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Design and Empirical Analysis of a Model of Empowering Leadership.

Description: Mid-level leaders are often expected to implement employee empowerment initiatives, yet many do not have a clear understanding of how to empower employees. To address this issue, a model of empowering leadership was developed. The model presents specific, actionable behaviors that a leader should perform in order to empower employees. The model comprises 13 factors built around the areas of ability, accountability, and authority. First, leaders must ensure employees have the ability to be empowered. To do so, they must (a) build employee organizational knowledge, (b) provide access to pertinent information, (c) assure employees have the necessary skill set, and (d) identify and provide needed resources. Second, leaders must create systems of accountability for employee outcomes by (e) setting a standard of continuous improvement, (f) recognizing and rewarding good work, (g) regularly evaluating employee efforts, and (h) providing continuous feedback on employee efforts. Third, leaders should provide employees with the authority to be empowered by (i) serving as advocates of employee efforts, (j) providing an environment that is conducive to empowerment, (k) setting a clear and consistent direction to guide employee efforts, and (l) building systems and structures to support employee empowerment. The thirteenth factor of the model is a constant focus on the work, because without the work there is no real reason for empowerment. A review of the existing literature suggests a need for empirical research on empowerment concepts. This dissertation empirically investigated empowering leadership with two studies. The first focused on development of measures, while the second focused on model development. The measurement study supported the three general areas of ability, accountability, and authority, although the accountability area was weak. Results of the model examination study indicated that the model largely behaved as expected, but did require some modification. Based on the model exploration, four of the ...
Date: May 2005
Creator: Bodner, Sarah L.

How does personality relate to contextual performance, turnover, and customer service?

Description: Personality measures are often used by organizations to select and develop employees in a way that maximizes their performance. Studies examining the relationship between personality and job performance have found some evidence for their utility in a variety of situations. Data was collected from a large restaurant company (N=9,800) in which hourly employees took a personality test for selection. Supervisory performance ratings and turnover data were also included for some employees. A three factor model of contextual performance consisting of personal support, organizational support, and conscientiousness initiative was tested and supported. The personality scales with the strongest relationship to performance, included drive and energy, friendliness, and emotional consistency. Effect sizes were relatively similar to previous meta-analytic studies, with the exception of a facet of conscientiousness which revealed a lower correlation with performance than expected. A differential pattern of correlations between the personality scales and performance dimensions was observed that supported some of the theoretically aligned constructs. The correlations between the personality variables and performance were unexpectedly higher among customer facing employees than team-based employees. No hypothesized interaction effects were supported, but some nonlinear relationships were found among some of the personality scales and performance. Drive and energy was a statistically significant predictor in decreasing the rate of turnover, however no support was found for any personality scale predicting job abandonment or involuntary turnover. Finally, a path model was tested that provided marginal support for performance mediating the relationship between personality and customer service ratings at the store level. Implications for human resource practices and recommendations for future research are discussed.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Impelman, Kevin

The Impact of Training on the Frequency of Internal Promotions of Employees and Managers

Description: In this study, the relationship between formal training opportunities and internal promotions in organizations was examined in order to support the value of organizations investing in employees through training opportunities, as training is often seen as an expense to be cut in difficult times. Differences between general and specific training topics on the impact of frequency of promotion in an organization were addressed, as well as assessing differences between employees and managers. Training allows for a more capable workforce and pool of employees to pull from when an organization needs to hire. Hiring from within can save time, money, and allow for a proven person-organization fit that hiring from the external workforce cannot provide. The archival data used in the study were from the National Organizations Survey, 1996-1997 which included organizations of all sizes and forms. The analyses produced mixed support for the hypotheses. Significant relationships were found between hours of formal training and frequency of promotions of employees, and between importance of training in promotions and frequency of promotions for managers. Multiple regressions revealed that the hypothesis predicting that increased hours of training focused on general skills would positively contribute to promotion rates was not supported for either employees or managers. Exploratory analyses were also conducted to further investigate training and promotion practices. Significant contributions to hours and importance of training in promotion were discovered for certain types of skills training for both the employee and manager groups. Comparison between the employee and manager groups across variables found significant differences in certain skill type training. Practical implications of the findings and future study considerations are discussed.
Date: August 2010
Creator: West, Lindsey Straka

