A study of congruence of the behavior of follower fit with leadership style that affect work performance.

Author:Tangpinyoputtikhun, Phichai
Position:Report - Survey
 
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  1. INTRODUCTION

    In response to global economy, organizations are seeking to find effective ways to continually improve and adapt in the current competitive environment in order to survive and prosper. Theoretical developments in the field of the organizational behavior have focused to explain knowledge about how people, individuals, and groups act in organizations. Researchers try to find the factors that influence individual and group that can work more efficient and effective. Many organizational behavior researchers have focused on a leadership style that is the key driver for organization to remain adaptive and flexible--that is a key role in enabling individual and organizational performance (Bass, 1990; Follett, 1926; Burke et al., 2006). However, leadership style is widely recognized as essential for the survival and growth of organizations, the successfully performance to do a work involves reconciling multiple and often conflicting contingencies (Pawar and Eastman, 1997; Boerner, Eisenbeiss, Griesser 2007).Therefore, leadership style leading to high performance depends on various contextual impacts on this relationship (Fiedler, 1967). There are many contextual factors such as culture, process, structure and employee but there is no agreement set of components that comprise the context for leadership (Porter and MaLauhglin, 2006).

    The behavior of follower is one of contextual factor that impacts on leadership style. The challenge facing researchers is how to assess the fit between leadership style and the contextual factors. Therefore, the challenge facing researchers is to assess the relationship between leadership style and the behavior of follower that leads to high work performance. For high work performance, it is essential that leaders and follower can work together. In contrast, if they can not work together, they will lead to low work performance. Matching between leadership style and the behavior of follower is the importance to success of work performance. The challenge facing researchers is how to assess the fit between leadership style and the behavior of follower. Configuration theory has been used to analysis to fit, coaligning, matching or congruence among many variables which is considered simultaneously and effect on a criterion variable, such as performance, is examined (Venkatraman, 1990; Doty, Glick and Huber, 1993; Vorhies and Morgan, 2004; Hughes and Morgan, 2008). It is different assumptions from traditional approaches testing such as interactions or contingency theory. There are the main three different assumptions (Hill and Birkinshaw, 2008). First, it focuses on the elements of strategy and organizations. Second, the relationship among variables is reciprocal. Third, it is not only one way to succeed in each set of setting.

    This study applies configuration theory to test in fit or congruence relationship in ways that are more consistent with the holistic framing of organizational behavior than traditional approaches such as interactions or contingency theory rather than conceptualizing it as interaction (e.g. Venkatraman, 1989; Vorhies and Morgan, 2003; Hult, Boyer and Ketchen, 2007; Kabadayi, Eyuboglu and Thomas, 2007; Hughes and Morgan, 2008).

    Therefore, this study examines fit as coalignment or covariation and empirically tests this form of configuration between leadership style and the behavior of follower. There are a few studies to analysis with configurations of leadership style and the behavior of follower. We demonstrate that this method provides researchers with a way to empirically assess relationships involving complex, multidimensional phenomena that is more consistent with the holistic framing of leadership style than traditional approaches are. Hence, the goal of our study is to help fill the assessing such complex theoretical relationships. The lack of empirical finding and the need to clearly understand the leadership style and the behavior of follower is addressed by a research question that assesses whether a follower behavior is leadership style and the impact this has on work performance. According to the existing literatures, there are a few studies to answer which leadership style is suit to the behavior of follower. We are unbelief that the specific leadership type fits all the behavior of follower. Therefore, this research aims to answer the relationship between leadership style and the behavior of follower, rather than the coalignment of variables within the behavior of follower configuration. This research intends to examine the framework describing the fit between leadership style and the behavior of follower. To gain a clearer understanding of them, the remainder of the paper is organized into 7 sections. Section 2 presents theoretical framework. Section 3 reviews conceptual development and develops hypotheses. Section 4 describes the research methods. Section 5 presents the empirical results and discussion. Section 6 proposes the contributions, limitations and future research directions. Section 7 settles the conclusions.

