1.1 Background to the Study
1.2 Statement of Research Problem
The role of organisational leaders in facilitating optimum or high performance in work organisations cannot be over emphasised. A number of studies that have examined the relationship between leadership styles and organisational performance had indicated that leadership behaviour and organisational performance are significantly related (Bass, 1990; Collins and Porras, 1996; Manz and Sims, 1991; Sarros and Woodman, 1993). But some studies have also provided evidence that leadership styles may have a positive correlation or negative correlation with organisational performance, depending on the variables used by various researchers (Goleman, 2000; Vigoda-Gadot, 2007, Wang, Chich-Jen, Shieh, and Mei-Ling, 2010).
For instance, certain studies have focused on what is generally called the Full Range Leadership Development theoretical model. This model includes: laissez-faire or no leadership style; transactional leadership style which is based on passive and active aspects; and transformational leadership style which is based on personal relationships, intellectual challenge, inspirational motivation and behavioural charisma. These three styles have been commonly applied by researchers to the study of leadership and organisational performance (Avolio and Bass, 1991; Bass, 1985; Bass and Avolio, 1993; Geyer and Styrer, 1998; Lowe, Kroeck, and Sivasubramaniam, 1996; Mackenzie, Podssakoff, and Rich, 2001; Parry, 2003; Pillai, Schrieshim, and Williams 1999). These three categories create a hierarchical sequence of leadership styles according to the extent of activity that the leader expresses in his/her actions and according to the extent of its effectiveness. In this model, transformational leadership ranks as the most effective style, followed by transactional leadership and then the laissez-faire style in descending order of effectiveness. The basic assumption of the Full Range Leadership Development model is that in every leader all styles can be found. Other studies on the link between leadership and organisational performance indicate that a stronger relationship exist between transformational leadership and performance than between transactional leadership and performance. Transactional leadership and performance was found to have a lower correlation than transformational leadership and performance (Den Hertog, Van Muijen and Koopman, 1997; Vigoda-Gadot, 2007).
On the other hand, the relationship between transformational leadership and organisation performance is positive and strong. However, the question arises as to whether or not these research outcomes on the relationship between various leadership styles and organisational performance is universally valid. As such, there is the need to test these research results in the Nigerian work environment.
In a nutshell the research problem is: What is the actual relationship between the various leadership styles and organisational performance in the Nigerian work context.
In order to effectively address the above problem, this study will seek to provide answers to the following research questions:
a. What is the relationship between various leadership styles and organisational performance?
b. What is the impact of various leadership styles on organisational performance?
c. How can higher organisational performance be achieved through the employment of appropriate leadership behaviour in work situations?
1.3 Objectives of the Study
To investigate the relationship between various leadership styles and organisational performance.
(a) To assess the impact of various leadership styles on organisational performance.
(b) To examine the concepts of leadership and organisational performance.
(c) To make appropriate recommendations towards better organisational performance through the employment of appropriate leadership styles.