This study investigated how retail sales associates' perceptions of the transformational leadership characteristics of their supervisors are related to the employees' intentions to leave their jobs. The study surveyed a sample of permanent sales associates employed part- or full-time by a retail consumer electronics firm. The online survey included (a) a demographic section; (b) the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire 5X (MLQ5X); and (c) a 10-item turnover intention scale based on Jackofsky and Slocum's (1987) perceived turnover scale. Six independent variables were determined by respondents' perceptions of their supervisor's possession of each of five transformational leadership dimension characteristics and all five together as measured by their responses to 20 items on the MLQ5X. The dependent variable was respondents' intentions to quit their job as measured by the turnover scale. Survey results were treated to reliability, principal components, and linear regression analyses. Of 1,016 sales associates contacted by e-mail, 138 non-temporary employees completed all sections of the survey. Analysis showed satisfactory reliability for both the MLQ5X and the turnover scale. Principal components analysis showed one principal component for the 20 transformational leadership items on the MLQ5X and one for the turnover scale. Linear regression showed that the sales associates' perceptions of their supervisor's possession of each of the transformational leadership dimensions and all five together were all significantly negatively associated with the sales associates' intentions to leave their job at the .001 level. The study's results are in agreement with those of a number of other studies that have investigated how employees' perceptions of their supervisors' transformational leadership characteristics are related to the employees' turnover or turnover intention. Care must be taken in extrapolating the study's findings because the sample was not truly random; however, the findings suggest that for retail organizations, training in-store supervisors to exhibit qualities definitive of any of the transformational leadership dimensions may help reduce voluntary job turnover of the sales associates they supervise. This may add to the organization's profitability by avoiding some of the costs of losing employees and of finding, hiring, and training replacement workers.
|Adviser||Stephen J. Tvorik|
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