Magoosh GRE

What is the importance of Influential Leadership style for the well being of employees?

| December 7, 2012


There have been consistent manifestations from recent researches suggesting a strong and substantial relationship between the leadership styles and wellbeing of the employees in organisations and companies. The style of leadership in a working condition is strongly associated with the mental attributes and job satisfaction of the workers. The association between job demand and control on the one side and job satisfaction and wellbeing on the other side has been examined by karasek and Theorell (1990) in their study. The employees’ ‘perception of’ and ‘involvement in’ their working condition seem to have a profound association with the behaviour and characteristics of the leadership.  Cherniss (1995) and Van Dierendonck reviewed the considerable association between the behaviour of the leadership and the employees’ perception of the working condition.

There have been a growing body of research concentrating on the relationship between the leadership styles and the job satisfaction and wellbeing of the employees. Some researchers concluded their studies portraying the findings that, different leadership styles have different impacts on the employees’ job satisfaction and well being (Fatemeh Hamidifar). In all most all organisations and companies the stress factor makes the difference in job satisfaction and well being. The more stress and pressure you have the less will be your job satisfaction and wellbeing. But there have been significant amount of studies suggesting the fact that, leadership styles may have a positive influence in maintaining or minimising the stress factor in working conditions. Tsai Hug Chuang (School of Management, Tatung University) reviewed that the style of the leadership will have a considerable effect on the job stress.

Purpose of the Dissertation

The purpose of this dissertation was to examine the relationship between influential leadership, followers working condition and employee job satisfaction and well being. The study investigated the relationship between the transformational leadership style, the working condition of the workers and employee job satisfaction and well being, considering 11 family bargains store and 99p store in Bedfordshire County. The relationship between these factors were examined by measuring transformational leadership, influence, meaningful or sincere work, participation, well being and job satisfaction by using specific measuring scales which have been used and proved effective in previous studies. The study extended its investigation to find out how employees perception of influence at working conditions mediates or arbitrates the relationship between influential (transformational) leaders and job satisfaction and well being. The purpose of this dissertation includes examine the possibility of the statement that The mechanism by which influential leadership and job satisfaction and well being are associated is through the participation of the employees in their work and identifying; is the association between influential leadership and job satisfaction and well being arbitrated by the experience of sincere and meaningful work?.

Statement of the Problem

There has been very little empirical research in the field of the relationship between leadership style and the well being of the employees particularly in such a job atmosphere where a large section of workers different ethnic, cultural, linguistic and social back grounds. As a result the relationship between the leadership style and the influence of this leadership on the wellbeing and job satisfaction of the employees in their working atmosphere has been given less attention. There is little objective understanding of the relationship between these factors so far.

The relationship between the management and the workers has been a centre of attention because of the disparities within the organisation. The disparities addressed by this study are of course the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and social back grounds of the workers. As the majority of the workers in this study are migrants, their perceptions and satisfaction vary from person to person. As the leadership in the company has to maintain a strong and significant job atmosphere in order to ensure the maximum productivity and support from the workers it has profound importance to influence the workers in such a way that gives them job satisfaction and wellbeing. The problem or perception of one worker might not be the problem or perception of the other, as all of them are from different background. These situations can be a reason to make the workers feel discrimination from the management and consequently they split into groups and fractions. The importance of the understanding of the relationship between leadership style and employee perception and wellbeing gets high priority in this case.


As John C Maxwell once said “Leadership is influence; people buy in to the leader before they buy in to the vision”. The capacity and ability to influence the followers make a leader successful. As the history of leadership and leaders has so far familiarised types and varieties in a countless forms, it seems quite impossible to make a final judgement on the dispute of which style of leadership has the predominance among a number of other leadership styles. Influential leaders can be elucidated as those leaders who master the followers rather by stimulating the workers through communication skill and motivating power as simple as a shepherd directs the flock staying behind them, letting them go in advance and making them not realise the fact that they are being guided by the directions from the leader behind. Instead of a push or pull model, influential leadership differs in its practical approaches. Under an influential leadership a highly motivated and less reluctant team work develops a stress free atmosphere in the way of attaining a common goal, along with a trustworthy leader. The oddness of the influential leadership is nothing but the sort of blend it has of the elements of all other leadership styles and that makes a significant effect on the well being and job satisfaction of the followers or workers. Influence is a must attribute a leader should have to master his followers and influential leadership is rather a need for the company to master the workers. Dr. Robert Cialdini’s ‘six laws of influence’ describing how people are influenced by others and influence others demonstrates the importance of influence of a leader.

This study extends its investigation to explore how transformational leadership, one of the most influential leadership styles, is associated with the job satisfaction and wellbeing of the employees. Transformational leadership style has been a centre of interest for a number of scholars and researchers for many decades. Transformational leadership style is such an innovative style that has modified the conventional beliefs and approaches of traditional leadership concepts and has proved that, a specific organisational strategy can be achieved by the support of the employees even with their willingness to offer extra effort in the attainment of the common goal. According to Adnan Riaz, Mubarak Hussain, transformational leaders can make the efforts and targets easy by having and providing a better attentiveness and awareness of the issue and furthermore they can promote motivation among the workers to put extra effort to attain common targets. What works here is the influence and trustworthiness of the leadership among his followers. Transformational leaders go beyond exchange relationships and motivate others to achieve more that they thought was possible (Bass, 1998, Bass & Riggio, 2006). Although various researchers use different numbers of dimensions in the conceptualization and measurement of transformational leadership, there is substantial overlap between them. One common conceptualization suggests that transformational leadership is composed of four dimensions: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration (Avolio, 1999; Bass, 1998). Idealized influence occurs when the leader does the “right thing” and thereby engenders the trust and respect of his or her followers. Inspirationally motivating leaders hold high expectations and encourage followers to achieve more than they thought possible. Intellectual stimulation involves encouraging followers to challenge the status quo and to answer their own questions. Finally, an individually considerate leader treats each employee as a person, spends time coaching employees, and demonstrates appreciation of their achievements. Burns (1978) reviewed that the transformational leaders can change the outlook of the employees and stimulate their commitments and motivate them in their own interest equivalent with the enhancement of the company or organisation. According to Burns the base of transformational leadership lays on four important factors. And they are charisma, communication, intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration.

