Organizational Leadership and Job Satisfaction Unit

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OrganizationalLeadership and Job Satisfaction



Organizationalassessment of leadership and the impact it has on job satisfaction ata financial institution.

Section 2

Context ofresearch

Strongorganizational leadership skills play a critical role in modern dayfirms by driving growth and performance. Over the years, the approachto leadership has changed significantly with new theories andconcepts apply in various situations. This implies that businessesalso have to change to accommodate and also benefit from these newleadership approaches (Yammarino et al., 2005, p. 879-919). Accordingto Javed, Jaffari, and Rahim (2014, p. 41-40), for business leadersto steer organizations to greater heights and enable them to achievetheir visions, they require a particular set of skills. The authorsrecognize the capability to adapt to change, being dynamic, and beingproactive as some of the most critical skills for organizationalleaders. Equally important for leaders is the knack to manageemployees effectively to achieve their potential and ensure theirsatisfaction (Bader, Hashim, and Zaharim, 2013, p. 30-44). Thus,leadership skills are various combinations of different individualskills.

The Standard BankGroup, which is headquartered in Johannesburg, is listed on theJohannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and in Namibia. The bank offersintegrated financial services divided into three core uniqueproducts: personal and business banking (PBB), corporate andinvestment banking (CIB), and Wealth (offered through LibertyHoldings Limited) (Dobson 2015, p. 10).

Standard Bank SA,which is a subsidiary of the British Standard Bank Limited, hasdemonstrated the benefits of good leadership and employee retentionskills over the years. The firm acknowledges the role of individualemployees in enabling the company to deliver its superior servicesand move towards achieving its vision (Dobson 2015, p. 21). In aperiod of three years (2013-2015), the firm managed to reduceemployee turnover from a high of 13.2% to 11.3%. Voluntary turnover,which is indicative of employees’ satisfaction levels, remained at8.8%, which is below the international benchmark of 13.9% for firmsin the financial services sector (Dobson, 2015, p. 53). Differentfactors contribute to high or low employee turnover. Highly employeeturnover in undesirable and thus firms seeking to manage suchoutcomes must understand the causes or motivations behind the exodusof workers (Sutherland and Jordan 2004, p. 56).

All theseproducts are service-based, which makes them heavily reliant on thepeople element in delivering value to customers (Fitzgerald et al.,1994). Therefore, it goes without saying that employee satisfactionwill affect the quality of services offered and the contentment ofclients. Based on this knowledge, firms in the service sector investheavily in human resource development with a view to increasingemployee satisfaction and reduce the chances of them leaving theirorganizations. For many employees, money alone does not inform thedecision to stay or leave (Bowes, 2009).

A study conductedat a private school in Pakistan by Ali (2009) investigated therelationship between job satisfaction and the intention to leave.Findings indicated a negative correlation between jobs satisfactionand the intention to leave. Another study by Yin-Fah et al (2010)sampled the views of employees in the private sector in the Petalingdistrict in Malaysia. The study which investigated the relationshipbetween work-related stress and job satisfaction and work commitmentrevealed a negative link. Bowes (2009) explains the situation andclaims that regardless of the amount of money being paid, employeeswill leave workplaces with bad leadership.


The full-rangeleadership model is one of the most attractive and validated in theworld according to Kirkbride (2006). However, Avolio (1999) downplaysits validity and says that the model does not cover all dimensions ofleadership but falls between the charismatic and passive leadershiptheories.

In 1978, Burnsexamined politicians and observed that transformational andtransactional leadership skills co-existed in most leaders (Lowe etal., 1996, p.385). Besides these two, Bass (1985, cited in Bass andAvolio 1999, p. 441-442) discovered the passive leadership model alsoknown as laissez-faire. The new paradigm has been linked tonon-leadership situations in organizations as it presents a lack ofagreement or common direction. From these three perspectives, Bassand Avolio developed the full-range leadership model (Gill, 2010, p.50-51).

Transactionalleadership: Under this model, rewards and disciplines meted outto subordinates depend on commodities exchanged between a manager andan employee (Cherry 2013). In other words, the relationship betweenmanagers and staff is viewed as a form of trade where rewards ordiscipline are served depending on how well a task is completed.Exemplary performance is rewarded while low performance in punished.

Transformationalleadership: this model calls for leaders to impart a new way ofthinking on the subordinates. The leaders create a vision and passthe same to subordinates in a manner that they can own it and areengaged. According to Lee (2005), transformational leadership islargely associated with higher job satisfaction among subordinates.

