Leadership Styles and Organizational Commitment Term Paper

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Leadership Styles

As the behavior of the leader, so is the behavior of the follower." This colloquial proverb can be seen in families. Angry parents tend to raise angry children. Similarly patient, and understanding parents who also know how to set boundaries tend to raise balanced, patient children. This observation can also be applied to the business environment. This study is concerned with behavior of workers within an organization, or company, and the study includes comparative evaluations of leadership styles and corresponding commitment of the workers within the organization. Many academicians and practitioners view leadership as the most important topic within the realm of organizational behavior (Rahim, 1981. The success of an organization is more heavily dependent on the quality of its leaders than on any other single factor. These leaders play a major role in making decisions that determine organizational goals and how these goals can be accomplished and how the organization functions during the process of pursuing its goals.

While many studies have sought to identify leadership styles and theories since the end of WWII, a new theory of leadership emerged in the 1970s. Burns (1978) first introduced the ideas of transactional and transformational leadership styles. A few years later, Bass (1985) expanded the theory and created the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) to help track the evolution of the leadership styles. A few years later, Avolio and Bass (1991) introduced leadership theoretical models which included three styles of leadership:

transactional transformational laissez-faire.

These three styles are essential elements in this research and are discussed in greater detail in the body of this paper.

Organizational Commitment

Organizational commitment is the subsequent loyalty shown by the workers who operate under the various styles of leadership. Organizational commitment (OC) has received substantial attention in the past decade due. Businesses are increasingly realizing that leadership styles have significant impact on work attitudes such as job satisfaction, performance, absenteeism, and turnover intentions, and these factors have all been linked to the idea of OC (Mowday, Porter & Steers 1982).

Various scholars have defined OC in different words, but all have sought to catch the essence of the same concept.

Mowday (1979) defines OC as the relative strength of the identification between the individual and his involvement with his organization / business / employer. According to his definition, OC has three basic components:

strong belief in and acceptance of the organization's goals and values, which is termed identification

The willingness to exert a considerable effort on behalf of the organization, or the workers level of involvement strong intent or desire to remain with the organization, the worker's (loyalty (Mowday et. al. 1982).

Allen & Meyer (1990) define organizational commitment as a psychological link between the employee and his or her organization. This link is related to various job-related characteristics. According to Buchanan (1974), OC is no less than a necessary prerequesite for successful organizations.

It has been reported that "Organizational commitment should be of great interest to leaders, because managers with strong commitment tend to be highly productive and loyal, while those with lower levels tend to have higher incidence of turnover, and stress-related health claims" (Ward & Davis, 1995, p.35).

Statement of the Problem

The concepts of leadership (Kotter,1988) and OC (e.g. Mathies & Zajac, 1990; Mowday, Porter & Steers, 1982; Steers, 1977) have been key areas of research for theorists and researchers for decades. Investigating leadership characteristics to determine which have the greatest effect on the desired outcome can greatly assist the organization as it charts its future. By measuring the strength of the leadership within the organization, and the associated willingness of the workers to follow, organizations can build on its strengths, initiate training to minimize its weaknesses, and thus combat any negative consequences that are typically associated with lack of OC within its staff. Purpose of the Study

This dissertation investigates the three leadership styles and thrie relational influence on OC among Customer Service Manager's in the Network Services Customer Relationship Management Organization (NS Management.) at American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T). Furthermore, this study will explore and identify significant relationships between selected demographic variables and OC in the Network Services Customer Relationship Management Organization at AT&T.

Specifically, the goals of this research are:

To determine the level of commitment of Customer Service managers' to the NS Management personnel.

To investigate the relationships between the transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership styles and the level of OC among Customer Service managers'.

To determine if there are any relationship between age, gender, number of dependents, marital status, level of education, and tenure and the level of OC within the Customer Service managers' group.

To determine the relationship between Customer Service managers level of satisfaction with their leaders in relationship to the prevailing leadership style.

Significance of the Study

Employee's commitment to the marketplace is essential for the success of the organization because their commitment directly affects the performance, productivity, and innovation of the overall company. According to Moore (1965), committed employees require less supervision and perform better than non-committed employees, and they behave more predictably in a crisis and in situations requiring individual decision making. This claim was further supported by the findings of Mowday, Porter and Dubin (1974), who indicated that highly committed employees perform better than less committed employees. Those who are not committed to the organization can actually threaten the survival of an organization. In addition, OC has a high degree of influence on absenteeism and turnover. These behavioral problems are very costly to organizations which must face the direct cost of training and developing of new employees.

With respect of such problems, literature has consistently indicated that OC is an important factor in predicting turnover. According to Porter et al. (1974), organizational commitment was better predictor of turnover across several time periods than were other measures of personal satisfaction. Porter explained that job satisfaction may have represented a better predictor of employee turnover during the early stages of employment, but as time went on and employees began to identify more with the organization and its goals, commitment became a stronger predictor of turnover than satisfaction. Further, Baron (1989) believed that the higher the level of commitment, the lower rate of absenteeism and turnover. In general, committed employees are viewed as less likely to leave their job and more likely to exert efforts that benefit the organization.

This study is important for the following reasons:

It will be the first study to examine the relationship between leadership styles and OC among AT&T Customer Service managers' in the AT&T Network Services Customer Relationship Management Organization.

If significant relationships are found between leadership styles and OC, research results may be used by AT&T to reduce management turnover rates and absenteeism, performance benefits that the company can achieve at little cost.

This study will make a valuable theoretical contribution to existing literature regarding leadership and organizational commitment.

This study will determine the extent to which Customer Service managers' are committed to AT&T NS Management..


In this study leadership styles; transformational leadership behavior, transactional leadership behavior, and laissez-faire leadership behavior of area managers as perceived by Customer Service managers' are the independent variables. These are learned behaviors among the NS Management., and can be modified by company training. Five additional independent variables; age, gender, level of education, marital status, and tenure will be considered to determine if they affect the level of organizational commitment among AT&T Customer Service managers'. However, these are variables are intrinsic to the personnel, and cannot be significantly affected within the organization. Any relationships between this second set of variables and OC can be noted, and used by the NS Mantg. To understand their workforce in a given location. The dependent variable is the level of OC within the customer service managers, and their satisfaction with their leaders.


This study will be based on the following assumptions:

The participants' responses to the questionnaires will be honest and sincere.

The Multi-factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) is an effective means for measuring AT&T Network Services Customer Relationship Area Managers' transformational, transactional, and lassiz-faire leadership characteristics.

The Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ) is an effective means for measuring AT&T Network Services Customer Service Manager's, affective and continuance organizational commitment.


This study has the following major limitations:

It is impossible to control all interactions and exchanges between AT&T Network Services Customer Service Managers and Area Managers that might affect Customer Service Managers commitment, and managers' perceptions of OC. Only impacts of 8 variables will be studied.

The applicability of the findings to leadership beyond the Network Services Customer Relationship Area Managers' cannot be ensured.

This study was mainly concerned with examining the effects of leadership styles upon organizational commitment of AT&T Network Services Customer Service Manager's. Therefore, future research is recommended to discover factors influencing OC at other levels of the company.

All subjects of the study were Customer Service managers and Area managers within the AT&T Network Services Customer Relationship Organization all other organizations were excluded.

Research Question

This study addresses the…[continue]

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