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Taibah University’s Leadership Style and Faculty Satisfaction Research Paper

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Updated: May 18th, 2021


Every company has a leader or multiple leaders who are responsible for managing the company. They hire staff, control the workflow, establish the structure of the company, gather and redistribute resources, and perform other managing duties. Leadership is a difficult process, and different people choose different approaches to it. There is a multitude of leadership style categories that separate them, like transformational, transactional, and passive or avoidant styles. Each holds its own characteristics and can have its own effects on the job satisfaction of employees.

Transformational leadership is based on the positive concepts of fairness and integrity in the workplace. A leader who uses a transformational leadership style has to be clear in the goals he chooses for the company. Their interaction with the employees is supportive in nature and often has an inspirational quality. However, the employees are expected to perform quality work and act selflessly to achieve the common goals of the company.

On the other hand, transactional leadership is mostly focused on the results of the work performed by employees. Such leaders utilize a strict system of rewards and penalties to control their staff. The routine of work has to be maintained, and the most effective measures are taken to do so. The transactional style of leadership is often based on reacting to the current situation rather than developing new solutions to issues.

Self-interest is above all in the transactional style, which makes it the complete opposite of transformative leadership. Passive or avoidant leadership styles are rarely seen as desirable, but unfortunately, they are often present in business at large. Passive leadership avoids making any actions unless a problem is threatening the well-being of the company. Leaders who practice it rarely interact with their employees, and their decisions often do not affect the workflow of the company. Such practices are sometimes developed accidentally due to the desire for empowerment for the employees. However, if this trend continues, the desired empowerment disappears and leads to passive leadership.

Each style affects the employees differently, and depending on the situation, it may lead to benefits of issues for the company. Job satisfaction is a measure that is hard to define, but it has a significant effect on the workflow of the company. It describes how much the employees are enjoying the job they do. Work is stressful and time-consuming, but it does not have to be seen as a negative experience. An employee can be perfectly content with their position if they see themselves as a valued member of the organization due to various factors.

They may include the way they are reimbursed for the work they do, the positive attention from the leaders, the importance of their work, schedule, and other aspects that can affect their perception of the role they have in the company. Studies have shown that people who are satisfied with their job are much less prone to make mistakes and can perform at a higher level than those who do not feel satisfied. In fact, strong and prolonged dissatisfaction often leads to burnout and the development of negative behaviors for the employees. Therefore, it is important to choose a leadership style that would provide job satisfaction to the majority of employees.


Taibah University is located in Medina, Saudi Arabia. It is a large institution that has more than 20,000 enrolled students at any given time. Its wide array of academic programs requires a large number of full-time faculty members to operate successfully. 624 full-time faculty members are employed by the university, and their job satisfaction affects the success not only of the university itself but of the students that study in it.

Therefore, it is important to establish a leadership style that is most effective at fostering job satisfaction among the faculty members. Certainly, Taibah University employs professional people who are able to withstand the stress of faculty work, but there is no reason to subject them to a leadership style that does not provide a positive contribution to their work and the education of their students. This literature review will provide quantitative and peer-reviewed material to examine the effect of different leadership styles on employees.

Problem Statement

Taibah University employs 624 full-time faculty members, and to successfully lead them, an effective style needs to be chosen.

Study Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine all the available literature on transformative, transactional, and passive leadership styles, as well as their effect on the job satisfaction of full-time employees.

Literature Review

Criteria for Literature Selection and Data Collection

The materials for the literature review were selected based on the following criteria. To make sure that the materials contain relevant and current information, no articles older than ten years old were included in the review. All resources had to come from scholarly, empirically-based, peer-reviewed sources. These stipulations limited the search primarily to scholarly journals that are dedicated to leadership and management.

The materials were collected through the use of the scholarly search engine Google Scholar, which allowed the results to be filtered according to the required criteria. The collected resources were separated into four categories based on the four questions the review was designed to answer. The first was dedicated to a more general effect of all administrator leadership styles on job satisfaction, and the other three were focused on transformative, transactional, and passive styles. This way, each of the topics could be covered in-depth and then analyzed.

Effect of Administrator Leadership Styles on Job Satisfaction of Employees

Before the examination of specific leadership styles, it is important to establish the extent of the effect that they can have on the job satisfaction of full-time employees. One of the more general resources on this topic was published in the International Journal of Educational Management in 2013. It provided a multilevel analysis of the way principal leadership affects teachers in educational settings.

The study has been done to establish the effect that administrative leadership has on middle school teachers. The authors focused on data from 178 schools that employed 2,967 teachers. The grand scale of research made their findings more legitimate and representative of reality. The researchers found that some aspects of administrative leadership style had significant effects on the job satisfaction of the teachers.