Transformational leaders can be considered as the most influential leaders among all other different types of leaderships. They have the skill to motivate the followers and to use the self potential of each and every employee for the betterment of the organisation by building a strong group effort. Lim & Ployhart (2004) defined transformational leadership as “Leadership which develops, intellectually stimulates and inspires subordinates to transcend their own self interests for a higher collective purpose, mission or vision”. Transformational leadership is a form of leadership that occurs when leaders “broaden and elevate the interests of their employees, when they generate awareness and acceptance of the purposes and the mission of the group and when they stir their employees to look beyond their own self-interest for the good of the group” (Bernard Bass, 1990).

There is evidence to support a relationship between transformational leadership and meaningful work. If meaningful work is indeed a mechanism through which transformational leadership exerts positive influence on psychological well-being, we need to support the assertion that meaningful work is in turn related to psychological well-being. Numerous authors have described deriving meaning from events as a “fundamental human motive” (Britt, Adler, & Bartone, 2001, p. 54). The benefits to finding meaning in events range from an increased will to live (Frankl, 1963) to perceiving benefits in specific stressful events (Britt et al., 2001). With respect to work, gaining employment after leaving school has positive effects on psychological well-being (Winefield & Tiggemann, 1990). Compared with unemployed individuals, those who are employed displayed better psychological health as measured by self-esteem, depression, negative effect, and external locus of control. In another study, intrinsic reasons for working (i.e., finding the work more meaningful) were found to be predictive of intentions to work in a sample of individuals who were suffering from a terminal illness (Westaby, Versenyi, & Hausmann, 2005). Inasmuch as having the opportunity to engage in intrinsically satisfying opportunities for employment contributes to adjustment and quality of life, it may also reduce anxiety by providing distraction from symptoms (Westaby et al., 2005). On the basis of this review, we hypothesized the following

Transformational leaders have a clear collective vision and most importantly they manage to communicate it effectively to all employees. By acting as role models, they inspire employees to put the good of the whole organization above self interest. They also stimulate employees to be more innovative, and they themselves take personal risks and are not afraid to use unconventional (but always ethical) methods in order to achieve the collective vision. This form of leadership goes beyond traditional forms of transactional leadership that emphasized corrective action, mutual exchanges and rewards only when performance expectations were met. Transactional leadership relied mainly on centralized control. Managers controlled most activities, telling each person what, when and how to do each task. Transformational leaders, on the other hand, trust their subordinates and leave them space to breathe and grow. In that respect, transformational is a more developmental and constructive form of leadership for both individual employees and the organization as a whole As the transformational leaders have an effective and powerful communication skill, they are more likely influential to have accord on the tactical objectives of the organisation or the company but at the same time they are successful to accomplish the conviction of the employees by preventing the happening of job related troubles. Their willingness to help the workers in work atmosphere makes them more influential among the followers. There is significant amount of emerging body of research which examine the relationship between the transformational leadership style and job satisfaction and wellbeing of the employees. Many of the studies are suggesting a positive link between these factors. Scandura and Williams in 2004 and Nemanich and Keller in 2007 have reviewed that the tendency of transformational leaders to reduce the hazards and troubles in the working environment improves the job satisfaction among the workers.  The research conducted by Faye Medley and Diane R. Larochelle has examined the relationship between the transformational leadership and job satisfaction among the workers and they have concluded their research by suggesting a positive correlation between the job satisfaction and transformational leadership style.

In this study, the attempt is to explore the relationship between the transformational leadership and job satisfaction and well being of the employees. Even if the possibility of the direct relationship between leadership and job satisfaction is yet to be explored deeply and clearly, the study investigates the premise that employees’ perception of influence at work arbitrates the relationship between influential leaders and job satisfaction and well being. The understanding of the mechanism, which mediating the relationship between job satisfaction and leadership style needs to be clarified. In this study, the family bargains shops and their sister stores (99p stores) have been taken as the places where the workers have been given questionnaires. The location of the study was decided to be the Bedfordshire County. So there were almost 11 stores in Bedfordshire County and all of them were included in this study.

Transformational leadership theory postulates a contextual dependence with the emergence and effectiveness of transformational leadership being stronger in situations of crisis or uncertainty, such as acquisition integrations (Bass, 1990; Shamir, House, & Arthur, 1993; Yuck & Howell, 1999). Transformational leaders help subordinates to unlearn past routines, develop creative solutions to ambiguous problems, and respond appropriately to new environments (Bass, 1985; Bass et al., 2003; Vera & Crossan, 2004). There has been limited empirical transformational leadership research in acquisition integration, or similar contexts with high uncertainty. Waldman et al. (2001) found that 50 L.A. Nemanich, R.T. Keller / The Leadership Quarterly 18 (2007) 49–68charismatic leadership by the CEO was positively related to firm performance in an environment of uncertainty, but not in more stable situations. Pillai & Meindl (1998) found that in crisis situations transformational leadership behaviour tended not to emerge. In a study of employee attitudes toward a merger conducted several years after the integration process, charismatic leadership behaviors were positively related to employee satisfaction with the merger (Covin, Kolenko, Sightler, & Tudor, 1997).

