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Relationship between a situational construct, organizational culture, and transformational and transactional leadership

Waldner, Christine Louann
Scope and Method of Study: This research project was a study of the leadership behaviors of selected leaders within an agricultural business and the organizational cultures of the branch offices they manage. The purpose was to explore the relationship between leadership and a situational construct, organizational culture. Specifically, it was designed to examine the relationship between transformational and transactional leadership behaviors and four organizational culture constructs. Descriptive statistics and correlation analysis were used to order the data and explore the relationships between four organizational culture constructs and factors of transformational leadership, transactional leadership and passive/avoidant behaviors. Leadership behaviors were assessed by self and other raters with fifty-one total responses used to determine the leadership behaviors of the eight focal leaders at the eight branch offices. Thirty-five out of forty individuals responded to the organizational culture assessment instrument.
Findings and Conclusions: The leaders in the study exhibited slightly higher transformational than transactional leadership scores. Hierarchy and clan were the two predominant organizational cultures. There was an expected positive relationship between the clan culture and transformational leadership. Contrary to other research, the adhocracy culture in this study was negatively correlated with transformational factors. In agreement with suppositions made by Bass (1990), the clan culture appears to provide more potential for transformational leadership. Idealized Influence and Individual Consideration are the specific components most highly correlated with the clan culture. Attention to those components of a leader's behavior could be helpful in training leaders to create a clan culture. The results also are consistent with reports that average self-ratings tend to be higher than others' ratings (Harris & Schaubroeck, 1988) and lend credibility to the recommendation that researchers and practitioners need to use multiple raters to evaluate leadership behaviors. There was a negative relationship between market culture and transactional leadership components and a positive relationship between passive/ avoidant leadership and both the adhocracy and market cultures in this study. More research is needed to explore why the results of this study are contrary to other research findings. It is recommended that the cultural stage of an organization should be considered as a mediating factor.