Specifically, when principals collaborated with the teachers, their attitude toward the leader and their job became much more favorable (Duyar, Gumus, & Bellibas, 2013). This research could suggest that leadership styles that promote collaboration are more beneficial to the level of job satisfaction among employees. However, other resources need to be considered before a concrete decision can be made.

In 2009, a large research study on the job satisfaction of nurse teachers was published by Li Gui, Louise Barriball, and Alison While. It was based on a comprehensive literature review of resources published from 1976 to 2007. The study specifically focused on the job satisfaction of nurse teachers, but its results are sufficiently relevant to the present literature review due to the similarity of its topic.

The first part of the paper was focused on the measurements of job satisfaction and how they may be identified. At the end of the first part, the researchers came to the conclusion that the definition by which job satisfaction is measured has not drastically changed over the years. The regional differences of the studies did not affect the measurements either, which suggests that they may be universally shared. As some of the components of job satisfaction, the writers list working hours, conditions, school reputation, and job security (Gui, Barriball, & While, 2009a). The second part was dedicated to the analysis of the data on the effect of various aspects, including leadership styles.

The effect of leadership styles on job satisfaction has been recorded to be significant across the majority of the examined materials. The strength of the relationship varied from strong to very strong, with only a small fraction of the results showcasing a weak relationship. This is one of the more concrete conclusions of the paper, however.

The authors make sure to state that the material available to them was not sufficient to make accurate assumptions, and since all of the papers were based on studies done in the United States, their results may not apply to the experiences of other countries. Due to these limitations, these studies lose a part of their credibility (Gui, Barriball, & While, 2009b). For the purposes of this literature review, however, it still has merit due to the almost unanimous results on the relationship of leadership styles on the job satisfaction of teachers.

A similar conclusion is shown in a study focused on the job satisfaction of banking sector employees in Chennai, India (Sowmya & Panchanatham, 2011). The authors examined the situation from a perspective similar to the previously examined studies. Eight public sector banks and five new private sector banks were taken as a control group for the study. The study was done through questionnaires that were distributed among 120 employees of the bank.

Five major factors of job satisfaction were recorded after the analysis of the completed questionnaires. The first is the pay and promotion that the employees receive. The second factor included organizational aspects such as pride in the company, respect that they receive, and confidence in company management. The third factor concerned the leadership style of the supervisor. People who felt that their supervisor treated them well, informed them of all the changes in the organization, and generally behaved in a respectful and helpful manner felt a greater level of job satisfaction.

The fourth factor was the job condition, and the fifth was co-worker behavior. The prevalence of leadership behavior in the surveys filled out by the participants in the study shows that people perceive it as an important component of their job satisfaction (Sowmya & Panchanatham, 2011). The study is focused on a very specific group of employees, which limits its relevance but just as with the previous study, the similarity of the results suggests that the effect of leadership styles on job satisfaction is at the very least probable if not completely evident.

A different multilevel study was published in 2012. Unlike the employee-focused studies discussed so far, this research was done from the perspective of the leader. The study focused on the way the leadership of principals affects the job satisfaction of teachers. The goals of the examined leaders have shown to be the same as the employees. Job satisfaction was recorded to be desirable because it benefited both principals and teachers.

The authors presented a very detailed examination of the way leaders can foster job satisfaction through various strategies and styles. Some of the most commonly used included teacher empowerment, the creation of supportive relationships between teachers and leaders, and collaborative culture in the organization. If such relationships are not properly established, the job satisfaction level of teachers becomes too low to maintain proper work. In fact, the study considers it to be one of the leading factors of teachers leaving their profession or transferring to other educational institutions.

The study considers a variety of scenarios and previously discussed types of leadership, but the majority of the examined results are supporting the idea that job satisfaction is significantly affected by the leadership styles of principals and especially their willingness to be supportive and actively involved in the work of teachers. The absence of administrative leadership is seen in a negative light and leads to a reduction in job satisfaction and eventual loss of the employee.

The paper is presented in clear language that does not overly rely on professional jargon. Its material is thoroughly researched and appears sensible and credible. It can be considered as a major example of the relationship between leadership styles and job satisfaction. The types of effective leadership that the paper explores can also be used as evidence for the later section of the study (Shen, Leslie, Spybrook, & Ma, 2012).

Jody Harpell and Jac Andrews also examined the effect of administrative leadership on the employees of companies. Their research touches upon similar ideas that others covered on the topic. Specifically, they come to a conclusion that teachers should be empowered by the leader to achieve higher motivation and job satisfaction. The article also promotes self-management teams because they are seen as more flexible, especially when the leadership styles of the administrators change over time. This position goes against the previously stated importance of creating a relationship between the principal and teachers.

