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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Leadership Quarterly, Volume 15, Issue 5, October 2004, Pages 593–606
A field study of 209 leader–follower dyads from 12 different organizations was conducted to test the moderating effects of job enrichment and goal difficulty on the relationship between transformational leadership and three follower outcomes: performance, affective organizational commitment, and organizational citizenship behavior. Moderated regression analyses were conducted to test for direct and moderated relationships. Transformational leadership and job enrichment each had significant main effects. In addition, we found that job enrichment substituted for the effects of transformational leadership on affective commitment, whereas goal setting enhanced relationships between transformational leadership and both affective commitment and performance.
Transformational leadership has been consistently linked to a number of positive outcomes across samples and cultures (e.g., Bass, 1997, Bycio et al., 1995, Howell & Avolio, 1993, Howell & Higgins, 1990, Koh et al., 1991 and Wofford et al., 1998), which has led some scholars to view transformational leadership as an unbounded, “universal” theory (Bass, 1997 and Bass & Avolio, 1994). Others have suggested the need to examine it within a situational context (e.g., Bass, 1985, Podsakoff & MacKenzie, 1994, Podsakoff et al., 1996 and Whittington, 1997). The substitutes for leadership model developed by Kerr and associates (Howell et al., 1986, Kerr, 1977 and Kerr & Jermier, 1978) provides this context because of advantages it has over other situational approaches to leadership (Podsakoff & MacKenzie, 1994 and Podsakoff et al., 1993). First, it represents the most comprehensive attempt to identify the potential factors that may moderate leader effects on followers, focusing more attention than previous theories on organizational factors. In addition, the substitutes model provides some guidance for leaders who may want to create substitutes in their environment to supplement or enhance their effectiveness (Howell et al., 1986 and Podsakoff et al., 1993). In early research, Kerr and Jermier (1978) suggested that certain task characteristics (e.g., those that provide feedback and that are intrinsically satisfying) and organizational characteristics (e.g., formalization in terms of explicit plans and goals) may substitute for the effects of a leader, or neutralize the impact of a leader's behavior. In an extension of the earlier work, Howell et al. (1986) developed a typology of moderators based on the mechanisms by which they operate. Their substitutes typology was refined to include neutralizers and enhancers of the relationship between leader behavior and associated outcomes. Neutralizers interrupt the predictive relationship between a leader behavior and criteria, but have little or no impact on the criteria themselves, thus, representing a negative moderating influence on the relationship. Conversely, enhancers augment the relationship between leader behaviors and criteria with their own predictive power over the criteria, thus, representing a positive moderating influence on the relationship. Substitutes for leadership must meet three criteria ( Howell et al., 1986): (1) there must be a logical reason why the leader's behavior and the potential substitute should provide the effect indicated by the criterion measure; (2) the potential substitute must be a neutralizer that weakens the effect of the leader's behavior on the criterion; and (3) increasing levels of the substitute must result in higher criterion levels. This impact on the criterion distinguishes a substitute from a neutralizer; a substitute reduces and replaces the effect of the leader behavior on the criterion. Although Kerr and Jermier originally focused on substitutes for task-oriented or relationship-oriented leader behavior, they stated that the “elaboration of the substitutes construct must necessarily include the specification of other leader behaviors” (Kerr & Jermier, 1978, p. 359). Incorporating transformational leader behavior into this paradigm, Podsakoff et al. (1996) reported several findings that link these bodies of literature. First, both transformational leader behaviors and substitutes for leadership had unique effects on a wide variety of follower outcomes. Second, the total proportion of variance accounted for by the substitutes for leadership and the transformational leader behaviors was substantially greater than had been previously reported for either alone. Finally, many of the transformational leader behaviors were significantly related to several of the substitutes for leadership variables. Thus, the omission of situational variables in previous studies of transformational leadership may have led to biased estimates of relationships found for transformational leaders. Previous research on the “substitutes for leadership model” has been criticized recently by Villa, Howell, Dorfman, and Daniel (2003). They pointed out that much of the research on the effects of substitutes on relationships between leader behaviors and follower outcomes was not supported by a sound theoretical rationale. To address this concern, we relied upon previous theoretical development of two constructs key to the study of behavior in organizations—job enrichment and goal setting—that were not examined in the work of Podsakoff et al. (1996). Enriched jobs have been found to provide intrinsically satisfying tasks (Griffin, 1980, Griffin, 1991 and Hackman & Oldham, 1976) and the setting of challenging goals is an important aspect of organizational formalization (Kerr & Jermier, 1978). Furthermore, research on transformational leadership, job enrichment, and goal setting reveals that each of these variables has been similarly, positively related to a wide variety of employee attitudes and performance. Regardless, they have not been considered together to evaluate any impact on each other. 