The first part of our model (Fig. 1) focuses on the direct relationships between transformational leadership behaviours and subordinate outcomes. Individuals enter acquisition integration with their own cognitive frames, based upon their previous experience, that organize meaning, motivation, and cause–effect relationships (Drazin, Glynn, & Kazanjian, 1999). They share commonalities in these frames with coworkers from the same prior employer, but not with coworkers from the other partner firm. Employees’ pre-existing cognitive frames also may overlap very little and may even conflict with their leaders’ frames representing the new reality of the merged firm. This cognitive dissonance, augmented by the uncertainty and disruptive change of the integration process, increases the influence and importance of leader behaviors (Nahavandi, 1993). Transformational leaders use idealized influence to empower followers, thereby raising their tolerance for uncertainty and their ability to adapt to new, changing conditions (Bass, 1998). The powerful communication skills associated with idealized influence can be used in public and private meetings with subordinates to augment leaders’ abilities to help employees understand the benefits of acquisition (Maitlis, 2005). Through intellectual stimulation, leaders encourage subordinates to question the universality of previous cognitive frames, opening the door for new frames to develop (Vera & Crossan, 2004). By considering each subordinate as an individual, transformational leaders can provide support through the change process by facilitating social reconstruction to bring more uniform interpretations to people with separate experience bases (Bass, 1998; Gioia & Chittipeddi, 1991).

Bass (1985) posited an organic organization climate as a situational antecedent of transformational leadership that we have formulated as an intervening or mediating variable in the acquisition context. Hence, the second part of our theoretical model hypothesizes that, in addition to the direct effect that transformational leadership behaviors have on employees, transformational leaders also indirectly influence subordinate outcomes through the perceived climate that they create. This is a partial mediation model in which transformational leadership directly affects subordinate outcomes and also acts through an intervening climate variable (Howell, Dorfman, & Kerr, 1986). We adopt the cognitive schema approach that views climate as a microlevel property of the individual and defines it as individuals’ cognitive representation of their environment (Anderson & West, 1998; Ashforth, 1985; Ragazzoni, Baiardi, Zotti, Anderson, & West, 2002). Leaders can influence climate formation, first, by holding a set of assumptions themselves and, then, by communicating them, engaging in symbolism, and inspiring consistent behaviors among their followers (Ashforth, 1985; Schein, 1997). In this paper, we focus on two climate characteristics 52 L.A. Nemanich, R.T. Keller / The Leadership Quarterly 18 (2007) 49–68that facilitates the resolution of uncertainty and adaptation to change during acquisition integration: a climate of goal clarity, and a climate that supports the adoption of new ideas and new ways of doing things.

The influence of transformational leaders on organizational cultures can be seen in the employees who work in the organization (Tucker & Russell, 2004). Transformational leaders help subordinates discover who they are and what part they play in helping the organization achieve its mission. By interacting with subordinates in this manner, transformational leaders help subordinates increase their level of commitment to the organization (Tucker & Russell).  Transformational leaders also influence the organization’s culture through its impact on organizational productivity. When the values and the culture of an organization are accentuated by transformational leaders, productivity and innovation within the organization improves (Niehoff, Enz, & Grover, 1990). Moreover, transformational leaders influence organizational culture by helping organizations see the world in different ways (Mink, 1992). As the external environment of the organization changes, transformational leaders influence organizational culture by helping organizations adapt to this new environment (Smith, 1990). Studies in various organizational types such as the military (Bass, Avolio, & Goodheim, 1987), religious organizations (Smith, Carson, & Alexander, 1984), industry (Avolio & Bass, 1987; Hatter & Bass, 1988), technology (Howell & Higgins, 1990), and laboratory settings (Waldman, Bass, & Einstein, 1987) all demonstrate that transformational leaders provide the leadership style which produces effective organizations (Sashkin, 1987). According to Schein (1992),  “Organizational culture can determine the degree of effectiveness of the organization either through its strength or through its type” (p. 24). Weese (1995) conducted a study on several university sports programs and the results showed that transformational leaders have organizations with strong cultures and are better than other leaders at providing activities which continue to build culture.

Burns (1978) referred to motivation as one of three main domains of a follower’s development. He proposed that transformational leaders motivate followers in such a way that the followers’ primary motive is to satisfy self-actualization needs rather than the lower needs in Maslow’s (1954) need hierarchy. Bass (1985, 1998) further extended Burn’s theory and “suggested that transformational leaders expand their followers ‘need portfolios’ by raising them or Maslow’s hierarchy” (Dvir, Eden, Avolio, & Shamir, 2002, p. 736).

Transformational leaders are “admired, respected, and trusted” (Bass et al., 2003).

Transformational leadership tends to be associated with a more enduring leader-follower relationship. It is based more on trust and commitment than contractual agreements (Jung and Avolio, 1999). Transformational leadership (Bass, 1981; 1985; 1997) involves encouraging others with whom they work to develop and perform beyond standard expectations. Transformational leaders inspire others with whom they work by viewing the future with optimism, projecting an idealized vision, and communicating that the vision is achievable (Benjamin and Flynn, 2006). In addition, Brown and Moshavi (2002) reveal transformational leadership is typically more effective in public organizations than in private companies and is more commonly practiced at lower organizational levels than higher ones

