Abstract C.V. Bell-Roundtree - Does Manager Behavior Influence Knowledge Worker Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment Attitudes? A Validation of Kouzes and Posner’s Transformational Leadership Theory

Does Manager Behavior Influence Knowledge Worker Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment Attitudes? A Validation of Kouzes and Posner’s Transformational Leadership Theory

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TITLE: Does Manager Behavior Influence Knowledge Worker Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment Attitudes? A Validation of Kouzes and Posner’s Transformational Leadership Theory
 
RESEARCHER: Carolyn V. Bell-Roundtree
Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Engineering Management
The University of Alabama in Huntsville
Doctoral Dissertation: May 2004

OBJECTIVE
The purpose of this study was to determine the validity of the Kouzes and Posner leadership framework with increased levels of knowledge worker job satisfaction and organizational commitment in the federal government (Department of Army) sector.

METHODOLOGY
A total of 190 Department of the Army government employees and support contractors in the Huntsville, Alabama area responded to the survey (114 were government employees and the remaining were government support contractors). The average age of the respondents was 42 years, with an average employment of 11.5 years, and 56% were men. Respondents completed the Leadership Practices Inventory, the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (Weiss et al. 1967) and a modified version of the Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (Porter et al. 1974).

KEY FINDINGS
Internal reliability for the five leadership practices in this study were .88 for Enabling, .90 for Challenging and Modeling, .93 for Inspiring, .94 for Encouraging and .95 for “Global Leadership” (combined five practices). The responses of government contractors were significantly higher than the government employees on the global job satisfaction, extrinsic job satisfaction and organizational commitment scales. The five leadership practices were all significantly higher for government contractors than they were for government employees. No significant differences were reported on the five leadership practices on the basis of gender.

Each of the five leadership practices was significantly correlated with global job satisfaction. Global leadership explained 45.2 percent of the variability in global job satisfaction. Acting alone, the leadership practices of Enabling, Encouraging and Modeling explained the most variance. The five leadership practices were also significantly correlated with intrinsic job satisfaction, as well as extrinsic job satisfaction. The five leadership practices were significantly correlated with organizational commitment.

The author concludes: “when managers practice the five leadership behaviors consistently, this influence of manager behaviors in the workplace creates an environment that results in positive trends in employee job attitudes” (p. 109-110). “The trends in job satisfaction and Organizational commitment attitudes increase with the frequency that managers practiced the five behaviors. These results suggest that organizations whose managers frequently practice the five behaviors will most likely experience higher trends in positive outcomes of knowledge workers’ satisfaction with the job and their job commitment. Managing employee job satisfaction and organizational commitment attitudes is important because their attitudes have been positively related to increased customer support, willingness to exert extra effort, performance, and retention rates and negatively related to employee burnout, incidences of counterproductive behavior, and turnover” (p. 114). “The overall conclusion,” says the author, “is that the answer to the research question is, ‘Yes, the manager practice of the five behaviors does positively influence knowledge worker job satisfaction and organizational commitment attitudes in a Department of the Army Environment” (p. 115).

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