1.0 Background of the Study
Leadership is to any organization what the heart is to the human body. Just as the body depends on the heart to pump blood for it to stay alive, so also an organization relies on its leadership for persistent coordination in order to survive. Cole (2002) posits that leadership is a vital element in the social relationships of groups at work. He further argues that in a dynamic process at work in a group, leadership influences the other group members to commit themselves freely to the achievement of group tasks. It follows therefore that in an organization, the leadership and employees complement each other. While commenting on leadership-employees relationship, Nwachukwu (2007) explains that once employees are recruited, it becomes the function of leadership to utilize them in the accomplishment of organizational objectives. He stresses that although the employees are hired to assist in the realization of predetermined organizational goals, they come to the organization with their own personal goals, aspirations, biases and preferences [which determine their behavior in the organization] and they exhibit the aforementioned through much concern about their roles, risks and involvements. It then becomes the function of leadership to marry employees’ goals with organizational goals for harmonious coexistence and achievement of organizational objectives. Uma (2005) added that having knowledge of organizational behavior which entails the actions and reactions of employees to various stimuli helps leadership to effectively handle individuals, groups, and organizational resources to achieve the goals of organization. And at the same time, enhance the quality of life for employees and enable them to reach their full potentials.
Apart from the aforesaid valuable roles of leadership, the styles adopted in playing those roles are also very important to an organization. According to Ojokuku, Odetayo, and Sajuyigbe (2012) leadership style is a key determinant of the success or failure of any organization. They maintain that while leadership influences, directs, and motivates others to perform specific tasks for the accomplishment of the stated corporate objectives, leadership style serves as the manner and approach of providing direction, implementing plans, and motivating employees to be committed to organizational objectives. The major leadership styles include the democratic, autocratic, and laissez-faire. They are as well known as transformational, transactional, and free-rein styles of leadership. The transformational or democratic leadership style is the type that motivates followers by appealing to higher ideals and moral values which can inspire employees to perform beyond expectations and transform both individuals and organizations (Bass, 1985 cited by Belonio, undated). The transactional or autocratic leadership style is based on bureaucratic authority and legitimacy within the organization. It emphasizes work standards, assignments and task-oriented goals. It focuses on task completion and employee compliance and relies on organizational rewards and punishments to influence employee performance Burns, (1979). The Laissez-Faire or free-rein leadership style is characterized by a total or general failure to take responsibilities for managing Bass, (1999). The choice and application of any leadership style in supervising the subordinates depends on the preference of the leader. The exact leadership style adopted in any organization can have either positive or negative impacts on the leader, other employees and the organization as a whole. That is why the issue of leadership and leadership style often generate a lot of controversies and if not timely attended to, it degenerates to misgivings and displeasures which eventually debilitate even a once vibrant organization.
In Auchi Federal Polytechnic, this issue of leadership style is currently breeding heated debate. The employees’ attitude to work and their present level of performance which negatively robs off on the institution is speculatively blamed on the Management’s manner of leadership. This investigation is therefore put in place to unravel the actual impacts of leadership style on employees’ performance in Auchi Federal Polytechnic from 2008-2015.
- Brief History of Federal Polytechnic
The federal polytechnic Auchi was established in 1964 as a technical college by Midwestern region. The former president Ibrahim Babagida announced the takeover of the institution as a federal polytechnic Auchi in 1994 by a decree.
The new polytechnic started off as a multi-campus institution with its headquarters in Benin City. The Department of Accountancy and company Administration moved from Auchi to join the government Academy, Benin City, which had been absorbed to form the school of Business Studies in the Benin campus of the Polytechnic while the Engineering Department remained in Auchi to become the School of Engineering of the Polytechnic.
Mean while, in 1974, the name of the institution was changed to Auchi Polytechnic, and in 1975, the Headquarters was moved back to Auchi.
The federal government Decree of 1997 set up the National Board for technical education (NBTE) to coordinate technical education in Nigeria with the following mandates:
- To provide science and technical education which produced middle level technical manpower and their training.
- To provide full-time and part time course in teaching and training in technology, applied science Business, and administrative sectors relevant to the need of development of manpower in Nigeria.
- To conduct courses in technical education for qualified middle level trainees.
- To arrange conferences, seminars and workshop relevant to the field of study or leaning.
1.3 Statement of the Problem
The issue of leadership styles has been a subject of much concern. A lot of researches have previously carried out investigations related to this subject matter.
In the study conducted by Belonio R.J. (undated) on “The Effects of Leadership Style on Employee Satisfaction and Performance of Employees in Bangkok”, Transformational leadership was seen to have a positive effect on the significant subscales of job satisfaction. Transactional leadership also had a positive effect on the significant subscales of job satisfaction and laissez-faire leadership had a positive effect as well on the significant subscales of job satisfaction. Belonio therefore advises that since leadership styles affect various aspects of employee job satisfaction, which in turn affect job performance, managers, supervisors, leaders and organizational heads should not stick to only one form of leadership style. The management of Auchi Polytechnic has not lived up to expectation in combining the various leadership styles that will possibly bring more satisfaction and enhance employee performance in the institution.
