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Abstract

Prior studies examined the importance of good leadership skills for those in leadership positions; however, this study addressed a gap in literature regarding how leadership characteristics in supervised employees can impact job satisfaction. The purpose of this quantitative study was to assess the influence of authentic leadership on employees job performance in Dangote Industries. Authentic leadership emerged from the theory of positive psychology which surmises that self-growth coincides with a focus on the development of others and is based on the premise that individual improvement is gained by focusing on positive personality aspects. Employees ofrom Dangote industries were surveyed using the questionnaire.. Participants (N = 138) completed the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire and the Job Descriptive Index.

Research questions were addressed by using three logistic regression models to show the effect between the independent variable (authentic leadership) and leader-member exchange and job performance The results of this study were that a significant association existed between authentic leadership and job performance, as well as general job satisfaction, but not between authentic leadership and task satisfaction or leader satisfaction. Implications for positive social change include the improvement of human resource processes. Human resource professionals could use authentic leadership in employee recruitment by gearing onboarding assessments to authenticity constructs such as ethical conduct and transparency. In addition, employee training designed around authentic traits may reduce job-related stress, absenteeism, and job turnover.

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

1.1        Background of the study

The focus of this study was the examination of authentic leadership as it related to job satisfaction in employees who were under supervision. The study is significant because research on leadership traits that induce employee job satisfaction is important to industry as it could be a solution to several industry-related issues, such as how to improve retention rates, increase job satisfaction, reduce job stress, decrease absenteeism, and increase productivity and profitability (Sousa-Lima, Michel, & Caetano, 2013; Wang & Hsieh, 2013). Authentic leadership is a management style that encourages employees by seeking their input while modeling ethical behavior and, thus, may improve work culture.

Characteristics associated with authenticity are ethical behavior, transparency, self- awareness, and informed decision-making (Fusco, O’Riordan & Palmer, 2015; Walumbwa, Wang, Wang, Schaubroeck, & Avolio, 2010). Although there are many leadership styles that claim ethics as a primary characteristic, authentic leadership differs in its focus on self- awareness and transparency (Azanza, Moriano, & Molerob, 2013).

Efficient and effective leadership capabilities are believed to be rooted in ethics, personalities, and motives (Valentine, Hollingworth, & Eidsness, 2014). However, characteristics associated with positive leadership are not exclusively possessed by leaders, they also exist in the personalities of supervised employees (Sharp, Roche, & Cable, 2015; Tonkin, 2013). Organizational leaders do not make a company successful singlehandedly (Azanza et al., 2013). They rely on subordinate workers to manage their time so that deadlines are met, collaborate with colleagues, and problem-solve to overcome challenges. Therefore, it is important that they possess leadership characteristics to maintain the functionality of their workplace (Azanza et al., 2013;

 

Hsiung, 2012) Positive social change may result from a greater understanding of how subordinate staff uses leadership characteristics to regulate their actions, interactions, and work quality to the benefit of the work culture (Sousa-Lima et al., 2013).

The most influential theory associated with this study is positive psychology, the foundation for the authentic leadership theory. According to this theory, progress was best achieved by focusing on and building people’s strengths rather than learning interventions that focused on what was wrong with people and their weaknesses (Howard, 2008; Morganson, Litano, & O’Neill, 2014). The components of authentic leadership are built on the foundation of positive psychology, in that authentic leadership involves self-awareness, or having a self-understanding, that serves as a foundation for making beneficial decisions and taking well-planned and favorable actions. Authentic leadership also includes balanced information processing or the unbiased collection and interpretation of information (Metcalf, 2014).

 

1.2        Statement of problem

Hannah, Walumbwa, and Fry (2011) provided information on the influence of authentic leadership on nonmanagerial employees that resulted from a study of military leaders and training teams using the ALQ. Results indicated that authenticity in leaders is positively associated with authenticity in followers. Hsiung (2012) provided information on the importance of the authentic leader trait of informed decision-making and employee voice using 70 Taiwanese real estate teams using variables such as perceived justice, authentic leadership, leader-member exchange (LMX), and employee voice. A modified version of the LePine and Van Dyne scale was used to assess worker voice and the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire was used to measure authentic

 

leadership (Hsiung, 2012). A positive association was found between authentic leadership and employee job satisfaction as evident in the level of voice.

Valsania, Moriano León, Alonso, and Cantisano (2012) provided information on job satisfaction levels in the workplace as it is related to the influence of authenticity on nonmanagerial employees. The participants of this study were 227 Spanish workers from several organizations, separated into 40 teams. Team members completed the ALQ as well as the Lee and Allen scale for organizational citizenship through which the variables authentic leadership and organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) were measured. The results were that authentic leadership traits of transparency and high ethical standards positively affected the employees’ organizational satisfaction and commitment levels.

Wang and Hsieh (2013) investigated the relationship between authenticity and job satisfaction expressed through the level of engagement using 386 Taiwanese employees in different businesses. The results showed that employee job satisfaction was positively related to employee engagement when using the ALQ to assess authentic characteristics (Wang & Hsieh, 2013).

Authenticity in the workplace refers to the expression of traits such as self- awareness, high moral values, informed decision-making, and transparency (Gardner & Avolio, 2005). While authentic characteristics can apply to individuals on any work level, authenticity as a means of self-management was a relatively new interpretation of authenticity and those who practiced it were purported to have contributed to the work culture through ethical characteristics (Shirey, 2006; Yang, 2014). Authentic employees, who were under the supervision of their leaders, were deeply in-tuned with their own  strengths, weaknesses, and how their traits affect their followers. They use their own ethical practices to influence to inspire efficiency in others (Sharp et al., 2015). Leaders have been judged based on their effectiveness in bringing about success in an organization, but it was important to note that the personality of the subordinate worker has played a part in whether or not they accept and comply with their direction, so have also contributed to that success (Copeland, 2016).

