Chapter agree about what needs to be done and

Chapter One


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of the study

in this rapidly changing world the need for effective leadership for success of
organization is increasing ever before. There are many definitions of leadership that come from
numerous studies over the years.

Yukl (2008, p 26) defined leadership
as the process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needs
to be done and how to do it, and the process of facilitating individual and
collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives. According to House et al., (1999,
p. 184) leadership is the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and
enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the
organization. DuBrin (2010, p. 2) describe leadership as the ability to inspire
confidence and support among the people who are needed to achieve
organizational goals.

Despite the multitude of ways in
which leadership has been conceptualized, Northouse, (2016, p.6) identified the
following components as central to the phenomenon: a) Leadership is a process,
b) Leadership involves influence, c) Leadership occurs in groups, d) Leadership
involves common goals. Based on these components Northouse defined leadership
as a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve
a common goal.

has passed through number of models and theories. However the focus of this
study is on full range leadership theory. New leadership approach transactional
and 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 and
concluded in 1985 that those two styles were complementary and important in organizations.
Transformational leadership focuses
on what the leader accomplishes yet still pays attention to the leader’s
personal characteristics and his or her relationship with group members. Transformational
leader helps bring about major positive changes by moving group members beyond
their self-interests and toward the good of the group, organization, or society
(Andrew J. DuBrin, 2010 P. 83). Avolio (2011, p. 63) noted that transactional
leadership occurs when the leader rewards or disciplines the follower’s
behavior or performance. Transactional leadership depends on laying out
contingencies, agreements, reinforcements, and positive contingent rewards or
the more negative active or passive forms of management-by-exception.


However, the most popular
and acknowledged model among other Transformational Leadership models in the
research community remains the Full-Range Leadership model (FRLT) developed by
Bass and Avolio (Barnes 2013, p. 1567; Bass 1985;1990a,b; Bass and Avolio 1994
cited in Gill 2010, p. 51). According to Bass (1998, and Bass & Avolio
(1995,1997) cited in Avolio and Yammarino (2002, p. 9) FRLT comprises nine
factors reflecting three broad classes of behavior of transformational,
transactional, and laissez-faire leadership. The purpose of this study is to
identify if the relationship exist between these three leadership styles and
employees organizational commitment in public sector organizations.

Cohen (2003, p xi) states
that commitment is a force that binds an individual to a course of action of
relevance to one or more targets. Miller (2003, p 73) also states that
organizational commitment is a state in which an employee identifies with a
particular organization and its goals, and wishes to maintain membership in the
organization. This description of commitment relates to the definition of
organizational commitment by Arnold (2005, p 625) that is the relative strength
of an individual’s identification with an involvement in an organization. Meyer
and Allen (1997, p 106) use the tri-dimensional model to conceptualize
organizational commitment in three dimensions namely, affective, continuance
and 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 organizational
commitment, which refers to the degree of value congruence between an
organizational member and an organization. Continuance commitment refers to
awareness of the costs associated with leaving the organization. It is
calculative in nature because of the individual’s perception or weighing of
costs and risks associated with leaving the current organization (Wiener and
Vardi 1980, p 86) Meyer and Allen, (1997, p 11) describe normative commitment
as the work behavior of individuals, guided by a sense of duty, obligation and
loyalty towards the organization.


Numbers of studies relate
leadership styles to employees’ organizational commitment. According to Robins (2005),
as cited in Samson Babalola (2016, p 937) the adoption of appropriate
leadership style influence subordinates to develop trust in management and commitment.
Wang, Law, Hackett, Wang, and Chen (2005) cited in Samson Babalola (2016, p
937) show that leadership has major influence on employees’ performance and
commitment without reference to leadership style. So examining the relationship
between leadership style and employees’ organizational commitment is very
important for countries like Ethiopia which has ambitious vision to reduce
poverty and intention to become middle-income country.


Ethiopia has got on implementing highly intensive and
comprehensive agenda to achieve its vision to become middle-income country in
2025(MOFED 2010). However, there were capacity constraints among leaders and
public servants at different administrative levels involved in key aspects of Plan
for Accelerated and Sustained Development to End Poverty (PASDEP)
implementation. To address this challenge during PASDEP, the government
launched a number of process reengineering and training programs to improve skills
and ensure appropriate implementation capacity (MOFED, 2010). Because without
effective leadership and public sector organization employees’ commitment, it
is very difficult to achieve the national and organizational goal.