Perhaps the self-management style that the authors propose does not completely sever the relationship between leaders and teachers, but overall, they do not promote a hands-on approach to team management. However, Harpell and Andrews recommend a transformational style of leadership to be utilized by the administrator, which involves a more active approach to leadership from the principal than the previous statement would suggest (Harpell & Andrews, 2010). Overall, the article echoes the previously explored ideas about the effect that leadership styles have on job satisfaction.

A large-scale examination of 1515 university administrators was performed by Tracy Morris and Joseph Laipple, results of which were published in 2015. The study involved a survey of leadership skills, preparedness for their role, and job satisfaction of the administrators. Participants were most certain about their abilities to generate entrepreneurial revenue, monitoring progress, and resolving conflicts such as appeals.

However, other aspects were shown to be less certain for them. Those who went through business administration, leadership, organizational, and psychological courses found themselves to be prepared for the role, but others showed clear hesitation. Enthusiasm for their work also diminished with age. People who have worked as administrators for long periods of time were less motivated and enthusiastic about their position than those who just started.

The vast majority reported dissatisfaction with their job, and only 20.5 percent had positive outlooks on their daily activities. Female participants reported possible discrimination in their compensation and a feeling of being overwhelmed by their duties. However, they also showed a powerful ability to inspire others to work harder and resolve the poor performance of others. On the whole, the authors came to the conclusion that there exists a need for continuous training in leadership development and management to ensure a higher level of preparedness and job satisfaction. Unlike other examined studies, the authors provide a perspective on how the administrative style of leadership affects people who utilize it.

The data shows that it appears to be rather ineffective and even harmful to leaders (Morris & Laipple, 2015). The study as a whole shows detailed information about the topic, and its evidence appears to be valid. The large sample size selected by the authors also allows for a more accurate overview of the situation.

A similar investigation was performed by Dr. Lutfi Uredi from Mersin University in 2017. The investigation mainly focused on the job satisfaction of teachers in educational institutions rather than a specific leadership style that affects them. The main method of research utilized in this investigation was relational screening through the “Job Satisfaction Scale” and “Attitude Scale towards Teaching Profession.” 35 specific items were presented for examination by the participants, who were asked to rate them on a 5-point scale.

The majority of participating teachers responded that they never find their job meaningful, never try to find new information, and almost never see the job appropriate for their abilities. However, they completely agreed with the notion that teaching requires self-devotion, is a dignified profession, and is a leading profession with a conscientious dimension. The disparity between the attitude of teachers towards their profession and the lack of job satisfaction they experience is stated to be due to the disadvantages in different dimensions. The author calls for additional investigation of the reasons behind this disparity (Uredi, 2017).

The paper does not provide significant input on leadership styles but allows for a deeper understanding of job satisfaction. The evidence presented by the paper appears to be rather strong due to the high sample size, careful construction of the investigation, and a high number of relevant citations. It may be used to determine the nature of job satisfaction among employees, especially in the educational context.

An article on this topic was presented by Angela Chan in 2013. She presented the reasons for her personal job satisfaction as a matron at the Portland Hospital in London. For her, a career in nursing was a childhood goal, and she was extremely excited when it became a reality. However, she notes the difficulties that most nurses begin to experience immediately after qualifying for their positions. For example, they are under almost constant pressure to create a large portfolio of experiences and knowledge. Chan worked as a healthcare assistant in theatres to make sure she was learning additional skills while studying at the University of Greenwich.

Understanding what the potential employer could provide to the nurse is one of the requirements for job preparedness, as different positions may provide, as well as require different skills. Challenging situations and decisions are common in Chan’s profession as a matron and require her to have a lot of experience in working different clinical roles. She sees this as a positive, however, because it encourages professional development, which allows her to gain additional work experience. In addition, teamwork and team support are very important for her job satisfaction. Members of her team are ready to support her at any time, and she is ready to support them.

This mutual understanding allows her to not only perform at the peak of her ability but also feel supported and satisfied with her job. Her article is brief, but it allows the reader to gain an understanding of leadership aspects that can lead to better job satisfaction among nurses (Chan, 2013). Perhaps the most effective element described in the article is the team interaction and support that it provides. Previously examined cases with teachers and administrators did not mention any team interaction being common among the participants, which may indicate that they required such aspects to show higher levels of job satisfaction.

Another study of job satisfaction of employees was done by Ralph Schroder of Andrews University in 2008. He focused his study on employees of a Christian university. A large sample size of 835 university employees was chosen for participation. The method of research was very traditional. All the participants were asked to fill out a Professional Satisfaction Scale based on Herzberg’s two-factor theory.

