1.1 Background to the Study
Leadership is a very important management function that involves harnessing of human and material resources for the attainment of organizational goals. Leadership has been viewed by many authors as a process whereby an individual exerts influence upon others in an organizational context.
Bowler and Seashore (1996) enumerated the basic functions of leadership to include:
- Enhancing others feeling of self-esteem and support.
- Facilitating an interaction such that group members develop a close and mutually satisfying relationship.
- Goal emphasis for high performance and achievements.
- Work facilitation such that targets are achieved through such activities as scheduling, coordinating, planning and the effective application of knowledge.
It is expected therefore that in every organization, there should be a leader who will in addition to planning, organize and coordinate work, mobilize, inspire and utilize available human and material resources optimally for effective organizational growth and development. Leadership often emerges in a social context, in that it does not exist in a vacuum, but a phenomenon for people and by the people. The objectives of leadership are products of clear vision and its actions are dictated by great focus and a sense of mission. The way and manner leadership is conducted in any given situation, depends on the interplay of such factors as individual personality, work demand and the exigencies of the environment.
The extent to which any of these factors dominates one’s behavior determines to a large extent the person’s accumulation of natural or situational leadership traits.
Several arguments have been raised over time about the relationship between leadership and employee’s attitude. However, most scholars caution against tendencies to propose a cause-effective relationship because of the confounding effects of the interviewing variables.
For instance, a leadership characteristic determines leadership behavior, and consequently, the attitude of subordinates towards him and the work situation, Katz (1994).
And the view of Meornick (1991), democratic leader tend to affect employees more positively than authoritative leaders, while authoritative leaders tend to achieve production targets better than the former.
However, Petz (1952) theorized that what matters in the leader-subordinate relationship is not just the imposing attitudes of the leader, but also the enduring characteristics of the subordinates. He also advocated the principle of reciprocal influence and integration, according to him, subordinates expect their supervisors to exercise upward influence when dealing with problems which affects workers themselves, but when this is perceived as being limited, they develop unfavourable reactions.
Consequently, this will thwart the attainment of organizational objectives and effectiveness. However, organizational effectiveness depends to a great extent on the ways the various group in the organizational hierarchy are structured and integrated. Effective management should therefore develop effective group membership to which they owe loyalty. That is why effective leadership is necessary in any organization, as all activities that will promote organizational effectiveness are to a large extent measured by their productivity.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Leadership is considered as the bane of development in Nigeria organization. In political circle for instance, the problem of leadership is described with despicable terms as corruption, ineptitude, red-tapism and nepotism etc.
There is no gain saying the fact that most of the socio-economic maladies which the nation faced currently are product of poor management and bad or ineffective leadership.
For over a decade now, the world bank has reported consistently in her annual bulletin and publications that Nigeria ranks amongst the sixth poorest nations of the world despite her abundant human and natural resources.
In addition, capacity utilization of Nigeria industrial organizations has been very low level since 1983, and many industries have since folded up. This is an apparent failure on the part of those leadership positions which the organizations operate and design practical and effective response strategies to cope with the prevailing situations, the obvious conclusion is that they have serious leadership problems.
Many organizations which could have been economically viable are folding up even now, and some which are surviving could hardly meet their targeted maximum production level even when such organization have financial backing, enough raw material and human resources. Therefore, leadership remains the problem militating against the growth and development of such organization. To curb this menace, there is need for an effective leader to effectively put these resources to proper use for maximum result.
Government organizations never really get extinct by virtue of their ownership structure. This is not the case with private organizations which may be devastated to the point of folding up due to numerous problems amongst which is leadership. Their survival capacity is much easier than the former.
It should be noted that when leadership creates a turbulent work environment, moral drops, production decreases and the prospects for survival as well diminish. Most of the studies conducted in Nigeria have focused on the relationship between motivation and productivity (e.g. Egwu, 992) but have rarely contemplates on the relations between leadership and organizational effectiveness.
Meanwhile, in most organizations, the quality of management is often measured by the quality of work output and the margin of profit. However, different leadership styles are required for different work situations and sometimes they vary in the nature of ownership. Leadership entails harnessing the potentials of available manpower and material resources in such a way that organizational objectives are achieved and sustained.
