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Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal) Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Leadership Style, Culture and Commitment: An
Analytical Study of University Libraries in Pakistan
Muhammad Raq Awan
University of Management and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan, email@example.com
Khalid Mahmood PhD
University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Haroon Idrees PhD
University of Sargodha, Sargodha, Pakistan, email@example.com
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Awan, Muhammad Raq; Mahmood, Khalid PhD; and Idrees, Haroon PhD, "Leadership Style, Culture and Commitment: An
Analytical Study of University Libraries in Pakistan" (2014). Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal). Paper 1053.
Leadership Style, Culture and Commitment: An Analytical Study of
University Libraries in Pakistan
Muhammad Rafiq Awan
Chief Library Officer
University of Management and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan
Dr. Khalid Mahmood
Professor of Library & Information Science
University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
Dr. Haroon Idrees
Assistant Professor of Library & Information Science
University of Sargodha, Sargodha, Pakistan
Keyword: Leadership Style, Public Sector University Libraries; Private Sector
University Libraries, Organizational Culture, Employee Commitment, Universities of Pakistan
This study aims to find relationship of leadership style of Chief Librarians, with
organizational culture and employee commitment in university libraries in Pakistan. Data for
the research were collected through a survey of public and private sector universities in Punjab
(province) and federal capital of Pakistan. The university libraries having more than three
library professionals were included in selected sample. The perception of Chief Librarians’
leadership style was taken from their subordinate professionals and its relationship was found
with the culture of organization and job commitment. 115 respondents’ data, collected through
structured questionnaire, based on t-test, Chi-square and ANOVA tests to find the relationship
among relevant variables has been presented in this paper. No significant relationship was
found between leadership style and organizational culture in public sector universities, while
private sector university libraries exhibit that there is significant relationship between leadership
style and organizational cultures in private sector universities. There is no relationship between
leadership style and employee commitment in public and private sector university libraries. A
significant relationship between organizational culture and employee commitment in was found
in both private and public sector universities.
Introduction & Theoretical Framework
Leaders are needed in all fields and at all levels to give their best (Adair, 2003). Leaders
possess certain qualities which distinguish them from non-leaders. They utilize their potential,
skill set, and influences to motivate and inspire the followers and help them thrive for the
attainment of organizational objectives. Leaders do so by exercising authority, enforcement of
rules, participation, maneuvering the situation and by effectively organizing team efforts.
Leaders create culture where people put their efforts for goal attainment for the organizational
success. Leaders have commitment with the organizational goals and sincerity with followers,
which in response, inspire the people and enhance commitment with the leader and organization.
Total leaders establish their personal examples. Hence, people are discussing the issue of future
leadership, whose main focus would not be the merits of public or private sector but the scarcity
of moral leadership in today's society (Donkin, 2004).
“Leadership is a process of interaction between leaders and followers where the leader
attempts to influence followers to achieve a common goal.” (Northouse, 2010; Yukl, 2005).
Avolio, et al. (1999) found following leadership styles through Multifactor Leadership
a. Charisma/Inspirational. Providing followers with a clear sense of purpose,
b. Intellectual Stimulation. Encouraging followers to question for problem solving,
c. Individualized Consideration. Understanding the needs of each follower
d. Contingent Reward. Expectations from followers and how they are rewarded in
e. Active Management-By-Exception. Monitoring the tasks closely to maintain
f. Passive-Avoidant Leadership. React only after arising serious problems & take
Burns (1978) and Bass (1985) developed leadership style model, which includes:
a. Transformational Leadership: in which, the leader inspires and motivate its
followers for task achievement
b. Transactional Leadership: in which, the leader rewards on goal achieve and punish
The leadership styles considered in this study are: Autocratic, Democratic, and Laissez-fair
that have been given by Kurt and Lewin in their study for leadership styles at University of Iowa
Autocratic Leader: dominates team-members, using unilateralism to achieve an objective
Participative Leader: democratic leader makes decisions by consulting his team
Laissez-faire Leader: laissez-faire leader exercises little control over his group
Leadership Style in Public and Private Sector
Leadership style is the behavior pattern used by a leader to resolve the organizational issues
(Lewin, LIippit, & White, 1939). Leadership style of principals of private and public sector is more
tasks oriented and less people oriented (Waqar and Siddiqui, 2010).
