The effect of leadership behavior on subordinate attitude and performance in a para-military organization

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The effect of leadership behavior on subordinate attitude and performance in a para-military organization

 

Author: Leung, Chi-bun Eric
Title: The effect of leadership behavior on subordinate attitude and performance in a para-military organization
Degree: D.B.A.
Year: 2002
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Hong Kong Police -- Personnel management
Police administration -- China -- Hong Kong
Police -- China -- Hong Kong -- Rating of
Police -- China -- Hong Kong -- Attitudes
Leadership -- Case studies
Department: Dept. of Management
Pages: xiii, 252 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1659069
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/3937
Abstract: The Hong Kong Police has undergone dramatic developments in recent years to advance its service to the public. From his decades of police experience, the author posits that given the tremendous changes, there is now a need to take stock of the leadership required of the sergeants supervising the constables who are key to the successful policing of Hong Kong. In the academic field, scholars have also advocated that efforts should be made to arrive at an integrated leadership framework which ties different concepts together and makes possible the development of a comprehensive, sustaining theory. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of leadership behaviors of the sergeants in the Police Tactical Unit (PTU) by adopting a multi-perspective approach and a multi-level unit of analysis. Four PTU Companies comprising 381 constables and 122 units provided the data for the research. After the 12-week training attachment, constables were asked in a purpose-designed questionnaire to describe the leadership behavior of their sergeants and their attitude towards them. The platoon commanders and the training staff of the PTU independently rated the performance of these constables and their units. Analysis of the effect of leadership was pre-determined at both individual and unit levels. This study investigated the leadership behaviors of the PTU sergeants using an integrated leadership framework comprising charismatic behavior, consideration and initiating structure. The earlier behavioral theories (i.e., consideration and initiating structure) have long been considered fundamental for the leaders in the Hong Kong Police Force. In addition, the effects hypothesized by theories of charismatic leadership were considered relevant to sergeants in leading their constables to pursue the vision, the statement of common purpose, and values of the Hong Kong Police Force. From an expectancy theory perspective, the motivation of the behavioral approach to leadership complements the intrinsic motivational forces postulated by theorists of charismatic leadership. The research findings present evidence to support the three complementary dimensions of leadership. Both charismatic leadership and consideration bring about positive attitude from the subordinates in terms of their trust in the leader, satisfaction with the leader and identification with the leader. On the other hand, initiating structure only positively influences subordinate's identification with the leader. Further evidence is also available to support the positive effect of charismatic leadership on unit cohesiveness and potency. Initial support is also available to show that charismatic leadership is related to the performance of the units. The findings of the research demonstrate that charismatic leadership stands out to be more prominent than consideration and initiating structure. Except for one significant relationship, the research has, however, failed to find supporting evidence on the effect of subordinate attitude and unit characteristics on the criteria used to measure performance. The findings thus illustrate the need for greater sensitivity to confounding elements that may also influence such relationships during the training attachment at the PTU. This study has provided insight into charismatic leadership in conjunction with the behavioral approach of consideration and initiating structure. It is believed that the research contributes to the body of literature in charismatic leadership by amplifying its knowledge and offering new directions for future studies. This study has practical implications that will enable the sergeants to be better leaders. It will also assist the Hong Kong Police Force in its human resource management and, most importantly, in upholding its vision, statement of common purpose and values.

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