 24 16.67
PhD 0 0
Organizational tenure (in years)
< 1 26 18.06
1-5 48 33.33
6-10 51 35.42
11-20 19 13.19
> 20 0 0
Job tenure (in years)
< 1 25 17.36
1-5 49 34.03
6-10 48 33.33
11-20 20 13.89
> 20 2 1.39

Table 3.1 shows employee participation in the organization. The table shows the characteristics of employees, as well as the frequencies and percentages. In the table, 144 employees took part in the study. They were interviewed successfully meaning that they gave their views regarding their participation in the organization. Out of 144 employees, a majority were between the age of 25 and 35. This means that the organization has a young workforce that can push it forward in case transformational leadership is adopted. Only 13.19% were below age 25. However, just one percent was above age 50 years. This means that the organization does not retain old individuals. This is a great opportunity for the organization to embrace change. Research shows that old individuals are resistant to change.

In the organization, a small percentage is women. Female employees constitute just 4.67% of the total employees. This could be due to cultural beliefs and discrimination. Culture affects the employability of women in many organizations in the Middle East region. A majority of employees in the organization hold a bachelor’s degree. However, few have a master’s degree. Unfortunately, no employee holds a Ph.D. The organization has an opportunity to adopt change because of the educational qualification of employees. Regarding organizational tenure, a majority of employees have between one and ten years. In other words, the organization increases the organizational tenure of an employee after the first contract. However, it does not renew the contract after the second contract because few employees have organizational tenures exceeding ten years. The information provided shows that job tenure is closely related to organizational tenure.

Measures of constructs

Transformational leadership

In this study, the researcher will measure transformational leadership exhibited by supervisors and operations using MLQ (Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire). This questionnaire, which was developed by Bass and Avolio (1994), has proven to be very effective when comparing two variables that are related, which are related to leadership. It eliminates ambiguity and encourages validity and reliability. This questionnaire was developed to measure the behavior of leaders. It has been improved by various social scientists. The researcher used 20 transformational leadership items to measure the behavior of the selected individuals in power. For this to be possible, the researcher used a 5-point Likert Scale, which ranges from 1-5, where 1 means not at all, and 5 means frequently. This was important when determining how one variable was related to other variables.

Trust in peers

In this variable, the researcher will focus on determining the importance of trust in peers. The ranger will be, Not Important (1) to Very Important (5). Employees spend much of their time with fellow employees. They interact with their peers when doing different activities geared towards achieving specific goals for the firm. Employees should therefore develop a positive attitude towards their peers to ensure that the internal working environment is peaceful. They should trust one another and believe that their problems can be solved when they work as a team. They should share innovative ideas amongst themselves and develop a working environment where each team member is a protector of others.

Skill variety

This variable will also be measured in the same manner as that used in transformational leadership explained above. The researcher will use the Likert scale (1-5) to determine the level of relationship of this variable. In an organization, there is always a pool of talents brought together to achieve a common goal. In this pool, skills vary from one individual to another depending on experience, level of educations, and individual talent. In many cases, firms fail to realize the existence of such a variety of skills. It is therefore common to see a manager treating employees in a given department as individuals with similar experience. This makes it impossible for the employees themselves to realize that they have some special characteristics that can make them achieve specific objectives within the firm. By appreciating the existence of this variation, it becomes easy to enhance creativity and innovation because each employee would realize the special skill that he or she has, and can use it to create a differential change in the firm. The skills should be natural and should be made to match with the needs of the organization (Safizadeh, Field, & Ritzman, 2003).

Participation at work

This variable will be measured within the range of 1-5, where (1) would mean Not Important, and (5) would mean very important. The workplace requires the participation of all members of the organization. Employees should develop an attitude of collective participation at work. Leadership should ensure that all cases of individualism are eliminated, and its place should be a team spirit. Cases, where employees dodge the tasks assigned to them, should be eliminated. All the members of the organization should be made to realize that they have a responsibility to participate in every activity that the organization undertakes. To achieve this, firms should ensure that there is a clear separation of duties among various groups within the organization. Divisional of labor is important because it creates a sense of responsibility. Employees will feel that they have a role specifically meant for them. They will realize that failure of them to achieve the goals set for them would lead to a loss to the entire firm. Employees would feel guilty for carrying the blame for the failure of the entire firm. They will make an effort to accomplish their tasks to avoid blames coming from their side.

Organizational Readiness for change

The researcher will use MLQ to determine the employee’s perception of organizational readiness for change on a Likert scale of 1-5. An organization always faces various instances that require it to change its strategies in one way or the other to remain competitive. An organizational willingness to change always depends heavily on the management of the firm. Age plays an important role in determining the willingness to change. According to Pielstick (1998), the elderly do not resent change. They find it difficult to adapt to radical changes that have characterized the current business environment. They like gradual changes that they can comprehend and benefit from before a new one can be introduced. However, the current changes taking place in the business environment are very radical. They happen so suddenly, and it requires people who are flexible enough to adapt to them. Readiness to change always depends on the perspective with which, leadership and followers view change. Change cannot be ignored. Change can be destructive if not well taken care of by the concerned authorities. The management has the responsibility to create an environment that cherishes change. A firm can deal with its challenge always. This way, organizational willingness for change will be enhanced.

Control variables

In every research, control variables are very important and should be considered when analyzing data. The researcher in this study had some control variables that were put into consideration. In this study, the researcher used five demographical factors as control variables. Age was a very important control variable because it helped in explaining the rationality of the response. Gender was necessary to get information across the genders. The level of education was important in determining the skills and specialization of an individual. the organizational structure helped in explaining the relationship that exists between employees and the management. Job tenure was required to help in determining the experience and job security of the employees.

Age plays a critical role in the behavior of leaders and organization staff. For instance, the old in the organization is associated with pragmatism and conservatism. This means that they are always reluctant to embrace change. Change comes with challenges, including technological challenges. The old believes that change exists to derail their agendas in the organization. In particular, several old individuals believe that change facilitates their sacking. They would always resist change because it threatens their existence. On the other hand, the youth will always welcome change because new ways of doing things enable efficiency. An organization with many old employees would be reluctant to embrace change while an organization with a good number of young employees would always accept change (Hong, & Faedda, 1996).

Education is very important in the life of an individual. An educated individual is easy to convince, provided there are enough facts. Moreover, education improves an individual’s orientation to the world. A learned person is expected to view things from a different perspective as compared to a semi-educated person. Therefore, an organization with a well-educated staff would easily accept change as compared to the one with few learned individuals. It is also noted that an individual’s profession and area of study influence his or her decision-making. When preparing an organization for change, the organization must ensure employees with various skills are approached differently (Hong, & Faedda, 1996).