The participants had to measure a range of items on a 5-point Likert-type scale, as well as some additional items. Unlike the negative results showcased by previous educational employees, this study presented more moderately positive results. The majority of the participants were satisfied with relationships with students and peers that they fostered but were dissatisfied with their salaries and organizational policy.

The leadership style they encountered was administrative and also elicited a number of negative responses. The author considered such factors as occupation, age, and education level to be important for the job satisfaction of employees, but the data suggests that the leadership style that the university utilized was also at fault for some of its lower grades (Schroder, 2008). This article presents strong evidence due to its large sample size and theoretically sound method of research.

One of the rarely discussed elements of job satisfaction is the effect that organizational culture may have on the leadership behavior and job satisfaction of the employees. This topic was explored by Yafang Tsai in a study he published in 2011. The organizational culture, as described by the author, is comprised of the beliefs and values of an organization. He notes that this element needs to be understood to fully establish the relationship between the organizational culture, job satisfaction of the employees, and leadership behavior. The study took place in Taiwan and primarily involved nurses.

Out of the 300 participants that the author chose, only 200 returned questionnaires. The acquired data was then analyzed through a number of confirmatory factors and Cronbach’s model. The results confirmed the hypothesis of the author. The organizational culture had a significant positive correlation with leadership behavior and job satisfaction, while leadership behavior was primarily positively correlated with job satisfaction.

This data shows that job satisfaction can be directly related to the behavior of the leader. Therefore, the effect that organizational culture has on this behavior, in turn, means that it has an effect on job satisfaction. Positive interactions caused by the culture result in higher job motivation, better team communication, and other beneficial aspects. However, a negative culture is likely to lead to a lesser level of job satisfaction (Tsai, 2011). This paper presents a unique notion that deserves additional consideration. The evidence presented by the paper is strong, and its conclusions appear valid.

Another topic that was rarely encountered during the search was the effect of ethical leadership on employee satisfaction. This type of leadership emphasizes the focus on employee moral awareness. A Chinese perspective on this style of leadership was showcased by Yidong Tu, Xin Xin Lu, and Yue Yu in their study published in 2017. The study proposed that moral cognition was essential for a fruitful relationship between supervisors’ ethical leadership style and the job satisfaction of the employees.

In addition, the moral-cognitive processes between them are considered. The study involved 371 participants and was performed in a Chinese firm. Through structural equation modeling, the authors examined the acquired data. The study resulted in a confirmation that the ethical leadership style of the supervisors had a positive effect on the employee job satisfaction of the participants, as well as their moral awareness and identity. In addition, these aspects were in part responsible for the mediation of the relationship between supervisors and employee job satisfaction (Tu, Lu, & Yu, 2017).

The authors utilized the social cognitive theory during their study, and it made the research unique and significant to the discussion of leadership and its effect on job satisfaction. The Chinese focus of the study may appear as a limitation, but in fact, it is an advantage because it provides a unique perspective on this issue. Moreover, due to the power of the Chinese industry, studies of their approach to business should be beneficial to other countries. The presented evidence is strong and should be considered during future research projects.

The materials gathered about this topic had a common through-line that showed that the leadership styles chosen by the administrator could have a significant effect on the job satisfaction of the employees. Even in the articles that were not fully dedicated to leadership styles, the behavior of the supervisor or manager has been cited as a factor in the motivation and satisfaction of the staff. While this is only a portion of the available information on the topic, it could be used to state that leadership styles are important and, therefore, the most appropriate one should be chosen.

Effect of Transformational Leadership on the Job Satisfaction of Employees

Transformational leadership was already mentioned in the previous resources as a possible leadership style that can improve the job satisfaction of the employees. However, the first study about the effect of transformational leadership that was selected for this literature review was performed by Mehmet Top, Mesut Akdere, and Mederes Tarcan. They focused their research on the transformational leadership that is utilized in Turkish hospitals.

For the study, they measured job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and organizational trust of the participating employees. The variety of variables that the authors chose made this study more unique and gave it a perspective that is rarely seen in the studies of transformational leadership. The study involved 2108 employees, which makes it one of the largest empirical studies on transformational leadership available to date.

The sample size of the study made its results carry more weight because it represents a large portion of the professionals working in the examined field. After examining and analyzing all the data collected through the study, the authors came to a conclusion that people who work with transformational leaders have higher job satisfaction, act more involved, feel more empowered and motivated. Their trust and commitment to the organization were also recorded to be higher than in organizations that do not practice transformational leadership (Top, Akdere, & Tarcan, 2015).