VITA FOAM Limited is a service and profit oriented organization, owned by some individuals. Such similar study has not been carried out as to determine how leadership influences it.
The current study therefore intends to examine the impact of leadership on the performance of this private sector organization.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This study is intended to satisfy the task of those seeking knowledge and the importance of leadership towards the achievement of organizational goals and objectives.
The overall objective of this project is to:
- Identify the environment in which the organization operates, the outcome of the work environment and how leadership activities contribute to the achievement of those outcomes.
- To appraise the different leadership theories in relation to employees and organizational objectives as well as determine perception of the supervisory management cadre in private sector organizations about effective leadership.
It is obvious that the primary objective of every organization, is to provide consumers with goods and services at the right time, place and price so as to satisfy them. Hence, effectiveness and efficiency are the watch words.
In the final analysis, the write up will reveal that democratic leaders tend to affect the employees more positively than authoritative leaders, while authoritative leaders tend to achieve production target better than democratic leaders. However, organizations should ensure that an effective leader with well equipped and trained staffs, should manned the affairs of the firms so as to attain organizational effectiveness.
1.4. Research Questions
- What is the perception of staff in VITA FOAM Limited about effective leadership and its impact on organizational effectiveness?
- Are there gender and educational differences in perception of effectiveness of leadership in VITA FOAM Limited?
1.5 Statement of Hypothesis
H0: Effective leadership does not contribute to effectiveness and productivity of workers in VITA FOAM Limited, Kaduna.
H1: Effective leadership contributes to effectiveness and productivity in VITA FOAM Limited, Kaduna.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The significance of the study is that, that, it will serve as an instrument for harnessing the impact of leadership in the achievement of organizational effectiveness and objectives in the private sector i.e. VITA FOAM Limited, Kaduna.
The outcome of this research would:
- Identify aspects of the Nigeria work life that need to be influenced by planned and exceptive management.
- Highlights qualities that show effective leadership and are critical to growth and development of private sector enterprise in Nigeria.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study was designed to cover VITA FOAM Limited Kaduna, a caring and service organization among other private sectors. The study is to cover the impact of leadership on organizational effectiveness in VITA FOAM Limited, and also operation, procurement and finance unit.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
Constraints encountered in the course of this study includes finance and time, as the staffs of VITA FOAM Limited had little time to squeeze out of their schedule of duty to attend to the researcher, and besides, not all the staffs can be seen at the same time as some were on shifting duty and that necessitated the researcher constantly coming around and that posed a serious financial implication.
1.9 Historical Background of the Case Study
VITA FOAM Limited was established in 1972 by VITA FOAMrine from Lebanon. He was the sole owner and later went into VITA FOAM pipe, which is a subsidiary of VITA FOAM. VITA FOAM limited is a company that specialize in manufacturing different sizes of mattresses. In the year 2006, 65% of VITA FOAM Limited shares were sold to Artistes a group of foreign investors, while 35% was retained by VITA FOAMrine. The diversification and sold of 65% shares to group of foreign inventors, was to provide the best product at affordable cost to the general public or populace. Despite the changes in administrative set up of the organization, it has continued to witness higher patronage. The reason for this, is that the leadership has been efficient in its operation.
1.10 Definition of Terms
- Leadership: The act or process of influencing people to strive willingly and enthusiastically towards the accomplishment of group goals.
- Management: The process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals work together in group to accomplish effectively selected aims and objectives.
- Efficiency: Ability to work well without wasting time and resources.
- Impact: Strong impression or effect of leadership on organizational effectiveness.
- Organization: A structure or process in which persons interact for objectives or an enterprise itself.
- Productivity: Efficiency in the accomplishment of objectives.
- Performance: An action or achievement considered in relation to how successful it is.
- Satisfaction: Pleasure derived from doing one’s job.
- Behaviour: Individual unique way of exhibiting his or her action.
- Democratic: Consultative or participative type of group behvaviours.
- Junior Staff: Workers on grade level 1 – 6 comprising of uneducated and those educated to secondary school level.
- Senior Staff: Workers on grade levels 7 and above.
- Manager: A person who is in charge of a business, a shop/store or a similar organization e.g. bank manager, hotel manager etc.
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