Apart from education and age, gender plays a critical role as far as change is concerned in the organization. It is factual that female leadership tends to be transformational because they would always consult other employees before designing policies. However, the leadership of men is tyrannical. Men believe that democracy is the worst form of leadership because it portrays a weakness. Some believe that democracy is the tyranny of the multitude because the less qualified are allowed to formulate policies. For men, decision making in the organization should be reserved for top managers. Research shows that an organization with a woman as the head embraces change easily as compared to an organization with a man as the head (Halel, 2000).

Organizational tenure and job tenure are two closely related factors that influence employees in the organization to accept change. However, the two factors are different. Organizational tenure refers to the entire term of the firm while job tenure refers to the security of the job. In other words, organizational tenure refers to the time allocated to the organization to achieve its objectives while job tenure refers to the safety of the position in the organization. In many governmental organizations, employees enjoy the security of tenure meaning that they cannot be sacked unless a tribunal is formed to investigate their conduct. Organizations with short terms tend to embrace change easily because they do not have enough time while organizations with longer terms tend to resist change hoping that there is still enough time to experiment with the existing techniques. On the other hand, employees with the security of tenure tend to resist change while those without will always accept change, hoping that reforms would favor them. In the public sector, senior officials enjoy the security of tenure meaning that they rarely accept change (Halel, 2000).

Operations and Service Activities, and Profit for the Firm

This firm has had huge success in its operations within the last one-year (and even the previous years). The electric industry has been constantly expanding over the last decade. Various electric products have become relevant as various countries develop their infrastructure. The management of these firms has been keen on working very closely with the employees. They have come to realize that employees are the core to the success of the organization. Firms must appreciate the force that employees are within the organization. This is the reason why this firm has been able to withstand the forces within the external environment, which are posing a serious threat to its success.

This firm has continued to offer quality electric products in the market. This firm has a global presence. To win the trust of the market, the management has realized that they will need the support of the employees. They will need the employees must support its agenda for the firm to succeed. It is on this basis that the management of this firm has come up with mechanisms that would enable it to achieve this result. Transformational leadership comes in handy to offer a solution to this. The annual income for this firm has experienced vicissitudes within the last five years. In 2007, the pretax income of this firm was $ 26.84 billion. This value dropped to $ 19.45 billion in 2008, only to sink further in 2009, which was 9.68 billion dollars. This value rose a little to $ 18.8 billion. In 2011, the pretax income was $ 19.2 billion.

Data collections procedure

Purpose of collecting and analyzing data

From the literature review, the researcher gathered a considerable amount of information about this field. Many of the reports that exist in this field are very resourceful as individuals of high integrity did them. How they were done also passes as good enough to be used in various aspects of research. However, this is different research. It must be in a position to develop its arguments based on data collected from primary sources. This does not rule out the importance of secondary sources of data. To ensure originality in any research, there is a need to use primary data. The purpose of collecting data was to help facilitate analysis that would lead to giving answers that are desired in this research (Pointer, 1991). The objective of this research was to respond to some of the questions that other scholars had not responded to through the existing literature. To be in a position to respond to these questions, there will be a need to collect data. After the successful collection of data, the analysis would be very important. When taken from the field, data is considered raw and therefore cannot be of much help to the target audience. For this reason, it is important to analyze data to produce the desired result that would be useful to various individuals.

Role of literature review in data collection requirements

Literature review plays a vital role in the data collection process. As noted above, research has been going on for some time now. Every field of study has some relevant previous bodies of literature that other researchers had conducted before. This information is very important to a researcher. As Wisker (2008) observes, in the process of gathering data, the first source that any researcher should not assume is the secondary sources of information. It is important to note that the studies were done after careful collection and analysis of relevant data. When taking literature review as part of the sources of data, it is important to note that they are secondary sources. Unlike the data that would be collected from the raw fields, literature provides data that is already processed.

According to Wickham (1999), a literature review plays an important role in determining how data collection would be done. Because the bodies of literature provide information that is already synthesized, and with clear steps that were taken to reach the results, the researcher may consider taking an approach used by one of the researchers that may lead to the generation of required answers. Alternatively, the researcher may consider integrating several methods employed by different previous researchers to come up with his or her technique that incorporates all the desirable concepts used by the available literature. According to Kothari (2004), a good research project should not purport to be basing its arguments from the scratch. A researcher must engage closely with the works of previous researchers from an early stage of data collection. With this, the researcher would be informing the consumers of this document that there was an effort from the earliest stage of the dissertation that closely compares the works of other researchers, and how they relate to the current research. This would not only enhance the validity of the report but also demonstrate that the research seeks to develop the works of previous researches (Pointer, 1991).

Quantitative research method

Quantitative research is a kind of study that utilizes figures to arrive at certain conclusions (Hakim, 2000). In this regard, the research will take the form of a survey, whereby the researcher identifies the sample and posts questionnaires to them. In this research, there was a need to compare the relationship between variables to establish cause and effect. The researcher was interested in knowing how transformational leadership affected employees’ perception of organizational readiness for change at the firm under the study in its branch located in the Riyadh region (dependent variables). This demanded a method that would be objective and able statistically to generalize the findings. The quantitative method was found to be the most appropriate method to use in this research.

Quantitative research involves the systematic empirical study of a phenomenon by use of statistical tools. Its main objective is always to employ mathematical theories and models in developing its generalization (Anderson, 2004). Therefore, the quantitative method would help in this research. It would enable the researcher to test the hypotheses put forth for validity and allow the use of a sample as a representation of the entire population. It would help the researcher to determine the impact of transformational leadership on employee’s perception of organizational readiness for change. It would unearth the role of transformational leadership in influencing the perception of employees in the organization. It is a fact that organizational readiness for change is always dictated by employees’ readiness for change. Quantitative research will therefore help in determining the degree to which employees would be willing to change if they are exposed to transformational leadership.

Although qualitative methods were traditionally used in social science, it is not able to give empirical support for research hypothesis if used in this study. Qualitative methods explain why a given pattern of events has taken place the way they have (Vogt, 2007). On the other hand, quantitative methods explain the what and when of phenomena. Ethnographic research and phenomenology as approaches to qualitative research would have been appropriate. Ethnography would help in the investigation of the culture of the Saudi society, and within our firm understudy in specific (Denzin & Lincoln2011). Phenomenology would have helped investigate the realities of the firm, as well as how it affected its operation. However, because the process may not empirically support the hypotheses put forward to help guide the research, it was not used in this research. Due to these reasons, the qualitative method was not employed in the research and the researcher opted for quantitative research.

Scope of Data Collection

Primary data for this research was collected from the employees of the multinational electronic firm under the study, in its Riyadh branch. This data was collected with the help of a questionnaire. The scope of data collection was limited to the two categories of individuals. This was because of the time that was available for the research. Because most of the employees were Saudi nationals, they clearly understood the social structure of the Saudi society and therefore were in a position to respond appropriately to questions regarding the society of Saudi Arabia. They also understood how this affected the performance of the electronic firm under the study. The level of accuracy needed in this research would be achieved within this scope. Secondary data was gathered from existing literature about transformational leadership in Saudi Arabia, as a country. Analysis on how it is applied in the firm under the study, as our specific field of study was performed.

