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An Assessment of Leadership Styles and Their Effects on Organizational Performance

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An assessment of leadership styles used in an organization is an important aspect in obtaining the desired outcome. This study examines the Transformational and Servant leadership styles and their effects on the Pentecostal church family in the Buea municipality.


A quantitative and qualitative survey of six Pentecostal churches in Buea with similar, ideology, belief system, organizational structure, and operational systems was employed. Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) Form of five Likert Scale was used to determine their perceived leadership styles and performance.


A sample size of 248 purposively selected members and leaders was used. The Ordinary Least Square technique was used to test the hypothesis. The results reveal that Transformational Leadership Style has a superior positive significance on performance over the Servant Leadership Style in the Pentecostal churches in Buea. This research, therefore, proposes that in order to achieve maximum performance in the Pentecostal churches, leaders should do a microscopic check on the leadership style they intern to use.





1.1 Background to the Study 



Leadership has been defined as the process of influencing the thoughts, emotions, and behavior of followers towards a particular goal (Dessier, 2012). Many theorists such as Blake, Gregory, Carlyle, Greenleaf, and more have sought to know its source and how best a leader can perform. On this note, behavioral   theorists, trait theorists, contingency theorists, and visionary theorists came up, each trying to place leadership in a context, in a bit to achieve laid out organizational goals.


These schools of thought examine leadership in different perspectives which can be categorized under goal-oriented and member-oriented in the general sense of organizational leadership. In recent years, quality leadership is increasingly being identified as a progressive indicator related to the function and sustainability of business organizations (Virakul et al, 2010).


Hence, there has been increasing wealth of knowledge and investigation on leadership styles, leadership qualities and traits for better efficiency, the effectiveness of leaders to gain better performance (Etta, 2011).


In today’s dynamic and global environment, there is growing evidence to suggest that organizations now recognize that leadership styles have effects on organizational outcomes (Avolio, et al, 2009) as cited in (Fokam2016). Notable persons in the world’s leadership history like Martin Luther King and Jr, Pope Francis, Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, and more were all leaders whose value systems, leadership abilities and styles were impactful in different ways (Fokam, 2016).


Leadership in Cameroon at large and Organizations specifically suffer from a number of crisis. This can be more understood as put ‘The trouble with Cameroon is simply a failure of leadership”(Vakuntga, 2012). The failure of leadership is not the absence of leaders but the inability of leaders to apply their artistic and scientific skills in order to achieve expected outcomes within a specific time frame. Words written by a man thirty decades ago, keeps ringing as Manske (1987) says My study of leadership confirms that numerous leadership styles have been introduced with each style as a function of the context of the organization and its goals.


Cameroonians lead in all spheres: political, business, academics, and more. Leadership styles also vary with organizational type, structure, goals, challenges, and personal interest (Manske,2009). His words are in agreement with Wright who says the activity of leadership cannot be carried out without followers to lead; what leaders do is to influence the behaviors, beliefs, and feelings of group members in an intended direction(Wright et al,1994).


This operated in Cameroon beginning from her colonial masters the French and British before 1961, to our former president AHIDJO and now our current president PAUL BIYA. Thus, leaders at all levels use different styles to lead their followers thereby obtaining different outcomes. The fluctuating performance of organizations has actually led to the assessment of leadership styles in organizations.


The church in Cameroon is historically shared into Catholic (mostly French-speaking population of southern and western parts) and Protestants and Pentecostal (mostly the English speaking population of the western region) Fatokun (2016). He further explains that there are presently hundreds of Pentecostal congregations, groups, and churches in Cameroon recently pioneered by cross-bordered evangelists from Nigeria. An example is an Apostolic church created in 1916 with branches present in almost all the regions of Cameroon.


The South West Region is one of the Anglophone-speaking sections in Cameroon with numerous churches made up of Christians. Only a few Mosques exist in Buea due to the little populations Muslims occupy over Christians in this region. The Christians in the South West Region are members of either Catholic, Protestant, or Pentecostal churches. In Buea, being a metropolitan city, there is an observable increase in the number of Pentecostal churches. These Pentecostal churches are of different sizes, belief systems, Structures practice different leadership styles, and are located in different parts of Buea. A few of these parts are Molyko, Bokwango, Mile 16, Muea, Bonduma, Clerks Quarters, and more.


Leadership in the Pentecostal churches has as goal to perform in accordance to the Biblical standard of ‘Christ-like nature with the goal of going to heaven at ‘rapture’ or at the end of life on the earth. It is generally believed that Christ has a particular way of life acceptable by Christians through the bible which indicates the Christian’s standard for Christian living and performing on earth, before death or rapture.


Despite this heavenly consciousness, leadership in the Pentecostal church is not very different from secular/corporate leadership. The church as an organization, has not escaped such disturbing organizational experience of fluctuating performance as a result of leadership styles. This is due to the fact that the Church is equal.


God’s business (Luke 2:49) and operates as a Business Organization. Dag (2003,2011,2014) affirms in his writings that as a result of the strife for better performance, leadership in the church like management has been grouped into three levels, namely; the top, middle and low although the application of these levels is dependent on the size of the church. Fatokun further explains the spiritual state of the South West Region is that ‘Pentecostalism has rapidly increased in the western region within the years as more people now look unto God for their health, Spiritual, financial sustainability especially with the message of life after death(Fatokun,2016).


Leadership in the church is sourced from the Bible (Gen1:26-28) where God blessed man and said be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and every creation that crawls on the earth. This implies that the expected performance of ‘be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth should be attained. After God had blessed man, he gave him the responsibility of leadership over the fishes, birds, etc. The expected performances were fruitfulness, multiplication, expansion.