One key characteristic of followers who appreciate transformational leaders are their regulatory orientation-the manner in which they pursue goals and value goal attainment. An individual's regulatory orientation that may influence people's preferences for leadership style is their regulatory focus (Benjamin and Flynn, 2006). Regulatory focus theory (Higgins, 1997; 1998) assumes people are motivated to approach pleasure (promotion focus) and avoid pain (prevention focus), therefore, promotion-focused people are directed toward achieving positive outcomes (by pursuing their ideal goals) and prevention-focused people are concerned with minimizing negative outcomes (by pursuing their “ought” goals). Thus, promotion-focused people may display a liking for transformational leaders because they encourage followers to attain their ideal states. Similarly, prevention-focused people may prefer transactional leaders because they appreciate the avoidance (Benjamin and Flynn, 2006). In addition, according to Brockner and Higgins (2001), given the uncertain nature of work environments, organizational authorities as “makers of meaning” may influence members’ regulatory focus by using language and symbols. The more the rhetoric of authorities focuses on ideals, the more likely are organization members to develop a promotion focus. In contrast, the more the rhetoric of authorities focuses on responsibilities, the more likely are organization members to develop a prevention focus. This reasoning suggests transformational leaders may elicit more of a promotion focus in their followers, whereas transactional leaders may secure more of a prevention focus in their followers. Kark and Van Dijk (2007) developed a conceptual framework proposing leaders’ chronic self regulatory focus (promotion versus prevention), with their values, influences their motivation to lead.

Research on the transformational leadership paradigm has proven to be promising. Some scholars’ (cf. Avolio and Bass, 1988; House et al., 1991; Shamir et al., 1993) common perspective is by articulating a vision of the future of the organization, providing a model that is consistent with that vision, fostering the accepting of group goals, and providing individualized support, effective leaders change the basic values, beliefs, and attitudes of followers so they are willing to perform beyond the minimum levels specified by the organization. At the previous individual level, transformational leadership can positively influence satisfaction, organizational commitment, and productivity (e.g. Shamir et al., 1993). Podsakoff et al. (1996) found transformational leadership was positively related to employee satisfaction, organizational commitment, organizational citizenship, and one dimension of trust. In addition, Bryman (1992) cites various organizational studies of employee satisfaction, self-reported effort, and job performance. Scandura and Williams (2004) postulate transformational leaders have incremental effects on job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Transformational leadership has incremental effects with idealized influence and inspirational motivation for job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Nemanicha and Kellerb (2007) found transformational leadership was positively related to acquisition acceptance, supervisor-rated performance, and job satisfaction.

Transformational leaders inspire others with whom they work by viewing the future with optimism, projecting an idealized vision, and communicating the vision is achievable (Benjamin and Flynn, 2006). Scandura and Williams (2004) postulate transformational leaders have incremental effects on job satisfaction and organizational commitment. In addition, transformational leaders tend to be more effective in leading change; partly because they encourage people to more toward a desired future state (Hamblin, 1958; Flynn and Staw, 2004).The study confirms transformational leadership is positively related to job satisfaction.

Transformational leadership has a positive influence on personal outcomes (Nguni,

Sleegers, & Denessen, 2006). The literature (Bono & Judge, 2003; Butler, Cantrell, & Flick, 1999; Dumdum, Lowe, & Avolio, 2002; Gillespie and Mann, 2000; Griffin & Bateman, 1986; Hatter & Bass, 1988; Masi & Cooke, 2000; Steers & Rhodes, 1978; Waldman & Spangler, 1989; Yuk & Van Fleet, 1982) demonstrates that transformational leadership has a positive influence on empowerment, job satisfaction, commitment, trust, self-efficacy beliefs, and motivation. From a theoretical standpoint, this literature review reinforced the conceptual model of transformational leadership proposed by Bass (1985) and demonstrated that transformational leadership is significantly correlated with personal outcomes. From a research point of view, the literature review revealed a lack of literature related to transformational leadership and its impact on these personal outcomes in a church-work environment. Further research should be done to discover the processes by which transformational leaders apply their influence on followers (Bono & Judge; Kark, Shamir, & Chen, 2003; Lord, Brown & Feiberg, 1999; Yuk, 1998). This topic has not been adequately addressed in the literature. According to Bass (1999), there is a clear need for greater attention in this area to understand the mechanisms through which transformational leadership influences personal attitudes in order to develop a more complete understanding of the inner workings of transformational leadership. This research should determine what these processes and mechanisms are and how each one affects different outcomes. In practice, this literature review demonstrates that organizations can benefit greatly by providing transformational leadership which would enhance positive personal outcomes among followers. The enhanced positive personal outcomes would then have a positive effect on overall productivity and organizational performance

Theoretical framework

This study suggests that transformational leadership style may have a relationship with the wellbeing and job satisfaction among the employees through an arbitrating or mediating mechanism concerning working conditions. As the monitoring process of actual effects of leadership on objective job circumstances seems to be unable to certain level, this study followed the method of analysing the employees’ perceptions of their working conditions. There have been a number of profound previous researches suggesting the same assumption that emphasises the association of transformational leadership with the way in which they observed their working conditions. The studies of Van Dierendonck in 2004 and Cherniss in 1995 were examples supporting this hypothesis.

According to Mathieu and Taylor (2006), it is important to make clear the type of meditational or arbitrational assumption is tested to identify the association between the leadership style and the perception of the employees on their working condition. Three types of meditational inferences have been proposed by Mathieu and Taylor. They are a completely mediated type, in which once the arbitrator is introduced; the formerly direct association no longer exists. Second type is an indirect effect in which there is a direct relationship exists between the dependent and independent variables and the third one is the partial mediation where a direct association exists with the mediated effect. As there have been previous research confirmations for the association between the transformational leadership style and job satisfaction and wellbeing of employees this study proposed either first or third mechanisms to be presented in this model. According to Mathieu and Taylor (2006) the association between the job satisfaction and transformational leadership can be mediated by the characteristics of the work environment either ‘fully’ or ‘partially’.

