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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Jonathan Muterera
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: School of Public Affairs and Administration
Title: The Relationship Between Transformational Leadership Theory Behaviors, Follower Attitudes and Behaviors, and Organizational Performance in United States County Governments
Dr. Matthew S. Mingus, Chair
Dr. Barbara S. Liggett
Dr. Nicholas A. Andreadis
Date: Monday, January 7, 2007 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Emerti Lounge, Walwood Hall West
The purpose of the quantitative study was to apply Bass' theory of transformational leadership to U.S. county leaders, with an emphasis on determining whether or not their leadership behaviors directly, and/or indirectly, affect the effectiveness of U.S. county governments. The study addressed some broader limitations of public sector organizational performance literature, such as limited empirical research on the relationship between leadership and organizational performance. The study also addressed the lack of empirical research about intervening variables that reveal how leaders' behaviors affect organizational performance. The major thesis was that leadership behaviors of county government leaders may have both a direct and indirect relationship to the effectiveness of county governments.
In the study, transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership behaviors served as the independent variables. Three follower attitudes and behaviors (i.e. job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and organizational citizenship behaviors) served as the intervening variables. Organizational performance was the dependent variable. The target population of leaders was the U.S. appointed county chief administrators, elected chief county administrators, and commission chairs. The target population of followers was those individuals who report directly to the leaders identified in the study. Two forms of survey were used to gather data for the proposed study (i.e. leader surveys and follower surveys). Overall, 1,327 U.S. county government employees (leaders and followers) served as participants in this study, representing a total of 416 county government organizations across the country. However, the results were based on a final sample of 372 leader-follower pairs.
Hypotheses and research questions described in this study were tested using several statistical analyses; specifically, correlational analysis, regression analyses, and Barron and Kenny's procedure for testing significance of indirect effects. The results of the study revealed that the leadership behaviors of county government leaders directly affected the performance of U.S. county governments. The results also revealed that the leadership behaviors of county leaders affect followers' levels of job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and organizational citizenship behaviors, which, in turn, affect organizational performance.