To differentiate the leadership style of public and private sector, Hudson (2009) used its
Business Attitudes Questionnaire (BAQ) to analyze the personality characteristics of 1,185
senior leaders in Europe. Among these leaders, 485 were selected from private and 700 from
public sector. The results were compared to over 64000 people all over the globe. His key
findings were as follows:
• Public sector leaders are long term strategy oriented.
• Private sector leaders desire quick results.
• Public sector leaders believe in control and command.
• Private sector leaders trust their subordinates.
• Public sector leaders are less optimistic and they go behind thoughtful approach.
• Women leaders in public sector are out spoken.
• Young leaders in private sector avail more opportunities for personal development.
Further results of research show that the nature of public sector organizations is
comparatively complex and these results are equally applicable for global leadership. Major
findings of this study includes that private sector leadership style is not the benchmark for public
sector. It varies from organization to organization and certain factors will determine particular
traits. It was further suggested that mutual exchange of leaders may extremely be useful for both
the sectors, especially for learning point of view.
“One can not list a few truly great people and names like Winston Churchill,
Emily Pankhurst, Florence Nightingale and Nelson Mandela are likely to be
mentioned. The names of outstanding company Chief Executives and Chairmen
are less likely be included. This illustrates a crucial difference between the effects
of the quality of leadership in the public sector compared to the private sector.
Many excellent commercial business leaders have made wonderful contributions
not only to their company, but also to the health of the economy and the well-
being of each one of us” (O’Breien, 2004).
Voon, Ngui, & Ayob stated that style of leaders can be the basis of organizational success
because the target achievement can only be made by taking up suitable leadership style which
affects the job satisfaction, commitment and productivity in the public sector.
Guyot (1962) conducted a study about the difference in the motivational level of private
and public sector leaders. He states that motivational factors in public sector are very few as
compared with public sector.
According to Brooks (2007) “leaders do not often evidence the current skill sets that are
required of them and this is more acute in the public sector”.
Kim (2005) says public sector employees have certain positive attributes which contribute to
organizational performance; however, individual-level factors may affect organizational
The effective public sector leaders always depend upon transformational leadership
behavior while leaders have both transformational and transactional leadership styles (Rukmani,
Ramesh & Jayakrishnan, 2010).
As per the views of Boyne (2002), public sector organizations are said to be more
bureaucratic which means a clear division of responsibility and hence more role clarity for
employees as well as managers
Venkatapathy (1990) concluded that Public sector organizations are considered to be
more cautious, rigid and less innovative due to its organizational design, strictness to rules and
Bodla & Nawaz (2010) revealed in their study that in the public sector universities’
dominant leadership style is transactional and they use rewards as motivational factor to the
subordinates. Hence, researchers seemed doubtful about the presence of proper reward system in
the public sector universities
Leadership Style in Private Sector
There are certain reasons which show that the private sector does not infect or lose its
customers while the public sector does (Wood, 2008). A study by Zhu (2007) revealed that
organizational culture and transactional or transformational leadership styles have impact on
employee receptivity. A research by Hansen and Villadsen (2010) shows that leaders in private sector
are more inclined towards directive style.
The leadership style in the private sector in Turkish business organizations, dug out by
Ozmen, (2005) as per perception of employees about their managers is more inclined towards
task orientation rather than people orientation.
According to the findings of Chaudhry and Javed (2012) “transformational leadership has
positive, strong and significant association with the Commitment. But the motivational level in
respect of Laissez Faire is low because of no interference of management”.
Leadership Style, Organizational Culture and Job Commitment
The phenomenon of culture and leadership is complex one to study. Due to multifarious
linkages among the postulates of both phenomena; it is, however, difficult to recognize the mutual
effects. Hofsted (2001) narrates that for the ultimate interpretation and adaptation of organizational
culture, it is a prerequisite to understand local traditions, management practices and human resource
development. In this context, in order to carry out study, it is imperative to know the subject
framework for better understanding of relevant areas.
Commitment is feeling of emotional attachment with something or someone. This attachment
might be mental or intellectual with a person, group or with organization (Eisenberger et al., 2001).
It has also been defined as “loyalty, identification, and involvement with some appropriate object”
(Buchanan, 1974). In an organizational setting, such loyalty involves feelings of attachment, which
develops as individuals share values in common with other members of the group.
