Abstract M.W. Dunn - The Impact of Leadership on Employees’ Commitment to the Organization: An International Perspective

The Impact of Leadership on Employees’ Commitment to the Organization: An International Perspective

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TITLE: The Impact of Leadership on Employees’ Commitment to the Organization: An International Perspective
 
RESEARCHER: Maggie W. Dunn
School of Business and Entrepreneurship
Nova Southeastern University
Doctoral Dissertation: November 1999

OBJECTIVE
To examine the relationship between leaders’ behaviors and employees’ commitment to the organization in two different national cultures.

METHODOLOGY
The respondents were professional employees of a large, multinational, high-tech corporation. Seven hundred and fifty surveys were sent to U.S. employees, with a 44 percent response rate (N = 332). Four hundred surveys were sent to employees in Israel, with a 36 percent response rate (N = 142). In both countries, the majority of respondents were engineers (80%), and had been with the company for six or more years. Respondents completed the LPI-Observer, the three-dimensional (affective, continuance, and normative) organizational commitment scale (Allen, Meyer & Smith, 1993), and provided demographic information.

KEY FINDINGS
The five leadership practices were significantly correlated with affective commitment (i.e., emotional identification or “desire to stay”) in both the U.S. and Israeli samples. The five leadership practices were each significantly correlated with normative commitment (i.e., feeling of obligation to continue employment or “obligation to stay”) in both the U.S. and Israeli samples. The five leadership practices were not significantly correlated with continuance commitment (i.e., an awareness of the costs associated with leaving an organization or “needing to stay”) in the Israeli sample, and four of the five leadership practices were not significantly correlated in the U.S. sample (the exception being Inspiring). Multiple regression analysis revealed that nation of employment (U.S. or Israel) was not significantly related with any leadership practice. No significant effect was found of nation of employment on the relationship between employees’ perceptions of their leaders’ behaviors and the three forms of employees’ organizational commitment.

The author concludes that this study “strengthens the existing knowledge about the effectiveness of U.S.-based leadership practices in other countries....Finally, this study provides further evidence to support the ability to generalize, to different industries and professions, about the relationship between leader behavior and employees’ commitment to the organization” (p. 103).

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