Format of the questionnaire

Questionnaire design

There were two key methods used to gather information in this dissertation. The first one was through a questionnaire, which was physically delivered to the staff of the firm under our study at its branches in Riyadh. The questionnaire sought to capture various attitudes of staff members and customers of the firm under the study regarding their opinions on the existence of transformational leadership within the country and within the firm within which they work. The second source of information used for the research was literature on various aspects of transformational leadership in general, and its effect on the operational activities that take place within the firm under the study-specific. The focus of the literature review was to find information on the application of motivation techniques within the workplace and also to determine the current state of research about the topic. The questionnaire had four parts.

The first part sought to capture the background information of respondents. The second part dealt with the demography and gender of the respondents. This was to ascertain the prevalence of views in various categories to ensure that if any differences came about, then they would be captured in their demographic space. The third part dealt with the academic credentials and work experience of the respondents. The motivation for this section came from the understanding that different sections of the population respond differently to issues, based on age and academic credentials. The fourth part delved into the specific issues relating to the firm under the study as an institution under our investigation, starting from the understanding of the concept of transformational leadership, and how it has been relevant in changing the perception of employees towards change.

The questionnaire also employed a mix of open and closed-ended questions to capture different aspects of issues studied. Open-ended questions were used because they give respondents more time to figure out their opinions, which would make them volunteer more information related to feelings, outlooks, and comprehension of the subject (Murray, 2006). This would allow a researcher to understand the position of respondents as regards feelings. Open-ended questions minimize some errors that could have been created in the course of research. Respondents rarely forget answers if allowed to respond freely. Furthermore, respondents cannot ignore some questions because they must go through all of them. Open-ended questions generate data that can be used in data analysis by other researchers. In other words, they allow secondary data analysis. On the other hand, closed-ended questions are analyzed easily. That is why they were used in this study (Taylor, 2005). Each response can be coded for statistical interpretation. Nonetheless, closed-ended questions are compatible with the computer analysis package. The technique is more specific meaning that its answers are consistent in all conditions. This aspect is impossible with open-ended questions because each respondent is allowed to use his or her own words. Finally, closed-ended questions take less time to administer unlike open-ended questions, which are detailed hence time-consuming.

The questionnaire was sent to respondents using the drop and pick method. The researcher arrived at this decision after considering time and resources. The method is time-consuming but very effective. Furthermore, the method allows respondents to reflect on the questions and answer them accurately (Andrzej, & Buchaman, 2007).

Moreover, the method is not affected by the respondent’s level of literacy. One big advantage of the technique is that there is the interaction between the researcher and the researched. This means that respondent’s reactions are easily captured. Reactions are important because they give more information regarding the feelings of respondents (Shalaby, 2004). The literature collected provided information regarding various theories related to transformational leadership, which is spread across the last century. The body of literature availed several theories dealing with sampling and sample designs in the business world and performance issues in the context of human resource development in this industry. The firm under the study fits well within this parameter. Finally, the literature provided information on the state of research in the field. Various researchers have conducted studies on various elements of social segregation and its effects on motivation (Kumar, 2004). This gave the study a sound academic backing and a strong basis for drawing comparisons and conclusions.

The use of the questionnaire made it possible to capture issues that are unique to this firm. This is because there was no accessible literature with the required degree of relevance to the subject matter of this firm, in its Riyadh branches. The targeted staff responded to the questionnaires, which were physically delivered to them. The availability of staff influenced the choice of this method because this firm operates throughout the day and therefore it is not possible at any one time to find all of them in one place. Physical delivery of the questionnaire increased the accuracy of data collected as there was interactivity (Leedy, 2010). After collection, the data went through analysis, culminating the observations and conclusions discussed in chapters four and five respectively.

The sampling method used for this survey

Some factors should be put into consideration when choosing the right method of sampling in any given research project. In this research, precision was needed. The best method that would lead to the desired results was simple random sampling (Calabrese, 2006). As stated above, this method is simple to use and it is appropriate when one intends to use data quantitatively. The researcher settled on this method because the research population a general similarity, and therefore, there was no need to classify them into subgroups. Every member of the sample was to be given an equal opportunity to participate in the research. Simple random sampling was appropriate because it eliminated all forms of bias in the sample selection process.

Reasons for choosing the sampling method

In this dissertation, the researcher had a clearly defined study population. The population of the study was limited to employees of the firm under the study in its Riyadh region branches. The simple random sampling method was the best choice, as it would appropriately fit in our quantitative research. This method was also appropriate because it would enable the researcher to get the data within the limited time that was available (Cramer, 2003). As this research is intended to help other researchers, this method allowed the researcher to express and explain the systematic method used in data collection. Because it does not involve complex mathematical equations, it was much easier to articulate the steps to anyone consuming the paper.

Determination of the sample size

As stated above, in a study, there is always a need to have a sample population. This population will be representative of the entire population. The selection of this sample must, therefore, be designed in a way that would give the expected results. Generally, two constraints would affect the determination of the sample size. These include time and financial resources (Hughes, 1997). Time is very important in determining the sample size. If a researcher has a lot of time to conduct the research, it would be appropriate to consider using a larger sample size. However, in case the time available for the same is limited, then the researcher would be forced to limit the sample size to be in a position to conduct the entire research process successfully. Another constrain is the available finance for the research (Krathwohl, 2004). The process of collecting data and its subsequent analysis can be very expensive. For this reason, a researcher would determine the sample size based on the available finance. In the research, the sample size was chosen based on the two constraints given above and the five factors stated below.

Besides the above general constraints, five other factors should be considered when choosing sample size. The factors are as stated below:

  1. The variability of the population under study: There are instances where the items under study exhibit differences in characteristics, making it very difficult to choose a representative sample. Barzun (2004) explains that in cases where the study population does not exhibit a serious difference in characteristics, it would be recommended that a researcher use a smaller sample as a representative of the entire population. However, if the study exhibits many differences, then it would be appropriate to use a larger sample as a representative. The researcher would be forced to look for all the varying attributes and include each of them in the sample (Taylor, 2005). In this research, it was noted that there was no big difference in the character of the people under the study.
  2. Confidence level: In every research, there is a given level of confidence desired of any research. Hoyle (2002) asserts that this precision will determine the sample size to be used in the study. In most researches, a confidence level of 95 percent is always recommended. Depending on the sensitivity of the issue under investigation, the percentage can be more or less than this standard value. In this research, it was necessary to produce a report that has a standard level of precision. The sample population chosen was able to provide this.
  3. Margin of error: When a sample is taken to be representative of the population, the result would not always be an exact value. There will always be a variation between the actual value of the population, and the value given by the sample. Every researcher aims to ensure that the difference between the actual value of the population and the value is given by the sample taken is as close as possible. The larger the sample size, the smaller the gap between the value of the population and that of the sample (Baily, 1994). By taking into consideration constraints, a researcher would determine the sample size that would give a value close enough to the value of the population. Employees of the firm under the study gave closely related answers, depending on their gender. The researcher was therefore convinced that the sample size chosen would produce a value that has minimal difference with the value of the population.
  4. Population proportion: When a researcher sets to conduct a study in a given field, there are always characteristics that would be considered desirable for the research. According to Bak (2004), not all items in the population have the desirable characteristics that would enable success in the research. The researcher would hence be tasked with the duty of determining the proportion of the population that has characteristics that are desired in the study. This may not be easy because it may demand interaction between the researcher and the entire population of the study to determine the proportion with the desired attributes. It may be costly in terms of time and other resources. In this research, it was easier to determine the population proportion that would provide the desired results for the study.
  5. Population size: The total number of items in the study would always determine the sample size. Bouma (2000) says that it is always desirable to have a sample size that would properly represent the population. A large population would demand a larger sample size, and vice versa. In social science, it is always recommended that the sample size be about five percent of the population. This percentage would be higher if the population is smaller. Conversely, it would be smaller if the population were too large (Goddard, 2001). The population for this study includes all the 300 employees of the firm under the study in the Riyadh region branches, but only 144 were engaged in the data collection.

