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The study examined the influence of leadership style on employees’ performance in government establishments; with particular reference to Ebonyi State Ministry of Finance, Abakaliki. The study intends to examine the relationship between democratic leadership style and employees’ performance in government establishments and to examine the relationship between autocratic leadership style and employee’s performance in government establishments. Two research hypotheses were formulated in line with the research objectives to guide the study. The survey design was employed. The population of study consisted of 280 staff members of Ebonyi State Ministry of Finance, Abakaliki. The sample size is 164 which was arrived at by applying the Yaro Yamane technique of sample size determination. The instrument for data collection was the questionnaire. The statistical tool of Chi-square was used to test the hypothesis stated. The results of the study showed that both democratic and autocratic leadership style has significant influence on employee’s performance in government establishments. Based on the results, it was recommended that since the variables of leadership style have a strong positive relationship with organizational performance, managers should strive to become role models to their subordinates; inspire subordinates by providing meaning and challenge to work; stimulate subordinate efforts to become innovative & creative; and pay attention to each individual’s need for achievement and growth. Public managers should also consider formulating and implementing effective reward and recognition systems as well as encouraging greater managerial supervision.
1.1 Background to the Study
Leadership style is a determinant of the success or failure of any organization (Bass, 1999). A leader is person who influences, directs and motivates others to perform specific tasks and also inspire his subordinates for efficient performance towards the accomplishment of the stated corporate objectives (Sashkin, 2006). Leadership style is the manner and approach of providing direction, implementing plans and motivating people.
According to Ngambi (2010) and Ngambi (2011) cited in Jeremy (2011), Leadership is a process of influencing other’s commitment towards realizing their full, potential in achieving a value-added, shared vision, with passion and integrity. The nature of this influence is such that the members of the organization voluntarily with each other in order to achieve the objectives which the leader has set for each member, as well as for the group. The relationships between the leader and employees, as well as the quality of employees’ performance, are significantly influenced by the leadership style adopted by the leader (Jeremy, 2011).
Leadership style in an organization is one of the factors that plat significant role in enhancing or retarding the interest and commitment of the individuals the organization (Obiwuru, 2011). According to Michael (2011) Leadership has a direct cause and effect relationship upon organizations and their success. Leaders determine values, culture, change tolerance and employee motivation. They shape institutional strategies including their execution and effectiveness. Leaders can appear at any level of an institution and are not exclusive to management. Successful leaders do, however have one thing in common. They influence those around them in order to reap maximum benefit from the organization’s resources.
Leadership style is viewed as the combination of traits, characteristics, skills, and behaviours that leaders use when interacting with their subordinates (Marturano and Goshing, 2008). Flippo and Musinger (2009) see leadership as a pattern of managerial behviaour designed to integrate personal or organizational interest and effect, in pursuit of some objectives. Fielder (1969) postulates that leadership style refers to a kind or relationship whereby someone uses his ways and methods to make many people work together for a common task.
In modern leadership theories, five leadership style have been presented including, transformational leadership, transactional leadership, Charismatic leadership style, culture-based leadership and visionary leadership style (Yuki, 2014, Sashkin, 2006). Trannenbanum and Schmidt (1958) also identify four different of leadership which have been most widely accepted and used. These leadership styles, centers on McGregor’s Theory ‘X and Y’ assumptions and are: democratic, autocratic, dictatorial and laissez fair leadership styles.
Leadership styles have diverse effect on various such as flexibility, standards, rewards, clarity and commitment and in some cases on organizational climates as the behaviour of the leader produce motivation mechanisms which have effect on the conduct of individual’s performance in the organization (Shamir, 2012). Thus, the essence of leadership is followership. Effective leadership is the extent to which a leader constantly and progressively leads and direct his followers, towards organizational performance.
However, swift changes in the business environment, organization structure, technology and lifestyle are introducing a considerable rethinking of leadership development, Leadership concerns the ability to influence the behaviour of others to move in accordance with the desire of the leader and pursuit of goals (low and Jiang, 2014). In several instances, people use the term “Manager” and leader in the same context. Therefore, a clear difference should be recognized between leadership and management and more specifically, leaders and managers. Mowson (2011) believes that leaders may not excel at management and what is more often the case, managers do not necessarily make great leaders.
