Leadership Styles Research Methodology



This chapter primarily outlines the overall research methodology. Detailed development of hypotheses, sampling procedure used for this survey and sources of data will be described. Method that was used to collect data to run statistical analysis will be discussed further in this chapter.

Hypotheses of Study

The variables identified for this research are leadership style, leadership behavior and employees’ job satisfaction. Hypotheses below are proposed for this study:

H1a: Transformational leadership has a significant influence on employees’ job satisfaction.

H1b: Transactional leadership has a significant influence on employees’ job satisfaction.

H2a: Supportive leadership has a significant influence on employees’ job satisfaction.

H2b: Directive leadership has a significant influence on employees’ job satisfaction.

H2c: Participative leadership has a significant influence on employees’ job satisfaction.

Research Framework

The association among all the proposed variables can be described in a research framework. Figure 3-1 illustrates the research model.

Figure 3-1: The proposed research framework for influences of leadership on employees’ job satisfaction

Leadership Style

Transformational Leadership







Leadership Behavior








Participative Leadership

Measures of construct in the Questionnaire

The survey questionnaire used in this research consists of four parts. Part A consists of the measurement items for leadership style which is further divided to two sections, transformational and transactional leadership. Part B of the questionnaire consists of the measurement items for leadership behavior and three subsections that is participative, supportive and directive leadership. In Part C, the section measures on employees’ job satisfaction. Finally in Part D, the respondents’ demographic data is collected on their age, gender, education level, marital status, job position, and number of years of experience in the organization, years of establishment of respective organization, number of employees in organization and nature of the organization.

The literature review has helped to provide a number of measurement items for leadership style, leadership behaviour and job satisfaction in the questionnaire. Survey respondents were asked to state their level of agreement for all the six constructs discussed previously. The survey questionnaire has adopted the five-point Likert scale which ranges from 1(strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) as indicated in Table 3-1.

Table 3-1: Instrument used in the questionnaire

Strongly disagree




Neither agree nor disagree




Strongly agree


The measurement items used to operationalize the constructs for the purpose of this study were adapted from relevant previous literature with necessary changes. A summary of the past research measures that is used in this study is indicated in Table 3-2.

Table 3-2: Research variables and measurement

Construct Source

Job Satisfaction Milliman, Czaplewski and Ferguson (2003)

Transformational Gadot (2006)

Transactional Gadot (2006)

Supportive Lee and Kamarul (2008)

Directive Lee and Kamarul (2008)

Participative Lee and Kamarul (2008)

Job Satisfaction

The items for job satisfaction were adopted from Milliman, Czaplewski and Ferguson (2003). The questionnaire used four items to access respondents’ satisfaction on their job. Table 3-3 shows the list of questions used for job satisfaction.

Table 3-3: Job Satisfaction Diagnostic Survey Instruments

How satisfied are you with your job currently?

How satisfied are you with the overall chances of advancement in your organization?

How satisfied are you with the career opportunities offered in your organization?

How satisfied are you with the nature of the work in your organization?

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Source: Milliman, Czaplewski and Ferguson (2003), “Workplace spirituality and employee work attitudes, An exploratory empirical assessment” Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 16 No.4, 2003, pp. 426-447.

Leadership style

The measurement items for leadership style were adapted from the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ). This measure was first introduced by Bass (1985) and then was further improved by Bass and Avolio (1993). It is used to gauge two leadership style scales, namely transformational and transactional. Respondents were asked on which particular leadership style their supervisor closely relates to. MLQ has been widely adapted by past researchers in examining the leadership styles.

Table 3-4: Leadership Style Items

Transformational Leadership

My supervisor instills pride because of their association with the subordinates.

My supervisor has gained trust in myself to avoid any obstacles.

My supervisor inspires myself to be like him or her.

My supervisor goes beyond his individual interest and focuses on the interest of

his or her subordinates.

My supervisor talks enthusiastically about what needs to be accomplished.

My supervisor sets realistic vision and guides on achieving them.

My supervisor is a symbol of success and accomplishment.

My supervisor constantly views the future optimistically.

My supervisor constantly suggests new ways to accomplish things.

My supervisor always introduces new challenges and new assignments.

My supervisor encourages to think in new ways to solve problems.

My supervisor encourages to think creatively and innovatively to solve problems.

My supervisor constantly provides coaching to improve my productivity.

My supervisor always listens to my concern and helps me to improve.

My supervisor always updates me with my performance and does the necessary to develop me.

My supervisor treats each individual uniquely and attempts to satisfy subordinates current needs.

Transactional Leadership

My supervisor rewards performance when his or her expectations are fulfilled.

My supervisor always sets the right expectation with me on what is offered when performance goals are met.

Prior to any tasks, my supervisor states clear on the performance objectives, clarify rewards, and punishment when the correct output is received.

My supervisor considers their relationship with subordinates as a series of contract, deals, or service and reward tradeoffs.

My supervisor sets his focus on irregularities, mistakes, exceptions and deviations from standards.

My supervisor keeps track on all the error, mistakes and wrong doing by the subordinates.

My supervisor urges the subordinates to perform functions strictly according to positions requirement and nothing more.

My supervisor is stringent about the rules and regulation of the organization and will take the necessary action if one were to not adhere.

My supervisor does not interfere until the problem becomes serious.

My supervisor always fire fights when taking corrective measures.

My supervisor will only step in once the problems are chronic.

My supervisor will not fix a problem until it is broken.

Source: Gadot (2006), “Leadership style, organizational politics, and employees’ performance, An empirical examination of two competing models”, Personal Review Vol. 36 No. 5, 2007 pp. 661-683.

