LEADERSHIP STYLE AND TEAM PERFORMANCE WITH TASK CHARACTERISTICS AS MODERATORS. Research Problem Leadership and teamwork are two of the hottest topics in organizational research. Besides being two of the most hottest topic, there were still some gaps to fill in terms of how leadership dynamics influence team outcomes. So far, research on leadership has only given attention towards functional leadership approach (Zaccaro et al, 2001). According to Jehn, Northcraft and Neale (1999), team performance literature were so far focused on how team interactions and task characteristics influence team outcome.
Arguments of transformational leadership is more effective approach than transactional leadership in terms of motivating followers to achieve higher performance can be obtained from various literature resources (Yukl et al, 1999). However, there’s not much being done in exploring how different leadership approach such as transformational versus transactional leadership can interact with different types of team structure and different task characteristic. Little has been done also in exploring how different leadership style approach influence team outcome with respective task characteristic.
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There were significant relationship between the success level of leader in defining team directions and maximizing progress towards team effectiveness. Whereas leaders strive to achieve the anticipated outcomes under certain key performance indicator. To achieve these outcome, leaders can apply either transactional and transformational leadership approach. Both leadership approach have different context with each other making the application of either transactional and transformational leadership style is rather doubtful.
Research Objective The objective of this research is to examine the relationship between transformational and transactional leadership with team setting in different task characteristics. Besides that, this study also intends to find out the matching pair between different leadership style with team performance along side to identify the impact of each leadership styles towards team performance under respectively different task characteristic. Research Question 1.
What is the relationship between transformational leadership and team performance? 2. What is the relationship between transactional leadership and team performance? 3. How does different leadership style matched to team performance in high task programmability and outcome measurability? 4. How does different leadership style matched to team performance in low task programmability and outcome measurability? 5. What is the impact of transformational leadership towards team performance? . What is the impact of transactional leadership towards team performance? Significance of Study This study will be beneficial for team leaders across many different area of specialty that involves in a team setting environment. Besides that, this study would be beneficial to organizations as a guideline for team leader requirement settings in the organizations and implementing a new design of leadership culture in the organizations.
Other than that, this study will also be beneficial for further study of the relationship of leadership dynamics towards team member performance as this study will contribute information regarding the interaction of different leadership styles with different task characteristics in team setting environment. Findings of this research can also help leaders to consider how to utilize different motivational approach under different task environment alongside management in deploying different leaders to lead different types of teams.
Review of Literature Transformational versus transactional leadership Burns was the first to come up with the definitions of transformational and transactional leadership in his book Leadership in 1978. Burns (1978) defined transformational and transactional leadership as an invisible contract between leader and team member which initiate contact within to in an effort of exchanging something of a value such as rewards for performance and mutual support.
Leader’s promises, praises and rewards are motivators to followers and negative feedback can be corrected via reproof, punishment and disciplinary actions (Burns,1978;Bass and Steidlmeier, 1999). Transformational leadership Transformational leadership involves stimulation of followers to transcend their own self interest for a higher collective purpose, mission or vision (Bass,1985;Howell and Avolio,1993; Pearce et al, 2000;Sims and Manz, 1996) and goes beyond exchanging inducements for desired performance (Bass,1985).
Transformational leadership are concentrated on the effort towards long term goals with vision emphasizing alongside inspiring followers to pursue the vision and also fostering trust and commitment among followers (Howell and Avolio,1993;Jung and Avolio,1999). Theoretical perspective such as the sociology of charisma (weber,1924,1946), charismatic leadership theory (House,1977,1999) and transformational leadership (Avolio and Bass,1988; Bass,1985,1990; Burns,1978) play the role as the contributor towards the drawn of the transformational leadership theory.
The transformational leadership consists of four major criteria which are the charisma, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration in order to determine the characteristic of a transformational leaders (Bass 1985; Bass, Avolio, & Goodheim, 1987;Bass & Steidlemeier, 1999). Generally, transformational leadership can be referred as an intrinsic motivation in form of leadership styles.
Team member performance under the influence of transformational leadership undergone stimulation processes of self interest and vision and mission emphasized towards achieving goals nurtured by the transformational leader through methods involving inner value of the team members or followers themselves. Transformational leader engages with team members in a way that both sides are raising one another to a higher level of motivation enabling team members to identify themselves as sharing a same values and meanings with their leader (Burns,1978,1985,1998)
Transactional leadership Howell and Avolio (1993,p. 891) defined transactional leadership as relationship between leader and follower with series of exchanges as the main basis whereby involve bargains between followers and leaders. Bargains involved between leader and follower emphasize the use of contingent reward appropriate to economic and social upon followers to foster trust and commitment on the extent of goals or objective accomplishment as agreed by both sides.