Our the years, scholars and researchers have been unanimous on the most appropriate style of leadership in organization and these has led to the formulation of several, theories that could bring about organizational efficiency and effectiveness.
Though some scholars have argued that no particular leadership style in the best, the level of participation of workers in the decision that affect them or the organization as a whole will spur them to better commitment to the realization of set goals. Comparatively, participation provides outstanding long-term results which are by no means far better than effective short term results. The present study contribute to the literature on leaders by examining the effectiveness of leadership style on employee’s productivity in government establishments with the focus on Ebonyi State Ministry of Finance, Abakaliki.
Ebonyi state Ministry of Finance and Economic development was created as soon as the state was created in 1996 during the late General Sanni Abacha’s regime with Mr. Oko Udo Oko and Mrs. Ngozi Nwankwo as the pioneer commissioner and accountant general respectively. Dr. Ekuma Nkama is the current political Head of the ministry.
The Ministry of finance and Economic Development is a service ministry in Ebonyi State. The ministry is charged with the enormous responsibilities and functions of overseeing the financial and development policies and objectives of the state Government. The vision of the Ministry is the integration and implementation of fiscal and developmental policies and programmes of the state.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The problem of decrease output, low performance and decayedness in the operation of public establishments in Nigeria often call one into questioning the type of leadership in our government establishments. Ebonyi State ministry of finance is not exempted from the problems of poor performance of employees, absentism, a lateness to work and other vices often seen in public sector organizations Nigeria.
Moreover, interest in transforming the public sector is expected to help remedy the situation in public sector as leadership and leadership styles are seen as the key elements that made private companies more effective than the public sector.
Another problem affecting leadership style in public sector is the competence of the leaders appointed. In most cases, some of their appointments lack merits. What becomes of such organization is having competence leaders who lack the abilities and capacities to use the appropriate leadership style to lead the members to attain the organization’s set goals or objectives. Thus, what are usually found in some of these organizations are “round pegs in a square holes” rather than “round pegs in round holes”. Once this situation arises, there will be utterances in the way such leaders behave or administer the organization and these will in-turn affect employees’ morale, commitment and productivity and most importantly, the attainment of the organization’s set goals.
The present study on these backdrops examines the influence of leadership style on employees’ performance in government establishments with particular reference to Ebonyi State ministry of finance Abakaliki.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main objective of the study is to examine the influence of leadership style on employee’s performance in government establishments.
The specific objectives are:
(a) To determine the relationship between democratic leadership style and employees’ performance in government establishments.
(b) To determine the relationship between autocratic leadership style and employee’s performance in government establishments.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated to guide to study:
(i) How effective is the democratic style of leadership in enhancing employee’s performance in government establishments?
(ii) How does autocratic leadership style affect employee’s performance in government establishments?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The null and alternative hypothesis were formulated to guide the study:
1. Ho: democratic leadership style has no significant influence on employee’s performance.
Hi: Democratic leadership style has significant influence on employee’s performance in government establishments.
2. Ho: autocratic leadership style has no significant influence on employee’s performance.
Hi: autocratic leadership style has significant influence on employee’s performance in government establishments.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The finding of the study will be of immense benefit to:
(a) The government: The findings of the study will be of benefit to the government because it will guide them in appointment of managers and directors to man public institutions and establishments.
(b) The managers: The findings of the study will be of great benefit to managers because it will reveal to them reasons for poor performance and low productivity and the need to seek alternative management or leadership style for better performance and achievement of the set organizational objectives.
(c) Future researchers: The findings of the study will be of benefit to researchers who may wish to conduct a study on who may wish to conduct a study on this subject matter (Topic) in the future time. This is because the present study will serve as reference point to those researchers.
(d) The Researcher: The findings of the study will be of immense benefit to the researcher because it will help in widening my educational horizon.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study examines the influence of leadership style on employee’s performance in government establishments; with particular reference to Ebonyi State Ministry of finance, Abakaliki. The content scope covers leadership style and employee’s performance while the geographical scope is Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria.
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