A comparative study of multiple leadership styles was performed in Turkey by Ayhan Aydin, Yilmaz Sarier, and Sengul Uysal. They focused their efforts on the effect that leadership styles of school principals have on the job satisfaction and organizational commitment of teachers. The study was comprised of multiple studies on the impact of transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership styles. The study focused on the meta-analysis of twelve research findings performed by various researchers in Turkey. The results showcased a high level of job satisfaction and commitment whenever a transformational leadership style was utilized.

The authors also noted a significant difference in levels between transactional and transformative leadership styles, which goes against the results gained by the previously examined study. Concluding statements include notions that it is important to promote awareness of transformational leadership to administrators and that the method of meta-analysis utilized by the authors is specifically popular in Turkey.

This shows that the authors aim to change the established leadership styles in Turkish educational settings, but they still require additional research on this topic to reach a definite conclusion. The disparity between these results requires further examination and research (Aydin, Sarier, & Uysal, 2013). The meta-analysis performed by the authors is comprehensive in nature, but if it included additional studies on this topic, the results could be considered to be more concrete. Nevertheless, its evidence is strong, and the majority of the article is supported by relevant citations.

A smaller study published in the American Journal of Economics examined the various components of transformational leadership to finch which one has the most effect on the job satisfaction of the employees. The authors separated transformational leadership into charisma, individual consideration of the employee by the leader, and intellectual stimulation. The study sample consisted of 320 randomly chosen employees of Malaysian Universities.

The authors hypothesized that all three components would have a positive effect on the job satisfaction of the employees. However, the study found that only intellectual stimulation has a significantly positive effect, while the effect of charisma is statistically insignificant, and individual consideration was seen as a negative factor for job satisfaction.

The last statement contradicts the previously gathered information, but the authors believe that I might have to do with the busy schedule of the leaders not allowing for proper individual consideration of the employees. They also believe that regional differences in the culture of Malesia might have an effect on the results of the study (R. M. Hanaysha et al., 2012). Nevertheless, the study supports the notion that transformational leadership has a positive effect on the job satisfaction of employees.

Another study that considered the impact of transformational leadership on various aspects of employment was made by Marnis Atmojo, who published it in the International Research Journal of Business Studies in 2015. The paper is focused on job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and employee performance in organizations that utilize transformational leadership. The author recorded a significant level of influence over all three characteristics.

He proposed that the attention to individual needs of the employees that transformational leadership provides is one of the reasons behind the improvement of job satisfaction among the participants. The study also touches upon the importance of job satisfaction and its effect on employee performance. The satisfied employees performed better than those who felt dissatisfied with their job (Atmojo, 2015). The scope of the article is relatively small, but its conclusion can contribute to the overall positive attitude towards transformational leadership that other studies showcased.

Amar Rughani published an article in 2015 which concerned the idea that transformational leadership may be utilized by any person who is sufficiently trained in leadership due to its transformative nature. He begins the article by noting that the field of leadership training is rather underestimated and does not always produce results when the theoretical material is translated into practice. Nevertheless, the author considers leadership to be an extremely important field of education due to the constant need for new managers, supervisors, and other people who perform administrative roles. Moreover, he states that leadership provides skills to the trainees that allow them to transform their place of work into a larger and more effective one. The importance of teamwork is also emphasized because every leader has weaknesses.

The author emphasizes the importance of embedding leadership into the main curriculum to provide an understanding of leadership to the largest number of people. He suggests that training should consist of stimulating job assignments, should not be overprotective, and contact with a wide range of people should be encouraged. He finishes the article with a notion that by teaching transformative leadership to people, they would become able to understand deeper values of leadership and transform any place of work around them (Rughani, 2015). The article touches upon the rarely discussed value of training for managers. No other article examined for this literature review was dedicated to training, but the effect that this aspect may have on the quality of leadership should be considered. The article itself is structured in a slightly unclear manner but is otherwise well-researched and effective.

An interesting paper by Alemu Muleta Kebede and Getnet Worku Demeke, published in 2017, provided an overview of the influence that various leadership styles have on employee job satisfaction in Ethiopian public universities. The researchers utilized the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire and Job Satisfaction Survey to identify which leadership styles had the most positive effects on the job satisfaction of employees.

A relatively large sample group of 382 faculty employees of four Ethiopian universities was selected for participation in the study. The participants were contacted through online measures, and the authors experienced no restrictions to their research efforts. The questionnaire data was then analyzed through logistic regression. The results of the study indicated that employees that experienced transformational leadership have a higher level of job satisfaction. However, the differences between the transactional and transformational leadership styles are little. Nevertheless, the effect of leadership styles on employee satisfaction was determined to be significant (Kebede & Demeke, 2017). The study itself presents a valuable perspective on leadership in the African region.

