Chapter One1. Introduction1.
1 Backgroundof the studyNowadays,in this rapidly changing world the need for effective leadership for success oforganization is increasing ever before. There are many definitions of leadership that come fromnumerous studies over the years.Yukl (2008, p 26) defined leadershipas the process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needsto be done and how to do it, and the process of facilitating individual andcollective efforts to accomplish shared objectives. According to House et al.
, (1999,p. 184) leadership is the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, andenable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of theorganization. DuBrin (2010, p. 2) describe leadership as the ability to inspireconfidence and support among the people who are needed to achieveorganizational goals.Despite the multitude of ways inwhich leadership has been conceptualized, Northouse, (2016, p.
6) identified thefollowing components as central to the phenomenon: a) Leadership is a process,b) Leadership involves influence, c) Leadership occurs in groups, d) Leadershipinvolves common goals. Based on these components Northouse defined leadershipas a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achievea common goal.Leadershiphas passed through number of models and theories. However the focus of thisstudy is on full range leadership theory. New leadership approach transactionaland transformational emerged in the 1970s. Inspired from Burns’ work (1978), Bass and Avolio as cited in Song Pantaleon (2015, p.25) investigated the two leadership styles andconcluded in 1985 that those two styles were complementary and important in organizations.
Transformational leadership focuseson what the leader accomplishes yet still pays attention to the leader’spersonal characteristics and his or her relationship with group members. Transformationalleader helps bring about major positive changes by moving group members beyondtheir self-interests and toward the good of the group, organization, or society(Andrew J. DuBrin, 2010 P. 83). Avolio (2011, p.
63) noted that transactionalleadership occurs when the leader rewards or disciplines the follower’sbehavior or performance. Transactional leadership depends on laying outcontingencies, agreements, reinforcements, and positive contingent rewards orthe more negative active or passive forms of management-by-exception. However, the most popularand acknowledged model among other Transformational Leadership models in theresearch community remains the Full-Range Leadership model (FRLT) developed byBass and Avolio (Barnes 2013, p. 1567; Bass 1985;1990a,b; Bass and Avolio 1994cited in Gill 2010, p.
51). According to Bass (1998, and Bass & Avolio(1995,1997) cited in Avolio and Yammarino (2002, p. 9) FRLT comprises ninefactors reflecting three broad classes of behavior of transformational,transactional, and laissez-faire leadership. The purpose of this study is toidentify if the relationship exist between these three leadership styles andemployees organizational commitment in public sector organizations.Cohen (2003, p xi) statesthat commitment is a force that binds an individual to a course of action ofrelevance to one or more targets. Miller (2003, p 73) also states thatorganizational commitment is a state in which an employee identifies with aparticular organization and its goals, and wishes to maintain membership in theorganization. This description of commitment relates to the definition oforganizational commitment by Arnold (2005, p 625) that is the relative strengthof an individual’s identification with an involvement in an organization.
Meyerand Allen (1997, p 106) use the tri-dimensional model to conceptualizeorganizational commitment in three dimensions namely, affective, continuanceand normative commitments. Meyer and Allen (1997, p 11)define affective commitment as the employee’s emotional attachment to,identification with, and involvement in the organization. Tetrick (1995, p 589)also describes affective commitment as value rationality-based organizationalcommitment, which refers to the degree of value congruence between anorganizational member and an organization. Continuance commitment refers toawareness of the costs associated with leaving the organization. It iscalculative in nature because of the individual’s perception or weighing ofcosts and risks associated with leaving the current organization (Wiener andVardi 1980, p 86) Meyer and Allen, (1997, p 11) describe normative commitmentas the work behavior of individuals, guided by a sense of duty, obligation andloyalty towards the organization. Numbers of studies relateleadership styles to employees’ organizational commitment. According to Robins (2005),as cited in Samson Babalola (2016, p 937) the adoption of appropriateleadership style influence subordinates to develop trust in management and commitment.
Wang, Law, Hackett, Wang, and Chen (2005) cited in Samson Babalola (2016, p937) show that leadership has major influence on employees’ performance andcommitment without reference to leadership style. So examining the relationshipbetween leadership style and employees’ organizational commitment is veryimportant for countries like Ethiopia which has ambitious vision to reducepoverty and intention to become middle-income country. Ethiopia has got on implementing highly intensive andcomprehensive agenda to achieve its vision to become middle-income country in2025(MOFED 2010).