Shafie, Baghersalimi, and Barghi (2013) also carried out a similar investigation on “The Relationship between Leadership Style and Employee Performance” (Case Study of Real Estate Registration Organization of Tehran Province) in 2013. The findings showed that transformational and pragmatic [transactional or autocratic] leadership both impacted on the staff performance but transformational leadership style is associated with higher relevance. They however noted that transformational leadership and pragmatic leadership are not two contradictory theories, rather they are complementary ideologies. This implies that leadership styles ought to be alternated to embrace the various employees’ behavior in an organization. Not knowing how to interchange leadership styles is a bane to Employees job satisfaction.
Spector (1997) argues that employee or job satisfaction is an important concern in every organization since it focuses on both humanitarian and utilitarian perspectives. According to the humanitarian perspective, people deserve to be treated fairly and with respect. The utilitarian perspective proposes that employee or job satisfaction can lead to employee behaviors that affect organizational functioning and performance.
Over the years, the Federal Polytechnic at Auchi has enjoyed tremendous harmony in terms of management-employees relationship. The staff performance cum organizational reputation has been commendable to some extent. But internal wrangling and contention are becoming rampant. Employees’ job satisfaction has reduced drastically while their performance is also in its lowest ebbs. Some lapses in the choice of leadership style by the institution’s management are speculated as the chief causes of these negative occurrences.
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this study is to examine the impacts of leadership style on employees’ performance. The specific objectives are outlined below.
(1) To reveal the connection between cooperative mode of administration and the level to which employees are doing their jobs in Federal Polytechnic Auchi.
(2) To show the link between suppressive system of management and the degree of workers’ frustration in Federal Polytechnic Auchi.
(3) To show how the free-rein method of supervision is associated with the rate of staff’s absenteeism in Federal Polytechnic Auchi|.
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The following hypotheses are put forward for testing in this study.
(1) There is a relationship between cooperative mode of administration and employees’ service delivery in Federal Polytechnic Auchi.
(2) There is a relationship between suppressive manner of management style and workers frustration in Federal Polytechnic Auchi.
(3) There is a relationship between free-rein method of supervision and workers’ absenteeism in Auchi, Federal Polytechnic
1.6 Significance of the Study
This research will offer essential information that will helpfully guide administrators in the general acts of organizational management specifically on the issues that concern superiors / subordinates.
The revelations pertaining to the subject of impacts of leadership styles on employees’ performance in organizations will further build-up existing literature.
The results obtained in this investigation will expand the frontiers of knowledge.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study centered attention on the issue of impacts of leadership styles on employees’ performance. The study location is Federal Polytechnic, Auchi. It is situated in Edo North senatorial district of Edo State. The period covered by this investigation ranges from (2000 to 2015).
1.8 Limitations to the Study
Obtaining information from the respondents in Federal Polytechnic, Auchi was limited by bureaucratic bottle-necks. Some official information was scarcely disclosed by respondents owing to the secrecy that characterizes the public service. More so, many respondents were reluctant to participate in the research due to fear of indictment after responding to certain questions on the research instrument. There was also some delay in the process of retrieving the questionnaires because of some respondents’ belated response. Nonetheless, the researcher was able to muddle-through after much resilience.
1.9 Operational definition of terms
The following terms are presented to explain the concepts.
(a) Cooperative administration: The use of friendliness and sympathy in the supervision of workers in the workplace.
(b) Service delivery: Job performance or the act of doing a given job.
(c) Suppressive management: Displaying hostility in controlling employees in the organization.
(d) Frustration: This is the dissatisfaction suffered by the personnel working in an organization owing to the unbearable working conditions.
(e) Free-rein supervision: The freedom given to employees to discharge their duties with little or no control.
(f) Absenteeism: It is the staff’s habit of staying away from workplace for unconvincing reasons and without taking permission.
(g) Impacts: These are the good and bad mutual influences that the behaviors of individuals and groups have on one another in an organization at a given period.
(h) Leadership styles: It encompasses the methods and techniques applied by superiors in controlling their subordinates in the office.
(i) Employees’ performance: It entails the extent to which workers discharge their assigned tasks in their place of work.
1.9b Organization of the Study
This work is organized into five chapter, chapter one has background of the study, brief of federal polytechnic, Auchi,Statement of the problem, objective of the study, research hypothesis , significance of the study, scope of the study, limitation to the study, Chapter two covers review of related literature with subheading like “System theory” “MC Gregor theories x and y”. The concept of leadership, leadership styles conceptualized approaches of the study leadership, Administrative/ Organizational structure and the concept of job performance in the Federal Polytechnic Auchi. Also the Chapter three has research method with the following topic like Research Design, Sources of Data, Population of Study, Sample and Sampling Techniques , Research Instrument, Validity and Research Reliability Test, and Statistical Techniques for Data Analysis. While Chapter four will present the summary of the major findings; Chapter five Summary of the findings Recommendation, conclusion and Contribution to Knowledge.