The role of leadership is very important and it can have effect on the ecology of organization, business as well as employees. Consequently, effective leadership can affect the subordinates’ satisfaction and influences the degree to which they absent from duty. Indeed, to be an effective leader, there is need for a multi approaches rather than a singular style. From literatures reviewed, the study explained that the goal of an effective leader is to transform the available human resource in order to meet organizational short and long term objectives. In achieving this, the leader has effect on employees’ attitude (job satisfaction) which consequently reflects in their behaviour (absenteeism). Path- Goal theory provided the framework that helped explained the view of this study that there are certain factors that determine the choice of a style by a leader; nonetheless there are traits that define an effective leader. The study was a survey design and relied on questionnaire for generation of data. The findings of the study were that, leaders that adopt transformational style have effect on the job satisfaction and absenteeism of the employees. Hence, a manager’s leadership style creates the climate within which employees work and influences the attitude and performance of his team.
1.1 Background of the Study
Leadership has an important bearing on how effectively an organization reaches its objectives. This is especially true within extensions where individuals have major responsibilities and are in decision-making roles. In any organized group, the issue of leadership is crucial. Hence, leadership is an important resource of all organization that is exhibited by individual(s) through a broad scope of talent and qualities (Lester, 1975).It involves a process of interaction between leaders and followers where the leader attempts to influence followers to achieve a common goal. The term Leadership has long being of existence among people and it has so many interpretations; it has been defined in terms of traits, behaviours, influence, interaction, patterns, role, relationships, and occupation of an administrative position. Generally, leadership could be defined as an influence, art or process of influencing people so that they will strive willingly towards the achievement of group goals (Okpara , 2005; Lussier , 2007; Mester, et al, 2003; Emmanuel, 2002). This implies that leadership is a social process in which one person or group of persons in an organized group harnesses the knowledge, skills and motivation of the other members in the attainment of the group goals. This process involves the consent-willing or grudging- of the group.
In organization, there is need to acquire human resources in order to meet its objectives. Subsequently, when human resources have been acquired, there is need to maintain and keep them together. It should be noted that every individual has his personal expectation for working in an organization. To this effect, the leader must employ the various ways of making sure that the employee stay at work (thereby reducing absenteeism), feel contented (satisfied) with their job and thus ready to put on their best. Employees have shown to be an important tool for achieving organization’s goal towards the production of quality goods and services. These Employees demonstrate a wide variety of positive and negative behaviours at work in the cause of carrying out the task at hand in their respective workplace. This led Linda-Ray (2014) to posit that the type of relationship a leader forge with his employees plays a substantial role in how they behave. He stressed that to encourage productivity and positive work environment, the leader must pay attention to how his own style. This implies that the type of leadership style of managers in an organization would have an effect on the employees’ attitudes and behaviour such as employee turnover, absenteeism, citizenship behaviours, counterproductive behaviours, job commitment and job satisfaction.
Krammer(2004) argued that the degree to which the individual exhibits leadership traits depends not only on his characteristics and personal abilities, but also on the characteristics of the situation and environment in which he finds himself. In an ideal world, leadership styles adapt to the need of an organization. Tifase (2014) averred that “leadership is imperative to any living human being; man or woman’. She states further that leadership style is what differentiates between a business thriving, sinking, or soaring and that there are various leadership styles with each having its implication of effective implementation on profit, work culture, organizational and individual goals. This notion implies that there are certain qualities that defines leadership and must be embraced for effective leader-subordinate relationship in an organization.
There has been growing interest for adoption of a spectrum leadership style. Organizations and managers are increasingly aware that they face a future of rapid and complex change. This wave of future oriented uncertainty, coupled with individual demands for increased participation at all levels of the organisation has dramatically changed perceptions of leadership, specifically with regard to the respective roles played by the leader and the follower. This is because the concept of leadership has changed as new information is discovered, accepted, and used. To Lester (1975), there are many reasons for this, but an important one is the improved methods in social science research that have recently emerged. Thus Leadership style affect the overall operational performance of effectiveness, efficiency, profitability, large market share and as well as the organization commitment to achieve a stated goal. Consequently, effective leadership is critical for meeting employee, customer and the organization needs. Leaders who are unable to be flexible, trustworthy, open and inspiring may have a combination of the varying traits of management styles with no clear definition to guide a team. An effective manager realizes the need for change in style and adapts the correct style to the team or project goal.