However, there were capacity constraints among leaders andpublic servants at different administrative levels involved in key aspects of Planfor Accelerated and Sustained Development to End Poverty (PASDEP)implementation. To address this challenge during PASDEP, the governmentlaunched a number of process reengineering and training programs to improve skillsand ensure appropriate implementation capacity (MOFED, 2010). Because withouteffective leadership and public sector organization employees’ commitment, itis very difficult to achieve the national and organizational goal. The purpose of this study isto examine the relationship between leadership style and employees’organizational commitment in public sector organizations of Sidama zoneSouthern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region of Ethiopia.
1.2 The statement of the problem Employees’ Commitment with theorganization reduces their intentions to leave the organization and remains thepart of organization to work with more effectively and loyalty (Pascal et al,2011) cited in Sabir & Khan (2011, p 145). If the employees are not committedin the organization then job insecurity, low trust, high stress and uncertaintywill increase in the organization, which have ultimately negative effect on theperformance of the organizations (Panayiotis et al, 2011). Organizationcommitment can also increase the creativity in the organizations (Carlos andFilip, 2011). Different past studies statedvarious feature of leadership and its relationship with organizationalcommitment.
Swanepoel, Eramus, VanWyk and Scheck (2000) as cited in Sabir & Khan (2011, p 145) explain that theorganizational commitment has positive relationship with the leadership stylefor the successful implementation of business strategies to achieve theorganizational goal. Research conducted on the leadership style and itsrelationship with organizational commitment (Lo, Ramayah & Min, 2009) andconcluded that transactional and transformational leadership positivelycorrelated with organizational commitment. Unfortunately, such kind of studiesespecially on public sector organizations, are very limited in developingcountries like Ethiopia. Afterthe downfall of Derg regime and the establishment of new Federal DemocraticRepublic of Ethiopia, the government acknowledged the deep institutionallimitations on basic functions of public sector organizations. According to Office of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia,1996, pp.
1–24) as cited in Markos (2013, p 240) report of the Task Forceindicates, the civil service had been entangled with the chronic problems suchas outdated civil service legislation and working systems governing the civilservice; lack of clearly defined managementsystems and procedures in the management of personnel, finance and property;inadequate know-how and lack of standard job classification; weaknesses inmanpower planning and utilization; lack of clear national service deliverypolicy; insufficient recognition of citizen’s rights by civil servants; lack ofaccountability; more concern on inputs and routine activities, less focus onachieving tangible outputs; erosion of meritsystem; inadequate civil service wages and inappropriate grading systems;insufficient focus on modern managerial approaches, and multitudes of otherproblems.In order to resolve those problemsgovernment initiated civil service reform program CSRP as one of the NationalCapacity Building Program in 1997 (MCS, 2013). CSRP has been intended totransform the age old tradition of anti-democratic style towards democraticallynatured style of management; the corrupt behavior at all levels towards ethicallyright behavior; the control oriented system towards empowerment and resultoriented, and towards an overall situation in which the civil service isethically, structurally and operationally capable of delivering appropriatepublic services to the public. (CSTR MCS, 2012, p 3) Due to the implementation of the reformprogram undeniable results has been registered. There have been improvements instructures, organizational competencies and service delivery. However, theattitude of the people in general and the civil servant in particular has beenone of the big challenges that hinder the effective implementation of thereform and performance of the public sector organization so far (MOCS, 2012).
Solomon (2011) as cited in Solomon Markos (2013, p 243) stated that as a recentstudy that assessed engagement of civil servants working in four publicorganizations shows that only a low number(38 percent) were found to be highlyengaged in their current jobs. That means, as he noted only a few aredemonstrating the required level of commitment, vigor, and absorption whiledoing their job. According to Getachew and Richard (2006), lack ofeffectiveness in the areas of leadership also a common problem in most publicsector organizations of the country.
Asdiscussed earlier in the context of Ethiopia especially in regional and zonallevel, studies which have been conducted on relationship between leadershipstyle and employees’ commitment in public sector are very limited. However somestudies conducted focusing on some public sector organization particularly inthe capital city of the country Addis Ababa. For example, Mekonen Tadesse (2014p ix) in his research which submitted to Addis Ababa University, College of Business and Economics Departmentrevealed that Affective Commitment is generally low and that itis unaffected by most of the leadership styles.
The only correlations found regarding Affective commitment were very weak andnegative correlation with Attributed Idealized Influence and very weak butpositive correlation with Intellectual Stimulation. But this study didn’t showthat which leadership style and organizational commitment are dominant in theorganizations where the research conducted. In addition to this the study didnot identify the effect of leadership style on employees’ organizationalcommitment distinctively in public sector organizations, because the study wasconducted by focusing on private, public and international organizations. Therefore, this study triesto fill the gap which has been seen above and identify dominant leadershipstyle and its relationship with employees’ organizational commitment in publicsector organization particularly in Sidama zone SNNPR. 1.3 ConceptualFramework Independent Variables Dependent Variables Sources: designed by theresearcher 1.4 Objectives1.