Methods of data analysis

Data analysis refers to the process of transforming raw data into refined useful information that can be of use to people. Glatthorn (2005) advises that before settling on a method of data analysis, it is important to the approach to be taken by the research. The research can take a quantitative, qualitative, or categorical approach. This research took a quantitative approach. Depending on the type and accuracy needed, data analysis can take a simple descriptive form, or a more complex statistical inferencing (Creswell, 2009). The technique used in the analysis can be univariate analysis, bivariate analysis, or multivariate analysis. In selecting the appropriate method, a researcher should ensure that assumptions relating to the method are satisfied (Dunleavy, 2003).

In analyzing the collected data, the researcher will use appropriate statistical data analysis tools such as descriptive and inferential statistics in analyzing quantitative data.

About the quantitative analysis, Miller (1991) argued that the most commonly used sets of statistics include meaning, frequencies, standard deviation, median, and percentages. The researcher will code and enter the quantitative data into Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 20). Using SPSS, the researcher will use cross-tabulation to present the information. The tabulation would help give a clear picture of the impact of transformational leadership on the perception of employees towards organizational readiness to change. The researcher will also use descriptive statistics such as mean, standard deviation, percentage, and frequencies to describe the properties of the target population. Further, the researcher will use tables, figures, and charts to present the findings of the study. Because the research entails the determination of the impact of transformational leadership on the perception of employees towards change, there will be some form of comparison. The comparison will be done on how transformational leadership has changed the attitude of employees. Correlation analysis would be important to make this a success. Therefore, chi-square tests will be used to test the hypotheses. Inferential statistics like chi-square tests help to test whether the observed relationships between the variables are genuine or due to chance. The statistical significance level used in the research is 0.05 indicating whether the observed association occurred by chance in 5 out of 100 results (Rowntree 1991). Chi-square is the most widely used measure of association in social science research, being suitable for use on a nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio data (Walsh 1990).

Reliability and validity of the method

Validity means the appropriateness, applicability, and truthfulness of a study. Research instruments can produce results that are in agreement with theoretical and conceptual values(Tanke 2000). In this study, internal validity was ensured by checking the representativeness of the sample. The researcher ensured that the sample used captured all important characters at the firm under the study as the target institution, and the Saudi society, especially the society in and around Riyadh city, as the immediate environment of our study. During the data collection process and in analysis, the researcher steered away from any form of bias. All the respondents were picked randomly, without any preference. Moreover, the response received from the employees of the firm under the study, and other stakeholders were assigned a similar weight, depending on their category. This ensured that the data which was collected was not in any way, influenced by the opinion of the researcher.

External validity was ensured through triangulation that is, the researcher used more than one technique in collecting data. This was necessary to ensure that bias from one end is countered effectively by other techniques. As Delving (2006) says, respondents are human beings with weaknesses when it comes to giving views freely. They would always exaggerate or underrate things when they make statements. Working with this in mind, the researcher designed formula to moderate data gathered from the field to balance off the two extremes. The researcher found the literature review to be very important in this part because the opinions they have are already moderated. External validity was also guaranteed by asking respondents to give their views. This would give them freedom of some sort, to provide information based on their own experience and views.

Reliability means that the study is consistent and lacks any ambiguity. It is the ability to trust something to provide any information that addresses the issue at hand. Dane (1990) explains that it is related to the accuracy of instruments that is, how accurate the measuring device is in measuring what it claims to measure. In this study, it was achieved through increasing verifiability of the perspective and using statistical tools to verify reliability. The researcher adopted the principles of coherence, openness, and discourse to guarantee reliability.

Data Analysis

Introduction

Chapter 3 discussed the methodology of this dissertation. In the methodology section, the researcher outlined the steps taken during data collection. It was made clear that data was collected through questionnaires, which were distributed, to employees of the firm under the study at its Riyadh branches. In total, the researcher distributed 150 questionnaires, of which 144 were distributed to the employees. Although both the customers and the employees’ responses were equally necessary in drawing conclusion, employees were given more weight because they were constantly in touch with the firm, and therefore were in a position to provide more information concerning it.

In the previous chapter, the researcher briefly explained the purpose of data analysis, which this chapter seeks to achieve. The preceding chapter also talked about the role of literature review. This chapter will involve analysis of the primary data. As explained in the preceding chapter, this research used quantitative research methods. Quantitative research involves systematic empirical study of a phenomenon by use of statistical tools (Baily, 1996). Its main objective is always to employ mathematical theories and models in developing its generalization (Poole, 2004). As explained above, the researcher took a sample of the total population. This sample was used as a representative of the entire population and the data collected from the sample that the researcher wishes to analyze in this chapter.

Data analysis refers to the process of transforming raw data into refined useful information that can be of use to people (Wisker, 2008). It is through the analysis that the researcher would be in a position to confirm or refute the hypotheses developed in previous chapters. Bak (2004) asserts that a research’s success would be determined by how well the analysis is conducted. As explained elaborately in the previous chapter, depending on the type and accuracy needed, data analysis can take a simple descriptive form, or a more complex statistical inference. Poole (2009), explains that the researcher can also choose to take univariate, bivariate or multivariate approach to data analysis. In so doing, it is very important that the researcher ensure that the assumptions relating to the method are met. Andrzej and Buchaman (2007) say that in analyzing data, a researcher should choose the best statistical tool that would best lead to the desired answer.

In this study, the researcher has used statistical analysis tools such as descriptive and inferential statistics in analyzing the quantitative data. This would enable tabulation (Poole, 2004). The result would then be presented in tables, figures, and charts. This chapter would thus focus on analyzing the data collected and testing the research hypotheses. It would also answer the research questions that were developed along with the hypotheses. The next chapter would then draw conclusions from the results found in this chapter. It would closely compare the findings of this research to those of existing bodies of literature to determine the variation and the implication of this variation.