There are number of ways, proposed by the theoretical explanations of the transformational leadership style in which the transformational leadership can influence the working conditions of the employees. According to Bass (1985), transformational leaders can give a significant and inspired foundation from which change is brought about in people and contexts. In transformational leadership style the leader acts as a role model and inspires the followers and endorses pleasing behaviour. And this attribute is the idealised charisma of the leader. The transformational leadership style is comprised of this idealised charisma and three other attributes such as inspirational motivation which makes the leader to provide an obvious and desirable idea, intellectual stimulation to motivate the workers to make perceptions of their own to be active and productive and individualised consideration which makes each and every employee feel that he or she is very important making them willingly put extra effort. Here the transformational leader acts as a coach (Bass, 1985). According to Sashkin Roenbach (1993) and Bass 1999) through individualised consideration, transformational leaders give personal attention to each worker to improve the performance and betterment of the organisation facilitating new methods of working, providing different ways of problem solving and supporting workers through intellectual stimulations. This study adopted three mechanisms through which transformational leaders may have an influence on working environments related with job satisfaction and wellbeing among the employees. These three mechanisms are influence, participation and sincere work.


In transformational leadership style, the leader allows the followers to employ and enlarge their own capabilities without interfering their own independent vision and understanding of the targets. According to sashkin, Jung and Sosik 2002, transformational leaders are capable of creating an atmosphere which allows the workers enact freely without the leaders strict control and permit them to understand the goal with their own individual vision and perspective. This freedom and confidence make them put extra effort and concentration in attaining the common target. A real transformational leader can have a significant influence further more a control even on their thoughts, suppositions and imagination (Bass, 2003 and Avolio, 2004). Transformational leadership style creates an atmosphere, in which workers are motivated to face intended risks, to initiate practical ways to find opportunities and to resolve multifaceted organisational problems (Tichy and Ulrych 1984). As the transformational leader acts as a role model the workers get the chance to understand how they can make their own initiative and take their own responsibilities themselves. Bass and Avolio reviewed in 1994 that, the workers who get the chance to work along with the leaders show high standards and prospects feel more sincerity to connect with the targets. Transformational leaders can support and motivate the workers through monitoring and coaching to make their own resolutions. In a working atmosphere created by transformational leadership, the workers can experience a large level of influence.


Apart from the immediate work demand, in transformational leadership workers willingly offer a considerable amount of extra effort to achieve the common goal while they are in a group controlled by an influential transformational leadership. This extra effort extends the participation of the workers beyond the normal level and makes sure the betterment of the organisation. It transfers the immediate self interest of the worker to the long term organisational strategy. The kind of motivation, a transformational leader provides is highly influential and that makes the employ to get involved in the task or target without any frustrations. The feeling of the each and every employee, that they are special among all others so that they get special individual attention through the individualised consideration of the transformational leader, makes them believe that their extra efforts are being appreciated and valued. The participation of the workers can be improved by the transformational leader through the inspirational motivation, making them to face the challenges and take responsibilities of their own at work. According to Bass (1990, p188), in transformational leadership styles workers are more likely to account they are extremely involved in their works.

Sincere work

Transformational leaders, by instituting a collective perspective, facilitate an innovative foundation from where modifications are brought about people and situations (Bass, 1985). According to Nemanich and Keller 2007, an able transformational leader uses his skill to explain a vision and makes a structure that produces a collective sense of strategy. Inspirational motivation is a tool through which the transformational leaders construct self confidence in workers and makes them optimistic about the strategies. The way in which the workers can have a clear picture of their targets and strategies allows them to improve their understanding of the environment and their capability. This is how the workers perceive their job as meaningful and sincere.

The Study

Aim and Hypotheses

The aim of the study is to scrutinize the relationship between influential leadership, followers working condition and employee job satisfaction and well being.


  1. Employees’ perception of influence at work arbitrates the relationship between influential leaders and job satisfaction and well being
  2. The apparatus by which influential leadership and job satisfaction and well being are associated is through the participation of the employees in their work.
  3. The association between influential leadership and job satisfaction and well being is arbitrated by the experience of sincere and meaningful work.


Design: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey


The sample of 447 staff, working in Family Bargains store and 99p store in Bedfordshire County are the participants in this study. The total number of stores included in this study was 11. Workers were from different ethnic, cultural, linguistic backgrounds. The participants are working in different sections in the store. Some of them are working in the ware house and some others are working in the shop floor. Those workers in the shop floor are again divided into two sections. ‘Cashiers’ and ‘Customer Sales Assistants’. The number of customer sales assistances is more than that of the cashiers. As a variety of job atmosphere exists in the store, this study can include different types of job settings and atmosphere in one organisation itself. As the participants consist of the workers from all the different sections in the store, the management and treatment were also different in their job environment.

Questionnaire in English were distributed to 551staff and 447 questionnaires were returned, giving a reply rate of 81%.


Influential leadership style (Transformational)

Transformational leadership can be defined as the specific leadership approach that can be a strong reason and motivation among the followers by bringing changes in individuals, organisations and various social sectors and systems. The changes in an organisation made by the influential approaches from the transformational leaders will always be positive and creative changes, leading the followers to be conscious about their common goals and targets. Transformational leadership is such a particular type of leadership approach that improves the motivation, morale and participation of the followers through different verities of influential tactic mechanisms. These include connecting the follower’s sense of identity and self to the mission and the collective identity of the organization; being a role model for followers that inspires them; challenging followers to take greater ownership for their work, and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of followers, so the leader can align followers with tasks that optimise their performance

The global transformational leadership scale developed by Carless (2000) was used to measure the transformational leadership. This scale, consisting seven items, has been identified to have a high rate of similar justifications with a great extend of thriving and lengthier questionnaires of particular kind of the MLQ and LPI (carless, 2000). “My leader communicates a clear and positive vision of the future” is an example for an item in this scale. The divisions of reactions or responses were 1= To a very large extend, 2= To a large extend, 3= Somewhat, 4= To a small extend, 5= To a very small extend.

