THE IMPACT OF LEADERSHIP STYLE ON EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE IN ORGANISATIONS IN BAMENDA CITY
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This study aimed at assessing the effects of leadership style on employees’ performance in Organisations in Bamenda City. The main objective of this study was to investigate the effect of different leadership styles on performance of employees. A cross section of descriptive survey research strategy was adopted of which 80 questionnaires were collected from 100 distributed.. Descriptive and inferential statistical techniques were used for data analysis. In inferential statistics, Pearson correlation was used to assess both relationship and effects as per the hypothesis of the study. Descriptive statistics show that the most significant value associated with employee performance is Democratic leadership style followed by Laissez-Faire leadership style and Autocratic leadership style. Democratic leadership style has the highest mean value corresponding to 3.9208 and a standard deviation of 0.9390, Laissez-Faire leadership style scores the second highest mean value corresponding to 3.662 and standard deviation of 0.9119, and Autocratic leadership style has the lowest mean value corresponding to 2.953 and standard deviation of 0.71316 indicating that Autocratic leadership is poorly correlated with employee performance. Pearson correlation analysis shows that there is a strong and positive significant impact of democratic leadership style on employee performance, followed by laissez-faire leadership style which has a positive but insignificant impact on employee performance. Autocratic leadership style had negative but insignificant correlation with employee performance. The findings suggest supervisors in Organisations in Bamenda City need to use a lot of Democratic leadership behaviour or rather embrace Democratic leadership style. From the results, Democratic leadership could have greater effect on employee productivity and quality of performance. It is recommended therefor that Democratic leadership is the most effective leadership style.
Key Words: Leadership style, democratic leadership,autocratic leadership, laissez-faire, employees performance
In society today, thousands of individuals are appointed or elected to shoulder the role and responsibilities of leadership. Leadership is practiced in schools and colleges, factories and firms, business enterprises. In the civil and military Organisations of a country and public life, in short in every work of life. These leaders should promote unity, harmony, strength, prosperity and happiness in the society.
The challenges of coping with today’s uncertain business environment have put many Organisations on their toes to struggle for survival in the heat of competition. The driver of such strategic move towards surviving the competition is the leadership provided by managers who are expected to influence others by achieving organisational goals and also boost employees’ performance. Shafie et al. (2013) explain the importance of leadership in Organisations and especially on human beings who are apparently the biggest asset of a firm. The main drivers of Organisations are usually employees they give life to the Organisations and provide goals (Shafie et al., 2013). It is very paramount to provide workers with direction and psychological satisfaction to get the best from them, this direction can only come from leaders. In fact, leadership is very critical for all Organisations in realizing their set objectives. Since leadership is a key factor for improving the performance of many if not all Organisations and the success or failure of an Organisation depends on the effectiveness of leadership at all levels. Paracha et al (2012) is in support of this ‘Leaders play essential role in accomplishment of goals and boost employee’s performance by satisfying them with their jobs. Leadership is perhaps the most thoroughly investigated organisational variable that has a potential impact on employees’ performance (Cumming and Schwab 1973). It is a vital issue in every Organisation primarily because the decision made by leaders could lead to business success or failure. Notably, it has been widely accepted that effective Organisations requires effective leadership and that employees performance together with organisational performance will suffer in direct proportion to the neglect of this, Fieldler and house (1988). Furthermore, it is generally accepted that the effectiveness of any people is largely dependent on the quality of leadership. Effective leader behavior facilitates the attainment of the followers’ desires, which then results to effective performance (Feildler and House, 1988; Maritz et al, 1999).
A number of recent studies examined the effect of leadership styles on employees’ performance. For example, Rasool et al, (2015), Pradeep and Prabbu (2011), Aboshaqah et al, (2015), Ipas (2012), Raja and Palanichamy (2015) etc.Rasool et al (2015) examined the health sector in Pakistan and reported that Democratic Leadership style affects employees’ performance in a greater level. Raja and Palanichamy (2015) reported positive relationship in Democratic Leadership style but a negative relationship between Laissez-Faire Leadership style and employees performance from a sample of employees in public and private sector enterprise in India.