Moreover, it shows that the effect of leadership styles is more international than it was previously considered to be. The evidence presented in the article is strong due to the large number of people that participated in the study and careful consideration of the topic. This paper can be used to show how statistics from different regions of the world appear to be similar to each other, despite cultural and economic differences around the world.

The job satisfaction of teachers under transformational leadership is also explored in a study by Maria Menon. As with the previous studies, Menon sought to examine the link between leadership styles and the job satisfaction of teachers. Unlike the previous studies, however, she also examines transactional and passive leadership behaviors that will be covered in the further sections. She selected 438 school teachers in the Republic of Cyprus to participate in the study.

The study comes to a decision that contradicts the previously gathered information. The examined results suggest that transformational leadership on its own is insufficient to provide job satisfaction for teachers. Instead, the results that the leadership archives are perceived to be the most effective factors for job satisfaction. The results suggest that when teachers are satisfied, they are more likely to identify the transformational qualities of the leaders, regardless of the style they employ (Menon, 2014). These results are unusual, but they suggest that transformational style is not infallible and may need to be combined with others to be effective.

A similar study of motivational correlates was performed by Zeljka Vidic and Damon Burton and published in 2011. It was focused on the effect of different leadership styles on the motivation of athletes. 132 college and high school athletes were selected for participation in the study. It took place at a military institute that emphasized leadership development, which allowed for more focused research on the topic. The study examined servant, transactional, transformational, and avoidant styles of leadership. The authors of the study showcase an unusual result as the servant leadership style is recorded as having the highest level of correlation with motivational variables.

However, transactional and transformative styles were also showed to be effective and favorable. Only the avoidant style was seen as detrimental to the motivational variables. The study is unique in its structure, but its results suffer from the low number of participants and the heavily disproportionate ratio of male to female participants. Less than 30 female athletes participated in the study, which may skew results toward a more male perspective on leadership styles.

To gain a better idea of how they affect motivational variables, a ratio close to 1:1 should have been chosen (Vidic & Burton, 2011). Nevertheless, its results indicate that in some cases, transactional and transformational styles of leadership may be less beneficial to the employees than the servant style approach. The paper is also relatively well researched and contains a lot of cited information which makes its arguments more valid. Overall, it may be used to support a more concrete paper, but it is not strong enough to base an argument on.

A study performed by a group of Norwegian researchers compared the effects of transactional and transformational leadership on employee engagement. The study involved an examination of questionnaires that were filled out daily by 61 naval cadets. The study was performed on an active ship during a 34-day sailing mission. The participants were exposed to both transactional and transformational styles of leadership and evaluated the effect of these styles on their engagement.

The study presents a unique perspective due to the profession of its participants and their training. All of the participants were conditioned to perform under the most stressful of circumstances which allow for a very controlled environment. However, due to the high-demand nature of the work performed by the participants, the study involved separate tasks, which were not related to it. After the completion of the study, the results indicated that the participants preferred the transformational style of leadership to the transactional style. Along with transformational leadership, the participants preferred contingent rewards that were provided during the study.

They expressed a significantly higher level of work engagement during these stages of the study and found the overall work environment to be positive (Breevaart et al., 2014). The study is slightly limited by its low number of participants, and their training makes them less susceptible to poor work environments than an average person, but overall this is a very significant study on this topic. The research plan and the analysis of the results are thoroughly cited with valid materials, which allow the evidence presented in the article to be considered strong.

The fact that the majority of the examined literature was dedicated to the educational sector is not coincidental. A large number of researchers are focused on the effects of leadership styles on education. The majority of studies have also shown to prefer transformational leadership to other styles. Laura Harrion examined this trend in 2011 and published a critique of the main tenets of transformational leadership.

She argues that the issue of power in the hands of a transformational leader requires outside control, which is absent in the core tenets. A great deal of integrity is required to effectively utilize this style of power, and it is unlikely that all the potential leaders are capable of ethically utilizing it. However, she also presents possible solutions such as infusion of more political and business literature into student affairs curricula, cultivation of strategic mentors, works with public relation issues that affect student affairs, and utilization of power analysis into the leadership discourse (Harrison, 2011).

The criticisms presented in the article are valid and are supported by relevant citations. It is important to realize that there are issues that need to be resolved before transformational leadership can be implemented.