Correlation analysis

Correlation analysis is one of the most important tools when analyzing two variables that are believed to be related. It helps in measuring the extent to which, two variables are related to each other using a coefficient. The range of this coefficient is from -1 to 1. A zero value for the coefficient means that the two selected variables have no relationship with each other. A positive value means that the relationship between the two variables is positive.

In this research, there was need to determine the relationship between principles of transformational leadership (independent variables), and employees’ perception of organizational readiness for change. Various principles of transformational leadership were put into consideration. From the data, which was collected from the primary sources, the table below was derived.

Results of correlation analysis.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Mean 2.60 1.04 4.13 2.44 2.48 3.93 3.98 3.80 3.92 3.98 3.98 3.71 3.88
Standard deviation 1.08 0.20 0.49 0.94 0.98 0.67 0.71 0.74 0.72 0.57 0.79 0.68 0.69
Age 1
Gender -0.12 1
Education 0.14 -0.20** 1
Organizational tenure 0.64* -0.17** 0.16 1
Job tenure 0.46* -0.14 0.21** 0.65* 1
Idealized influence -0.05 0.09 0.13 0.05 -0.03 1
Inspirational motivation -0.04 0.04 0.12 0.03 -0.01 0.72* 1
Individualized consideration -0.03 0.05 0.14 0.14 0.09 0.70* 0.61* 1
Intellectual stimulation -0.04 0.04 0.09 0.08 -0.02 0.67* 0.73* 0.59* 1
Trust in peers -0.06 0.06 -0.05 0.16 0.04 0.44* 0.43* 0.46* 0.50* 1
Skill variety -0.01 -0.02 0.15 0.11 0.15 0.22* 0.26* 0.27* 0.35* 0.24* 1
Participation at work 0.20** 0.01 0.19** 0.13 0.16 0.37* 0.33* 0.46* 0.32* 0.49* 0.16 1
Org. readiness for change -0.09 0.05 0.08 -0.00 0.04 0.38* 0.45* 0.41* 0.46* 0.44* 0.36* 0.22* 1

Analysis of the Results

The table above shows the correlation analysis of various variables. It is clear that the perception of employees towards organization’s readiness for change is affected by various factors. The researcher conducted the correlation analysis in order to study relationship between the characteristics of the employees (age, gender, education, organizational tenure and job tenure), and behaviors of transformational leadership and SCM factors. The table above shows that idealized influence is related positively, to the SCM factors: trust in peers (r= 0.44, p< 0.01), skills variety (r= 0.22, p< 0.01), participation at work (r= 0.37, p< 0.01) and organizational readiness for change (r= 0.38, p< 0.01). Inspirational motivation is positively related to SCM factors: trust in peers (r= 0.43, p< 0.01), skill variety (r= 26, p< 0.01), participation at work (r= 0.33, p< 0.01), and organizational readiness for change (r= 0.45, p< 0.01).

Individualized consideration is positively related to SCM factors: trust in peers (r= 0.46, p< 0.01), skill variety (r=0.27, p< 0.01), participation at work (r=0.46, p< 0.01), and organizational readiness for change (r= 0.41, p< 0.01). The components of intellectual simulation were found to have positive relationship with SCM factors: trust in peers (r= 0.50, p< 0.01), skill variety (r= 0.35), participation at work (r=0.32, p< 0.01), and organizational readiness for change (r= 0.46, p< 0.01). The analysis above clearly demonstrates the fact that all the listed behaviors of transformational leadership (idealized influence, individualized consideration, inspirational motivation and intellectual consideration) are positively related to the SCM factors (trust in peers, skill variety, participation at work, and organizational readiness for change).

Hierarchical Regression Analysis

Regression analysis is another important tool when comparing two variables that are related. According to Hoffman (2001), regression analysis provides information regarding the relationship between a dependent variable, and independent variable(s) in form of data. Hierarchical regression analysis, the researcher determines the order of entering the variables. This may be based on how close the independent variables are to the dependent variables. This way, it becomes easier to determine the variance. This is done after the control variables (education, type, religion, among others) have been controlled.

The table below shows the results of hierarchical regression analysis in organizational readiness for change.

HRA results of leadership on organizational readiness for change.

Predictors Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Model 4
OR TP SV PW OR OR
Control variables
Age -0.09 -0.18** -0.10 0.26* -0.01 0.01
Gender 0.02 -0.02 0.00 0.02 0.03 0.01
Education 0.02 -0.12 0.09 0.10 0.08 0.05
Organizational tenure -0.06 0.28** 0.03 -0.16 -0.13 -0.16
Job tenure 0.11 -0.03 0.16 0.13 0.07 0.10
Leadership factors
Transformational leadership 0.47* 0.50* 0.28* 0.43* 0.30*
Work attitude factors
Trust in peers 0.41* 0.30*
Skill variety 0.26* 0.21*
Participation at work 0.03 -0.09
F 7.09* 10.90* 3.33* 7.71* 6.42* 7.46*
ΔF 37.41* 48.02* 11.89* 32.42* 15.33* 6.48*
R2 0.24 0.32 0.13 0.25 0.28 0.33
ΔR2 0.21 0.24 0.08 0.18 0.25 0.10

Notes: Standardized beta coefficients are reported; * p<.01; ** p<.05; † p<.1.

OR – Organizational readiness for change; TP – Trust in peers; SV – Skill variety; PW – Participation at work

The table above shows the results of hierarchical regression analysis on SCM factors. Transformational leadership is positively related the SCM factors: organizational readiness for change (β= 0.47, p< 0.01), trust in peers (β= 0.50, p< 0.01), skill variety (β= 0.28, p< 0.01), and participation at work (β= 0.43, p< 0.01). organizational readiness for change was also found to be positively related to work attitude factors: trust in peers (β= 0.41, p< 0.01), skill variety (β= 0.26, p< 0.01), and participation at work (β= 0.03, p< 0.01). The above result supports the hypotheses that were developed in the research proposal for this research.

Discussion

The focus of this study was to determine the role of transformational leadership on employees perception on organizational readiness for change. The world is changing very fast, and firms have no choice but to change with these changes in order to avoid being swept away by these very changes. Change within the organization is always determined by the readiness of the employees to embrace change. Employees are the wheel of an organization. They will always determine the path taken by the organization. These employees can be influenced to act favorably towards change through good leadership. It was therefore necessary to determine the relevance of transformational leadership in influencing employees perception towards change.

The analysis above demonstrates that SCM factors are related to various aspects of transformational leadership. The analysis above strongly indicates that leadership defines various factors within an organization. Employees trust, and their ability and willingness to participate actively in various organizational activities are directly related to transformational leadership.