1.1. Job enrichment Griffin (1980) developed a framework for understanding the impact of both leader behavior and task design on employee performance because of the saliency of each for the employee. He suggested that task structure may moderate the relationship between leader behavior and follower performance, and has recently advised us to revisit task design, in light of recent theory development (Griffin, 2000), such as that on transformational leadership. Perhaps the most well-established theory of the influence of task characteristics on individual performance is Hackman and Oldham's (1976, 1980) Job Characteristic Model. Their model includes five core task dimensions—task variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback. Jobs that receive high scores on these dimensions are considered enriched, and the level of enrichment is based on the formula for the Motivating Potential Score (MPS) (Oldham, Hackman, & Pearce, 1976). The core job dimensions can result in high internal motivation, high-quality performance, high work satisfaction, and low levels of absenteeism and turnover. The motivational forces that come from an enriched job are similar to those obtained from transformational leadership. Intellectual stimulation encourages employees to look at their work in different ways and think “out of the box,” providing the opportunity for task autonomy, variety, and additional challenge. Inspiring followers to work toward the vision of the organization by securing their “buy-in” to the big picture, make the followers' tasks more significant, and encourage a sense of identity with their jobs. Through the ascribed charisma dimension, the transformational leader creates a sense of empowerment in followers, similar to results that come from both task identity and autonomy. By providing individualized consideration, a transformational leader pays attention to the specific needs of followers, and will often assign tasks on the basis of an individual's needs and abilities. Individualized consideration also includes being available to followers, and providing timely feedback to them ( Avolio, 1999). Based on the parallel behavioral and psychological mechanisms we have described between enriched jobs and transformational leadership, we believe there is good reason to generally propose that an enriched job moderates the relationship between transformational leadership and follower criteria. We specifically expect the following: Hypothesis 1. An enriched job will substitute for transformational leader behavior in its positive relationship to the follower outcomes of performance, affective organizational commitment, and organizational citizenship behaviors such that transformational leader behavior's positive effect will be increasingly reduced (negatively moderated) and eventually replaced by increasing levels of job enrichment. At low levels of job enrichment, transformational leader behavior will exhibit significant positive relationships with follower outcomes, while at high levels of job enrichment, transformational leader behavior will not exhibit a significant relationship. 1.2. Goal setting The impact of goal setting on employee performance, satisfaction, and organizational commitment has been documented in a wide variety of tasks in both laboratory and field settings (Locke & Latham, 1990 and Mento et al., 1987). Results are similar to those found for transformational leadership (Bycio et al., 1995 and Podsakoff et al., 1990). House (1977) developed several propositions concerning the enhancing impact of challenging goals on the relationship between charismatic leader behavior and follower performance. He proposed that followers would have higher levels of acceptance and satisfaction with charismatic leaders who communicate high expectations of, and confidence in, followers. Thus, high expectations communicated through challenging goals, enhance the followers' response to a charismatic leader. Charismatic behavior also is proposed to be one aspect of transformational leadership behavior ( Bass, 1985). Transformational leaders who use inspirational motivation paint an optimistic future that provides both meaning and challenge for followers ( Avolio, 1999). Difficult goals also provide challenge. Leaders are able to translate their visions into tangible contributions that can be made by followers through the goal-setting process. Furthermore, employees can be expected to want to be part of such an organization ( Locke & Latham, 1990, Mento et al., 1987 and Peters & Waterman, 1982). Challenging goals also intellectually stimulate employees, and once their needs are met by a considerate leader, these goals will focus them toward higher levels of performance. Based on these insights from the literature, we conclude that affective commitment and performance are encouraged by the combination of transformational leadership and challenging goals. Specifically, we expect the following: Hypothesis 2. Goal difficulty will enhance (positively moderate) the relationships between the transformational leader behavior and the follower outcomes of performance and affective organizational commitment such that transformational leader behavior's positive relationships to the outcomes will become increasingly greater at higher levels of goal difficulty. The positive