The Influence of Transformational and Transactional Leadership on Employee Performance and Organizational Commitment A Case Study in the UAE Public Sector

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the influence of transformational and transactional leadership styles on employee commitment, work performance and organizational commitment in one of Abu Dhabi’s leading government agencies. In particular, this study evaluates the transferability of Bass and Avolio (2004) Full Leadership Model in the UAE Culture. A total of 96 subjects representing 20.6% percent of the total agency population participated in this research. Leadership styles and leadership outcomes were measured using Bass and Avolio’s multifactor leadership questionnaire. Employee commitment was measured using Suliman’s commitment questionnaire and employee performance was determined from the agency quarterly performance evaluations. Data was analyzed using the SPSS software tool and Microsoft Excel. Research findings showed a positive significant correlation between transformational and contingent reward leadership styles and employee commitment and performance levels. Furthermore, the research found that transformational leadership had a stronger positive influence on employee performance and commitment than did contingent reward style. The findings support the argument in the literature review that transformational and contingent reward leadership behaviors enhance organizational commitment and employee performance. The research also revealed an employee preference for transformational leadership style in the UAE public sector. This supports literature review findings that transformational leadership can yield positive results across cultures. However, the impact of transformational leadership may not be as significant as may be observed in western cultures. This implies that leaders need to take into consideration the national culture in the organization while adapting their transformational leadership style. Finally, the research provides recommendations for the Government Agency, the UAE public and private sectors, and academic researchers for optimal implementation of the transformational leadership style to increase employees’ work performance and organizational commitment.
transformational leadership, transactional leadership, employee performance, organizational commitment, public sector, United Arab Emirates (UAE), leadership styles, leadership outcomes