|dc.description.abstract||Developing and retaining leadership is one of the greatest challenges facing organisations
today. Leaders operate in an increasingly demanding and ever-changing work environment
on both a personal and organisational level. To be successful on both levels leaders require
the correct competencies, behaviours and skills to achieve their business objectives. Aside
from leadership behaviours, specific leadership styles, demographic variables and constructs
such as sense of coherence, self - efficacy and locus of control have a direct effect on the
associated leadership style. These styles may either be effective or ineffective and have a
direct impact on the demonstrated leadership within the organisation.
The concept of leadership styles in this study relates to supervisors, managers and leaders,
within the organisation and includes aspects of leadership, such as transactional,
transformational and laissez-faire leadership styles.
The objective of this study, was to determine the possible relationship between leadership
styles and the three psychological strengths, namely sense of coherence, locus of control and
generalised self - efficacy. A cross-sectional survey design was used. The sample consisted of
216 supervisors, managers and leaders in a utility organisation. A representative sample of
ethnic groups, language and gender groups were selected to make the study as representative
as possible. Four questionnaires were administered, namely the Multi-Factor Leadership
Questionnaire (MLQ), the Orientation to Life Questionnaire (OLQ), the Generalised
Perceived Self-efficacy Scale (GSES) and the Work Locus of Control Scale (LOC).
In the study, sense of coherence is conceptualised as a disposition that allows a person to
select appropriate strategies to cope with stressors. Individuals with a strong sense of
coherence, will experience information from their environment, which falls within their
subjective spheres of interest, as comprehensible, manageable and meaningful. Generalised
self - efficacy is conceptualised as a general, stable trait, which is related to individuals'
beliefs regarding the ability to mobilise their motivation, cognitive resources and actions to
comply with demands by a situation. The locus of control concept refers to individuals'
beliefs regarding their behaviour and the outcomes thereof. Similarly, individuals with an
internal locus of control, believe that outcomes in their lives are the result of their own
internal attributes, whereas individuals with an external locus of control believe that
outcomes in their lives are beyond their control.
Cronbach alpha coefficients and factor analysis were used to determine the reliability and
validity of the tests. Descriptive statistics (means, standard deviations, skewness and kurtosis)
were used in the compiling of the profile of characteristics of gender and leadership styles as
manifested in the group, while second-order factor analysis was used to look at the nature of
the situational characteristics of leadership styles.
Empirical findings in the study indicated that supervisors and managers perceived their own
leadership styles as being more transformational than transactional. Possible reasons for this
perception included the questionnaire being a self-assessment of individual styles as opposed
to an objective multi-rater evaluation by peers and colleagues. The implications of this
perception are quite significant in that the actual behaviour being observed and demonstrated
within the organisation is more transactional. In addition, there was significant evidence of a
substantial level of non-leadership being displayed in the study. Findings indicated that
tenure significantly affected the type of leadership style perceived. This was made evident in
that leaders who were employed for five years and less being more transformational in their
leadership style than those employed for ten years and more, being more transactional and
even being non-leaders (laissez-faire).
In addition, supervisors and managers in the study expressed high levels of sense of
coherence, which suggested that they experienced life events as manageable and viewed them
as challenges. Regarding levels of self-efficacy, a significant relationship was found between
self-efficacy and leadership; as the more transformational the perceived leadership style, the
higher the level of self-efficacy. Furthermore, educated managers experienced lower levels of
self-efficacy than those managers who had a technical qualification, which empowered them
with easily transferable skills in the workplace. A significant relationship was also found
between locus of control and non-leadership, which suggested that managers experienced
significant levels of external locus of control. This implies that managers perceive the results
of their actions due to forces beyond their control. The result of which results in stress,
absenteeism and job dissatisfaction.
Recommendations for further research were made, as well as recommendations in regard of
the company concerned.||