Copenhagen Psychological Questionnaire (COPCOQ; Kristensen 2002, 2006) is the questionnaire from where the scales to measure influence, sincere or meaningful work, job satisfaction and wellbeing were all taken. The validity and reliability of these measuring scales were found to have good in many previous studies (Aust 2007, Borritz 2006, Lund 2006, Nielsen 2006)


The scale measuring the influence offers a measurement of the influence the extent to which workers had influence over whom they worked with and the quantity of work they had to do or their decision making body. “Do you have a large degree of influence on decision making authority?” is an example for an item in this scale. The categories of responses were; 1= Always, 2= Often, 3= Sometimes, 4= Rarely, 5= Never/hardly ever.

Sincere work

The extent to which, the workers experienced their work to be sincere and meaningful has been rated by the workers, as they were asked to do so. And their role and contribution to the whole amount of work done by all other employees. To measure this, three items were used. An example of an item is “Do you feel that the work you do is important”? Categories of responses were: 1= To a very large extend, 2= To a large extend, 3= Somewhat, 4= To a small extend, 5= To a very small extend.


A four item scale was used to measure the participation or involvement of the workers in their job. And the example of an item is “Do you feel that your place of work is of great importance to you”? the categories of responses were 1= To a very large extend, 2= To a large extend, 3= Somewhat, 4= To a small extend, 5= To a very small extend.

Job satisfaction

A five item scale was used to measure the job satisfaction among the employees. An example of an item is “How satisfied are you with your job as a whole, everything taken into consideration”? The categories of responses were 1= Very satisfied, 2= Satisfied, 3= Dissatisfied, 4= Highly satisfied.


To measure wellbeing, again a five item scale was used. An example of an item is: “Have you over the past few weeks felt active and energetic?”. The categories of responses were; 1= All the time, 2= Most of the time, 3= A bit more than half of the time, 4= A bit less than half of the time, 5= Only a little of the time, 6= Not at all.

While measuring the results the clarity and accuracy of the result is a matter of serious consideration. In order to get a clear interpretation of the results outcomes of the measurements transformed in such a way that the scores ranged from 0 to 100, with a high score represented by 100. The responses have been transformed in such a way that equalises the response categories like 1= 0, 2= 25, 3= 50, 4= 75, and 5= 100. The response categories of job satisfaction were transformed such that 1= 0, 2= 33.33, 3= 66.67, 4= 100 as there were only four response categories for job satisfaction.

Data analysis

As Mathieu and Taylor (2006) reviewed the characteristics of job and wellbeing can be understood clearly through a systematic approach called Structural Equation Modelling (SEM). This approach allows the researcher to expand a broad and clear idea of the communication between the work and satisfaction and wellbeing. The mechanism of mediating can be tested through this model as it facilitates the researcher to test the interaction between assumptions and outcomes.

A number of goodness- fit- indices have been used in this study to test the goodness of fit between the different models and the noticed data. Marsh (1988) has reviewed that a single test of model over all fit should not be relied on high class level. The varieties of model which have been reported in this study were; x2, Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA), Comparative Fit Index (CFI), Non-Normed Fit Index (NNFI) and Adjusted Goodness of Fit Index (AGFI). It is generally agreed that RMSEA values of < 0.08 indicate an acceptable fit and values < 0.05 represent a close fit (Anderson and Gerbing 1988, Brown and Cudek 1993) and that CFI, AGFI, and NNF values higher than 0.90 signify a good fit. The measurement model testing our proposed six factor model proposed a good fit to the data: x2 (309) = 727.36, p < 0.001, RMSEA =0.055.

The utmost possible means of parameter evaluation has been used with the covariance matrix as input. The indicators for each construct were scale scores in the models. We accounted for the effects of measurement error by fixing the value of the unique variance indicator as one minus the reliability multiplied by the scale variance (Niehoff &Moorman 1993, Sinclair et al. 2002, Lim 2003). We used the coefficient alpha as the indicator of reliability for all scales. Three models were tested using SEM with LISREL 8Æ7 (Jo¨ reskog & So¨rbom 1999). First, a full mediation model (M1) was tested that examined the mediating effect of working conditions on the relationship between transformational leadership style and job satisfaction and well-being. As the direct relationships would be arbitrated fully, in this project we assumed that those direct relationships which were found in previous researches, would not be present in this model. Our initial analyses indicated that working conditions correlated with each other, as did job satisfaction and well-being, and these were therefore set to correlate in our structural model (see Table 1).M1 served as a baseline model against which the other, more complex models were examined. To test for partial mediation, we included two additional models (Karina Nielsen, Joanna Yarker, Sten-Olof Brenner, Raymond Randall & Vilhelm Borg). Apart from the direct relationship between transformational leadership and job satisfaction was included; the second model (M2) was identical to the first model (M1). A statistically significantly better fit of M2 when compared with M1 indicated that the relationship between transformational leadership and job satisfaction was not fully mediated by working conditions as a direct effect existed. The third model (M3) was identical to M1 but tested a possible direct effect between transformational leadership and wellbeing. Again, a better fit of M3 would suggest that working conditions partially mediated the relationship between transformational leadership and well-being. Comparison of M1– M3 would reveal which model accounted best for the data. A model is considered to fit the data better than a rival model if the v2 value is statistically and significantly lower (P < 0Æ05) than that of its competitor. To test for mediated effects we conducted two analyses: (1) we calculated the mediated effect by multiplying the path from predictor to mediator with the path from the mediator to the outcome variable. (2) We also conducted Sobel’s test (MacKinnon & Dwyer 1993, MacKinnon et al. 1995) to explore whether the mediator carried the influence of the predictor to the outcome variable. According to Shrout and Bolger (2002), an effect is partially mediated when the indirect effect is smaller and of the same sign as the total effect


The participants in this study were mainly female (93%) and the average of their age was 44 (SD = 11Æ13) and the average of the time period they had been working here in this current work place was 12 years. The majority of the workers were customer service assistances. Table 1 displays the scales, means, standard deviations, scale reliabilities and inter correlations of all variables in this study. All measures were statistically significantly correlated.