Leadership Behavior

In this research, a 13-item was adopted from Lee and Kamarul, (2008). It is used to measure three dimensions of leadership behavior, namely supportive, directive and participative behavior. Same as discussed above, survey respondents are requested to rate how closely his or her supervisor relate to the statements provided in the questionnaire. Likert scales was adopted for the respondents to rate the measurement items with (1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree). There are four items used for supportive leadership, four items used for directive leadership behavior and five items used for participative leadership. Table 3-5 shows the questions adopted for leadership behavior.

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Table 3-5: Leadership Behavior Items

Supportive Leadership

My supervisor rewards performance when his or her expectations are fulfilled.

Supervisor cares for the subordinate’s welfare.

Supervisor does very little to make things pleasant.

Supervisor treats all group members as equal.

Directive Leadership

Supervisor gives clear guidance and explains on how a work needs to be done.

Supervisor decides what and how things should be done.

Supervisor maintains definite standards of performance.

Supervisor follows a schedule to get work accomplished.

Participative Leadership

Prior to making any decisions, supervisor considers the subordinates thoughts and what

they have to say.

Prior to making any decisions, supervisor consults with the subordinates.

When a problem arises, supervisor consults with the subordinates.

Supervisor asks subordinates for their suggestions and feedback.

Supervisor listens to subordinates advice on which assignments should be made/taken.

Source: Lee and Kamarul (2008), “The moderating effects of organizational culture on the relationships between leadership behavior and organizational commitment and between organizational commitment and job satisfaction and performance”, Leadership and Organization Development Journal Vol.30 No.1, 2009 pp.53-86.

Sampling and population

The goal of this study is to understand the relationship between leadership style and behavior on employees’ job satisfaction in the context of IT industries in Klang Valley and Selangor, the first step was to note down all the listed IT companies in Selangor and Klang Valley. This information was obtained through observation and information provided through colleagues and friends. The population of this research is all individuals who are employees, managers, stakeholders in IT companies in Klang Valley and Selangor. Convenience sampling was used for the purpose of this study. This is due to time constraint, quick responses and it is inexpensive compared to alternate sampling procedures.

3.6 Sources of Data

Two methods were used to collect the data, namely primary and secondary data. Primary data for this survey was obtained by means of a survey questionnaire. Quantitative approach was used in the survey questionnaire to be able to measure the relationship between the variables that helps in statistical analysis. Secondary data collection was used to gather information through findings by past researchers using the qualitative approach. Journal sources from Emerald, Proquest, Science Direct related to this topic was studied to get an understanding on the variables. Besides, online journal sources, books related to this topic provides exploratory information that is used for this research.

3.7 Data Collection

From the secondary data resources, a set of predetermined questions were created.. Three methods were used to collect data which is personally administered questionnaire, questionnaires attached with emails and online survey questionnaire.

3.7.1 Personally Administered Questionnaire

Personally administered questionnaires were sent to all employees and colleagues that are attached with IT Companies in the Klang Valley and Selangor. This method ensured to receive back all the number of questionnaire sent within a short period of time. The advantage of this method is that it avoided any unusable surveys as if the respondents had any questions they were able to get the answers immediately. Personally administered questionnaire is where most of the survey responses were obtained for this research. A sample of personally administered questionnaire is attached in the Appendix.

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Questionnaires Attached with Emails

The availability of internet has helped to send and receive data with a very minimal cost and quicker time span. Questionnaires attached to emails were sent to those who were not easily accessible geographically to pass the questionnaire. Questionnaires are mailed to the target respondents by providing an introduction on the objective of the research and clear guidelines on how to fill the survey and respond back. Although reminders were sent to respondents to increase the survey response, the questionnaires attached to emails received through this method was only 13 (6.5%) out of the overall survey responses. The disadvantage of mail questionnaires attached to emails is, one may not have the time to do the survey immediately at the point that they receive it and have the tendency to forget to response once it is being left for some time in their mailbox.

3.7.3 Online questionnaire

An online questionnaire was first used to obtain data for this study. The www.surveyshare.com site was used to create the online questionnaire. The web based tool had the advantage of exporting the survey responses to Microsoft Excel format which is useful for inputting the responses in a structured manner. The automation of data exportation has helped data collection quickly. It is also cheaper to use the online tool as no paper and printing cost is involved. Data can be analysed as and when survey response is received since it automatically provides a summary and overview of all the survey responses received to date.

Statistical Procedures

The statistical software SPSS version 16 was used to analyse all the data obtained from the survey. Frequencies, means, percentage, reliability test (Cronbach coefficient) and multiple regressions were computed using the tool. To analyse the demographic details of the survey respondents, descriptive statistics which includes frequencies and percentages were done. To meet the research objective, multiple regressions were applied to study the significance between the variables as outlined in the research framework.

Reliability Test of the Survey Instrument

Table 3-5 presents the reliability measures for the 6 constructs discussed previously. The Cronbach’s alpha value was determined from a pilot test with a sample of 30 respondents. The intention of the pilot test is to understand the ease of respondents answering the survey questions. At the same time, the reliability of the survey instrument is determined. The Cronbach’s alpha value for job satisfaction, transformational leadership, transactional leadership, participative leadership and directive leadership exceeded 0.70. As for supportive leadership the Cronbach’s alpha value is 0.637. Therefore, one of the items for measuring supportive leadership was removed to raise the Cronbach’s alpha value to 0.788.

Table 3-6: Cronbach’s alpha value for six construct from pilot study.

Construct Alpha No. of items

Job Satisfaction 0.806 4

Transformational leadership 0.918 16

Transactional leadership 0.871 12

Participative leadership 0.915 5

Supportive leadership 0.637 4

Directive leadership 0.824 4

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