Wong, Laschinger, and Cummings (2013) examined authenticity as it related to job satisfaction and found that authenticity in leadership was positively associated with authenticity in those who follow them. Considering the potential impact on the work environment that such a combination of characteristics can garner, it is important to further understand both the constructs and their impact on organizations (Burris, Ayman, Che, & Min, 2013). Developments in the understanding of this leadership style and its effects in the industrial arena could set in motion management training programs that serve to improve employee/employer relations and an increase in job satisfaction (Azanza et al., 2013). Van Quaquebeke, Kerschreiter, Buxton, and van Dick (2010) assessed how such perceptions influenced follower self-identification with their leaders as well as job satisfaction levels. They found that there was a positive association between constructive leadership values and the level of workplace satisfaction and leader satisfaction when leader values matched those of followers.

A significant body of literature links leadership behavior to positive organizational outcomes (Boehm, Dwertmann, Bruch, & Shamir, 2015). Authentic leadership has been shown to enhance the general leadership capabilities of individuals (Avolio & Gardner, 2005), related to improved employee engagement 4 (Avolio & Gardner, 2005; Hassan & Ahmed, 2011), and positively correlated to ethical culture (Morris, 2014; Schein, 2004). Today, non-traditional attributes like employee engagement and ethical culture measure the long-term performance and viability of organizations (Bustillo, 2012). Thus, it is important to develop studies that explore the relationships between authentic leadership and various positive organizational outcomes like employee engagement and ethical culture, and to conduct these studies in diverse cultural settings as a mean to get deeper understanding of these concepts. Thus, the premise of this study.

A gap in current leader/follower research also existed regarding how the characteristics of lower and higher-ranked workers mutually influenced each other.

In order to address the limitation of construct validity, the proposed study utilized the concepts that have been narrowed down into the measurable constructs of transparency, informed decision-making, ethics, and self-assessment (Avolio et al., 2007). Undercoverage bias could occur when members of the target population are underrepresented. The kernel of this study is to establish the impact of authentic leadership on Dangotes’s employees job performance using the leader-member exchange as a mediator.

 

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The aim of this study is to establish the impact of authentic leadership on Dangotes’s employees job performance using the leader-member exchange as a mediator. The specific objectives:

  1. Evaluate the influence of authentic leadership on Dangotes’s employees job performance
  2. Assess the impact of leader-member on Dangotes’s employees job performance
  • Investigate the combined effect of authentic leadership and leader-member on Dangotes’s job performance

1.4       Research Questions and Hypotheses

Based on the objectives of the study, the following research questions were raised:

  1. How does authentic leadership influence Dangotes’s employees job performance?

 

  1. To what degree does leader-member impact Dangotes’s employees job performance?
  • In what way does the combined authentic leadership and leader-member dimensions affect on Dangotes’s job performance?

Hypotheses

Based on the research questions, the following hypotheses were formulated in the null

Ho1: Authentic leadership does not influence Dangotes’s employees job performance

Ho2: Leader-member leadership does not influence Dangotes’s employees job performance

Ho3: Authentic leadership and leadership-member do not influence Dangotes’s employees job performance

 

1.5  Significance of the study

The ability to reshape leadership training design and development as conducted by human resource personnel can foster change in executive approaches to employee relations through less aggressive production tactics (Faircloth, 2017; Howard, 2008). The positive effects of authentic leadership may also counteract the effects of job stress, which could otherwise lead to burnout and absenteeism. Widespread use of authentic leadership, which is based on more benign decision-making and consideration of employee impact, may improve work conditions internationally (Hsiung, 2012).

Additionally, a broader understanding of common authentic traits shared by managers and direct reports would be valuable in the current globally oriented marketplace in which leaders and their staff may be from different cultures. Finding a common thread in the form of values and work ethics may ease any existing antipathy that may become evident as a result of individuals from different backgrounds interacting (Liborius, 2014). Developing countries, which look to nations that have a longer industrial history, may potentially seek and choose to replicate methods of increasing production through improved employer/employee relations without resorting to abusive or oppressive tactics.

 

 

 

1.6       Organization of the study

This dissertation is divided into five chapters. Chapter 1 above presented the background of the research literature on the concepts of authentic leadership, employee job performance, and leader-member exchange. The context of Nigeria organizations and its aptness for the study were discussed. Furthermore, it highlighted research gaps in the literature and identified the research questions that guided this study. Next, the chapter overviews the research design and articulates the significance of the study. Finally, the chapter concludes with a definition of terms used throughout the document. In Chapter 2, I review the literature relevant to the research question posed. The review describes the literature concerning authentic leadership, employee engagement, and ethical culture in organizations, Also, given the international context of this dissertation, the chapter covers international studies on the concepts related to this study and the challenges of using western created measuring instruments in developing countries like Nigeria. The chapter concludes with the presentation of a conceptual model. Chapter 3 begins with presenting hypotheses generated from the literature review in chapter 2, followed by discussing pilot study for this research to ensure the usability of the survey instrument in the Nigerian context. I then describe the research design, population, sampling frame, measurement instruments, and the method of statistical analysis. Chapter 4 reports assessments of reliability and validity, analysis of the measurement model, analysis of the structural model, evaluation of alternative models, and the results of the analysis. Chapter 5 presents findings, implications for research and practice, limitations, suggestions for future research and final thoughts on the dissertation research.

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