The relationship between shared vision, cohesion, role clarity, mutual trust and transformational leadership within a team setting

Ryan, Shaun (2012-03)

Thesis (MComm)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: New and innovative work structures are being employed in organisations today, especially in the way in which work is approached (Rico & Cohen, 2005). This experimentation has arisen because organisations are seeking better ways of achieving productivity targets and addressing customer demand (Arnold, Barling & Kelloway, 2001). These new work structures are team-based structures, which are widely purported to be the ideal, since teams can respond rapidly because of their multiplicity of skills (Kogler Hill, 2010). Furthermore, high performing teams with this multiplicity of skills should display certain characteristics or behaviours required to achieve results. This study suggests four team characteristics that are necessary for team success, namely shared vision, cohesion, role clarity and mutual trust. This study furthermore explores the role of the team leader in nurturing the above-mentioned characteristics at a team level, since current thinking on leadership suggests that a leader should be able to inspire, motivate and be a role model for his/her team members (Bass & Avolio, 1994), all of which are behaviours characteristic of a transformational leader; thus transformational leadership is the focal point in this study. To determine the effect of transformational leadership on team characteristics, a convenience sample (N = 73) consisting of various nursing wards within a large public sector hospital was used in this study. The measurement model used in the present study fitted the data satisfactorily, RMSEA = .077 (p > .05, 95% CI [.024, .12]). The hypothesised structural model — where transformational leadership affects all four team characteristics directly, without latent interrelationships between team characteristics — was then fitted to the data, showing poor fit, χ2 (df 50, N = 73) = 213.49, p < .05. Despite the poor initial structural model fit, the subsequent results indicated that the hypothesised relationships between transformational leadership and team characteristics (hypothesis 2 through to hypothesis 5) were all significant (p < .05). The modification indices were then investigated for indications of possible model improvement and it was indicated that three additional  paths (i.e. a link between shared vision and cohesion; a link between trust and shared vision; and a link between shared vision and role clarity) were to be considered for addition. The modification indices, in addition, also illustrated that two  paths (i.e. the link between transformational leadership and cohesion and the link between transformational leadership and shared vision) were to be considered for deletion. The structural model was respecified based on modification indices and expected Δ χ2 statistics, and fitted to the data, leading to acceptable fit, RMSEA = .079 (p > .05, 95% CI [.048, .670]). This indicated an improvement over the unmodified model. However, further research based on a larger sample would be needed to verify these suggested path additions and deletions. Overall, the results of the study support the key role that transformational leadership plays on desirable team characteristics. The limitations and implications of the findings of this study are discussed and recommendations for future research are also highlighted.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Nuwe en innoverende werkstrukture word toenemend gebruik in kontemporêre organisasies, veral met betrekking tot die manier waarop werk benader word (Rico & Cohen, 2005). Organisasies ondersoek voortdurend wyses om die bereiking van produktiwiteitsteikens en bevrediging van kliënte te maksimeer (Arnold, Barling & Kelloway, 2001). Moderne werkstrukture is toenemend spangebaseerd, aangesien spanne vinnig kan reageer op verandering weens die veelvuldigheid van spanvaardighede (Kogler Hill, 2010). Verder kan verwag word dat hoëverrigtingspanne met ‘n wye verskeidenheid van vaardighede ook oor sekere kerneienskappe sal beskik. Die huidige studie veronderstel vier spaneienskappe wat kritiek is vir spansukses, nl. gedeelde visie, kohesie, rolduidelikheid en onderlinge vertroue. Die studie verken verder die rol van die spanleier om hierdie spaneienskappe te kweek, aangesien onlangse leierskapteorie veronderstel dat ‘n suksesvolle leier vaardig behoort te wees om sy/haar span te inspireer, motiveer en ook ‘n rolmodel moet wees vir die span. Die laasgenoemde is eienskappe kenmerkend van transformasionele leiers (Bass & Avolio, 1994); aldus die fokus van die bestaande studie op transformasionele leierskap. Ten einde die effek van transformasionele leierskap op spaneienskappe te ondersoek, is ‘n nie-ewekansige steekproef (N = 73) van verplegingseenhede binne ‘n groot publieke sektor hospitaal gebruik in die huidige studie. Die metingsmodel vir die studie het bevredigende passing getoon, RMSEA = .077 (p > .05, 95% VI [.024, .12]). Die veronderstelde strukturele model — waar transformasionele leierskap direkte invloede uitoefen op al vier spaneienskappe, in die afwesigheid van onderlinge latente interkorrelasies tussen spaneienskappe — was gevolglik gepas op die navorsingsdata, met swak passing, χ2 (df 50, N = 73) = 213.49, p < .05. Ten spyte van die swak strukturele modelpassing het daaropvolgende resultate getoon dat die alternatiewe hipoteses rakende verwantskappe tussen transformasionele leierskap en spaneienskappe (hipoteses 2 tot 5) almal ondersteun was (p < .05). As volgende stap, is die aanpassingsindekse (MI) verder verken vir moontlike aanduidings van modelverbetering; drie addisionele  roetes (nl., tussen gedeelde visie en kohesie; tussen vertroue en gedeelde visie; en tussen gedeelde visie en rolduidelikheid) is oorweeg vir verdere byvoeging. Die aanpassingsindekse het verder getoon dat twee  roetes (nl., tussen transformasionele leierskap en kohesie, asook tussen transformasionele leierskap en gedeelde visie) oorweeg behoort te word ter verbetering van die strukturele model. Die strukturele model is herspesifiseer, gebaseer op die aanpassingsindekse en verwagte Δ χ2 statistiek, en gevolglik gepas op die data. Die resultate het gedui op bevredigende passing, RMSEA = .079 (p > .05, 95% VI [.048, .670]) — ‘n duidelike verbetering op die aanvanklike strukturele model. Verdere navorsing is egter nodig om hierdie voorgestelde aanpassings aan die strukturele model te verifieer in ‘n groter steekproef. In die geheel gesien, dui die studie se resultate op die sleutelrol wat transformasionele leierskap speel in die ontwikkeling en handhawing van gewenste spaneienskappe. Beperkinge en implikasies van die bevindinge word bespreek, en aanbevelings word gemaak vir verdere navorsing.

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