The purpose of this study is
to examine the relationship between leadership style and employees’
organizational commitment in public sector organizations of Sidama zone
Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region of Ethiopia.


The statement of the problem


 Employees’ Commitment with the
organization reduces their intentions to leave the organization and remains the
part 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 committed
in the organization then job insecurity, low trust, high stress and uncertainty
will increase in the organization, which have ultimately negative effect on the
performance of the organizations (Panayiotis et al, 2011). Organization
commitment can also increase the creativity in the organizations (Carlos and
Filip, 2011).  Different past studies stated
various feature of leadership and its relationship with organizational
commitment.  Swanepoel, Eramus, Van
Wyk and Scheck (2000) as cited in Sabir & Khan (2011, p 145) explain that the
organizational commitment has positive relationship with the leadership style
for the successful implementation of business strategies to achieve the
organizational goal. Research conducted on the leadership style and its
relationship with organizational commitment (Lo, Ramayah & Min, 2009) and
concluded that transactional and transformational leadership positively
correlated with organizational commitment. Unfortunately, such kind of studies
especially on public sector organizations, are very limited in developing
countries like Ethiopia.


the downfall of Derg regime and the establishment of new Federal Democratic
Republic of Ethiopia, the government acknowledged the deep institutional
limitations 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 Force
indicates, the civil service had been entangled with the chronic problems such
as outdated civil service legislation and working systems governing the civil
service; lack of clearly defined management
systems and procedures in the management of personnel, finance and property;
inadequate know-how and lack of standard job classification; weaknesses in
manpower planning and utilization; lack of clear national service delivery
policy; insufficient recognition of citizen’s rights by civil servants; lack of
accountability; more concern on inputs and routine activities, less focus on
achieving tangible outputs; erosion of merit
system; inadequate civil service wages and inappropriate grading systems;
insufficient focus on modern managerial approaches, and multitudes of other

In order to resolve those problems
government initiated civil service reform program CSRP as one of the National
Capacity Building Program in 1997 (MCS, 2013). CSRP has been intended to
transform the age old tradition of anti-democratic style towards democratically
natured style of management; the corrupt behavior at all levels towards ethically
right behavior; the control oriented system towards empowerment and result
oriented, and towards an overall situation in which the civil service is
ethically, structurally and operationally capable of delivering appropriate
public services to the public. (CSTR MCS, 2012, p 3)


 Due to the implementation of the reform
program undeniable results has been registered. There have been improvements in
structures, organizational competencies and service delivery. However, the
attitude of the people in general and the civil servant in particular has been
one of the big challenges that hinder the effective implementation of the
reform 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 recent
study that assessed engagement of civil servants working in four public
organizations shows that only a low number(38 percent) were found to be highly
engaged in their current jobs. That means, as he noted only a few are
demonstrating the required level of commitment, vigor, and absorption while
doing their job. According to Getachew and Richard (2006), lack of
effectiveness in the areas of leadership also a common problem in most public
sector organizations of the country.

discussed earlier in the context of Ethiopia especially in regional and zonal
level, studies which have been conducted on relationship between leadership
style and employees’ commitment in public sector are very limited. However some
studies conducted focusing on some public sector organization particularly in
the capital city of the country Addis Ababa. For example, Mekonen Tadesse (2014
p ix) in his research which submitted to Addis Ababa University, College of Business and Economics Department
revealed that Affective
 Commitment is generally low and that it
is unaffected by most of the leadership  styles.
The only correlations found regarding Affective commitment were very weak and
negative correlation with Attributed Idealized Influence and very weak but
positive correlation with Intellectual Stimulation. But this study didn’t show
that which leadership style and organizational commitment are dominant in the
organizations where the research conducted. In addition to this the study did
not identify the effect of leadership style on employees’ organizational
commitment distinctively in public sector organizations, because the study was
conducted by focusing on private, public and international organizations.

Therefore, this study tries
to fill the gap which has been seen above and identify dominant leadership
style and its relationship with employees’ organizational commitment in public
sector organization particularly in Sidama zone SNNPR.









