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Low compensation in the retail sector is adversely affecting employee satisfaction and turnover. Leadership style is important for motivating employees and increasing their satisfaction level. This study has examined the effect of transformational and transactional leadership styles on job satisfaction in selected retail outlets of Slough, United Kingdom. The adapted questionnaire was administered to the employees of the retail outlets. The sample size was 270 and the response rate was 85%. The study found that transformational leadership style has a positive effect on job satisfaction, whereas transactional leadership style has an insignificant effect on job satisfaction. Therefore, it can be argued that the transformational leadership style is more effective in the retail sector of Slough, United Kingdom .
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Research
Market Forces
College of Management Sciences
Vol. XIII, Issue. 1
June 2018
1
Abstract
Low compensation in the retail sector is adversely a ecting employee satisfaction and
turnover. Leadership style is important for motivating employees and increasing their satis-
faction level. This study has examined the e ect of transformational and transactional lead-
ership styles on job satisfaction in selected retail outlets of Slough, United Kingdom. The
adapted questionnaire was administered to the employees of the retail outlets. The sample
size was 270 and the response rate was 85%. The study found that transformational lead-
ership style has a positive e ect on job satisfaction, whereas transactional leadership style
has an insigni cant e ect on job satisfaction. Therefore, it can be argued that the transfor-
mational leadership style is more e ective in the retail sector of Slough, United Kingdom .
Keywords: Transformational leadership; transactional leadership; job satisfaction.
Saima Asghar1
University of Wales Trinity Saint David, United Kingdom
Isaiah Oino
University of Wales Trinity Saint David, United Kingdom
Leadership Styles and Job
Satisfaction
Introduction
The retail industry is rapidly evolving all over the world. An e ective hiring process, training
strategies, retention of employees along with e ective leadership style is essential for an
organization (Chaudhuri, 2015). Leadership theories emphasize on improving relationships
between leaders and employees. In comparison to other leadership styles, transformational
leadership is more e ective in increasing employee commitment, performance and job
satisfaction (Banks, McCauley, Gardner & Guler, 2016).
Employees in the retail sector have long working hours and low compensation as
compared to other sectors. This is causing low employee satisfaction and high turnover
(Haque et al., 2015). Thus, an e ective leadership style is necessary for improving
organizational performance (Haque et al., 2015). This paper examines the in uence of two
leadership styles (i.e. transformational and transactional leadership) on job satisfaction of
the employees working in retail outlets of the United Kingdom.
1Corresponding author: Saima Asghar; Email: diyyakhan@yahoo.co.uk
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Vol. XIII, Issue. 1
June 2018
Literature Review
Leadership is critical for organizational success (Bryant, 2003). Leadership styles vary
between industries and organizations (Zahari & Shurbagi, 2012). Leadership styles also vary
from situation to situation (Lok and Crawford, 2004). Most leaders adapt their leadership
style in accordance with the demand and working environment of an organization (Zahari
& Shurbagi, 2012). The two prominent leadership styles are discussed in the next section.
Transformational Leadership
Transformational leader are a source of inspiration and vision for subordinates and
bringing change in an organization (Burns, 1978; Weber, 2009). Past research suggests that
this leadership style enhances organizational performance, motivation and employees
morale in an organization (Weber, 2009).
This study has measured transformational leadership style based on the “Four I’s”
developed by Bass and Riggio (2006). The discussion on the four dimensions related
to transformational leadership styles follows. The inspirational motivation dimension
suggests that transformational leaders motivate and inspire their subordinates to complete
challenging assignments by sharing their vision and strategies with employees (Bass &
Riggio, 2006). The idealized in uence dimension suggests that transformational leaders
in uence their subordinates by being role models (Bass & Riggio, 2006; Weber, 2009). The
intellectual stimulation dimension implies that transformational leaders intellectually
stimulate employees to solve challenging problems in a creative manner. Moreover, the
individual consideration dimension implies that transformational leaders act as mentors
and facilitators for subordinates (Bass & Riggio, 2006).
Transactional Leadership
Transactional leaders motivate their subordinates through an exchange process.
Subordinates that accomplish their job requirements are rewarded while others are
punished. Therefore, transactional leaders focus on motivating employees through the
punishment and reward mechanism.
Past studies have concluded that employees tend to endure the transactional leadership
style for a short duration due to the reward and punishment aspects associated with it
(Naidu & Van der Walt, 2005; Saleem, 2015). This study has measured the transactional
leadership style based on contingent rewards, management by exception and laissez-
faire leadership. The contingent rewards dimension implies that transactional leaders set
targets for their subordinates and reward them for achieved goals (Judge & Piccolo, 2004).