effect size of leader behavior on outcomes will be greater at higher levels of goal difficulty. Goal level and performance also have been examined in conjunction with extra-role behaviors (i.e., organizational citizenship behaviors [OCBs]). Wright, George, Farnsworth, & McMahan (1993) found that goal difficulty was positively related to performance, but negatively related to extra-role behaviors. They suggested that challenging goals cause employees to focus on the achievement of in-role tasks to the exclusion of extra-role behaviors. Consequently, challenging goals may negate the positive relationships expected between transformational leadership behaviors and OCBs that have been identified in previous research (Goodwin et al., 2001 and Whittington, 1997). Hypothesis 3. Goal difficulty will neutralize (negatively moderate) the relationships between the transformational leadership behavior and organizational citizenship behavior such that at increasing levels of goal difficulty, transformational leader behavior's positive effect on citizenship behavior will decrease. The positive effect size will be less at greater levels of goal difficulty. We examined these hypotheses in a field study. The results of our research are reported in the following paragraphs.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The primary purpose of this investigation was to examine the potentially situational nature of transformational leadership. This approach was consistent with the early work of Bass (1985), who suggested that characteristics of the external environment, the organizational environment, and the leader may moderate the relationship between transformational leadership and follower performance. Despite Bass' suggestions, few studies have examined these and other potential moderators. Podsakoff et al. (1996) concluded that the omission of potential moderators of the relationships between transformational leadership and follower criterion variables in previous research obscures the importance of transformational leadership relative to these contextual variables. Recently, however, Villa et al. (2003) argued that previous research using the substitutes for leadership model may not have been supported by a strong theoretical rationale. Furthermore, they point out that substitutes for leadership are not very common, making it unlikely to easily identify a large number of them through research. Villa et al. point out that in 4303 tests of non-theory-based substitutes for leadership models, only 10.55% had significant findings. In theory-driven tests, 21.11% of the interactions tested were significant. In our research, with a strong theoretical rationale for the substitutes examined and their proposed effects, three of the six different moderator relationships expected were significant. Thus, 50% of our theory-driven tests were supported. 4.1. Interactive effects on employee outcomes We found that an enriched job acted as a substitute for transformational leadership behavior in its effect on affective organizational commitment when using criteria set forth by Howell et al. (1986) and Podsakoff et al. (1996). Although complete substitution for transformational leadership appears to occur only at high levels of job enrichment, each may provide an alternative to the other to some degree. Finding no interactive effect for transformational leadership with enriched jobs on performance or OCB is in contrast to results found by Podsakoff et al. (1996) and Wofford, Whittington, and Goodwin (2001). Rather, our results suggest the need for both a transformational leader and an enriched job to encourage in-role and extra-role behaviors (see Table 2). This relationship needs further examination to clarify the inconsistent results. We obtained some enlightening results for Hypothesis 2. Goal difficulty enhanced the relationship between transformational leader behavior and both affective commitment and performance. Evidently, the motivational forces that come from transformational leaders, although strongly influential on follower outcomes in their own right, benefit from the direction or focus provided by challenging goals. The goals may provide a clarification for the abstraction and longer-term perspective that is associated with transformational behavior, thus increasing its link to performance. Perhaps the challenging goals communicate a high level of confidence in a follower's ability, which increases the follower's self-efficacy and, ultimately, performance. The positive feelings toward the leader, in turn, transfer to the organization. The lack of direct relationship between goals and performance may be the result of the types of tasks followers performed. To the degree they were complex, difficult goals may hinder performance (Taylor, 1987 and Taylor et al., 1992). Future research should continue to look at these relationships. Results for Hypothesis 3 provided no support for our expectation that goal setting would reduce the effects of transformational leadership on extra-role behaviors. Although previous research revealed a negative relationship between goal difficulty and OCBs (Wright et al., 1993), we did not find that it interfered with the relationship found between transformational leadership and OCBs. This result encourages future research to examine whether transformational leaders can improve performance and affective commitment using goal setting, without reducing follower extra-role behaviors. As reviewed by Yammarino and Dubinsky (1994), Bass (1985, 1990, 1997), and Bass and Avolio (1994) have discussed transformational leadership as a universal theory, relevant in a variety of historical periods, organizations, and