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The relationship between self-management leader behaviour, self-leadership worker behaviour and job-related attitudes and perceptions

Politis, John D. (2001). The relationship between self-management leader behaviour, self-leadership worker behaviour and job-related attitudes and perceptions. PhD Thesis, University of Technology Sydney.

Document type: Thesis
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Author Politis, John D.
Title The relationship between self-management leader behaviour, self-leadership worker behaviour and job-related attitudes and perceptions
Institution University of Technology Sydney
Publication Date 2001-02
Thesis Type PhD
Supervisor Crawford, John
Ticehurst, Bill
1503 - Business and Management
Abstract Leadership has been recognised as an important determinant of various outcomes such as employee attitudes and performance in the context of hierarchical organisational structures. Despite the large number of studies that have examined the effectiveness of leadership within this context, the investigation of the influence of self-management leadership behaviour to a number of employee attitudes and perceptions within a team context is noticeably absent.

The aim of this thesis is to explore the dimensions underlying the Self-Management Leadership Questionnaire devised by Manz and Sims (1987) and how these relate to the self-leadership worker behaviours and a number of employee attitudes and perceptions in a self-managing environment. Other leadership measures that have been shown in past studies to be related to worker attitudes and perceptions are also included in this study. These are the more established dimensions of Transformational and Transactional leadership, and Consideration and Initiating Structure style. The relationship among these measures of leadership and the self-management leadership dimensions is also investigated in this thesis.

Despite the fact that self-managing teams grow in popularity, no work has been carried out to date examining the psychometric properties of Self-Leadership Worker (Self-Control and Self-Motivation) scales and their relationship to the various leadership style measures, or to worker attitudes such as job satisfaction, commitment and so forth. This thesis examines the psychometric properties of the Self-Leadership Behaviour Questionnaires devised by Manz (1992) and investigates the relationship between the Self-Leadership Worker Behaviours and the various leadership style dimensions and worker attitudes and perceptions.
The subjects used in this study were full-time unionised members of self-managing teams in two large organisations operating in Sydney, Australia. The measures of leadership and worker attitudes, perceptions and behaviours were obtained using a questionnaire survey. The questionnaire was completed by 318 team members (56 teams) who returned usable questionnaires representing a response rate of 85.2%.

Descriptive statistics and the indices of skewness of all observed indicators of the original latent constructs were calculated and assessed. Although the instruments selected in the study were all well established, with the exception of the Self-Management Leadership Questionnaire and the Self-Leadership Worker Behaviour Questionnaires, confirmatory factor analysis was used to examine the factor structure and the psychometric properties of the various variables used in the thesis. In special cases, if the confirmatory factor analysis did not lead to an acceptable solution, an exploratory factor analysis was also performed to give an estimate of the number of factors that could be extracted. Factor-score estimation regression coefficients were used to compute composite scales and to estimate composite reliability. Cronbach alpha estimates of reliability coefficients were also calculated for all scales. Convergent and discriminant validities were used to evaluate the adequacy of the measurement models.

Correlational and regression analyses were used to investigate the relationships between the various leadership style dimensions to the self-leadership worker behaviours (Self-Control and Self-Motivation) and the other variables measured in the study. A causal model was developed using structural equation modelling in which the role of self-leadership worker behaviours in mediating the causal link between leadership variables and other worker attitudes and subjects' perception of team performance factors was explored. A series of structural equation models was used to interpret the causal relationship between factors.

The results of this research confirmed five self-management leadership dimensions, which were substantially the same as those proposed by Manz and Sims (1987). These dimensions were found to correlate to other, more well-known dimensions of Transformational and Transactional leadership, Initiating Structure and Consideration styles, and worker attitudes and perceptions. It was noted, however, that the leadership styles that are characterised by participation and respect for subordinates’ feelings (that is, Self-Management, Transformational and Consideration) exerted a relatively stronger influence on worker attitudes and perceptions than task-oriented leadership styles (that is, Transactional and Initiating Structure). The results showed that self-management leadership variables produced significant increases in the level of prediction of some, but not all, of the worker attitudes and perceptions factors, after statistical control for the more well-known leadership factors, suggesting that leading self-managing teams require a specific leadership style, known as self-management leadership style.

In addition, the results of this thesis generally supported the factor structure of the two Self-Leadership Worker Behaviour (Self-Control and Self-Motivation) factors proposed by Manz (1992). Significant correlations were shown between Self-Leadership Worker Behaviour (Self-Control and Self-Motivation) dimensions and Self-Management leadership dimensions. Although the correlations were smaller than expected, the findings generally support self-leadership theorists’ argument that self-management leadership behaviour influences workers to adopt behaviours that enable them to become autonomous, self-motivated and effective in terms of measures such as quality of work life, commitment, innovative problem solving and performance.

Finally, the results derived from causal modelling of this thesis supported previous research findings that not all the effects of antecedents of commitment are mediated through job satisfaction. At a theoretical level, this thesis concluded that the constructs of self-management and self-leadership could be used to investigate relationships between these variables and other worker-related attitudes and perceptions factors in self-managing team situations.
Keyword Self-management Leadership behaviour
Self-leadership Worker behaviours (Self-control and Self-motivation)
Transformational and Transactional leadership
Consideration and Initiating Structure leadership
Job satisfaction
Organisational commitment
Job autonomy
Interpersonal Trust

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