In management by exception, transaction leaders evaluate employees on the basis of
achieved and expected goals (Judge & Piccolo, 2004). Moreover, the laissez-faire leadership
dimension suggests that transactional leaders delegate powers to their employees and
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only intervene if required.
Job Satisfaction
Job satisfaction refers to the pleasure derived while doing a job. Supervisors face a major
challenge in ensuring that their subordinates are satis ed with their jobs. A satis ed worker
is more e cient and e ective in an organization (Haque & Aston, 2016; Haque et al., 2015).
Subordinates will be more satis ed if they are treated well (Aziri, 2011; Haque, Faizan &
Cockrill, 2017). Individuals’ job satisfaction level is visible from their attitude towards their
work. Highly satis ed employees have a positive and favorable attitude towards their work
while unsatis ed workers have a negative attitude towards their job (Armstrong, 2006).
Retail Sector
An e ective transformational leadership style is important for smooth store operations.
The retail sector gives preference to managers with such leadership qualities (Brown et
al., 2016). Transformational leaders have con dence and are trusted by employees. This
leads to high productivity and performance (Carless & De Paola, 2000). Retail operations
are complex and highly demanding which requires managers with e ective leadership
qualities (Barling, Loughlin, & Kelloway, 2002).
Research Framework
Based on previous discussion a conceptual framework has been developed which is
depicted in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Research Framework
Transformational
Leadership
Transactional
Leadership
Job
H1
H2
Satisfaction
Transformational Leadership and Job Satisfaction
Prior studies indicate that job satisfaction signi cantly depends on the leadership
style (Barling et al., 2002). Flexible organizations have a participative management style
with an interactive environment and a satis ed workforce (Gong, Huang, & Farh, 2009).
The transformational leadership style is highly e ective in enhancing job satisfaction (Lok
& Crawford, 2004; Medley & Larochelle, 1995). Research indicates that transformational
leadership also improves employee perception and commitment towards the organization
(Ojokuku, Odetayo, & Sajuyigbe, 2012; Barling, Weber, & Kelloway, 1996).
It has been argued that both transactional and transformational leadership e ect the
satisfaction level of employees (Lok & Crawford, 2004). However, transformational leadership
has a greater impact on job satisfaction as compared to transactional leadership (Awamleh
& Al-Dmour, 2004).
Prior research has concluded that transformational leaders believe in empowering
employees which enhances their motivation and satisfaction level (Herman & Chiu, 2014;
Top, Akdere, & Tarcan, 2015).
H1: Transformational leadership is positively associated with job satisfaction.
Transactional Leadership and Job Satisfaction
The transactional leadership style involves rewards and punishments. The transactional
leader rewards workers that have achieved the desired targets (Saleem, 2015). On the
contrary, workers that under perform are punished. Rewards can be in the form of promotion
and salary increments. Punishments may be in the form of termination and a cut in salary
increments (Jansen, Vera, & Crossan, 2009). Past research has argued that this leadership
style may not be e ective in all situations (Bryant, 2003). Under transactional leadership,
employee motivation depends on transactions (i.e. rewards and punishments). Therefore,
transactional leadership will adversely a ect performance and satisfaction in the long run
(Hartog, Muijen, & Koopman, 1997; Hater & Bass, 1988).
Some studies have argued that neither transactional nor transformational leadership
styles are capable of improving employee motivation and satisfaction level. Epitropaki &
Martin (2005b) suggests that employees prefer the inspiration and consideration aspects
of transformational leadership. Moreover, employees also favor the contingent rewards
aspect of transactional leadership. On the contrary, some studies have found that both the
leadership styles positively a ect employees job and career satisfaction (Jansen, Vera, &
Crossan, 2009). Epitropaki & Martin (2005a) found that e ectiveness of transactional and
transformational leadership styles vary from one situation and industry to another.
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Vol. XIII, Issue. 1
June 2018
Prior studies have found that transactional leadership tends to be more e ective in the
short term as compared to the long term (Medley & Larochelle, 1995). Moreover, individual
consideration (a trait of transformational leadership) has a similar e ect. Leaders who are
more considerate tend to enhance employee performance in the short term (Epitropaki &
Martin, 2005b).
H2: Transactional leadership positively in uences job satisfaction.
Research Methodology
This study has adopted a quantitative research approach and a positivist stance.
The primary data was collected through an adapted questionnaire distributed among
employees working in the retail sector of Slough, United Kingdom. The valid sample size
was 270 and the non-response rate was 15%.