levels within those organizations. Our results support some limitations to these assumptions, suggesting that to some degree, the effect of transformational leadership on follower outcomes does not exist regardless of the situational context. Consistent with Podsakoff et al. (1996), we conclude that the omission of contextual variables in transformational leadership research has limited our development of this paradigm. In addition, we have addressed the recent criticisms raised by Villa et al. (2003) about the lack of theoretical underpinnings in substitutes research. Future research should continue to examine other possible moderators proposed by Howell et al. (1986), Kerr and Jermier (1978), and Podsakoff et al. (1996) in the transformational leadership paradigm; yet, there should be a theoretical basis for their inclusion in the research. 4.2. Implications for research 4.2.1. Limitations Our research was not without limitations. Recently, Dionne, Yammarino, Atwater & James (2002) raised concerns about the problem of common source variance in substitutes for leadership research. Because followers provided data on their leaders' behavior and their own affective commitment, our results are subject to this criticism. To address this concern, we identified a marker variable (cf. Richardson et al., 2003 and Williams & Brown, 1994) that did not correlate highly with the measures used in the analyses. The results of this marker variable analysis indicated that the presence of common variance did not significantly change the coefficients between the predictor variables and affective commitment. In addition, reliability estimates for the separate subscales used to compute the MPS calculation for enriched jobs could have been higher, particularly for task identity. Consequently, lack of relationships found for enriched jobs may have been underestimated due to lower reliability of the measurement instrument (i.e., the error in our measures obscured the true relationship); however, even with the lower than preferred reliability estimates, we still found significant results for the hypothesis that MPS (job enrichment) would act as a substitute for transformational leadership in its effect on affective commitment. Although we were specifically concerned with the potential rival hypotheses to the effects of transformational leadership posed by enriched jobs and challenging goals, we recognize that some studies of transformational leadership also include transactional leadership. Consequently, given data we had from responses to the contingent rewards subscale and correlations found between contingent rewards and transformational leadership in previous research (Bycio et al., 1995 and Goodwin et al., 2001), we conducted a series of post hoc analyses to examine any potential impact of contingent rewards. To do this, we ran our regression analyses again including contingent rewards as a final step to examine any influence on our results (see Table 3). Given transformational leadership and the substitute, contingent rewards did not statistically or practically increase the variance explained when added to the model. In fact, when added to the model it, more often than not, decreased the adjusted R2, and in no case increased the adjusted R2. Finally, we recognize that the effect size for the interaction in each case is relatively small. Specifically, the change in R2 was 1% to 2%, and the standardized effect size differences in the simple slopes of the leadership variable between high and low levels of the substitute or enhancer was approximately 0.23 standard deviations in each case. This limited amount raises the question whether although there was a statistically significant moderating effect, how practically significant is the effect? We interpret our findings to suggest that it takes high levels of the substitute or enhancer to substantially, or noticeably, impact the transformational leadership effect. Transformational leadership does not occur in a vacuum. It is the result of an interactive relationship among mutually interdependent people operating in complex organizational environments. Additional research should examine the precise effects of variables such as the quality and duration of the relationship that exists between a leader and his or her followers. Other contextual factors such as the individual differences of both followers and leaders, the structure and culture of the organization, and the values present in the broader context of national cultures are likely to impact this relationship. Transformational leadership studies that attempt to examine these variables simultaneously will further understanding of this complex phenomena, and may add to a unifying theory of performance in organizations. The ability to attract, keep, and motivate high-performers is becoming increasingly important in contemporary organizations. Our results suggest that effective managers should consider a variety of approaches to motivate employees. Managers who rely solely on goal setting, job enrichment, or transformational leadership behaviors may restrict their effectiveness. The use of challenging goals by transformational leaders should improve performance and affective commitment, whereas the use of enriched jobs may be capable of maintaining the desire to affiliate with an organization in the absence of the daily influence of the transformational leader. In a highly competitive work environment, where a leader may be called upon to pursue initiatives that take him or her from direct contact with followers, knowledge of our findings may prove beneficial for the creation and maintenance of high-performance organizations.