The Influence of Dominant Leadership Styles on the Employees' Behavior: Empirical Evidence from the Romanian Public Institutions

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT.

The paper is focused on the identification of dominant leadership styles of the managers from Romanian public institutions and their correlations with employees' behaviors in order to achieve superior performances. The research is performed on a sample of Romanian managers from different public institutions. The empirical study analyzes by means of statistical methods, facilitated by the use of SPSS software, the main correlations between the dominant leadership styles of the managers from these institutions and the employees' behaviors, reflected on their loyalty degree, their motivation degree and their professional performances level. The research results outline several managerial implications, based on relevant information about the opportunities to enhance the performances of the public institutions by adopting the most appropriate leadership style.

Keywords: leadership style, organizational culture, public management, human resources, professional performance

1. Introduction

Leadership is the ability of a person to organize and focus the human efforts on the accomplishment of a goal. In its pure state, leadership leads to performance, by generating a high level of motivation to all the employees from an organization. One of the most outstanding personalities in management science, Peter Drucker, famously stated that "management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things" (Hesselbein and Godsmith, 2006). Organizational performance may be influenced by a number of factors, such as, the employees' high satisfaction with their jobs, high commitment to their organization, high motivation to serve the public and strong intentions to work for the organization willingly and devotedly (Kim, 2005). In the context of public institutions, effective leadership provides higher quality relationships among managers and employees, a sense of cohesiveness, personal development and higher levels of satisfaction among those conducting the work (Wart, 2003). The exercise of authority, whether formal or informal, in directing and coordinating the work of others reflects the approach of leadership in public administration (Schafritz, 2004). The main peculiarities of leadership in public institutions are oriented towards the control that limit risk-taking and accountability to the public; a leader in such an organization checks and balances on authority and focuses on principles of fairness (Cropf, 2008). Public managers have come under increasing pressure to find more efficient and effective methods of delivering services and implementing managerial reforms adopted by elected officials. Change oriented leadership behavior has also been linked to improved performance in public organizations (Fernandez, 2008). The results of a survey conducted in public administration sector suggest that relationships between charismatic leadership and inspirational vision themes, and contingent reward leadership and instrumental vision themes were more positive for managers with a high need for social power than for managers with a low need for social power (Sosik and Dinger, 2007). A recent study conducted in public administration (Fernandez et al., 2010) emphasizes the concept of integrated leadership in the public sector. Integrated leadership is conceived of as the combined efforts of organizational members across multiple levels of the hierarchy to perform five leadership roles: task, relations, change, diversity and integrity-oriented leadership.

Two recent surveys undertaken in the Romanian public sector reveal the following evidences: one of them emphasizes the fact that the transactional leadership style was positively associated with the general emotional intelligence and with the adaptability factor, and moderate with the interpersonal factor, suggesting the fact transactional leadership is in some extent associated with the ability to be conscious of the feelings, concerns and needs of the followers and slightly with the ability of adapting to the situational changes (Stanescu and Cicei, 2012), while the other one has highlighted issues such as the leadership influence and performance in public administration and exercising leadership in a public institution. …