Instrument development
The questionnaire for this study was adapted from Bass & Riggio (2006). The questionnaire
contains 10 items related to transformational leadership, seven items related to transactional
leadership and three items related to job satisfaction. The constructs and items used in the
questionnaire are attached in Appendix 1.
Results
Respondents Pro le
Table 1 contains the age, marital status, gender, education, ethnicity and job level of the
respondents.
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Table 1: Respondents Pro le
Variable Number Percentage (%)
18 to 24 Years 50 19
25 to 34 Years 70 26
Age 35 to 44 Years 90 33
45 to 54 Years 50 19
55 Years or older 10 4
Single 150 55
Marital Status Married 110 41
Did not Responded 10 4
Gender Male 100 37
Female 170 63
Below High School 40 15
Education High School 180 66
Bachelor 40 15
Master 10 4
White/European 110 41
Ethnicity Asian 120 45
Black 20 7
Prefer not to answer 20 7
Team Leaders 30 11
Job level Managers 20 7
Cashiers 130 49
Others 90 33
Descriptive Analysis
Skewness and kurtosis analyses were used to analyze univariate normality. In addition,
Cronbach’s alpha values measure the internal consistency of the adapted constructs.
In addition, correlation analysis was used to measure the distinctiveness of the adapted
constructs. The summary of results is presented in Table 2.
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Table 2: Descriptive Analysis
Mean Standard Cronbach 1 2 3
Deviation Alpha
Transformational. L(1) 4.251 1.090 .83 1
Transactional. L (2) 4.100 1.030 .74 -.27 1
Job Satisfaction (3) 3.950 1.220 .75 .86 -.89 1
Table 2 shows that transformational leadership (Mean= 4.251, SD= 1.09, SK=-1.10) has
the highest Skewness followed by transactional leadership (Mean= 4.10, SD= 1.03, SK=-
1.01) and job satisfaction (Mean = 3.95, SD=1.22, SK=-0.99). Similarly, job satisfaction has
the highest Kurtosis (Mean = 3.95, SD=1.22, KT=-1.09) followed by transactional leadership
(Mean= 4.10, SD= 1.03, KT=-1.05) and transformational leadership (Mean = 4.25, SD=1.09,
KT=0.78). Since all the values of Skewness and Kurtosis ranged between ± 3.5, therefore, the
adapted constructs ful ll the requirements of univariate normality (Mardia, 1970).
The Cronbach’s alpha of transformational leadership (α=0.83, Mean= 4.251, SD= 1.09) is
the highest followed by job satisfaction (α=0.75, Mean = 3.95, SD=1.22) and transactional
leadership (α=0.74, Mean= 4.10, SD= 1.03). Since these values are greater than 0.70,
therefore, they have acceptable internal consistency (Coakes & Steed, 2009).
The highest correlation coe cient is -0.89 between transactional leadership (Mean=
4.10, SD= 1.03) and job satisfaction (Mean = 3.95, SD=1.22). Moreover, the lowest
correlation coe cient is between transformational leadership (Mean= 4.251, SD= 1.09) and
transactional leadership (Mean = 4.10, SD=1.030) is -0.27. The correlation values suggest
that the adapted constructs are unique and distinct (Coakes & Steed, 2009).
Multiple Regression Analysis
Multiple regression analysis was used to estimate the model. The summarized results are
presented in Table 3.
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Table 3: Multiple Regression Results
Unstandardized Standardized
Coe cients Coe cients
Model B Std.Error Beta T Sig
Constant 0.580 1.474 0.393 0.698
Transformational Lead 0.267 0.024 0.911 10.990 0.00
Transactional Lead 0.030 0.059 0.043 0.519 0.608
Dependent Variable: Job Satisfaction, R2= .835, Adjusted R2=.821, F = 60.770, p< 0.05.
The results suggest that the predictor variables (i.e. transactional and transformational
leadership) explain 82.1% of the variance in job satisfaction. Moreover, the adjusted R2=.821,
F = 60.770, p<0.05. While transformational leadership (ß = .991, p<.05) has a positive and
statistically signi cant impact on job satisfaction, the coe cient of transactional leadership
was insigni cant (ß = .043, p>.05).
Discussion
The following sections contain the discussion of results and their relevance to the
previous literature.
