Abstract W. Lowe - An Examination of the Relationship Between Leadership Practices and Organizational Commitment in the Fire Service

An Examination of the Relationship Between Leadership Practices and Organizational Commitment in the Fire Service

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TITLE: An Examination of the Relationship Between Leadership Practices and Organizational Commitment in the Fire Service
 
RESEARCHER: William A. Lowe
Graduate School of Business and Entrepreneurship
Nova Southeastern University
Doctoral Dissertation: June 2000

OBJECTIVE
To examine the relationship between leadership practices and organizational commitment in the fire service.

METHODOLOGY
The population consisted of all 82 officers and firefighters of a fully-paid municipal fire department located in the southeastern United States, and can be viewed as a "representative fire department." For various reasons, the effective sample consisted of 73 respondents (90%). Respondents completed the Leadership Practices Inventory (Observer), along with the Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (Porter et al. 1974), and provided demographic information.

KEY FINDINGS
Each of the five leadership practices was significantly correlated (positive) with organizational commitment. The strongest relationships were with Enabling Others to Act. Significant differences were found between respondent’s demographic characteristics of age (positive), education (positive), gender (negative), rank (positive) and tenure (positive) with their self-reported organizational commitment to the fire service. "Consequently," says the author, "fire department officers can accomplish extraordinary achievements through ordinary people by using [these] leadership practices" (p. 102)...The real and perceived leadership practices of fire officers directly influence the organizational commitment of firefighters" (p. 115).

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