Individual Behavior Change in the Context of Organization Change: Towards Validation of the Transtheoretical Model of Change in an Organizational Environment

Description: A review of literature indicates limited effort to understand and explain employees' acclimation to, and adoption of, new behaviors required by organization change initiatives. Psychological theories of individual behavior change have, in restricted instances, been applied into organizational environments. The transtheoretical model of change (TTM) offers a comprehensive explanation of behavior change uniting multiple theories of individual change. TTM describes change as a series of stages that individual progress through before arriving at the decision to implement a change in behavior. Movement through the stages is facilitated by processes which increase the probability of a behavior change effort's success. The present research investigated the potential applicability of TTM for explaining individual level change within a new context, specifically, an organizational environment. To examine if individual change in the context of an organization occurs in the fashion described by TTM, measures of core TTM constructs were delivered to employees in a water department of a city in the American southwest. The water department was immersed in an organization change initiative necessitating individual behavior change by its employees. Results of TTM core construct measures and their relationships with each other and the stages of change were examined. Initial findings are indicative of TTM's potential applicability as a description of behavior change within an organizational context. Implications of these findings, potential applications, imitations of the current research, and recommendations for future research are discussed.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Phillips, Tobe M.

Longitudinal Study of the Impact of Performance Appraisals in Organizations

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of and the subjects' overall satisfaction with the implementation of an internally created performance appraisal system. The system was implemented at a major technology consulting firm in the US. The subjects of this study were manager level employees of the firm. An employee survey conducted annually at the firm included questions relating to the implementation of the performance appraisal system. Eight years of managers' responses to six key questions in the Career Development category were analyzed. Managers' perceptions of their contribution to the firm, their understanding of what career paths are available to them, their understanding of the requirements for promotion, as well as their overall satisfaction with the implementation of the performance appraisal system were captured by this survey. Trend analysis indicates that managers at the firm perceived their career path knowledge improved and their understanding of promotion criteria improved as a result of the implementation. Overall satisfaction with the implementation did not improve enough to site confidence in managers' perceptions for the period immediately after the implementation; managers' responses to the actual implementation were disagreeable to neutral. Managers did not feel their impact on the organization improved as a result of the implementation.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Herreid, Cheryl

Managerial self-awareness and its impact on leadership in high-performing managers.

Description: Managerial self-awareness is thought to impact leadership. A multi-rater feedback instrument was used to gather performance data on 70 managers in a large multi-national airline in regards to five leadership dimensions: making sound decisions, driving for results, effective communication, self-management, and innovation. Difference scores between self and direct reports were calculated and used as the operational definition of managerial self-awareness. T-tests were run to examine the difference between high performers and average performers. No significant differences were found. Additionally, correlational measures between the five leadership competencies and the managerial self-awareness measure indicated statistically weak relationships.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Yancey, Margaret

Predicting long term job performance using a cognitive ability test.

Description: This study focuses on the relationship of one cognitive ability test on long-term job performance as measured by personnel data. Archival data from over 3,000 employees at an international technology company were used to assess how aptitude test scores relate to both objective and subjective job performance measures. Supervisory performance ratings, level of promotion, and salary increase significantly contributed to variance in test scores; however, these results were inconsistent. Number of training courses did not have a significant relationship with test scores. Additionally, type of turnover did not moderate the relationship between aptitude test scores and job performance. These results indicate that although aptitude test score is related to long term job performance factors, other factors account for the majority of the variance. The implication is that aptitude should not be the sole consideration when predicting long term job success.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Alexander, Sandra G.

