The moderating effects of leader behavior on the relationship between individual-task congruence and satisfaction and performance



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This dissertation investigated relationships among individual, task design, and leader behavior variables. Based on the task design literature, a construct called individual-task congruence was developed. Two forms of congruence are suggested to exist: when both task scope and Individual growth need strength are high and when both are low. Further, two forms of incongruence are suggested to exist when either task scope or growth need strength is high and the other is low. The path-goal theory of leader behavior is then used to develop a conceptual model which predicts that specific forms of leader behavior moderate the relationship between individual-task congruence and performance, satisfaction with the job, satisfaction with supervision, and overall satisfaction. The model was tested in a manufacturing organization over a three month period. The primary means of data collection was by questionnaire. Two interview samples and an employee panel were used to assess the validity and reliability of the reserach instruments. The first administration of the questionnaire yielded a sample of 129 respondents, and the second administration resulted in a samp1e of 171. One hundred and nine respondents took part in both rounds of data collection. Eight Hypotheses predicted specific correlational relationships among leader behavior(s) and dependent variables for each form of individual-task congruence. At least one facet of satisfaction was significantly related to the predicted form of leader behavior(s) for each level of congruence. No significant relationships were found, however, between predicted leader behaviors and performance. Eight additional Hypotheses predicted causal inference relationships among leader behavior and dependent variables for each form of congruence. Relationships were tested through the use of crosslagged correlations. Some support was found for causal inference relationships between leader behavior(s) and facets of satisfaction for both incongruent situations. However, no relationships were found between these variables for the two congruent situations. A causal inference relationship between leader behavior and performance was supported for one congruent situation. Results of the study are discussed in light of previous task design and leader behavior research. Included within this discussion is a consideration of the strengths and limitations of the study. Finally, a tentative framework for suggested future research directions is presented.