Survey method is opted when the purpose is to find descriptive relationship among the
variables in phenomena. It is beneficial when non experimental data about an occurrence is
needed to collect through structured questionnaire and it would be difficult to find observable
facts directly from the population (McIntyre, 1999). This method is being widely used in library
and information Science research. There may be plenty of research topics in librarianship for
which survey research can be used, e.g. when a researcher desires to work in the areas of user
satisfaction, services quality, reading habits, information seeking behavior and library
According to Busha and Harter (1980) survey research can be used in Cross-Sectional
Surveys, Longitudinal Surveys, Trend Studies, Cohort Studies and Panel Studies.
The purpose of study was to identify the relationship among leadership style of chief
librarians as perceived by their professional staff and their perception about organizational
culture and level of commitment in the university libraries of public and private sector.
The sample of 115 university libraries was taken including private and public sector
university libraries. It was taken into consideration that only those libraries would be the part of
sample where at least three library professionals were working. Among the selected sample, 84
libraries were from public sector universities, while 27 libraries were from private sector
A structured questionnaire was distributed and collected personally from the
respondents.Instrument was comprised of four parts. Part I of the instrument was comprised of
demographic information of the respondents, in the part II leadership style of chief librarians was
indentified through T- P Leadership Questionnaire, through part III instrument organizational
culture of libraries was found by using questions adapted from Rowe and Mason (1987) and in
part IV employee commitment was judged by using questions about level of commitment of
library professionals at Likert Scale.
All the scores were calculated through prescribed formulas. Statistical analysis was done
by using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Various tests were used as per need for
testing the hypothesis.
Basic features of data can be described through descriptive statistics. It provides the simple and
easy understanding about sample and calculations. Tables and graphical representation of data
can be easily done through this statistic. It helps the researchers to present the quantitative
descriptions in a manageable form. T-test, Chi-square and ANOVA were applied for analysis
Data Analysis and Discussion
Respondents from Public and Private Sector Universities
After the emergence of Pakistan only public sector was having the monopoly of
providing higher education, resulting the presence of university libraries in the same sector. In
the past two decades private sector has been emerged swiftly. The table I shows the
representation of respondents from public and private sector university libraries. Seventy three
percent of the respondents were serving the public sector universities and 27 percent belonged to
private sector university libraries. The data shows that the majority of library professionals are
still attached to the public sector universities. It is evident that large libraries are still attached
with public sector universities.
Table I. Ratio of respondents from public and private sector universities
Sector Frequency Percent
Public Sector Universities
Private Sector Universities
The current decade has experienced a rapid increase in the private sector education. Many
private sector universities and institutes of higher education have been given the charter.
However, the dominant proportion of library professionals is still in the public sector
universities. Other factor behind this thinking is that the private sector universities normally did
not prefer to develop their libraries due to their poor physical infrastructure, financial stability
and research culture. In spite of very attractive salaries in private sector library professionals still
prefer public sector universities. Job stability might be the other factor for sticking with public
Organizational Design of University Libraries
From the results that have been shown in the table II, we can conclude that very high
percentage (82%) of designation of respondents is assistant librarians and librarians. It means
that a good organizational design has yet to be evolved in university libraries which formally
create system of task and authority to control activities for achievement of organizational goals.
Middle management layers and frontline management layers are absent in the most of the
university libraries’ organizational design. Jones (2001) says that “organizational design has
important implication for an organization’s ability to deal with contingencies, achieve a
competitive advantage, effectively manage diversity, and increase its efficiency and ability to
innovate new goods and services.” The organizational design which is being represented from
the results shows that university libraries are flat organizations. There is no smooth promotion of
library professionals, command and control mechanism and standard operating procedures
within the organizations of university libraries. Organizational design theorists agreed that flat
organization becomes lethargic with the passage of time. People become de-motivated and
careless because they find no route for personal and professional development.
Table II. Designation of the respondents
Assistant Librarian 49 43
Cataloguer / Classifier 3 3
Depository Librarian 1 1
Deputy Chief Librarian 3 3
Deputy Librarian 2 2
Junior Cataloguer / Classifier
Librarian 45 39
Library Officer 1 1
Manager (IRC) 1 1
Senior Librarian 5 4
Serials Librarian 1 1
Relationship between Leadership Style and Organizational Culture in Public Sector
One of the null hypotheses of this study was that ‘There is no relationship between the
leadership style and organizational culture on the basis of public and private sector universities.’
