The relationship between leadership styles and the psychological contract in work teams
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The first construct of this study is leadership styles. This well-known concept has been widely explored in the research. Many different models have germinated from the different theories developed on leadership styles, and for the purpose of this research, the leadership style model approach developed by Kurt Lewin has been used as a framework or paradigm. According to this approach, their main styles are identified. These styles are known as authoritarian style, participating style and delegative style. The second construct that this study focuses on is the psychological contract. This is a well known concept that has been widely researched. It was found to have a strong impact on employers as well as employees in the workplace. Although numerous studies have been done regarding "the experience of employee and employer obligations through perceived promises made in the reciprocal employee-organisation relationship", it is evident that further research regarding the relationship with other concepts could be of immense value. The general objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between different leadership styles and the psychological contract in work teams. A quota sample (N= 151) was taken of team leaders and their members of work teams in the Process and Maintenance departments of a Mining Factory in Lichtenburg, North West Province. The Psycones questionnaire ("Psychological Contracts among Employment Relations) was used to measure the psychological contract while the leadership style questionnaire was used to identify the different leadership styles. Data collection was done by means of structured questionnaires through exploratory research by using a cross-sectional design. Cronbach alpha coefficients, factor analysis, inter-item correlation coefficients, Pearson product moment correlation coefficients and stepwise multiple regression analysis were used to analyse the data. The first objective of this study was to conceptualise the relationship between leadership styles and the psychological contract, which was achieved through an in depth literature review on the two constructs. A literature review on the psychological contract highlighted an integrative definition as well as an exploration of psychological contract breach and violation, and the consequences thereof. The review on the leadership styles gives a broad explanation of the different styles identified as well as the relevant impact thereof. The second objective of this study was to determine the construct validity and reliability of the leadership style questionnaire and psychological contract questionnaires. With the support from previous validated studies of these questionnaires carried out in a South African context, factor analyses and reliability analyses were nevertheless carried out and the results corresponded with the previous findings indicating the viability of these questionnaires. The third objective was to determine the relationship between the leadership styles and the psychological contract constructs. Through correlation analyses significant correlations achieved were those between the Delegate-Participative style and the Emotions of the PC as well as a positive relationship which was shown between Delegate-Participative style and the Emotions of the PC with a large effect. These conclusions sturdily propose a relationship between the Delegative-Participative Style and the PC. A multiple regression analysis with delegative-participative leadership style as dependent variable was carried out. When all component of the psychological contract were a statistically significant model was produced, with the variance explained increasing with 50%. The results indicated that a relationship exists between the delegative-participative leadership style and the psychological contract. Limitations within this research were identified, and recommendations were made for the both the profession of employers and employees in the mining company as well as for future research purposes.