According to Ross &Offermann (1997); Lok,(2004); Walumbwa, et al (2004), it has been stated that the organizational performance and effectiveness of employees may rest from the following three basic pillars: (1) organizational commitment, (2) job satisfaction, and (3) leadership style. Therefore, leadership is both of pivotal importance to organizational success as well as entwined in many internal and external factors. However, the concept of leadership may be simplified using existing categorizations. One of these is the distinction between transactional and transformational leaders. Bass (1990) submitted thatthe transactional leadership style is characterized by contingent reward. Employing such a style, the leader gives rewards in exchange for effort and good performance. On the other hand, the transformational leadership style is a more personal style involving charisma, inspiration, intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration, and extensive delegation.Therefore, the transformational leader motivates people to participate in the process of change and encourages the foundation of a collective identity and efficacy. This eventually leads to stronger feelings of self-worth and self-efficacy among employees.
In the past several decades, there has been a significant revolution in how the leadership is defined by management experts. Their approach has changed from a classical one to a very innovative, democratic approach. Nonetheless, it was determined that some old ideas were still good whereas some of the new ones were not perfect. The key to effective leadership therefore is to use different styles depending on each situation so leaders have to approach every case in a different way.
In sum, employees are critical tool in every organization. Having acquired the human resources, there is need to maintained and keep them together. since every individual in the organization has his personal expectation for working in the organization, to this effect, the leader must employ means of making sure that the employees stay at work(thereby reducing absenteeism),feel contented(satisfied) with their job and as a result ready to put in their best in order for the organization to achieve its goal. It is against this backdrop that this study quest to investigate the leadership style effectiveness and how it influences employees’ attitude and behaviour drawing its research lens to Chi Nigeria Limited, Lagos. In order to study the effectiveness of leadership style, this study used quantitative approach for measuring the impact of components of transformational leadership on job satisfaction and absenteeism in organization.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The mystery of why one leader’s style is more effective than another’s is unsolved. Leadership style consists of a leader’s general personality, demeanour, and communication patterns in guiding others toward reaching organizational or personal goals. According to Bennis and Nanus (1985), many organizations are over managed and under led. The difference is crucial, managers are people who do things right, but leaders are people who do the right things always. In other words, the pattern of behaviours (style) employed by a manager goes a long way in influencing the organization. To this effect, problems are bound to occur within every noted organisation and decision making is bound to generate conflicts while initiating policies. In this light, the notions of leadership act are those which help a grouping meeting those stated objectives. Thus, there is need to understand various leadership styles in organisation that produces effectiveness.
Having weak and ineffective managers in the workplace has many damaging effect on employees and the firm as a whole. It often create vacuum for employees to absent from duties and obligations. The managerial style of a leader in an organization reflects his weakness or ineffectiveness and vice-versa. Company with poor managers almost always perform below expectations, they lack vision, an adequate understanding of business finance and good communication skills. By recognizing if these characteristics are present in managers, companies can make the necessary changes in order to prevent failure. As can be seen, many organizations undervalue leadership.
A number of factors may influence the style a leader uses. Leadership itself constantly presents challenges both to the leader’s abilities and to her as a person. In organizations, some challenges come in the form of people or problems that present obstacles to reaching a goal. Being a leader itself is a challenge. Most extension professionals are neither fully aware of their particular leadership style nor know how they might develop their leadership patterns to become more effective leader who would have productive impact on employee behaviours to ensure organizational growth.
Consequently, bad leadership is expensive. Under the watch of poor leaders and managers, staff morale declines and workers feel less committed to the organization and its mission that tends to lead to work of lesser quality and things getting done more slowly. Understanding the effects of managerial style becomes important because leadership is viewed by some researchers as one of the key driving forces for improving a firm’s performance. Effective leadership is seen as a potent source of management development and sustained competitive advantage for organizational performance and improvement.
