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THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN LEADER BEHAVIOR, FOLLOWER MOTIVATION, AND PERFORMANCE

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Date Issued:
2008
Abstract/Description:
The primary goal of this study was to examine ways in which leaders can influence followers' motivation. Motivation is a key construct in industrial and organizational psychology due to its impact on employee performance. Modern motivation theories adapt a more sophisticated view of motivation in terms of definition, relationships, and operationalization. In particular, one new theory of motivation is the Pritchard and Ashwood Theory (2008). This theory proposes that motivation is comprised of four perceived relationships that, in combination, reflect the extent to which employees believe that their actions on the job will lead to need satisfaction. These four relationships are called connections. The relationship between two leadership behaviors, initiating structure and consideration, and the Pritchard and Ashwood motivational connections was examined. It was hypothesized that the two leader behaviors would have differential relationships with the four motivational connections. These differential relationships should facilitate targeted behavioral feedback to leaders to improve each of the motivational connections. Additionally, motivation was hypothesized to mediate the relationship between the leader behaviors and employee outcomes. The Pritchard and Ashwood Theory is operationalized by the Motivation Assessment Questionnaire (MAQ) (Pritchard, 2006a). A secondary goal of this study was to contribute to the validity evidence of the MAQ. This recently developed questionnaire has shown good psychometric properties and initial validity evidence has demonstrated moderate relationships between the MAQ and job performance. However, this is the first study of the relationship between the MAQ and employee outcomes with a large sample of full-time working adults. Further, this study expanded potential MAQ outcomes beyond employee performance to include organizational citizenship behaviors and turnover intentions. A sample of 208 employees was recruited from two central Florida companies. These employees responded to the MAQ and other study measures via a secure, online survey. Participating employees provided contact information for their supervisors who were then invited to participate in the study by providing criteria ratings. A large number of the invited supervisors participated (n = 195). Results indicated robust support for one of the leadership behaviors: consideration. Consideration was related to performance and this relationship was partially mediated by motivation. On the other hand, initiating structure was not related to employee performance. Consideration and initiating structure were not differentially related as hypothesized to the four motivational connections. This was due in part to the strong correlation between the two leadership behaviors (r = .73). Results provided additional validation evidence for the MAQ. The overall effort scale was not related to performance as it had been in the two previous studies that used a student sample. However, the average of the motivation connections predicted performance. Additionally, the MAQ predicted both organizational citizenship behaviors and turnover intentions. As mentioned previously, the sample was drawn from two central Florida companies. Although many of the study hypotheses were supported for the overall sample, the observed relationships were very different for the two subsamples. Similarly, findings in this study differ from previous studies using the MAQ with working students. Potential reasons for these differences are discussed.
Title: THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN LEADER BEHAVIOR, FOLLOWER MOTIVATION, AND PERFORMANCE.
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Name(s): Harrell, Melissa, Author
Pritchard, Robert, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2008
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The primary goal of this study was to examine ways in which leaders can influence followers' motivation. Motivation is a key construct in industrial and organizational psychology due to its impact on employee performance. Modern motivation theories adapt a more sophisticated view of motivation in terms of definition, relationships, and operationalization. In particular, one new theory of motivation is the Pritchard and Ashwood Theory (2008). This theory proposes that motivation is comprised of four perceived relationships that, in combination, reflect the extent to which employees believe that their actions on the job will lead to need satisfaction. These four relationships are called connections. The relationship between two leadership behaviors, initiating structure and consideration, and the Pritchard and Ashwood motivational connections was examined. It was hypothesized that the two leader behaviors would have differential relationships with the four motivational connections. These differential relationships should facilitate targeted behavioral feedback to leaders to improve each of the motivational connections. Additionally, motivation was hypothesized to mediate the relationship between the leader behaviors and employee outcomes. The Pritchard and Ashwood Theory is operationalized by the Motivation Assessment Questionnaire (MAQ) (Pritchard, 2006a). A secondary goal of this study was to contribute to the validity evidence of the MAQ. This recently developed questionnaire has shown good psychometric properties and initial validity evidence has demonstrated moderate relationships between the MAQ and job performance. However, this is the first study of the relationship between the MAQ and employee outcomes with a large sample of full-time working adults. Further, this study expanded potential MAQ outcomes beyond employee performance to include organizational citizenship behaviors and turnover intentions. A sample of 208 employees was recruited from two central Florida companies. These employees responded to the MAQ and other study measures via a secure, online survey. Participating employees provided contact information for their supervisors who were then invited to participate in the study by providing criteria ratings. A large number of the invited supervisors participated (n = 195). Results indicated robust support for one of the leadership behaviors: consideration. Consideration was related to performance and this relationship was partially mediated by motivation. On the other hand, initiating structure was not related to employee performance. Consideration and initiating structure were not differentially related as hypothesized to the four motivational connections. This was due in part to the strong correlation between the two leadership behaviors (r = .73). Results provided additional validation evidence for the MAQ. The overall effort scale was not related to performance as it had been in the two previous studies that used a student sample. However, the average of the motivation connections predicted performance. Additionally, the MAQ predicted both organizational citizenship behaviors and turnover intentions. As mentioned previously, the sample was drawn from two central Florida companies. Although many of the study hypotheses were supported for the overall sample, the observed relationships were very different for the two subsamples. Similarly, findings in this study differ from previous studies using the MAQ with working students. Potential reasons for these differences are discussed.
Identifier: CFE0002469 (IID), ucf:47695 (fedora)
Note(s): 2008-12-01
Ph.D.
Sciences, Department of Psychology
Doctorate
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Motivation
Initiating Structure and Consideration
Pritchard
Ashwood
Expectancy Theory
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0002469
Restrictions on Access: public
Host Institution: UCF

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