Alexander’s famous quote – “I am not afraid by an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion” – signifies the role played by a leader in nurturing their subordinates. A great leader fosters the potential of his employees and challenges their limitations.
Research Objective: This research paper aims to study the effect of leadership style (consideration or initiating structure) on self-efficacy of the employees. Ukeh (2016) found that leadership behaviour (consideration or initiating structure) had a significant effect on Employee Job Involvement. According to Compeau & Higgins (2001), Self-efficacy plays a predominant part in determining the job involvement of workers. This can be ascertained by the important impact of self-efficacy on the cognitive regulation of motivation.
Research Design: The research involves the use of two instruments, the leadership style scale (LBDQ) and the self-efficacy scale. The instruments were put into one questionnaire that has three sections. Section A contains questions on demographic information; Section B comprises of the LBDQ and Section C covers the self-efficacy scale. The questionnaire was administered to 200 respondents. The sample was chosen using the simple random sampling method. A Multiple Regression test was carried out to measure the effect of leadership style on the self-efficacy of the employees.
Findings: The p-value for Considerate type of leader was found to be 0.002; and for Initiating Structure it was found to be 0.796. Thus regression model is a good fit for considerate type of leadership style effecting the self-efficacy of the employees. The Initiating Structure type of leadership style does not play a significant role in enhancing self-efficacy of the employees.
Implications: The statistical data in this research validates the impact of considerate type of leadership behaviour on having a positive effect on the self-efficacy of employees. It can be used as an important strategy for improving leadership effectiveness, staff improvement and empowerment.
Limitations: Given the short duration, the sample size was limited to 200, out of which only 120 duly filled responses were collected. Respondents were reluctant to answer the questionnaire as it was lengthy. The sample was randomly chosen.
Leaders’ behaviour affects employees’ satisfaction and involvement towards fulfilling the organizational goals and objectives (Xirasagar, 2008). Although, the favourableness of the leadership style to be adopted is dependent on different variables such as task structure, group and the leader member relations as well as power position (Ofordu, 2005), individual self-efficacy of the employees is one of the important factors that directly affects motivation. One of the basic problems of organization is how to resolve, coordinate or incorporate the employees’ needs or goals with the organizational requirements and objectives. Hence, the importance of a well-balanced leadership style is certain in a dynamic and complex organizational climate where motivational problem of connecting man and system is a major concern (Shamir, Zakay, Breinin, & Popper, 2002). However, the most confounding problems controlling managers and supervisors have been to determine the leadership style most conducive to promoting effective work from employees.
Moreover, employees are expected to be more involved at the workplace if they are provided with the right direction to perform their jobs. When leaders guide their subordinates in understanding the mission of the organisation and what is expected from them, they would be willing to put in their work on priority and thereby working towards the organisational objectives. Eventually, it would prove helpful for the better functioning of the organisation as a whole.
Thus, Leadership seems to have an essential role to play in reaping the benefits of Job involvement of employees. A good leader and self-belief can motivate employees to achieve and fulfil their personal as well as organisational goals. Locke & Shaw (1981) in their article ended any lingering doubts among scientists about the suitability of a cognitive approach to motivation with the goal setting theory. Locke found that goals which were both specific and difficult led to better task performance than goals that were easy or vague.
Leadership is one of the factors that has a crucial impact on the performance of organizations, managers and employees (Wang et al., 2005). Leadership is a process of giving direction to collective effort, and instigating others to eagerly exert effort in order to achieve a specific purpose (Jacobs & Jacques, 1990).
Drucker (1993), established that the quality and performance of managers are the key criteria in determining organizational success. An organisation without a manager’s effective leadership is not able to convert input resources in to competitive advantage. Therefore, it is definite that the leadership style of a manager is closely linked to the development of the organization.
In a study by Manojlovich (2005), nursing leadership played a significant role in enhancing the self-efficacy of the nursing staff and their behavioural performance saw a major improvement. Efforts were also made to enhance self-efficacy of the staff by active role modelling and verbal persuasion.
Most organizations today focus on recruiting people after screening how productive they are. Since a high-level of self-efficacy predicts high productivity, better workplace interactions, and a high output level, it is only reasonable for organizations to favour and promote self-efficacy among the workers, and here are some ways to do so.
OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF THE VARIABLES
A leader, more precisely the type of a leader plays a significant role in the overall satisfaction and involvement of an employee. Two types of leader as per the behavioural theory (the Ohio State Studies and Michigan University studies), initiating structure, i.e. task-oriented leadership and consideration, i.e. relationship-oriented leadership are studied.
Initiating structure is the degree to which a leader is likely to define and structure his or her role and those of employees in the search for goal attainment. It includes behaviour that attempts to organize work, work relationships, and goals. A leader high in initiating structure is someone who assigns group members to particular tasks, expects workers to maintain definite standards of performance, and emphasizes the meeting of deadlines.
Consideration is the degree to which a person’s job relationships are characterized by mutual trust, respect for employees’ ideas, and regard for their feelings. A leader high in consideration helps employees with personal problems, is friendly and approachable, treats all employees as equals, and expresses appreciation and support. (Robbins & Judge, 2013)
Self-efficacy refers to an individual’s belief that they possess the capability of performing a task. The higher the self-efficacy, the more confidence one has in their ability to succeed. So, in challenging situations, people with low self-efficacy are more likely to reduce their effort or give up altogether, while those with high self-efficacy will try harder. Self-efficacy can create a positive spiral in which those with high efficacy become more engaged in their tasks and then, in turn, increase performance, which increases efficacy further. Individuals high in self-efficacy also seem to respond to negative feedback with increased effort and motivation, while those low in self-efficacy are likely to lessen their effort after negative feedback.
The research involves the use of two instruments, the leadership style scale (LBDQ) and the self-efficacy scale. The instruments were put into one questionnaire that has three sections. Section A contains questions on demographic information; Section B comprises of the LBDQ and Section C covers the self-efficacy scale. Reliability test of the questionnaire was carried out and the Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient of reliability was found to be 0.924, implying that the items in the questionnaire have great internal consistency.
Leadership Behaviour Description Questionnaire (LBDQ)
This scale was developed by Fleishman (1953). A set of 30 questions was used to assess the supervisors’ leadership styles by their subordinates. There are 15 questions which measure Initiating Structure and the remaining 15 measure consideration factor of the leadership style.
Self-Efficacy Scale (SES)
This scale was developed by Schwarzer and Jerusalem (1993). It is a 10-item scale that is intended to evaluate optimistic self-belief to cope with a variety of difficult demands in life.
The sample size was 200. Sample was chosen randomly. The study was limited to full-time employees working in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Nasik. Due to the lengthy questionnaire, only 130 of the targeted respondents reverted with duly filled survey.
ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS
Multiple Regression was used to find the impact of the type of leadership style (Initiating Structure or Considerate) on the self-efficacy of the employees. The major findings were that the significant p value for considerate type of leader was a better fit (p=0.002) as compared to the Initiating Structure (p=0.796)
Furthermore, the model was moderately correlated as the R value was measured to be 0.428; and R Square = 0.183. It implies that there are numerous other factors apart from the leadership style of the supervisor that affects the self-efficacy of the employees.
Self-efficacy is an important aspect of an individual at the workplace. A manager can play a pivotal role in enhancing the self-efficacy of their employees and thus make them willing to accept more challenging tasks at work. So overall, it would result in a shift to being better. When an employee fells that he is valued and supported by the organization and the manger, he tends to push his boundaries, thus increasing his self-efficacy. There are myriad other factors which effect the self-efficacy of the employees. Employees exhibit higher self-efficacy when there is direct reward linked to performance in accordance with the Expectancy theory. Furthermore, other factors like growth opportunities, decision making authority also increases self-efficacy at the workplace. Given its influential role on performance, it is critical for managers to understand the role of self-efficacy in the workplace.
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The study was limited to the cities of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Nasik. Due to time constraint only 200 respondents were targeted out of which only 130 had reverted with duly filled responses, citing the lengthy questionnaire as a reason. Furthermore, sample was randomly selected.
Ike, Eze and Ukeh (2016) studied the influence of leadership style on job involvement of employees in Nigeria work organizations. Various studies have been made in the nursing sector to find out the effect of leadership on increasing self-efficacy and thus improving performance behaviour. Yet, no significant research has been made in the Indian cultural context. This study aims to bridge the gap.
IMPLICATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
Further research can be conducted to find out the various other factors that lead to increase in self-efficacy of the employees. Moreover, research could be directed towards finding out the type of leadership style that yields maximum results along with creating positive self-worth of the employees.