The influence of transformational leadership, emotional intelligence, trust, meaning and intention to quit on organisational citizenship behaviour
Schlechter, Anton Francois
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South African organisations have to survive in an increasingly competitive and globalised environment. Many believe that South African organisations are ill prepared for these challenges, based on the fact that many organisations are plagued by low productivity, low levels of trust between employees and employers, as well as low levels of organisational commitment, effectiveness and efficiency. Solutions must be found for these problems and the present study offers one such solution. Organisational citizenship behaviour is essentially pro-social organisational behaviour that is characterised by going beyond what is expected in role requirements or role descriptions and is seen as a key driver of individual and organisational performance. Furthermore, an organisation’s ability to elicit organisational citizenship behaviour is believed to be a vital asset that is difficult for competitors to imitate and which provides the organisation with a competitive advantage. Having completed a literature study concerning possible antecedents of organisational citizenship behaviour, and taking into account various suggested future directions for organisational citizenship behaviour research, it was decided that the present study would focus on five variables: three variables that are characteristic of employees, and two that are characteristic of the management or leadership in the organisation. The primary goal of the present study was to design and conduct a scientific investigation that would attempt to determine the relationships between leader emotional intelligence, transformational leadership, trust, meaning intention to quit, and organisational citizenship behaviour, as well as to further determine the role that these five constructs play in influencing organisational citizenship behaviour. A study of the available literature was made to learn as much as possible about each of these six constructs and to determine what is known about the relationships that exist between them. The knowledge gained from the literature study was used to propose several hypotheses and a conceptual model explaining the relationships between these constructs. The relationships and the conceptual model were then empirically tested, using various (mostly confirmatory) statistical methods. This makes the present study confirmatory in nature. Existing measuring instruments were used to measure each of the constructs in a South African sample (n=496). This sample represented a wide range of organisations. Each of the measuring instruments (excepting the intention to quit scale) was subjected to a double cross-validation Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analysis procedure to test its construct validity. Internal reliability was determined for all of the instruments and their subscales. The Confirmatory Factor Analysis and internal reliability results were then compared to those obtained when the original measurement model was studied, using these same methods (i.e. Confirmatory Factor Analysis and internal reliability) and the data from the present sample. It was found, in all cases, that the derived factorial configuration differed, in some to a lesser degree and in others radically, from that proposed by the original author/s. It was also found that the EFA-derived measurement models and configurations had a better fit to the data than the original measurement model and its configuration. Once the criteria for construct validity and internal reliability were satisfied, the rest of the statistical analyses could be conducted. The next step was to test the hypotheses concerning the individual relationships that made up the conceptual model. Pearson correlations and Standard Multiple Regression was used to study these bivariate relationships. Several indirect or mediating relationships followed from these direct relationships and these were tested using Path Analysis. In a similar vein, four prediction hypotheses were formulated from the conceptual model and these were also tested, using Standard Multiple Regression. Lastly, Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) was used to see to what extent the conceptual model fitted the data obtained from the sample and to test the relationships between the constructs when taking the complete conceptual model into account. Both trust and meaning were found to individually mediate the relationships between transformational leadership and organisational citizenship behaviour, and leader emotional intelligence and organisational citizenship behaviour. The relationship between leader emotional intelligence and organisational citizenship behaviour was further found to be mediated by transformational leadership and trust, while this relationship was also found to be mediated by transformational leadership and meaning. No significant direct relationships could be found between leader emotional intelligence and organisational citizenship behaviour, or between transformational leadership and both organisational citizenship behaviour and intention to quit. No significant correlation was found between intention to quit and organisational citizenship behaviour either. This meant that several postulated mediating hypotheses could not be corroborated. The SEM result shows that the conceptual model did not fit the data very well, therefore an alternative model was recommended. The results in essence show that effective leaders who are emotionally intelligent and make use of the transformational leadership style can positively influence trust and meaning among followers. This, in turn, will motivate followers to display organisational citizenship behaviour and reduce their intention to quit. These are believed to positively influence organisational effectiveness and performance. Further conclusions were drawn from the obtained results and recommendations are made for future studies. New insights were gained through the results and it is believed that the present study has contributed to the field of organisational psychology and Industrial Psychology in general, on both the academic and the practioner level.