1.3 Conceptual

Independent Variables                                                              
Dependent Variables













Sources: designed by the

1.4 Objectives

1.4.1 General objective

The general objective of
this research is to assess the relationship between leadership style and
employees’ organizational commitment at public sector organization in Sidama
zone SNNPR


           1.4.2 Specific

1.      To identify dominant leadership style as perceived by employees in
public sector organization of sidama zone SNNPR

2.      To examine  prevailing
dimension of organizational commitment among employees in public sector
organization of Sidama zone SNNPR

3.      To assess if relationship exist between leadership style and
employees’ organizational commitment in public sector organization of Sidama
zone SNNPR

1.5 Basic Research Questions

Since the focus of this
research is the relationship between leadership style and employees’
organizational commitment in public sector organization the case of Sidama zone
SNNPR, the researcher try to answer the following basic research questions:

Ø  What is the prevailing leadership style in the public sector
organization of Sidama zone SNNPR from the perception of the employees?

Ø  What is the overriding organizational commitment prevailing in
public sector organization of Sidama zone SNNPR from the perception of the

Ø  What is the relationship between leadership style and
organizational employees’ organizational commitment in public sector
organization of Sidama zone SNNPR

1.6 Purpose of the study

The results of the study
would help the Heads, Vice Heads and Directors of the public sector
organizations in Sidama Zone SNNPR to determine the types of leadership styles
to adopt in order to induce and maintain trust and organizational commitment
from their employees. This study examines the relationship of each of the three
leadership styles identified by Bass and Avolio (1985) with the level of
employee 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 of
Sidama zone SNNPR

2) To study the
relationships between the transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire
leadership styles and the level of employee commitment among the public sector
organizations of Sidama zone SNNPR.

3) To study the difference
between employees expected leadership style from their leaders and as observed
by them in their leaders.



1.7 Significance of the study

The purpose of this study is
to examine relationship between leadership style and employee’s organizational
commitment in Sidama zone SNNPR. So the result of this study will have the
following contributions.

The result of this study increases
the awareness and knowledge of public sector organization leaders about the
effect of different leadership styles which may impact the employee commitment
in the public sector organization.

The findings of the study
help the zonal and woreda government officials by showing direction to effective
leadership development.

The findings of the study can
be used as stepping-stone for further study and add value to the existing
literature on the topic of leadership styles and organizational commitment in
the settings of woredas and zonal public sector organizations.

Limitations of the study

of the wide study area, time and financial constraints the researcher focuses
on limited number of public sector organizations, employees and leaders. This
may affect the research to generalize to large area.


Scope of the study

Sidama zone has 19 rural
woredas and 4 City administrations. Each woreda and city administration has many
public sector organizations. In order to make the research manageable and cost
effective, the researcher will focus on four selected rural woredas and two
city administrations public sector organization employees and leaders.

Employees’ organizational
commitment may affected by different factors. But the researcher interested to
examine the relationship between leadership style and employees’ organizational
commitment.  However, there are number of
leadership theories which have been emerged through several theorists, in order
to address the problem effectively the focus of this study is restricted to the
full range leadership theory that encompasses transformational, transactional
and laissez faire leadership styles and organizational commitment dimensions
such as affective, continuance and normative commitment.

In order to maximize
validity and reliability of the research the researcher will use standard
instruments called MLQ5X and OCQ.


Organization of the study

study will be organized into five chapters. The first chapter deals with
background 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 second
chapter discuss about all related existing review literature and related
research which include concept of leadership, theories of leadership, concept
of organizational commitment and dimensions of organizational commitment.


third chapter deals with the research design, methods and procedures employed
to conduct the study. The fourth chapter will focuses on presentation, analysis
and interpretation of the collected data during the study. And the last fifth
chapter will presents summary, conclusions and recommendations of the study.
Finally lists of the reference materials and appendices will be attached at the
end of the study.


Definitions of operational terms

Public sector organization:
Organizations under control of government and serve the public

Woreda: An administrative division
of Ethiopia, managed by local government

Zone: Second level sub-division
of Ethiopia, below regions and above woreds or districts

Leadership: The ability of an
individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the
effectiveness and success of the organization. (House et al., 1999 p 184)