Testing the hypotheses 

The first model, the fully mediated model (M1), presented an agreeable fit to the data see Table 2). AGFI, CFI and NNFI were all above the recommended level of 0Æ90, and the RMSEA was 0Æ07, indicating an acceptable, but not excellent fit to the data. Also, the v2 indicated a good fit. M2 tested whether a direct relationship existed between transformational leadership and job satisfaction. All goodness-of-fit measures were within acceptable levels except the RMSEA, which indicated a poor fit (0Æ09). Also NNFI and AGFI indicated a poorer fit, but levels were still within the cut-off points for good fit. The D v2 (1) = 1Æ40, P > 0Æ05 did not reveal a statistically and a significantly better fit. Testing M3 revealed a similar pattern: D v2 was not statistically significant: D v2 (1) = 3Æ38, P > 0Æ05. With regards to RMSEA an acceptable, but not excellent fit, was revealed (RMSEA = 0Æ06); this was slightly better than M1. Also NNFI was slightly better. Thus it was not clear which provided a better fit of the data, M1 or M3. On inspection of the parameter estimates, it became clear that both models had several effects that did not differ statistically significantly from zero. These were omitted and model fit then re-examined (M1a and M3a). As shown in Table 2, the fit of M1a revealed a better fit of RMSEA = 0Æ05, which is just on the border to a good fit, while M3a had a RMSEA of 0Æ03. This means that M3a presented a slightly better fit when comparing the RMSEA. When comparing the NNFI, CFI and AGFI, marginal improvements were found in relation to M3a. Even if D v2 (1) = 1Æ40, P > 0Æ05 did not reveal M3a to be statistically significantly better than M1a, we decided to focus our further analysis on M3a as the RMSEA indicated an excellent fit, whereas M1a only had an acceptable fit.

A direct relationship between transformational leadership style and well being has been pointed out by M3a (Figure 2). There was no direct path was found between transformational leadership and job satisfaction. That means, Hypothesis 1 was not supported. Although a strong relationship was found between influence and transformational leadership, influence was not found to be associated with job satisfaction and well-being. Thus neither full nor partial mediation was supported.

Figure 2

The support has been tested for hypotheses 2 was found only partial in this study, the experience of work as meaningful mediated the relationship between transformational leadership and well-being. We then conducted a more thorough analysis of the mediated effects. We calculated the mediated effect by multiplying the path from transformational leadership to meaningful work (0Æ32), with the path from meaningful work to well-being (0Æ45). Thus, the mediated effect was 0Æ14. We subsequently conducted Sobel’s test (MacKinnon & Dwyer 1993, MacKinnon et al. 1995), which showed a statistically significant mediated effect of meaningful work on the relationship between transformational leadership and well-being (z-value of 4Æ59, P < 0Æ001). However, also statistically significant was a direct effect between transformational leadership and wellbeing. The total effect was 0Æ45 (not reported in Figure 2), and the mediated effect 0Æ14 was smaller. This confirmed that meaningful work only partially mediated the relationship between transformational leadership and well-being (Shrout & Bolger 2002). The path from meaningful work to job satisfaction was not statistically significant.

After testing the hypothesis 3 there was only a partial support has been found for this last hypothesis. Even as participation was found to fully mediate the relationship between transformational leadership and job satisfaction, no relationship was found between involvement and well-being. Again, we tested the mediation effect by multiplying the path from transformational leadership to involvement (0Æ52) and from involvement to job satisfaction (0Æ48). This yielded a mediation effect of 0Æ25. Again, Sobel’s test revealed the mediated effect to be statistically significantly different from zero (z-value = 6Æ83, P < 0Æ001). Thus, we found a full mediation effect of participation in that no direct path was found between transformational leadership and job satisfaction.

The results of this study are based on cross-sectional data, as we are not able to decide sequential causality from this project it can be considered as the limitation of this study. However, the proposed model sits well with past empirical research and current theory and is therefore likely to offer the most plausible explanation of causality. Validation of these complex relationships using longitudinal designs would further our understanding. A related threat to the validity of these results is that of common method variance. We tried to minimize this threat through data analysis (Podsakoff & Organ 1986).The transformational leadership paradigm provides a useful but not exhaustive account of leadership style, and facet-level transformational leadership was not explored here [e.g. separate analysis of idealized influence, intellectual stimulation (Bass 1990)]. There has been a debate as to whether single scales of transformational leadership should be used in research. It has been recommended that single scale for transformational leadership should be used for research purposes as the subcomponents are highly inter-correlated. For training purposes, it may be preferable to focus on the specific elements (Bass 1999, Judge & Piccolo 2004). Another limitation is the relatively short measure of transformational leadership styles included in the study. This was carried out in agreement with the study organization, as the majority of the participants had little or no education beyond high school and it was feared that a lengthy questionnaire would influence response rates.

This study aimed at improving the understanding of the link between transformational leadership and job satisfaction and well-being. We proposed that this link can, at least partially, be explained by how transformational leadership behaviours are related to a working environment where followers perceive their work as meaningful, are involved in their job and experience high degrees of influence. We found partial support for our hypotheses. The mechanism through which transformational leadership was found to be associated with followers’ well-being appeared to be through the experience of a meaningful work environment. The effect of transformational leadership on follower job satisfaction appeared to be through the involvement of followers in their job (partial support was found for hypotheses 2 and 3). Transformational leadership was found to be associated with a number of working conditions, and therefore its influence on work outcomes is likely to operate through working conditions rather than directly.

