Fr-OR-S68-1 - Say, Stay Or Strive: The Effects Of Leadership Style On Employee Engagement And Psychological Safety

Oral Presentation
Part of:
15 minutes
Accenture Theatre
Positive organizational behaviour
Say, Stay or Strive: The effects of leadership style on employee engagement and psychological safety
S. Nelson*
Content: Purpose
The purpose of this research was to investigate the impact of leadership style and psychological safety on employee engagement.  It further examined if these variables differed in organizations that engaged in Continuous Improvement initiatives such as Lean and their impact on that program success.
A self-selecting sample (N=122) completed a series of questions including the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, Utrecht Work Engagement Scale and Psychological Safety instruments along with demographic information.  A mixed design was used, part-correlational and part cross-sectional.  
Results found that Transformational leadership predicted Psychological safety, and both predicted Employee Engagement.  Lean organizations scored significantly higher on Transformational leadership, Psychological Safety and Engagement.  These factors also predicted the reported success of Continuous Improvement activities. 
The main limitation was sample size for the Lean organisations, which formed in to three groups as some participants did not know if their organisation engaged in such an initiative.
Research/Practical Implications
This research demonstrated the importance of leadership and team structure as antecedents to employee engagement and bridges the academic / practice divide by examining an area in much demand by organisations.  It also demonstrates both factors as critical to successful change and improvement initiatives.
Organisations invest significantly in change programs to increase competitiveness and productivity, this research has shown that Leader behaviour and team norms can impact that success. The use of the MLQ and the full range leadership model gives a framework for leadership, identifying 9 subscales which can be trained and developed.  

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