Transformational Leadership and Job Satisfaction
The  rst hypothesis states that transformational leadership positively e ects job
satisfaction. The regression results suggest that the hypothesis was accepted (refer to
Table 3). The  nding is consistent with the previous literature. The inspirational motivation
dimension of transformational leadership suggests that transformational leaders motivate
and inspire their subordinates to complete challenging assignments by sharing their vision
and strategies with employees (Bass & Riggio, 2006). The idealized in uence dimension
of transformational leadership suggests that transformational leaders in uence their
subordinates by being role models (Bass & Riggio, 2006; Weber, 2009). The intellectual
stimulation dimension of transformation leadership implies that transformational leaders
intellectually stimulate employees to solve challenging problems in a creative manner.
Moreover, the individual consideration dimension implies that transformational leaders act
as mentors and facilitators for subordinates (Bass & Riggio, 2006).
Transactional Leadership and Job satisfaction
The second hypothesis states that transactional leadership positively e ects job
satisfaction. The regression results suggest that the hypothesis was not accepted (refer
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to Table 3). Past research has argued that this leadership style may not be e ective in all
situations (Bryant, 2003). Under transactional leadership, employees motivation depend
on transactions (i.e. rewards and punishments). Therefore, transactional leadership will
adversely a ects employee performance and satisfaction in the long run (Hartog, Muijen, &
Koopman, 1997; Hater & Bass, 1988).
Some studies have argued that neither transactional nor transformational leadership
style is capable of improving employee motivation and satisfaction level. Epitropaki &
Martin (2005b) suggests that employees prefer the inspiration and consideration aspects
of transformational leadership. Moreover, employees also favor the contingent rewards
aspect of transactional leadership. On the contrary, some studies have found that both the
leadership styles positively a ect employees job and career satisfaction (Jansen, Vera, &
Crossan, 2009). Epitropaki & Martin (2005a) found that e ectiveness of transactional and
transformational leadership styles vary from one situation and industry to another.
Prior studies have found that transactional leadership tends to be more e ective in the
short term as compared to the long term (Medley & Larochelle, 1995). Moreover, individual
consideration (a trait of transformational leadership) has a similar e ect. Leaders who are
more considerate tend to enhance employees performance in the short term (Epitropaki &
Martin, 2005b).
Conclusion
This study has measured the e ect of transformational and transactional leadership
style on job satisfaction in selected retail outlets of Slough, United Kingdom. We found
that transformational leadership positively e ects employees job satisfaction. In addition,
it was also found that the transactional leadership style has an insigni cant e ect on job
satisfaction. Thus, it was concluded that transformational leaders are more e ective in
the retail sector of Slough, United Kingdom. The study has several limitations. It has only
examined a few retail outlets. Future studies may be based on other cities in the United
Kingdom. While we have not measured the in uence of leadership styles on the level of
management future studies may examine the same. In addition, future research may also
explore how sub-dimensions of leadership e ect job satisfaction.
Appendix 1: Constructs and Items used in the Questionnaire
Transformational Leadership
Inspirational motivation (2 Items)
1. My manager encourages employees to become good team players.
2. My manager has clear understanding and inspires with his/her future plans
Idealized in uence (3 Items)
1. My manager leads by example.
2. My manager talks about his values and beliefs.
3. My manager is a facilitator.
Intellectual stimulation (2 Items)
1. My manager has stimulated me to look at things in new ways.
2. My manager thinks about old problems in new ways.
Individual consideration (3 Items)
1. My manager considers my personal feelings.
2. My manager communicates freely.
3. My manager is aware and pays attention to my needs and concerns.
Transactional Leadership
Contingent reward (3 Items)
1. My manager tells us what to do if we want to be rewarded for our work.
2. My manager gives me special recognition at my good performance.
3. My manager is a teacher.
Management by exception (2 Items)
1. My manager expects best performance and will not settle for second best.
2. My manager tells us the standards we need to know to carry out our work.
Laissez-faire leadership (2 Items)
1. My manager does not care much what others do unless the work is absolutely essential
2. My manager does not challenge status quo.
Job Satisfaction (3 Items)
1. Considering everything, I am satis ed with my job.
2. I am happy with the opportunity to get a better job in this company.
3. I am happy to recommend job to my friends or family.
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... Employee job satisfaction seems to be enhanced by transformational leadership. (Albagawi, 2019;Asghar & Oino, 2018;Barnett, 2018;Budiasih et al., 2020;Kebede & Demeke, 2017;Musinguzi et al., 2018;Mwesigwa, Tusiime & Ssekiziyivu, 2020). Prior studies found that transformation leadership in retail outlets in the UK helps stimulate staff to solve challenging problems creatively, thus developing positive relationships toward job satisfaction (Asghar & Oino, 2018). ...
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