  2. CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

    2.1 Leadership Style

    Leadership is the nature of influence and the role of individuals who are defined as leaders. Leadership is about the leader's ability to mobilize followers towards a particular goal. The leadership literature has a rich tradition of conceptualizing leadership typologies. Over the last seventy years, there have been six main schools of leadership theory (Handy, 1982; Dulewicz and Higgs, 2003):1.The trait school, 2.The behavioral or style school, 3.The contingency school, 4.The visionary or charismatic school, 5.The emotional intelligence school and 6.The competency school. This research identifies two distinct styles of leader behaviors under the visionary school as transformational and transactional leadership that are applied from Bass's (1985) theory and research.

    Transformational leadership is based on social exchange (Boerner, Eisenbeiss, Griesser 2007). The nature of transformational leaders is thought to inspire followers to higher transcend their self- interests for a higher collective purpose, mission, or vision. It emphasizes to activate followers' higher motivations to pursue the vision and fosters trust and commitment to act upon these motivations for exceptional performance and ethically-inspired goals (Xirasagar, 2008). Therefore, they encourage follower to do more than what they are expected to do. They pay attention to stimulate and challenge follower with new ideas. They build a supportive climate to support to the follower to work with new learning (Maani and Benton, 1999; Snell, 2001). The transformational leaders try to find what is really important and transmits a sense of mission to the follower. In additions, the transformational leaders are not only to delegate projects but also to coach and teach, and treat each follower as individual. Transformational leaders pay great attention to interacting with followers to create organizational collectivity. They attempt to understand followers' needs and stimulate follower to achieve goals. In addition, they are likely to listen to the opinion, ideas and suggestion of the followers and encourage followers' opinion with attempting to influence their decisions (Bakanauskiene and Bartnikaite, 2009). Such transformational leadership is rather flexible in working towards the desired outcomes; change will take place when it is needed. In contrast, transactional leaders are primarily based on reward contingencies and exchange relationship that refers to the dyadic exchanges whereby leaders motivate followers through reward or punishment from followers who can work in compliance with role expectations (Burke et al., 2006). They guide or motivate their followers in the direction of established goals by clarifying follower through direction (Robbins, 2003) and provide rewards if followers perform in accordance with contracts or expend the necessary effort. It links between performance and rewards. In working, the transactional leaders avoid giving directions (Politis, 2004) but they may take the form of active management-by-exception, in which the leaders monitor the followers' performance and take corrective action if the followers fail to meet standards. In the other way, they wait for mistakes and errors to happen and then take corrective action. They use the regulations to control the responsibilities of the follower. They urge the followers to perform the functions strictly and explain the way to work that the followers have to perform (Liu et al., 2003).

    2.2 The Behavior of Follower

    This study specifies the nature of contextual influences to leadership style that is the behavior of follower. We identify the behavior of follower to be two factors that are importance to leadership style. There are an attitude toward working sharing behavior and individual work style.

    2.2.1 Attitude toward knowledge Sharing Behavior

    Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) that states person's behavior is determined by his behavioral intention to perform that behavior and intention is determined by his attitude toward behavior (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975; Samieh and Wahba, 2007). Kwok and Gao (2006) state that persons are likely to act behavioral if they have positive attitude towards behavior. A behavior of knowledge sharing is a process that exchange between two persons, knowledge contribution and knowledge recipient (Park and Im, 2003). Knowledge sharing is the behavior voluntarily to provide other social actors both within and outside of organization to knowledge sharing. In contrast to knowledge sharing behavior, it is a behavior to limit to others both within and outside of organization to knowledge sharing. The followers admit knowledge sharing behavior only when they act voluntarily. This exchange of knowledge is not only to employ the existing knowledge, but also to create new knowledge (Mahnke, 1998). They are likely to work on...

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