Lastly, a study of transformational leadership and job satisfaction in the petroleum sector of Libya supports the notion that transformational leadership has a positive effect on job satisfaction and organizational commitment of the employees (Shurbagi, 2014). The results of the study were consistent with previously discussed studies despite the difference in the professions between teachers and workers of the petroleum industry (Shurbagi, 2014). This study can suggest that the benefits of the transformational style of leadership are relatively universal due to their individual attention to the needs of the employees.

Effect of Transactional Leadership on the Job Satisfaction of Employees

The majority of studies found on the effect of transactional leadership on job satisfaction of employees involved the comparison of various styles of leadership between each other. For example, a study by Yu Sun, Esther Gergen, Michelle Avila, and Mark Green compares transformational and transactional leadership styles and their effects. Throughout the study, they point out how the transactional style is more widely used in the sphere of accounting due to its focus on routine tasks and results-based rewards.

However, the benefits of efficiency that job satisfaction brings to the workplace were considered to be better for the organization as a whole by the authors. Therefore, despite the relevance of the transactional leadership style to the topic of their study, the authors still recommend transformational leadership (Sun, Gergen, Avila, & Green, 2016).

A more positive response was found in the study by Lorraine Borman and Kathleen Abrahamson that covered the use of all three styles among nurse leaders and their effect on job satisfaction. The authors focused only on one hospital for their sample but involved 117 staff nurses in the study.

This could be considered a limitation of the study. After the data was analyzed, the authors determined that both transactional and transformational styles of leadership can have a positive effect on job satisfaction. However, the passive style of leadership led to lower levels of job satisfaction (Bormann & Abrahamson, 2014). Despite the small sample size of the study, it covered all three of the leadership styles that are being examined in this literature review which makes it more relevant.

Another study that compares the various styles of leadership and their effects on job satisfaction was done by Dimitrios Belias and Athanasios Koutelios. They approached the topic from a perspective of a literature review. The authors found that both transactional and transformational styles are able to facilitate job satisfaction among employees when used appropriately. The transactional style is seen to be beneficial when the leader needs to work within a specific framework that cannot be changed, while the transformational style is more applicable to frameworks that require innovation.

The authors believe that transformational leadership can have a stronger effect on job satisfaction than transactional style but do rule out its use (Belias & Koustelios, 2014). This statement is consistent with the results of the previous study, which could suggest a trend in other comparative studies.

A study from Jordan also compares transactional and transformational leadership in the context of job satisfaction. The author finds both models to be beneficial to the organizations that employ them but in slightly different ways. The transformational style is once again stated as having a positive effect on job satisfaction, while transactional leadership can facilitate job performance through job rewards and sharing of knowledge among the staff. However, despite both styles being valid, no significant effect of transactional leadership on job satisfaction was noted by the author (Masa’deh, Obeidat, & Tarhini, 2016).

This conclusion does not align with the previously examined research, but it could be explained that job satisfaction, in this case, is gained through the transactional reward system, which was already suggested by previous resources.

Thomas Miller wrote an informative piece on transactional leadership in 2011. This article was dedicated to the value of integrity in transactional leadership situations. He proposes that without integrity being the number one priority in transactional leadership, the welfare of the students would inevitably suffer. Leaders are expected to be honest, consistent in their work ethic, and transparent, even in cases when the personnel resources, goods and services, technology, time, and other resources are limited. Miller presents a number of principles that should be utilized to ensure integrity in transactional leadership.

The first is clarity and consistency, which allow for a full understanding of the information presented by the leaders to their students. The second is fairness and openness in funding and fees to ensure that none of the students feel left out of the decision-making process, and therefore see the actions of the leaders as fair. The third principle is simplicity, and it makes sure that the transaction process is easy and not frustrating. The fourth and last principle is full disclosure because it prevents inaccurate conclusions from being made by the students. Miller also examines a number of concerns such as accessibility, self-responsiveness, adaptation to individual interests and needs, the role of students as partners, honesty, confidentiality, and problem-solving. Each of them holds a special role in transactional leadership when it is applied to educational settings, and some may be used outside of them (Miller, 2011).

The article is very informative and touches upon some of the main elements that require being engaged to make transactional leadership effective. The evidence presented is rather inconsequential, however, and only a few statements are supported by earlier publications. Nevertheless, the information presented in the article is useful for the understanding of the transactional style of leadership.

The common conclusion found in the majority of the examined articles is that transactional leadership style is not as effective in fostering job satisfaction as transformational leadership. However, many of the authors found it to be applicable to more routine professions where it can provide benefits. Its effect on job satisfaction is not without merit, but it does not perform as well as the alternative.