From the bible, we can deduce some aspects of leadership style incorporated in the Church setting to meet up God’s numerical and spiritual expectations from the Church. In verse 26, God said ‘let us make man in our own image…’ which is supposed to mean democratic leadership style. In Acts 6: 2 – 5, the servant leadership style is used.


This can be seen in the apostle’s words “then the twelve summoned the whole company of the disciples and said, it will not be right for us to give up preaching about God to wait on tables. Therefore, select from among you seven men of good report, full of the spirit and wisdom whom we can appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayers and the preaching ministry”. so they selected Stephen and six others.


The leadership styles incorporated in the Pentecostal churches have been fragmented to fit the goals and objectives of the churches as the case may be in some organizations. Transformational and Servant Leadership styles by observation, are the most commonly practiced styles in the churches in Buea as also taught in seminars. An example of such a seminar is (feast of Esther,2016) attended by the researcher. These styles are preferred to others because of the vision of the church to transform people from worldliness to Godliness. Also, it is believed that Jesus took the form of a servant to serve his disciples(followers) despite being their leader.


Consequently, the variability in performance as a result of varied leadership styles exists in our present-day churches Munroe (2016). As a result, leaders in the church at all levels are expected to use their spiritual, artistic, and scientific skills to render services in order to obtain optimum performance Munroe (2016).


An example is the Full Gospel Mission Cameroon that has been functional for over 57years and has obtained varying performances in their different churches (FGM archives, 2020). Another is the Apostolic church that has existed for 104years with different outcomes at different places and different time periods(Fatokun,2016). Although, much literature has been reviewed on leadership and how it affects performances, little has been examined on the extent to which these leadership styles affect the performance of the Pentecostal Church organization.


1.2 Statement of the Problem


Munroe (2011) asserts that ‘leaders are those who accept or are placed on extraordinary circumstances which bring forth their latent spiritual potentials, that produce results in the organization and their followers.’


The Pentecostal church has experienced a variation in performance as a result of the different leadership styles used to lead the churches. True is the contingency theory that advocates for the fact that no single leadership style is best as “one shoe can’t fit all sizes,” but necessity demands that proper evaluation be done on these leadership styles to identify their varied performances especially in the Pentecostal church setting.


It is the absence of this proper evaluation of leadership styles in relation to the performance that has led to continuous inconsistencies in the performances of Pentecostal  churches. In addition, this study has identified the problem of failure to identify the significant differences in the performances obtained by the different leadership styles practiced by the Pentecostal church leaders in Buea.


Van (2013) confirms that ‘The performance of organizations will continue fluctuating and may be deteriorating because of the kind of leadership that operates in them.’ In effect, some leadership styles, have had an important role in the Performance of the Pentecostal churches in Buea. This actually affirms what Van (2014) further mentions that ‘typical customers will gradually deteriorate if leadership in organizations are not assessed’.


A proper view of the problem can be traced as far back as 2009. A decade past, in Buea, it was announced over the Revival gospel radio during the slot’ Speak to the man in the mirror’ that the rate of customer attrition was at arithmetic progression, and leaders were called upon to rescue their members (customers) by coming to learn from a leadership program hosted by Bishop Tembi at the Revival Ministries Molyko. The objective of this program was to help leaders with the right information and knowledge needed to improve the numerical and spiritual performance of their churches.


Despite the efforts made by church leaders such as Bishop Tembi, Pastor Kobi, Pastor Ngwamesia, and more from different denominations, the numerical performance of the churches was not progressive and Christians were not living as Christ stipulates Christian lifestyle should be in the society (Tembi,2009).


Members of churches were migrating to other churches with the excuse of ’I don’t like the way I was treated in the other church and not long after, they moved again to a different church and kept moving with their lives not reflecting Christ in humility, faithfulness, trust, and more. Thereby increasing godlessness and spiritual weakness as some members ended up not attending church services while others are less committed in the churches they attend.


This disturbing challenge was expressed by pastors in attendance, says Bishop Tembi over the Revival Gospel Radio (2009). It is a problem as Apostle Johnson Suleman also says in one of his march editions of minister without blemish that ‘Members do not leave churches, they leave leaders. Otherwise, they will not leave one church for another(Suleman,2019).


To this effect, an Interdenominational Pastors Association was formed and led by Rev. Samba to assist each other in realizing God’s objective for the church (Pastor’s Forum archives,2019).In 2016, after the creation of the pastor’s forum, female pastors and pastors’ wives also organized a forum named ‘Arise and Shine Lady pastors and pastors wives forum’ to train female leaders.


In spite of all attempts of evangelism, corporate prayers, Seminars, such as Feast of Esther(2016) with the title ‘re-visiting Leadership’, to curb the situation of deteriorating performances in the Pentecostal churches in Buea, the situation has not been improved within the years.


On the whole, looking at the growing challenges in the Pentecostal church, Leadership in the church has been more like ‘ Placing a square peg in a round hole’(Smith, 1986). Hence, the researcher has identified the problem of misappropriation of leadership styles. Therefore, assessing these leadership styles will enable us to identify the cause of negative variation in the Performance of the Pentecostal churches in Buea. This Investigation gives rise to the questions below:


1.3 Research questions


The main research question is what is the effect Leadership styles on the Performance of Pentecostal churches in Buea? The specific research questions include:


To what extent does the Transformational leadership style affect the Performance of Pentecostal churches in Buea?

To what extent does Servant leadership style affect the Performance of the Pentecostal churches in Buea?

What is the extent to which the Performance of transformational leadership style differs from that of servant leadership style in the Pentecostal churches in Buea?

What are the Challenges leaders in Pentecostal churches face as they strive to improve on the Performance of their churches?


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