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The relationship between leadership style and employee commitment: an exploratory study in an electricity utility of South Africa

by Nyengane, M.H.

Abstract (Summary)
This research investigates the relationship between leadership styles and different types of organisational commitment in Eskom Eastern Region. The literature provided discusses the leadership and organisational commitment. Information was gathered, using two instruments, from a sample of 86 leaders and 334 raters. The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, which was formulated from Bass and Avolio’s (1997) Full Range Leadership Development Theory, was used to determine leadership style within the organisation. Employee commitment was captured using Bagraim’s (2004) Organisational Commitment, a South African adaptation of Meyer and Allen’s (1997) Three-Component Model of employee commitment. Leadership was identified as the independent variable and organisational commitment as the dependent variable. Data obtained from each of the research instruments was then statistically analysed.

Two-tailed correlation analysis showed that although the relationship is not strong, there is a positive relationship between the transformational leadership behaviours and commitment (affective commitment, continuance commitment and normative commitment). The correlation analysis also indicates a weak, but significant, positive relationship between transactional leadership behaviours and continuance commitment. However, no statistically significant correlation was found between transactional leadership behaviours and affective commitment as well as between transactional leadership behaviours and normative commitment. The correlation results showed a weak, but significant, negative correlation between laissez-faire leadership behaviours and affective commitment. There was no statistically significant correlation between laissez-faire leadership behaviours and continuance commitment as well as between laissez-faire leadership behaviours and normative commitment.

Overall findings from this study suggest that transformational and transactional leadership behaviours do play important roles in determining levels of affective commitment, continuance commitment and normative commitment. These findings also reveal that the laissez-faire leadership behaviour had a negative relationship with affective commitment. This research therefore adds a new dimension to the body of literature that will help researchers’ efforts to understand the relationship between leadership style and organisational commitment. As this research takes place in the South African context, it contributes to the bank of findings relating to the development of organisational commitment.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Rhodes University

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:investec business school

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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