A key factor in why people stay with an organization is its leaders. Leaders are an equally important factor in why people leave: people do not quit organizations; they quit leaders. The most important reason people leave an organization is the poor quality of leadership (Kouzes and Posner, 2002, pp. 283–284). People stay with an organization because they like the work they are doing, and they find it challenging, meaningful, and purposeful. People want a chance to be tested, a chance to take part in a social experiment, a chance to do something well, a chance to do something good, a chance to change the way things are, and a chance to have a sense of accomplishment (Kouzes and Posner, 2002, pp. 151). Transformational leaders have heightened motivation which is derived by four factors, including (a) charismatic leadership; (b) inspirational leadership; (c) intellectual stimulation; and (d) individualized consideration (Bass, 1985a). Transformational leaders have been characterized as charismatic, inspirational, able to stimulate others intellectually, and capable of showing individualized consideration. Charisma evokes devotion to leaders and their mission. The inspiration from leaders creates a climate of openness and trust. Intellectual stimulation causes subordinates to see new possibilities and to challenge their own assumptions. Individualized consideration focuses on the worth of individuals and their development in the organization (Bass, 1985a). The objective of this dissertation study was to determine which of the four factors of transformational leadership (charismatic, inspirational, able to stimulate others intellectually, and capable of showing individualized consideration) is primarily responsible for employee retention in organizations. The findings of this research study conclude that no one of the four factors of transformational leadership is statistically more significant than the others; they are statistically equal in promoting retention. The positive findings are impacted by the above average MLQ scores for each of the four factors of transformational leadership. These findings indicate that the 17 manufacturing organizations which participated in this research study have above average scores for each of the four factors of transformational leadership. These above average scores indicate that employee retention within these organizations is positively impacted by each of the four factors of transformational leadership.
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