Transformational leadership is related to trust in peers, skill variety, participation at work and organizational readiness for change. Transformational leadership has four facets, which are inspirational motivation, idealized influence, individualized consideration, and intellectual stimulation. Employees need to be inspired in order to make them work within the expectations. Inspirational motivation will make employees determined to achieve the best results in all that they undertake to do. Idealized influence will help develop trust among employees themselves, and between employees and the management. This would ensure smooth running of the organization. Individualized consideration is very important in enhancing employees participation at work. When employees are given personal attention, they will feel valued and will endeavor to deliver the best service. Intellectual stimulation enhances development of a pool of skills and talents within the firm. The employees will feel that they have the responsibility to be creative in order to advance their role within the organization.

The above analysis clearly demonstrates that there is a close relationship between transformational leadership and organizations success. Transformational leadership is positively related to trust in peers. Idealized influence always encourages trust in peers within the organization. Skill variety is always motivated by intellectual stimulation. In order to achieve the desired organizational change within a firm, the management should inspire employees through appropriate motivational activities.

Assumptions

In any research, there is always the need to hold some assumptions. Glatthorn (2005) explains that in pure science research, the researchers would always hold some factors constant. This would enable them conduct the research under different conditions before coming up with a solid report. However, social science comes with one main complication. Social science deals with people (Baily, 1994). Unlike the specimen used by pure scientists that can be manipulated to suite the need of the research in the laboratory, Hoffman (2001) observes that it is practically impossible to manipulate human beings. For this reason therefore, it would force social scientist to study human being under its normal characteristics (Morgan, 1997). Because research may require some special conditions, which the researcher may not be able to create, it would force the researcher to make some assumptions that would fit the desired conditions.

In this research, there are some assumptions, which were made specifically to suit various conditions that the researcher considered necessary. Some of these assumptions include the following.

The leadership of Saudi Arabia is guided by Islamic principles as taught in the Quran

The researcher developed this assumption after realizing the strong influence the government has towards the normal operation of business institutions. It is because of the government directive that some institutions, like the organization under the study, were allowed to operate in this country. When conducting a research therefore, Barzun (2004) says that it would be wise to develop an assumption that would relate to the leadership of the country. Being an Islamic state, the above aspect about the government was considered appropriate.

The law that is practiced in Saudi Arabia is strictly based on the Shariah laws as taught in the Madrasah and other law schools

One of the most important aspects of the external environment is the legal front. As Barzun (2004) observes, no firm can operate in an environment that is not keenly guided by law. The Saudi society is guided by strict principles found in Shariah law and it would be appropriate to include this aspect in developing the research findings. Following the introduction of Shariah board in the top management, it is obvious that Shariah law is deeply rooted in this country.

The management of the firm under the study has an obligation to act within its mandate to ensure fairness and justice is practiced in its branches within and outside Saudi Arabia

This study focused on the determination of the role of transformational leadership in the management of employees. It was of interest therefore, to determine the role of the management in enhancing transformational leadership.

Women of this society have resigned to their social status, always willing to do as per the demands of their husbands or their assigned mahram

Although not the focus of this research, it was a fact as at the time this research was commenced that women enjoyed little privileges than their male counterparts. The focus of this research was to determine how transformational leadership could help develop an employee base that is self-motivated. This assumption would help explain some of the reasons behind the findings in the literature review and primary data collected from the field.

Majority of the customers of the firm under the study are Muslims

The researcher considered this assumption necessary because of the external environment of the institution under study. This firm has its headquarters in the United States with a branch in Riyadh. Although it has several branches in many cities and other countries like in United Kingdom, which is none Islamic, this research was based on the Riyadh branches (Barzun, 2004). In Riyadh, the society is majorly Islamic. Islam accounts for more than 98 percent of the total population. Because of this, the Islamic culture has a very strong influence and therefore this must be factored in when conducting the research. This assumption however, jeopardizes the validity and reliability of the data gathered from employees who are non-Muslims. A good number of employees of this firm are non-Muslims (Bouma, 2000). Any data gathered from them may not hold. Because of this assumption therefore, this research may not hold in other branches of this firm in regions that are not Islamic. Although other institutions and researchers alike may find this material very useful in various fields even outside Islamic society, it is worth noting that the above assumption makes this dissertation most suitable to institutions within Islamic society.

Testing the research hypotheses

According to Hoyle (2002), every research in social science sets forth to prove that, specific phenomena occurred for specific reasons and for a specific duration. Conducting a research is like a walk in the desert without a guiding map to show clear directions that should be taken in order to reach the desired direction. Hakim (2000), warns that care should be taken by every researcher when conducting a research to ensure that he or she does not wonder off the focus of the study just by the sheer wonder of the research in question. A path should clearly be set, upon which the research would take on reaching the desired solution.

Research hypotheses always provide solution to this. Gupta (2002) defines hypothesis as a proposition made by the researcher about the research upon which the research would try to determine if it is true or otherwise. It is kind of a proposal or a guess that the findings of a particular research would be in a particular way. As Hoffman (2001) notes, a research would always have two hypotheses for every single desired result. There is always the null hypothesis and alternate hypothesis. The null hypothesis would always refute the claim by saying that the proposition does not hold. On the other hand, alternative hypothesis would always try to affirm that the proposition set by the researcher holds. A test would always be conducted on the null hypothesis with an aim of rejecting it. By rejecting a null hypothesis, the research would be accepting the alternative hypothesis. It is always every researchers desire to reject a null hypothesis because when a research accepts a null hypothesis, it would render the whole research unnecessary. It would be rejecting the proposition made by the researcher, a fact that would render the research null and void.

In analyzing the research hypotheses, the researcher would always set the significance level, always expressed as a percentage (Gusti, 2011). This percentage would be the limit within which the researcher would accept a null hypothesis. If the limit were surpassed, it would be said that there is significant difference and therefore a null hypothesis is rejected. Setting the percentage too high would be increasing the chances of confirming a given hypothesis, but it would reduce the accuracy of the research. Setting this percentage too low would increase chances of rejecting the hypothesis and increases chances of accuracy. In most of the social sciences research, 5 percent is always acceptable as the standard significance level. As earlier stated in the assumptions above, this study takes 5 percent as its significance level (Soles 2010).

The researcher would test this hypothesis by analyzing the data gathered from both the employees and customers. In total, there were 144 respondents.

Below are the five null hypotheses that the researcher wishes to test and reject in order to accept their alternative hypothesis, which would help in validating this research:

H1o. Transformational leadership is not associated positively with Trust in peers.

This is the first hypothesis of this research whose rejection would validate the need for this research. By rejecting this hypothesis, it would be a clear sign that the research confirms that there is no significant relationship between transformational leadership and trust in peers. The researcher wishes to reject this hypothesis.

It can be observed from the bar graph below that 51.4% of the employees felt that they could trust in peers who help when there is need for the same.

I can trust the people I work with to lend me a hand if I need it

Frequency Percent Cumulative Percent
Strongly disagree 2 1.4 1.4
Disagree 7 4.9 6.3
Neither agree nor disagree 29 20.1 26.4
Agree 74 51.4 77.8
Strongly agree 32 22.2 100.0
Total 144 100.0
Graphical Presentation.
Source: Analysis of survey data. Graphical Presentation.

