Since the focus of the research is on why people ‘leave’ organisations, the study intends to focus on the role of leaders and there a number of studies which highlight the importance of evaluating leadership role. According to one study, comparing the leadership skills of physician and non-physician administrators it was found that effective managers have significantly different leadership skill profiles than ineffective managers. Furthermore, effective managers are less likely to rely on one type of skill as ineffective managers (Shipper et al. 1998:124).
Research conducted by Avolio et al. (2004:951) on the NHS found that ‘transformational’ leadership, characterised by charisma, intellectual stimulation and inspirational motivation (Judge and Piccolo, 2004:755) was positively correlated with work attitudes (Avolio et al. 2004:951). Alternatively, ‘laissez-faire’ leadership – the absence or avoidance of leadership, characterised by an individuals’ tendency to avoid making decisions (Judge and Piccolo, 2004:756) and shirk responsibilities is frequently perceived as ineffective and dissatisfying by their followers (Bass, 1997:131). Nevertheless, the aim of this study is not simply to provide a list of characteristics which followers perceive ineffective leaders to have. Rather, the purpose is to explore more in-depth reasons ‘why’ employees feel the way they do about certain leaders and their leadership styles which may help to expose the situational and gender factors which have been shown to impact on followers perceptions (Brown, 1979:595).
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