A Neo-marxist Study of Organizational Leadership

James C. Sarros, George A. Tanewski, Richard P. Winter, Joseph C. Santora
This study examines the extent to which a leader's behavior (i.e., transactional and transformational styles) and aspects of an organisation's structure (i.e., centralization, formalization dimensions) directly and/or indirectly relate to neo-Marxist elements of work alienation (i.e., powerlessness, meaninglessness, self estrangement). The study utilized confirmatory structural modeling techniques to estimate the goodness of fit of transformational/transactional leadership-structure-alienation
more » ... odels based on the responses of personnel in a major US eastern seaboard fire department (a bureaucratic, quasi-military type organisation) (n = 326). Goodness of fit statistics for the transformational leadership structural model indicated good fit to the observed data, whereas transactional leadership showed poor fit. For both models, centralization (i.e., hierarchy of authority) and formalization (i.e., job codification, job specificity) sub-constructs predicted increased and decreased feelings of worker alienation (i.e., powerlessness) respectively. Additionally, transformational (attributed charisma) and transactional (contingent reward) leadership sub-constructs exerted significant direct and indirect negative effects on work alienation. The study argues that managers as well as leaders need to question bureaucratic orientations to work and manager-employee relations by rethinking their value orientations and adapting new models that encourage individual fulfilment, learning, and personal development.
doi:10.4225/03/593606150acf1 fatcat:urbugcxkrndbdase7zlaflukda