Employees' Organizational Commitment and Their Perceptions of Supervisors' Relations-Oriented and Task-Oriented Leadership Behaviors

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Virginia Tech

The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between employees' perceptions of their immediate supervisors' relations-oriented and task-oriented leadership behaviors and different types of organizational commitment.

Bass & Avolio's (1995) Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ Form 5X) was used to measure relations-oriented and task-oriented leadership behaviors. Meyer & Allen's (1997) Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ) was used to measure organizational commitment.

Participants in the research included 361 employees who worked for the city of Charlottesville, Virginia. These employees were located in eight departments that varied in the area of technical functioning, size, and academic levels.

Factor analyses, with principal component extraction and varimax rotation, were performed to determine how the MLQ Form 5X items would load onto a 2-factor model of relations-oriented and task-oriented leadership behaviors. The task-oriented items of contingent reward loaded with the relations-oriented items, and the non-leadership items of laissez-faire loaded with the task-oriented items. These findings resulted in an arrangement of relations-oriented and task-oriented subscales that was different than the arrangement proposed by Bass & Avolio (1995).

Correlations for the MLQ Form 5X revealed multicollinearity among all the relations-oriented subscales and two of the task-oriented subscales, preventing any interpretations about the amount of variance that any particular type of relations-oriented or task-oriented leadership behavior might explain in organizational commitment. Factor scores were used to perform regressions and investigate the amount of variance relations-oriented leadership behaviors and task-oriented leadership behaviors explained in organizational commitment. Relations-oriented leadership behaviors explained the greatest amount of variance in affective commitment, somewhat less variance in normative commitment, and no variance in continuance commitment. The results for task-oriented leadership behaviors revealed the same pattern of relationships with the different types of organizational commitment, only weaker.

Commitment, Leadership, Task-Oriented, Relations-Oriented