4.1 General objectiveThe general objective ofthis research is to assess the relationship between leadership style andemployees’ organizational commitment at public sector organization in Sidamazone SNNPR 1.4.2 Specificobjectives1. To identify dominant leadership style as perceived by employees inpublic sector organization of sidama zone SNNPR2.
To examine prevailingdimension of organizational commitment among employees in public sectororganization of Sidama zone SNNPR3. To assess if relationship exist between leadership style andemployees’ organizational commitment in public sector organization of Sidamazone SNNPR1.5 Basic Research QuestionsSince the focus of thisresearch is the relationship between leadership style and employees’organizational commitment in public sector organization the case of Sidama zoneSNNPR, the researcher try to answer the following basic research questions:Ø What is the prevailing leadership style in the public sectororganization of Sidama zone SNNPR from the perception of the employees?Ø What is the overriding organizational commitment prevailing inpublic sector organization of Sidama zone SNNPR from the perception of theemployees?Ø What is the relationship between leadership style andorganizational employees’ organizational commitment in public sectororganization of Sidama zone SNNPR1.6 Purpose of the studyThe results of the studywould help the Heads, Vice Heads and Directors of the public sectororganizations in Sidama Zone SNNPR to determine the types of leadership stylesto adopt in order to induce and maintain trust and organizational commitmentfrom their employees.
This study examines the relationship of each of the threeleadership styles identified by Bass and Avolio (1985) with the level ofemployee commitment among the public sector organizations in Sidama zone SNNPR.Specifically the aims of the study are as follows: 1) To study the level of commitment among the public sector organization ofSidama zone SNNPR2) To study therelationships between the transformational, transactional, and laissez-faireleadership styles and the level of employee commitment among the public sectororganizations of Sidama zone SNNPR.3) To study the differencebetween employees expected leadership style from their leaders and as observedby them in their leaders. 1.7 Significance of the studyThe purpose of this study isto examine relationship between leadership style and employee’s organizationalcommitment in Sidama zone SNNPR. So the result of this study will have thefollowing contributions. · The result of this study increasesthe awareness and knowledge of public sector organization leaders about theeffect of different leadership styles which may impact the employee commitmentin the public sector organization.
· The findings of the studyhelp the zonal and woreda government officials by showing direction to effectiveleadership development.· The findings of the study canbe used as stepping-stone for further study and add value to the existingliterature on the topic of leadership styles and organizational commitment inthe settings of woredas and zonal public sector organizations. 1.
8 Limitations of the study Becauseof the wide study area, time and financial constraints the researcher focuseson limited number of public sector organizations, employees and leaders. Thismay affect the research to generalize to large area. 1.9 Scope of the studySidama zone has 19 ruralworedas and 4 City administrations. Each woreda and city administration has manypublic sector organizations. In order to make the research manageable and costeffective, the researcher will focus on four selected rural woredas and twocity administrations public sector organization employees and leaders.
Employees’ organizationalcommitment may affected by different factors. But the researcher interested toexamine the relationship between leadership style and employees’ organizationalcommitment. However, there are number ofleadership theories which have been emerged through several theorists, in orderto address the problem effectively the focus of this study is restricted to thefull range leadership theory that encompasses transformational, transactionaland laissez faire leadership styles and organizational commitment dimensionssuch as affective, continuance and normative commitment.In order to maximizevalidity and reliability of the research the researcher will use standardinstruments called MLQ5X and OCQ. 1.
10 Organization of the studyThisstudy will be organized into five chapters. The first chapter deals withbackground of the study, statement of the problem, conceptual framework,objectives of the study, scope of the study, significance of the study,operational definitions of terms and organization of the study. The secondchapter discuss about all related existing review literature and relatedresearch which include concept of leadership, theories of leadership, conceptof organizational commitment and dimensions of organizational commitment. Thethird chapter deals with the research design, methods and procedures employedto conduct the study.
The fourth chapter will focuses on presentation, analysisand interpretation of the collected data during the study. And the last fifthchapter will presents summary, conclusions and recommendations of the study.Finally lists of the reference materials and appendices will be attached at theend of the study. 1.
11 Definitions of operational terms· Public sector organization:Organizations under control of government and serve the public· Woreda: An administrative divisionof Ethiopia, managed by local government· Zone: Second level sub-divisionof Ethiopia, below regions and above woreds or districts· Leadership: The ability of anindividual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward theeffectiveness and success of the organization. (House et al., 1999 p 184)