Whereas followers are required to achieve goals and objective, transactional leaders in the effort of ensuring their followers to do so provide them with rewards to influence their behavior towards attaining the goals and objectives. By establishing certain requirements and key criteria to attain rewards, leader and follower unconsciously agreed upon an invisible contract that will benefit both sides which is reward for the follower and achievement of the requirements for the leader.
The term invisible contract is to represent the tie bonded between leader and follower which affect the way each other behave towards attaining goals. As typical as it is, the main focus of transactional leadership is to clarify the link between performance with rewards on a goal setting based behavior alongside providing constructive feedback to ensure followers are on the track of their tasks (Bass,1985). The concept of this leadership style can be termed as a tool of motivating followers to put effort towards achieving goals through the method of rewarding followers based on their performance throughout the process.
Generally, transactional leadership can also be recognized as an extrinsic motivation in form of leadership style. By putting exterior factor as the contributor in influencing behavior towards achieving goals and objectives. Expectancy theory (Vroom,1964), path-goal theory by (House ,1971), equity theory (Adams, 1963) and reinforcement theory by (Luthans and Kreitner,1985) were the base of which the theory of transactional leadership in the early of its history.
To evaluate the effectiveness of leadership styles for workers in different employment modes, it is first necessary to define effectiveness. It is posited that situational factors, such as the characteristics of the task, the leader and subordinates, and the environment, determine both the motivational function of the leader and the manner in which the leader must act to be effective (House, 1971; House & Dressler, 1974; Steers et al. , 1996; Yukl, 1989).
However, despite the variance associated with specific situations, the most commonly used criteria to measure leader effectiveness are: (a) the degree to which the group or organization successfully accomplishes its tasks or attains its goals and (b) how the leader satisfies the followers’ needs and expectations such that they are willing to carry out the leader’s requests (Yukl, 1989). Given our focus on the employment group level of analysis, we consider leadership effectiveness for the employment group as a whole. Hence, based on the commonly used criteria for leadership effectiveness (e. . , Yukl, 1989) and the focus of our article, we define leadership effectiveness as the degree to which the leader efficiently motivates the employees to accomplish the tasks according to the organization’s requirements for the specific employment group while fulfilling the expectations of the employees and the organization under that employment mode. Considering the variation in skills and expected employee behaviors for workers in different employment modes, it seems logical that certain leadership styles would be more or less effective depending on the employee group.
Firms rely on different employee groups to realize different objectives, and accomplish different tasks (Lepak ; Snell, 1999a). To achieve these tasks, firms use different human resource management practices/systems that convey different exchange obligations between the employee and the firm (Tsui et al. , 1995, 1997). To be most effective, leadership style should be consistent with the demands underlying these employment exchanges. Task structure Task structure consists of two main element; task programmability and outcome measurability.
Task programmability Task programmability is a task’s susceptibility to clear definition of the behaviors needed to perform it. In essence, task programmability refers to the process of a task. It is the boundary of task responsibility that manifests the level of programmability. If a task’s programmability is high, individual who assume the task will have clear understanding on the scale and scope of his responsibility, thereafter, behaviors that are needed to successfully complete the task can be well recognized.
Otherwise, if a task’s boundary of responsibility is not clear cut or in some extent overlap, then the programmability of this task is low. Some theorists (Govindarajan, Fisher, 1990) divide task programmability as perfect and impact ones, which is similar to our measurement. Task programmability is a construct that people often confuse with task complexity. Actually, both simple tasks and complex tasks can be either of high programmability or of low programmability. In the context of teamwork, task programmability is irectly related with definition of the task and the division of responsibilities among team members, and such intra-team behaviors as communication, coordination, cooperation, and other interactions. In a team, both the procedures and density of these behaviors vary between highly programmable tasks and less programmable tasks. Because individual responsibility under tasks of high programmability has clear boundaries and members’ behaviors within a team have explicit procedures and density, everyone in the team knows whom to interact with, when to interact, and how to interact.
One of the most common examples of highly programmable task is the assemble line work in manufacturing. This work delegates linear interaction from one worker to another, and the entire task can be divided into several units that can be finished separately, while at the same time, these units are interdependent as part of a whole task. When it comes to the tasks of low programmability, both the process and density of the intra-team interaction behaviors are much more “fluid”. There is no prototype for the team members to follow on whom to, when to, and how to interact with each other.
One of the typical examples of low programmability in task is the highly innovative and complex research and development work, especially in high technology industries. There is no specific borderline for the researchers to undertake their job. Great interdependence and extensive cooperation are prerequisites to the completion of a research project. Outcome measurability Outcome measurability is an outcome’s susceptibility to reliable and valid measurement. Compared with programmability, which we use to investigate the process of a task, the outcome measurability focuses on characteristics of the output of a task.
If the outcome of a task is unobservable or unreliable to measure, the task is of low measurability, otherwise, the measurability is high. Job natures such as consultation work has low measurability in its outputs, because it is very difficult for the managers to get sufficient information on what exact contributions each member of the consultation team makes into the outcome. In comparison, task in marketing team has very high outcome measurability. Sales by each member are visible in numbers, and the manager can easily attribute the outcome to a specific member in that team. Outcome measurability associates closely with agency theory.
