A quantitative examination of the relationship between leadership styles and job satisfaction within the United States federal government

by White, Thomas Alexander, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2016, 137 pages; 10042879


For the last three years, job satisfaction for United States federal government employees has decreased and represents a problem for the overall organization. Leadership styles have been directly linked to influencing levels of job satisfaction. The purpose of this non-experimental explanatory predictive study was to test authentic, transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership style theories that relate authentic, transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership styles (independent variables) to job satisfaction (dependent variable) for U.S. federal government employees. The study surveyed all full-time, permanent, non-supervisory U.S. federal government employees, with at least two years of working experience, working 40 hours per week, within any U.S. federal government agency. This study administered the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire and Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (Mind Garden, Inc., 2015) and Job Satisfaction Survey (Spector, 1985). The data was analyzed using hierarchical multiple regression. Study results indicated that there was no statistically significant relationship between authentic leadership style and job satisfaction or between transformational leadership style and job satisfaction. The results of the analysis indicated a negative statistically significant relationship between transactional leadership style and job satisfaction, and a positive statistically significant relationship between laissez-faire leadership style and job satisfaction. Overall, the results lent support to theories that argue that leadership style plays a role in determining job satisfaction for U.S. federal government employees. The results support arguments for adopting the laissez-faire leadership style, and each of its dimensions, to reverse the decline and enhance levels of job satisfaction for U.S. federal government employees.

AdviserClifford Butler
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Public administration; Occupational psychology; Public policy; Organization theory
Publication Number10042879

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