Employee involvement is generally defined as a process in which influence is shared among individuals who are otherwise hierarchically unequal. It represents the combination of task-related practices, which aim to maximize employees’ sense of involvement in their work, and human resource management practices that aim to maximize employees’ commitment to the wider organization (Bhatti&Nawab 2011). According to Locke and Schweiger, 1979) it is a joint decision making between managers and their subordinates.
A modern forward-looking business does not keep its employees in the dark about vital decisions affecting them. It trusts them and involves them in decision making at all levels. “Command and control” is no longer an adequate model. A more open and collaborative framework will exploit the talents of all employees (Hewitt, 2002). Employees must be involved if they are to understand the need for creativity and if they are to be committed to changing their behavior at work, in new and improved ways (Kingir and Mesci, 2010). In order to increase the workers’ commitment and humanise the workplace with the intention of improving work performance and good citizenship behavior, managers need to permit a high degree of employee involvement (Cohen et al., 1997). Thus, the involvement of workers in decision making is considered as a tool for inducing motivation in the workers leading to positive work attitude and high productivity (Noah, 2009).
According to Carson (2005), an average employee learns under proper conditions and that through proper leadership, management can make employees more motivated and productive. It seems that leadership behaviors, therefore, have a strong influence on employees and institutional outcomes. A leader who uses engagement or participation creates benefits for an institution and its employees, as engagement improves the performance of an institution and reduces role conflicts, role uncertainty, absenteeism and turnover amongst employees (Greasleyet al., 2008, cited in Mendes & Stander, 2011). Participative governance in the workplace is essential because the issues that are prevalent in the workplace are too complex and interdependent to be handled by a few people in authority (McLangan&Nel, 1995).
Many scholars and managers also assumed that if employees are adequately informed about matters concerning them and are afforded the opportunity to make decisions relevant to their work, then there will be benefits for both the organisation and the individual Shaduret al (1999). Apostolou (2000) also argue against the concept of employee involvement in decision-making that, it is as a waste of time, lowering of efficiency and weakening the effectiveness of management. These mean that when participative decision-making takes place in a team, it brings advantages but not forgetting that it poses some disadvantages too.
Employees’ involvement can be anything from social pressures to conform to group domination, where one person takes control of the group and urges everyone to follow their standpoints. With ideas coming from many people, time can be an issue. The meeting might end and good ideas go unheard. Possible negative outcomes of participative decision-making are high costs, inefficiency, indecisiveness and incompetence (Debruin, 2007).
The non -involvement of lower level management in decision-making also means that vital input from employees is often not factored into decisions made. This gives rise to the glitches that are experienced in organizations when it comes to the acceptance of these decisions and its implementation because employees feel insulted and of no importance because their views were not sought. They also do not feel involved in the decision making process but rather decisions are taken and ‘pushed down their throats’. This leads to conflict, defiance or a laidback attitude to implementation and hinders the projections of good Organizational performance (McGregor 1960).
Employees’ performance which is perceived as executing defined duties, meeting deadlines, team input, and the cohesion of both leadership and performance should be evident through style and approach used by managers in the attempt to cause efficiency which requires specific leadership approaches to unique performance challenge in achieving departmental goals. The above as pointed by Armstrong (2005) lead to efficiency, specialisations, effective feedback and good organisational relations.
The independent variable in the study was leadership style and indeed Richard et al (2010) state that leadership is the ability to influence the people work towards attainment of goals. This is the area of concern that promoted the researcher to carry out a study on the subject. It is on this premise that the study is to find out ‘‘How employees performance is affected by leadership style practiced by immediate supervisor’’.
The principal research question was ‘’How do leadership style outcomes affect the performance of employees in Organisations in Bamenda city’’
The specific research questions were;
- How does Democratic leadership style influence employees performance in Organisations in Bamenda City
- How does Autocratic leadership style affects employees performance in Organistions in Bamenda city
- What is the effect of Laissez faire leadership style on employees performance in Organisations in Bamenda City
To assess the impact of leadership Style on employees performance in Organisations in Bamenda city.
- To examine how ‘’Democratic Leadership Style’’ influences the performance of Employees in Organisations in Bamenda City.
- To identify how ‘’Autocratic Leadership Style’’ affects the performance of employees in Organisations in Bamenda City.
- To establish how ‘’Laissez – Faire Leadership Style’’ influences the performance of employees in Organisations in Bamenda City.