According to agency theory, behavior control is the first best solution, and the outcome control is the optimal choice when there is not enough information on agent’s behavior. However, if the outcome itself becomes difficult to measure with reliability, then managers have to adopt other control and motivation methods such as authority and social control. In team settings, the outcome measurability lies on two levels, the individual level and the team level. Individual level leads to the measurement of outcome of an individual team member, and the team level refers to the measurement of the outcome of the team as one entity.
High outcome measurability in the individual level automatically leads to high team level outcome measurability, but the team level outcome measurability cannot be a guarantee to high outcome measurability in individual level. In the management of teamwork, managers will pay more attention to outcome in the team level and the individual level outcome becomes less measurable. Theoretical framework Task programmability Transactional leadership Team work performance Transformational leadership Outcome measurability Hypothesis
Hypothesis 1A: In a team, task programmability will moderate the relationship between the transactional leadership and team performance. Transactional leadership will be more effective in highly programmable tasks than in less programmable tasks. Hypothesis 1B: In a team, task programmability will moderate the relationship between the transformational leadership and team performance. Transformational leadership will be more effective in less programmable tasks than in highly programmable tasks. Hypothesis 2A: In a team, outcome measurability will moderate the relationship between the transactional leadership and team performance.
Transactional leadership will be more effective in tasks of high outcome measurability than in tasks of low outcome measurability. Hypothesis 2B: In a team, outcome measurability will moderate the relationship between the transformational leadership and team performance. Transformational leadership will be more effective in tasks of low outcome measurability than in tasks of high outcome measurability. Hypothesis 3: Transformational leadership leads to higher team performance in tasks with low programmability and low measurability as comparing to transactional leadership.
Hypothesis 4: Transactional leadership leads to higher team performance in tasks with high programmability and high measurability as comparing to transformational leadership. Methodology Research sample The research sample will be consists of 150 employees working as a team in two different types of industries; manufacturing industry and advertising industry in Kuantan area. Two different groups of sample are to differ task characteristics of each industry whereby in a manufacturing industry the line work assembly delegates linear interaction from one worker to another which represents a high programmable task.
In contrast, line work assembly in an advertising industries are more complex and highly innovative which does not have specific borderline to undertake the job. Sample group from the advertising industry represents low programmable tasks. Data collection method The data collection will be done using survey questionnaire method and the questionnaire were adopted from Bass (1985) who developed the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire which consists of a 142 item instrument.
Rather than complementary, Bass (1985) conceptualized the transformational and transactional leadership as polar construct and developed a 142 item instrument; the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. This study adopted the method used by Bass in 1985 to collect all the necessary data required. The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire were have been applied in over 75 researches as the instrument to measure the effectiveness of both transformational and transactional leadership styles. (Lowe et al , 1996).
Task Programmability and Outcome measurability Task programmability measure was operationally defined with three survey questions from Quinn and Staines (1977) with the following statements using a seven-point scale ranging from “often true” to “never true”: (1) “My responsibilities are clearly defined” (indicating high task programmability), (2) “I can see the results of my work (indicating organization’s ability to define outcomes), and (3) “I am given a lot of freedom to decide how to do my work” (low organizational ability to define behaviors).
Outcome measurability will be assessed through a three-item agree/disagree scale used by Krafft (1999). Questionnaires will be given to both the leader and the team members for a twoway assessment. Task Programmability| Strongly disagree| disagree| Neutral| Agree| Strongly agree| My responsibilities are clearly defined| 1| 2| 3| 4| 5| I can see the results of my work| 1| 2| 3| 4| 5| I am given a lot of freedom to decide how to do my work| 1| 2| 3| 4| 5| Team performance Former studies on team performance took different measures to evaluate team performance.
Some purely emphasized on team outcomes, while others took team behaviors into consideration (Carson et al. , 1994; Stewart & Barrick, 2000). In this research, we use nine items to measure team performance in general. These items include. Team leaders will be taken as the best judge for the team performance. Team Performance| Strongly disagree| Disagree| Neutral| Agree| Strongly agree| quantity or amount of work produced by the team| 1| 2| 3| 4| 5| quality or accuracy of work produced by the team| 1| 2| 3| 4| 5| eam’s reputation for work excellence| 1| 2| 3| 4| 5| efficiency of team operation| 1| 2| 3| 4| 5| morale of team personnel| 1| 2| 3| 4| 5| team’s ability to communicate and coordinate activities across functional boundaries| 1| 2| 3| 4| 5| team’s ability to work with others outside the team| 1| 2| 3| 4| 5| team’s ability to meet executive management’s performance expectations| 1| 2| 3| 4| 5| team’s ability to meet timing and task scheduletargets,| 1| 2| 3| 4| 5|