It is clear from the SPSS results presented in the table above that majority of the respondents feel that trust in peers can be developed through transformational leadership. It is important to ensure that there is a positive relationship between peers by developing an environment where they can help one another freely. Only 6.3 percent of the respondents accepted the null hypothesis above.

This leaves the researcher with the alternative hypothesis, which states as below.

H1a. Transformational leadership is associated positively with Trust in peers.

Upon rejection of the above null hypothesis, its alternate hypothesis would automatically be accepted. The null hypothesis has been rejected by a wide margin. The researcher has therefore proved, from the data gathered from the population sample that there is a relationship between transformational leadership and trust in peers. Having confirmed this hypothesis by a wide margin, the researcher consequently confirms that there is need to conduct the research that seeks to determine the relationship between transformational leadership and positive employee attitude in everything they do. This opens door for the researcher to test other supportive hypotheses, which would further help in confirming this hypothesis.

The next hypothesis was formulated to determine the relationship between transformational leadership and skills variety.

H2o. Transformational leadership is not associated positively with Skill Variety.

From the table below, it can be observed that 47.9% of the agreed, while 29.2 % strongly agreed with the fact that transformational leadership is associated with skills variety. This means that 77.1% disagreed with the null hypothesis above.

I have full confidence in the skills of my colleagues

Frequency Percent Cumulative Percent
Disagree 5 3.5 3.5
Neither agree nor disagree 28 19.4 22.9
Agree 69 47.9 70.8
Strongly agree 42 29.2 100.0
Total 144 100.0

The above data can be presented graphically, as shown below.

Development of Skills Variety in the Firm

Development of Skills Variety in the Firm.
Source: Developed from the findings of this research.

It is clear from the graph above, that there is a relationship between transformational leadership and skills variety. When the leaders attempt to engage employees in talent development, the result is always a pool of talented employees within the firm. This means that the alternative hypothesis below is accepted.

H2a. Transformational leadership is associated positively with Skill Variety.

The alternative hypothesis above shows that there is a relationship between transformational leadership and development of skill variety at work.

The hypothesis below was developed to ascertain the level at which transformational leadership affects organizational readiness for change.

H3o. Transformational leadership is not associated positively with perceptions of organizational readiness for change.

Change is one of the most important factors within an organization. Organizational change is always determined by the ability of the employees to change. Employees on the other hand, would embrace change if the leadership of the organization has the same attitude towards change.

From the table below, it can be observed that 75.7% (41.7 +34.0 %) of the population feels that the organization adapts well to changes that this firm may face.

Does this organization adapt well to changes in various levels?

Frequency Percent Cumulative Percent
Never 2 1.4 1.4
Rarely 5 3.5 4.9
Sometimes 28 19.4 24.3
Often 60 41.7 66.0
Always 49 34.0 100.0
Total 144 100.0

Source: Analysis of survey data.

The above data can be presented in a graph as shown below.

Does this organization adapt well to changes in various levels?
Source: Analysis of survey data.

In order to test whether there is a significant relationship between perception of organizational readiness for change and transformational leadership, the mean from the data was calculated, and the results are shown in the table below.

Perceptions of Organizational Readiness for Change

Descriptive Statistics.

N Mean
Does this organization adapt well to changes in funding levels? 144 4.03
Are management decisions innovative? 144 3.85
Is this organization a leader when compared with similar organizations? 144 3.77
Does management take action quickly enough when new opportunities could help the organization? 144 3.74
Valid N (listwise) 144

Given the linked scale, which ranges from 1-5, it is clear from the above table that the majority was in agreement that there is a relationship between transformational leadership and organizational readiness for change. This explains why the means given above are above 3.7.

Given the values in the above table, the null hypothesis is rejected and hence concluded that there is a significant relationship between employee perception to change, and transformational leadership.

By rejecting the above null hypothesis, this would help validate the first alternative hypothesis below.

H3a. Transformational leadership is associated positively with perceptions of organizational readiness for change.

By rejecting the null hypothesis, the alternate above hypothesis would be accepted

This hypothesis tries to emphasize the fact that there is need to conduct the research to ascertain the reason behind the organizational readiness for change in the perspective of employees. This multinational electronic firm has been dedicated to offering quality service to its employees in various regions. In its Riyadh branches, this firm has positioned itself as the Islamic firm that satisfies the need for all its customers without giving any special preference to any group based on gender, race, religion, or such other demographical classification.

The hypothesis below was formulated to determine the role of the management in the difference in performance of employees of the firm. The above analysis has proven that there is a strong relationship between employees’ productivity and transformational leadership. From the third hypothesis above, respondents confirmed employees would perceive change as a process that is easy to achieve if the management develops positive attitude towards the same. The hypothesis below was therefore formulated to investigate if the management of the firm had a role in the employees’ attitude towards work.

The firm under the study is a single entity with a board of directors, a Chief Executive Officer, and top management unit presiding over all the branches of the firm irrespective of the location or gender. This top management formulates strategic policies that help in the running of the organization.

However, at branch levels, there is branch management that ensures that tactical and operational plans of the firm are formulated that would help achieve the overall strategic goals set by the top management. It is this management at the branch level that this research was centered.

The researcher set to test the null hypothesis below.

H4o. Transformational leadership is not associated positively with participation at work.

From the bar graph below, it can be observed that 89.7% of the employees reported that there is a close relationship between transformational leadership and positive participation at work in the firm’s branch located in the Riyadh region.

In order to test whether there is a significant relationship in the management practices of this firm and employee participation in its branches in the Riyadh region, using SPSS.

Individual attitude, Participation at work, trust in peers and performance

Descriptive Statistics.

N Mean
I feel I have the capabilities to successfully performing this job 144 4.31
Overall, I am confident of my ability to perform my job well 144 4.17
Most of my colleagues get on with their work even if supervisors are not around 144 4.08
Working with a group is better than working alone 144 4.07
Most of my workmates can be relied upon to do as they say they will do 144 4.06
If I got into difficulties at work I know my workmates would try and help me out 144 4.06
I have full confidence in the skills of my colleagues 144 4.03
The organization strongly considers my goals and values 144 4.01
I prefer to work with others in a group rather than working alone 144 3.92
I am very much involved personally in my work 144 3.90
I’m really a perfectionist about my work 144 3.90
I can trust the people I work with to lend me a hand if I need it 144 3.88
The organization really cares about my well-being 144 3.87
I feel I am very capable at the task of selling 144 3.85
I can rely on my colleagues not to make my job difficult by careless work 144 3.79
The major satisfaction in my life comes from my work 144 3.69
Most things in life are more important than work 144 3.64
The most important things that happen to me involve my work 144 3.62
If given the opportunity, the organization would take advantage of me 144 3.47
I live, eat and breathe my job 144 3.46
Given the choice, I would rather do a job where I can work alone rather than doing a job where I have to work with others in a group 144 2.64
Valid N (listwise) 144

The table below shows that the mean average for all the questions that were posed to 144 respondents. It is clear that the mean average for all the questions that were posed had a mean of above average (2.5). Most of the respondents gave a mean of 3.5 and above.