This relationship was calculated in a contingency table by applying Chi-square test. The results
of the test have been shown in table III. The analysis explores that as per perception of the
respondents, libraries whose chief librarians were having autocratic leadership style, exhibit
comparatively high value of achievement culture (32 out of 78 respondents), the value of
bureaucratic culture is at the second in rank (18 out of 78), clan culture is at the third position (16
out of 78 respondents) and adaptability culture is at the fourth position. The ratio of Laisses-fair
leadership style and its relation in public sector university libraries is very low, 3 respondents
perceiving Laisses-fair leadership in their chief librarians considered that their libraries exhibit
achievement culture, one respondent felt that the library shows bureaucratic culture and 1
favored clan culture and none of the five respondents considered adaptability culture in their
libraries in public sector. The 0.755 alpha value is higher than 0.05 acceptable value and chi-
square value is 1.19 at 3 degree of freedom. On the basis of the results null hypothesis which
stated that there is no relationship in the leadership style and organizational culture in public
sector universities can be accepted.
Table III. Cross tabulation of leadership style and organizational culture in public university
Autocratic 32 18 12 16
Laisses-Fair 3 1 0 1
Pearson Chi-Square = 1.19, df = 3, Sig. = 0.755
Relationship between Leadership Style and Organizational Culture in Private Sector
The number of respondents from private sector universities was 31 out of 115. According
to the hypothesis of this study, there is difference in the relationship among leadership style and
organizational culture in private sector. To check the hypothesis cross tab was used along with
chi-square test to see the relationship among these variables. The results of test revealed that the
respondents who supposed that their chief librarians had autocratic leadership also alleged that
their libraries show signs of achievement culture. This figure (15 out of total 28) is the highest
score, seven respondents felt that their libraries had bureaucratic culture under autocratic
leadership style of chief librarian, one respondent favored adaptability culture and five
considered clan culture under the autocratic style of their respective chiefs. As far as the score of
Laisses-fair leadership of chief librarians is concerned in the private sector university libraries,
only 3 respondents seemed to demonstrate clan culture in their libraries but none of them favored
other three cultures. It is interesting to note that the result of chi-square shows a significant
relationship in the leadership style and organizational culture among the private sector university
libraries. The chi-square value is 9.54 at 3 degrees of freedom and the 0.023 alpha is highly
significant. This revealed the fact that private sector library professionals considered that there
must be better organizational culture in the working environment. Our null hypothesis which
claims that there is no such relationship has been rejected.
Table IV. Cross tabulation of leadership style and organizational culture in private universities
Culture Clan Culture
Autocratic 15 7 1 5
Laisses-Fair 0 0 0 3
Pearson Chi-Square = 9.549, df = 3, Sig. = 0.023
Relationship between Leadership Style and Employee Commitment in Public Sector
To see the significant relationship between the means of employee commitment and two
groups of leadership style among the public sector universities the independent t-test was
applied. The result reveals the mean scores as autocratic = 3.69 and Laisses-fair = 3.54. The
mean difference among the variables was 0.149, the alpha value 0.735 and the value of t = 0.587.
Table V. Cross tabulation of leadership style and employee commitment in public sector
Leadership Style Mean Std. Deviation
Autocratic 3.69 0.55
Laisses-Fair 3.54 0.63
F = 0.115, t = .587, Sig. = 0.735
The data in table V shows that there is no significant relationship in the leadership style
and employee commitment on the basis of leadership style in the public sector libraries.
Therefore, the null hypothesis is accepted, which indicates that professionals feel equally
committed under both leadership styles.
Relationship between Leadership Style and Employee Commitment in Private Sector
As per the null hypothesis there is no relationship in employee commitment and
leadership style in private sector universities. By applying the above test in the same manner the
values are presented in the table 4.20. The mean of autocratic leadership is 3.69 and laisses-fair
is 3.53, F ratio = 0.031 at significance level of 0.860 and the value of t = 0.461 and the mean
difference = 0.159. The results of the test (table VI) show that there is no significant relationship
between the leadership style and employee commitment on the basis of autocratic and laisses-fair
leadership styles in the private sector libraries.