Laissez-faireleadership: this type of leadership creates a no leadersituation. This is mainly because the leader does not make anyoverall decisions and subordinates choose to do what they see fit(Antonaks, Aoplio, and Sivasubramaniam 2003).

In all matters todo with leadership, a valued-based approach is recommended.Value-based leadership calls for the alignment of standards ofleaders and employees (Coperland, 2014, p. 106). Firms communicatevalue-based leadership to employees through developing moral codesand criteria to guide employees. The moral codes also serve toconnect the employees’ personal values to those of the organization(Voon, 2011, p. 26).

Thus, to alignorganizational and personal values of employees, the subordinatesmust be well satisfied with their jobs. Price (2001) defines jobsatisfaction as an employee’s effective orientation towards his/herjob. Lund (2003) job satisfaction as perceived relationship betweenwhat an employee wants from his job and what he gets. Sempane, Riegerand Roodt (2002) define jobs satisfaction as a personal perceptionand evaluation of the overall atmosphere at the workplace. Variousstudies across different cultures have shown job satisfaction as apredictor of employee turnover (Larrabee et al., 2003). Situationalfactors including pay, promotion, workload, loyalty, engagement,commitment, supervision, and co-workers among others influence jobsatisfaction levels (Crossman and Abou Zaki, 2003).

Various studieson the relationship between job satisfaction and organizationalleadership have been conducted and yielded different findings.Rosssmiller (1992) studies on teachers indicated that the educators’view of their principal’s transformational leadership abilitiesaffected their job satisfaction. The two variables had a positivecorrelation i.e exceptionally transformative leadership skillsdisplayed by principals increased job satisfaction among educatorsand vice versa. A closely similar study by Hamidifar (2010) conductedin 16 branches of Islamic Azad University revealed that alaissez-faire leadership approach encouraged little job satisfactionamong subordinates.

Section 3

Research goals

The study willinvestigate the relationship between the full-range leadership modelas well as value-based leadership and the influence it has onemployee job satisfaction on subordinates at the business Bankingdepartment of Standard Bank, SA.

The research goalwill be guided by the following objectives.

  • Assess if there is a recognizable relationship between full-range leadership and job satisfaction among employees at Standard Bank.

  • Assess the correlation between value-based leadership and job satisfaction among employees at Standard Bank.

Over 2,900business leaders from different countries in Africa completed a rangeof leadership development programs developed by Standard Bank. Basedon such programs, Standard Bank has developed a strategic cultureinformed by the provision of clear guiding principles for prudentmanagement decision making (Dobson 2015). The current research willadd value to the group’s leadership development programs.

Section 4


The researchparadigm informing this study is a post-positivist exploratoryresearch approach (Johnson and Onwuebuzie 2004) as it investigatesthe views of employees through a quantitative method usingquestionnaires with close-ended questions.

Procedures andtechniques

The questionnairewill be distributed directly to Standard Bank employees working inthe business banking department countrywide. The study will utilizeBass and Avolio’s (1990) Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. Thequestionnaire measures individual perceptions of leadership skills oftheir superiors as provided for by the Full-Range Leadership Model.Participants will also be required to fill-out the short version ofthe Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire to assess their jobsatisfaction (Weiss et al., 1967).

The study isbased on a sample of 200 employees, directly employed by StandardBank Business Banking. The financial institution has a population of600 business bankers that include account executives, accountanalysts and business managers (Dobson 2015).

The questionnaireshall be distributed via email. This will involve including a link inthe email that will redirect the participants to one-paged onlinesurvey sheet. The study will provide a brief explanation and theindividual questions. The process is scheduled to place off officehours and also designed into simple questions. All these are expectedto increase responsiveness, reliability, and accuracy (Babbie 2011).


Leaders will berated by their subordinates and thus can lead to victimization.Leaders might also get into trouble when it is discovered that theirleadership practices are in direct contradiction to the companystrategy.

When completingthe questionnaires, employees will be requested to disclose theirposition as an account executive, account analyst or businessmanagers. Gender and age will also be requested. No personalinformation will be collected as the study is to be anonymous.

There’s adirect correlation between overall employee drive and employees’job contentment (Millet 2010). By participating n the survey,employees can answer, help, pinpoint, and develop what is beneficialto the firm and correct what is not.

Section 5


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