Stereotype threat in India: Gender and leadership choices

Description: Stereotype threat is a psychosocial dilemma experienced by members of a negatively stereotyped group in situations where they fear they may confirm the stereotype. This study examined the phenomenon in India, thereby extending previous research to another culture. In addition, with participation by students preparing to be professionals, the results are applicable to organizational settings. Ninety graduate students from a professional training institute viewed common Indian advertisements under three conditions: gender stereotypic (women depicted as homemakers), counter stereotypic (women represented as professionally employed individuals) and neutral (no reference to any gender identity). It was hypothesized that females in the stereotypic condition would be susceptible to stereotype threat effect and thus opt for problem solver over leadership role on a subsequent task, while females in the counter stereotypic condition were expected to choose leadership roles. ANOVA was employed to test for differences across the three conditions. The study also hypothesized mediation of the stereotype threat performance deficits by self-efficacy, evaluation apprehension, anxiety, role conflict, stereotype activation, father's and mother's education levels. Hierarchical multiple regression procedures as recommended by Baron and Kenny (1986) were conducted for mediational analysis. Data analysis provided partial support for the two hypotheses. In support of the stereotype threat theory, condition emerged as a significant variable influencing selection of role choice. In line with previous research, no evidence for mediation by any of the variables studied as potential mediators was found. However role conflict and evaluation apprehension may have functioned as suppressor variables that enhanced the variance in the condition-role choice relationship. The results of the study and their implications, in context of the Indian scenario, are discussed. Certain limitations are identified and suggestions made for future research.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Prasad, Ambika

Team-based support systems: Generating a testable support systems model and accompanying hypotheses.

Description: Scant research exists to illuminates the nature of organizational efforts, or support systems, designed to provide work teams with what is needed to be successful. The sample (N = 20) consists of experienced researchers and practitioners discussing work team implementations and the ongoing support needed for sustainability. The following seventeen team-based support systems were examined: (a) rewards and recognition, (b) team goal setting, (c) performance measurement, (d) performance appraisal, (e) team placement and structure, (f) communication and information systems, (g) culture, (h) training, (i) knowledge management, (j) business strategy, (k) leadership, (l) between teams integration, (m) resource distribution, (n) physical workspace, (o) program evaluation and renewal, (p) personnel selection system, and (q) work process design. This study uses a grounded theory approach to build a support system model and provide hypotheses for future research.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Turner, Jon T.

Viability of the job characteristics model in a team environment: Prediction of job satisfaction and potential moderators.

Description: Much of the history of management and motivation theory is rooted in the desire to understand the factors that contribute to having a satisfied workforce. Job satisfaction is the most widely studied construct in the history of industrial/organizational psychology. The job characteristics model (JCM) holds that if jobs are enriched with high levels of specific job characteristics (i.e., task significance, task variety, task identity, autonomy and feedback), employees will report higher levels of job satisfaction. While this claim enjoys wide support in studies conducted in traditional, hierarchically based organizational environments, few studies have tested the JCM in team based organizational designs. This study also evaluated possible moderating influences of growth need strength (GNS; the need for personal growth and development within the job environment) and emotional reactivity (a measure of frustration with perceived obstacles in the work environment). It was hypothesized that employees with higher levels of GNS would respond more positively (via higher job satisfaction ratings) to enriched jobs than would employees with lower levels of GNS. Alternatively, it was hypothesized that employees with lower levels of emotional reactivity would respond more positively (via higher job satisfaction ratings) to enriched jobs than would employees with higher levels of emotional reactivity. Results indicated that four job characteristics (task significance, task variety, task identity and feedback) served as significant positive predictors of job satisfaction, while GNS moderated the relationships between task significance and task variety with job satisfaction in a way that supported the research hypothesis. Emotional reactivity was not found to moderate any of the relationships between individual job characteristics and job satisfaction. Overall, results support the relevance of the JCM to team based organizations, providing support for the assertion that the relationship between enriched jobs and higher levels of job satisfaction persists across professional work contexts, as well as ...
Date: December 2006
Creator: Hunter, Philip Edward

Vicarious Learning: The Relationship Between Perceived Leader Behavior and Work Group Member Behavior

Description: The relationship between perceived leader behavior and work group behavior was examined. Archival survey data was used in the analyses. The company that developed the survey randomly selected 595 employees to complete the survey. Results suggest there is a strong and significant relationship between leader and subordinate behavior. Group members who report that their leader demonstrates a particular behavior also report that their work group demonstrates the same or similar behavior, suggesting that subordinates may be modeling the behavior of their leader. Leadership behaviors related to trust, availability, respect, conflict, and support seem to be the best predictors of work group behavior. Furthermore, whether or not group members have received team training appears to have an effect on their perceptions of their leader and work group. The challenge for leaders is to understand modeling principles so that they can facilitate the modeling of functional rather than dysfunctional behaviors.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Brown, Diem