Table VI. Cross tabulation of leadership style and employee commitment in private sector
F = .031, t = .461, Sig. = 0.860
Relationship between Employee Commitment and Organizational Culture in Public Sector
For testing the null hypothesis, i.e., ‘there is no relationship between employee
commitment and various culture types in the public sector universities’ ANOVA was used. The
results in table VII show that the mean scores of employee commitment in achievement,
bureaucratic, adaptability and clan cultures are 3.78, 3.44, 3.54 and 3.85 respectively. The value
of F is 2.52 and alpha is 0.064 which is not statistically significant at p= 0.05.
Table VII. ANOVA table for the responses of employee commitment by organizational culture in
public sector university libraries
Type of Organizational Culture Mean
Achievement Culture 3.78
Bureaucratic Culture 3.44
Adaptability Culture 3.54
Clan Culture 3.85
F = 2.52, df = 3, Sig = 0.064
Employee commitment is another factor which is given attention for efficiency and
performance in the public sector. So, multiple factors beyond the conventional employee
commitment help to explain various motivational bases among employees (Lee, 2004). It has
been proved in many researches that there is relationship in organizational culture and employee
commitment even in the public sector. As far as the case of university libraries is concerned, we
find no significant relationship in this regard. The results (table VII), however, show that it is
near to statistical significance.
Relationship between Employee Commitment and Organizational Culture in Private
To test this relationship in private sector universities, the analysis of variance in four
types of organizational cultures was used. The results in table VIII show the values of ANOVA.
The mean of achievement culture is 3.70, bureaucratic culture is 3.57, adaptability culture is 3.00
and clan culture is 3.82 while F is 0.717 and alpha is 0.551. These values show that there is no
significant relationship between the two variables.
Table VIII. ANOVA table for the responses of employee commitment by organizational culture in
private sector university libraries
Organizational Culture Mean Std. Deviation
Achievement Culture 3.70 0.61
Bureaucratic Culture 3.57 0.62
Adaptability Culture 3.00
Clan Culture 3.82 0.41
F = 0.717, df = 3, Sig = 0.551
Difference in Leadership Style Organizational Culture and Job Commitment in Public and
Private Sector University Libraries
It is generally considered that management and leadership style in public and private
sector varies largely. Public sector is more authoritative and bureaucratic as compared to private
sector. The results (table III) show that leadership style and organizational culture have no
relationship in public sector universities. However, lassies-fair leadership style somehow exists
in public sector university libraries having little ratio of achievement culture. While strong ratio
of autocratic leadership and presence of achievement and bureaucratic culture is also found in
public sector university libraries. Results also show that a reasonable ratio of achievement and
clan cultures also exists under authoritative library leaders in public sector university libraries.
Public sector libraries showed no relationship in leadership style and organizational culture and
employee commitment. So our hypotheses related to public sector university libraries have been
The growing higher education in private sector is having poor library infrastructure. Most
of the library leaders in private sector have been previously serving public sector university
libraries. So the characteristics of public sector seem dominant in private sector university
libraries. However, the organizational culture is quite different in public sector university
libraries. There is significant relationship in public and private sector university libraries. The
dominant culture of private sector university libraries is achievement culture with some ratio of
bureaucratic and clan cultures. The results (table VIII) reveal no significant relationship between
organizational culture and employee commitment in private sector university libraries. It is
however, evident that private sector university libraries showed significant relationship between
leadership style and organizational culture, but this relationship could not be traced in other two
This study concludes the following facts:
1- There is no relationship between leadership style and organizational culture in public
2- There is significant relationship between leadership style and organizational cultures
in private sector universities. Most of the private sector universities have been
established by the corporate sector chief executives and they have introduced
corporate culture in their academic organizations. So people consider the leadership
style and organizational culture accordingly.
3- There is no relationship between leadership style and employee commitment in public
and private sector university libraries.
4- There is no significant relationship between organizational culture and employee
commitment in public and private sector universities.
5- One of the considerable points in the results is that none of the chief librarians in
public and private sector is having participative leadership style which shows that
majority of chief librarians are autocrats and very few fall in Laisses-Fair category.
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