Even though the hypotheses of this study were only partly confirmed, the results disclosed that transformational leadership is highly related to followers’ perceptions of their working environment. The final model indicated a direct association between transformational leadership and well-being. This supports previous research. However, the results should be read with caution. All models except M2 were within acceptable levels of model fit, and no statistically significant differences were found between the models when comparing the v2. All models had in common strong associations between transformational leadership and working conditions, thus confirming our notion that transformational leadership behaviours are closely related to how followers perceive their working environment. The focus of this study was on M3a rather than any of the other models rests solely on the fact that the RMSEA presented a slightly better fit; thus, more research is needed to explore the direct and mediatiorial paths between transformational leadership and outcomes.

No relationships were found between meaningful work and job satisfaction, involvement and well-being, and finally between influence and job satisfaction and well-being. The lack of associations between working conditions and outcomes may be due to the inter correlations between work characteristics, such that working conditions may exert their influence through other working conditions; for example, the link between influence and job satisfaction and well-being may be through its association with the other working conditions; meaningful work and involvement. However, initial hypotheses of this study did not take into account such relationships, and therefore hypothesis 1 is rejected and hypotheses 2 and 3 only partially supported. The findings of this study are in contrast to those of previous researchers, this study has found a direct relationship between transformational leadership and job satisfaction and well-being (Seltzer et al. 1989, Dunham-Taylor 2000, Sosik & Godshalk 2000, Shieh et al. 2001). However, previous researchers have not examined the intermediate effects of working conditions. The results of this study strongly indicate that transformational leadership is closely related to followers’ perceived working conditions.


The study examined all the three hypotheses and finally concluded by finding an association between the leadership style and working condition of the employees. The transformational leadership style was closely associated with followers’ working conditions, namely involvement, influence and meaningfulness. Involvement was associated with job satisfaction and meaningfulness was associated with well-being. However, working conditions were closely correlated with each other, and thus the mediating mechanisms may operate through several different working conditions. A direct path between leadership behaviour and employee wellbeing was also found.

Transformational leadership may be of particular importance to healthcare assistants working with older people because they are in close contact with patients and may detect health problems at an early stage. This staffs needs to be able to make independent decisions and take responsibility. There is a well-established link between transformational leadership behaviours and employee job performance, but the link between transformational leadership behaviours and (i) working conditions and (ii) well-being is not yet well-understood. What this paper adds Transformational leadership was positively associated with job satisfaction and well-being in staff. The mechanism by which transformational leadership may be associated with job satisfaction and well-being appears, at least partially, to be through the creation of a working environment characterized by employees experiencing their work as meaningful, having influence and being involved in their work. Work re-design interventions focused on influence may benefit from the consideration of training managers to exert transformational leadership behaviours.

The study is significant because the scope and role of the leadership style in any organisation all over the world increasingly become crucial and inevitable. Adequate leadership style and effective influence tactics has become something important without which the participation of the workers cannot be ensured completely. Now a day, it is nothing but the leadership decides how effectively the organisation can have the sincere and productive labour according to the need of the particular work atmosphere. There have been a number of emerging studies illustrating the role and scope of effective influential leadership in the development and progress of organisations and companies. By focusing the three hypotheses, this study explored the relationship between leadership and employees perception of their working condition, wellbeing and job satisfaction clearly because all the researches to date have given very little attention to this area. As the availability of materials and previous studies were minimal, the availability references enhancing the research was less and this factor seems to be a limitation for this study.

The variety of working conditions and the differences among the employees participated in this study bring a profound level of significance to this dissertation. The workers in the family bargains and 99 p stores were from different backgrounds. So the perceptions of the employees about their working conditions were not similar all the time. The process of conducting survey by distributing and collecting the questionnaire were not at all difficult, as the participants were highly supportive to the study. As the participation from the workers influences the accuracy of the results, this dissertation can be considered as a study with a ‘well participated’ workers leading to a comparatively valid result. The time period given to the workers was two weeks to fill up the questionnaire, but most of them have returned the answered questionnaire within one week itself. They have utilised their break times to fill up the questionnaire. 81 % of the workers returned their questionnaire within one week.



The suggestions and indications this study has put forward can be useful for further studies in this field. And the relationship between the type of leadership and the well being and job satisfaction can be interpreted by considering the results and recommendations of this study. However the hypotheses of this study were found partially supportive, the study suggests the fact that, considering the findings of the studies it indicates the type of leadership style can have an impact on the well being of the employees. But the range and manner of the impact vary from person to person and job according to their job condition. The results have important implications for those aiming to implement organizational-level interventions to improve employee well-being. Although cross-sectional, our study raises the possibility that training leaders to exhibit certain behaviours might also change working conditions of subordinates. Rather than implementing wide-ranging organizational changes for a large number of employees, these results suggest that training their superiors might have a similar impact (e.g. training managers in transformational leadership behaviours might bring about involved followers who perceive their jobs as meaningful and experience high levels of influence). Training staff at managerial levels might prove to be both more cost-effective and easy to control than implementing wide-ranging organizational changes. Future research would benefit from developing the framework by further combining research on leadership and wellbeing and on working conditions and well-being. Considering working conditions in the absence of studying leadership behaviour or vice versa is likely to reveal an incomplete picture of the impact of work and work relationships on wellbeing. Second, the findings have important implications for intervention research. For example, work design interventions focused on influence might benefit from training managers to exert transformational leadership behaviours. Employing a systemic view on training interventions for managers might improve followers’ job satisfaction and well-being through the creation of meaningful jobs that allow followers to exert influence and be involved.



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