The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship and influence of leadership practices and job characteristics on the job satisfaction of research and development scientists in the private sector.
Subjects for this study included a purposive sample of 64 R&D scientists employed by a U.S. private specialty chemical organization, with 56 participating (81% response rate), of which 11 were in management positions. The typical respondent was male (64%), Caucasian (75%), and on average 46 years old. All had at least a college degree, their average years with the organization were 12, with an average of 8 years in the R&D department. Participants completed the Leadership Practices Inventory (Self), the Job Descriptive Index (Balzer & Smith, 1990), the Job in General scale (Ironson, Smith, Brannick, Gibson & Paul, 1989), the Job Diagnostic Survey (Hackman & Oldham, 1975), and provided demographic information. Cronbach alpha for the LPI in this study for the managers ranged between .58 (Challenging) to .88 (Encouraging)
On the leadership practices of Modeling, Inspiring and Challenging there were no significant differences between the scores reported by managers and their constituents. For Enabling and Encouraging the scores reported by managers were significantly higher than those reported by their constituents. The managers of male respondents had significantly higher scores on all five leadership practices. Age, ethnicity, total years with the organization, and years with the R&S department were unrelated to leadership scores. Higher levels of education were correlated with Modeling, Enabling and Encouraging.
No significant relationship was found between any of the five leadership practices and scores on the Job in General scale (job satisfaction) or satisfaction with the supervisor (with the exception of Model the Way).