Effect of Passive Leadership on the Job Satisfaction of Employees

Passive leadership was found to be a relatively unexplored topic during the search for materials. Just as the studies on the transactional style were mostly represented by research that compared various styles, the passive style was only examined when it was compared with other styles. For example, a study of the leadership styles of frontline medical imaging supervisors found passive leadership to have a significant negative effect on the job satisfaction of the employees. The reason behind this decision is stated to be the lack of relationship between the leader and the employee (Watson, 2009). A similar notion can be seen in the study by Fatameh Hamidifar.

An interesting study was performed by Hannes Zacher and Matthijs Bal in 2012 on the topic of passive-avoidant leadership in educational contexts. They describe that there exists a stereotype of older professors being passive-avoidant leaders. To test it, they performed a study on 128 university professors that were each paired with a research assistant. The researchers noted that the older professors showed a lower level of enthusiasm towards research, were more humanist in nature, had an exiting consciousness, and were empowered by their followers.

However, these findings did not explain any connection between their age and passive-avoidant style of leadership. In addition, the ratings presented by the assistants who believed in age stereotypes confirmed the notion that older professors were more likely to utilize passive-avoidant leadership style, while those who did not believe in them or were unaware of their existence did not see their professor’s leadership as passive. The disparity in the results puzzled the researchers, and no additional reasons for it were found by them. Positive and negative stereotypes of professor’s followers were shown to have a strong effect on their opinion, however, as the differences were showcased very clearly during the data analysis section.

The researchers call for the additional study of this topic due to the number of older professors is likely to rise in the near future due to a lack of comfortable retirement options available to older citizens (Zacher & Bal, 2012). The paper itself is presented clearly and contains rare insight into the perception of the passive-avoidant style of leadership. By its notions, the passive-avoidant style of leadership can be unintentional and is, in fact, tied to the perception of the employees rather than the leader. This is a unique notion, and it should be considered when discussing this style of leadership.

Another unusual study around the topic of passive leadership is related to the concept of substitution of leadership. Xiao-Dong Xu and Jian An Zhong published a study of the impact that leadership substitution has on job satisfaction and performance of the employees. The research included 130 knowledge workers that were given survey questionnaires based on a variety of existing performance and job satisfaction scales. The final questionnaire included 41 items and monitored 13 variables related to the topic.

The majority of variables showed a positive correlation between leadership substitution, performance, and job satisfaction. The specific factors that affected this were close-knit, cohesive workgroups, peer supports, and inflexibility had a significant effect on the job satisfaction of the employees. In addition, the knowledge and expertise of the participants were also responsible for the high levels of job satisfaction. However, this element leads to the possible limitation of the study, as all the participants were experienced knowledge workers who are already capable of self-management. This aspect could have a significant effect on the validity of the results.

Therefore, the evidence provided by the study cannot be considered to be strong and instead should be taken with reservations (Xu, Zhong, & Wang, 2013). This is a rare topic of research, however, as this form of leadership is extremely rare and requires a lot of commitment from the participants and their firms. Overall, this article is significant at least because it can be used to show that there is interest in a variety of non-traditional leadership styles.

After examining various components of transactional, transformational, and passive leadership, he states that passive leadership does not have a positive effect on the job satisfaction of the employees. In addition, he examines it as a component of transactional leadership and comes to the same conclusion (Hamidifar, 2010). A study from 2013 has an even more negative outlook on passive leadership. Its authors classify it as a characteristic of dysfunction in the workplace. Not only is it seen as having a negative effect on job satisfaction, but it is stated to be one of the factors in the loss of engagement and burnout of the employees (Leary et al., 2013).

Studies on how teachers experience passive leadership also echoed the same idea. Passive leadership had a significant negative influence on their job satisfaction (Wahlstrom & Louis, 2008; Sušanj & Jakopec, 2012; Wells & Peachey, 2011). The response from the researchers is almost unanimous in that passive leadership should not be chosen when job satisfaction is a goal for the organization.

Discussion and Conclusion

The examined materials have shown that the leadership style chosen by the administrator can have a significant effect on the job satisfaction of the employees. A great number of the articles were especially relevant because they covered the job satisfaction of teachers and professors in educational settings. However, regardless of the setting, leaders had a great effect on the satisfaction of employees. The examination of the three styles of leadership produced the following results. The transformational style of leadership was found to be the most effective in facilitating job satisfaction.

Its focus on the creation of relationships between leaders and employees was stated as the primary reason behind this result. The transactional style was found to have a smaller effect on job satisfaction and only when the leader properly rewards the employees for their work. Finally, passive leadership was found to be dysfunctional and had a significant negative effect on job satisfaction in the majority of cases. Additional research may be required to reach a concrete decision on the matter, but currently, transformative leadership can be considered the primary choice for Taibah University if job satisfaction is a priority.


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