H4a. Transformational leadership is associated positively with participation at work.

Confirmation of this hypothesis not only supports the main hypothesis (the first hypothesis) of this research, but also gives more clarification on the manifestation of this relationship.

The hypothesis below was formulated to confirm the need for this research. Rugg (2007) observes that a good research should start by formulating the first hypothesis that would guide the entire research, and then following it with supportive hypotheses. Finally, there should be a hypothesis that would wrap up the entire research by confirming that the research was necessary.

If the null hypothesis below were confirmed to be true, then it would nullify the need for this research.

H5o. Employee attitude (trust in peers, skill variety, and participation at work) does not play a mediator role in the relationship between Transformational leadership and Organizational readiness for change.

From the bar graph below, it can be observed that 74.7% of the employees felt that the difference in treatment of employees based on gender has influenced their performance as an employee negatively.

How Does Negative Employee Attitude Affect Organizational Readiness for Change.
Source: Analysis of survey data.

In order to test whether there is a significant relationship between transformational relationship and employee attitude using SPSS and the findings are shown in the table below.

Transformational leadership

Descriptive Statistics.

N Mean
Acts in ways that builds my respect 144 4.06
Expresses confidence that goals will be achieved 144 4.06
Considers the moral and ethical consequences of decisions 144 4.02
Talks optimistically about the future 144 4.01
Talks enthusiastically about what needs to be accomplished 144 4.00
Displays a sense of power and confidence 144 3.99
Seeks differing perspectives when solving problems 144 3.97
Emphasizes the importance of having a collective sense of mission 144 3.97
Gets me to look at problems from many different angles 144 3.96
Suggests new ways of looking at how to complete assignments 144 3.92
Instills pride in me for being associated with him/her 144 3.90
Articulates a compelling vision of the future 144 3.86
Treats me as an individual rather than just as a member of a group 144 3.84
Goes beyond self-interest for the good of the group 144 3.84
Re-examines critical assumptions to question whether they are appropriate 144 3.83
Specifies the importance of having a strong sense of purpose 144 3.83
Helps me to develop my strengths 144 3.81
Considers me as having different needs, abilities, and aspirations from others 144 3.80
Talks about his/her most important values and beliefs 144 3.80
Spends time teaching and coaching 144 3.74
Valid N (listwise) 144

The data above demonstrates that transformational leadership affects employee attitude among other factors.

H5a. Employee attitude (trust in peers, skill variety, and participation at work) plays a mediator role in the relationship between Transformational leadership and Organizational readiness for change.

This is the basis of this research. By rejecting the null hypothesis above, it can be confirmed that there is a relationship between the transformational leadership and employee attitude at work.

Conclusion and Recommendations

The discussion above has demonstrated that there is a close relationship between transformational leadership and positive attitude of customers towards work within the firm. The world has become increasingly competitive. Different companies are coming with new strategies that can help them remain competitive in the market. the emerging technologies have proven to be very appropriate means of gaining competitive advantage in the international market. The electronic industry is one of the most competitive industries in the current market. The competition is even stiffer in the American markets. Most firms have always preferred the American markets because its purchasing power. America is the third most populous country in the world. The Americans have enough money to make purchase of their desired products. However, the American market is different from the Saudi market in various fronts. The social structure of Saudi Arabia is defined by various factors, including religion. Conducting business in this country requires one to understand this market. It is important that the management come with strategies that would help it manage the workforce in the best way possible. The employees carry the vision of the firm. Through them, a firm is able to achieve its desired results.

As explained above, managing people requires a lot of commitment from the management of the firm. In the current society, management goes beyond the traditional management principles. In involves igniting people. A manager must learn to be a leader. A manager must develop mechanisms through which he can motivate the employees to act in a desirable manner. Transformational leadership provides an opportunity where employees can be motivated to give an output that is desirable to the organization. Transformational leadership helps in ensuring that the employees develop trust amongst themselves as peers. This will make them work as a team. Transformational leadership also plays an important role in ensuring that the organization embraces change. When the management embraces principles of transformational leadership, it becomes easy to convince the employees to be flexible to the changes in the environment. In order to encourage positive participation of employees in their various duties, it is important to encourage the spirit of transformational leadership. It is also a fact that employee attitude is highly influenced by the type of leadership that a firm has embrace. Employees feel happy when they are encouraged by their leaders to work in a given direction. As shown in the above analysis, it is also true that in order to have a variety of skills within the firm, transformational leadership would be necessary. These are some the factors that an organization needs to ensure it embraces in order to maintain a positive business environment.

Policy implications

The main purpose of a research is to develop the existing knowledge in a given topic. No piece of research can start from a vacuum. There has been a massive research done in the past by various researchers. The current research will always have some relationship with the previous researches even if it is very remote. It is therefore important that a researcher appreciates the existing pieces of research, and states categorically how the current research is contributing to the body of existing knowledge. In this research, the researcher acknowledged the existing literatures as this research was supposed to advance on them.

Transformational leadership is one of the most modern form of leaderships. Many scholars have emphasized the fact that this form of leadership is very important in the current business world. This research has confirmed this fact. It is clear from the research that employees need motivation. Motivation cannot be based on remuneration alone. There are other factors that must be considered when one is managing employees. This research proposes that managements should consider coming up with mechanisms through which they can make employees fell part of an organization, and not just employees. This can be achieved through transformational leadership.

Limitations

Every research always have some limitation beyond which a report may not be very relevant. In this study, the researcher conducted the research within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This piece of research was limited to this country. Any application of this report must take into consideration the kind of environment that exists in Saudi Arabia. This country is one of the few Islamic states that have closely held the teachings of the Quran. Male dominance over female members of this society is evident. The society still believes that leadership is a preserve for men.

It would therefore be advisable to limit the relevance of this report to this country, or any other country with a similar leadership structure as that of Saudi Arabia. It is only through this that the application of this report will be relevant. Within this country, this report will be relevant to any industry, as the analysis is not limited to a specific industry.

Future study

Research is a continuous process. As changes come, there emerge new problems. These new problems need new strategies that can be used to get the solutions. It is therefore a fact that further research will be relevant in this field to find solutions to the future challenges. This research will be a very important base upon which future researchers can lay their foundation. They can use this research to come up with strategies that can be helpful in the business world.

Given the findings of this report, the researcher would like to recommend that future report should be based on the relevance of transformational leadership in managing the emerging technologies. The emerging technologies are very important to firms, but they also come with some serious challenges. Firms are struggling to come up with strategies that can help them manage the emerging technologies. The researcher therefore, recommends that future research should be focused on the relevance of transformational leadership in managing the emerging technologies.

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