Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Management Science

Relationship between the Full-Range Leadership and Insurance Salesperson's Job Satisfaction

Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Management Science

Relationship between the Full-Range Leadership and Insurance Salesperson's Job Satisfaction

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Leadership is proven to have a significant impact on employee satisfaction that ultimately affects employees' performance and turnover intention (Kumara and Koichi, 1989; Savery, 1994; Arnold, Barling and Kelloway, 2001). This is applicable to employees of any organization or industry. Given the unique blend of vital responsibilities of insurance salespersons for most of the selling activities including promoting (pre-sale), selling and servicing (post-sale), it is therefore important for sales managers and supervisors to identify ways to stimulate positive behavioral responses from their salespersons, especially from the satisfaction and performance perspectives (Dubinsky and Yammarino, 1985). Several studies related to the impact of insurance sales supervisors on their salespersons' satisfaction level have been carried out in the 1980s and 1990s. Among those, are Dubinsky and Yammarino (1985), Dubinsky, Childers, Skinner and Gencturk (1988), McElroy and Morrow (1993), and de Vries, Roe and Taillieu (1998).

Designated in the Full-Range Leadership Theory, Transformational leadership (leaders focusing on values, inspiration and motivation), Transactional leadership (leaders focusing on the exchange of goals and rewards), and Laissez-faire leadership ('no leadership') have their own reputations (House and Aditya, 1997; Cardona, 2000; Jung and Avolio, 2000; Ehrhart and Klein, 2001; Berson, Shamir, Avolio and Popper (2001); Aldoory and Toth, 2004). Although transformational leadership is said to be preferred in most cases (House and Aditya, 1997; Cardona, 2000; Jung and Avolio, 2000; Ehrhart and Klein, 2001; Berson et al., 2001; Aldoory and Toth, 2004), studies on the Transformational leadership, Transactional leadership, Laissez-faire leadership approach or any mixture of these components among the insurance salespersons are crucial.

Although studies related to the impact of insurance sales supervisor's leadership styles on their salespersons' satisfaction level have been discussed by various scholars using various leadership theories, specific studies applying the full-range leadership theory in the insurance sales supervisors' leadership area are still elementary. This clearly provides the avenue for literature expansion particularly for studies related to insurance sales supervisors' leadership styles using of the full-range leadership theory. In addition to that, there have been mixed opinions from past scholars relating to the application of the appropriate leadership styles, be it the Transformational leadership, the Transactional leadership, the Laissez-faire leadership or a blend of any of these leadership components. This mixed opinion issue call for further research to address the confusion particularly in choosing the most appropriate leadership styles.

This research therefore aspires to provide the answers to the above research call by examining the relationship of the perceived leadership styles on salespersons' job satisfaction using the full-range leadership theory. This paper begins with some discussion on past literature that leads to the hypothesis and research framework development for this study. The variables involved in this study incorporate all the components from the full-range leadership theory. The application of Multinomial Logistic Regression method in this study demonstrates a novel aspect of regression method to analyze the relationship between leadership and the insurance salespersons' job satisfaction level. Finally, as samples were drawn from the insurance agents from the top performing companies in the country, factors pinpointed in the findings can be used as an excellent benchmarking point for the others in the industry.

LITERATURE REVIEW

The Full-Range Leadership Theory emerges out of several revisions and continuous research done based on the Transformational and Transactional Leadership. The concept and theory of Transformational and Transactional Leadership was first introduced by Burns in his book, "Leadership, 1978" in reference to the political environment (Kuhnert and Lewis, 1987; Deluga, 1988; Lowe, Kroeck and Sivasubramaniam, 1996; Kent, Crotts and Aziz, 2001). …

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