These and many more has become a challenge to quality and effective leadership in organizations and were the parameters that suggested a need for this research with an ultimate focus on Chi Nigeria Limited, Lagos.
1.3 Research Questions
In the light of the aforementioned problems identified above, the following questions were posed to guide the conduct of the study:
- What are the various leadership styles in organizations and how do employees react to them?
- What are the dynamics and causes of absenteeism?
- What are the important leadership traits of an effective leader in an organization?
- What effective leadership style could be adopted to reduce employees’ absenteeism?
1.4 Aim and Objectives
This study has its aim to investigate leadership style and its effectiveness on employees’ attitude and behaviour. In achieving this, the research pursued the following objectives;
- To examine the various leadership styles in organizations and how employees react to them.
- To investigate the dynamics and causes of absenteeism in workplace.
- To highlights the important leadership traits of an effective leader in an organization.
- To evaluate what effective leadership style that could be adopted to reduce absenteeism.
1.5 Research Hypotheses
Hypothesis is a tentative statement about two or more variable that are about to be tested. These hypotheses can either be confirmed or rejected. In this research work the following hypotheses were formulated.
H01: leaders who adopt transformational style have no significant effect on employees’ absenteeism.
H101: Leaders who adopt transformational style have significant effect on employees’ absenteeism.
H02: Leaders who adopt transformational style have no significant effect on employees’ job satisfaction.
HI2: Leaders who adopt transformational style have significant effective on employees’ job satisfaction.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study suggests the importance of leadership in the debate and the complexity of purpose within corporate contexts. Hence, this research work is significant in many aspects: firstly, it will serve as a source of policy guidance to the study of leadership styles in organization and provide necessary incentive for combating absenteeism among employees in an organization. The research study also helps to enlighten the management of organization on the need and importance of having effective leaders in the organization. Similarly, the study enlightens employees on their roles and obligations to the leadership in the organization and other related matters. This study identified the reason why employees react positively to a particular leadership style of a manager and also aim at discovering what makes workers to be dedicated and committed to their duties.
In addition, all the aforementioned and determined effects, problems and solutions was critically viewed to serve as possible recommendations to today‘s manager who may be willing to employ a particular leadership style towards employees’ absenteeism. This will forestall a better situation for the leader to select the best type of leadership system.
Most importantly, the study serves as a partial fulfilment for the award of Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology to the researcher. Finally, this work would be of immense benefit as aid and guide to future researcher on leadership style and its effectiveness on employees’ attitude and behaviour.
1.7 Limitations of the study
In pursing this investigation and study, lots of impediments and obstructions were encountered as the research progressed. All of these impediments brought about a conspicuous clause with the research work. Some of the constraints encountered when carrying out this research work were;
Finance: the study is one that requires money to enable the researcher to browse more information and also to carry out the research work effectively but due to his financial constraints, the researcher could not get everything required for this project thereby hampering the best work on the study.
Time: this study is one that required longer time to enable the researcher get the necessary and quality data for effective work but since it is a project research of students (undergraduates) which take only a few months’ work as required by the university, the researcher was less of valid information to use.
Attitude of respondents: To make this study a very viable one, some vital information was requested from Chi Nigeria Limited, Lagos which the management was not willing to release, as well as the workers’ inability to identify the leadership style of their superior in the organization.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Absenteeism: This refers to the habitual pattern of absence from duty or obligation. Absenteeism as used in this study will mean employees’ behaviour.
Job Satisfaction: This means the collection of feelings and beliefs that employees have about their jobs. In this study job satisfaction meant employees’ attitude.
Leadership style: refers to the pattern of behaviours that leaders display during their work with and through others.
Transformational leadership: Transformational leadership refers to leader’s that uses a combination of styles (autocratic, delegative, participative, etc.) to achieve remoulding the behaviour and attitude of employees.
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