Date of Conferral







Carol Wells


Some leadership styles can produce job dissatisfaction, resulting in labor turnover and financial loss to organizations. Despite these known consequences, there is a lack of research on the perceptions of leadership styles on job satisfaction for hourly wageworkers. This phenomenological study was used to understand the experiences of non-management employees on how management leadership styles affected their job satisfaction. Bass's leadership theory, Herzberg's dual factor theory, and Maslow's hierarchy of needs guided this study. The primary research questions were used to explore themes in leadership styles affecting selected North Carolina employees in the workplace. Data collection included in-depth interviews with 25 hourly wageworkers who completed at least one annual performance discussion with their first-line supervisor. Utilizing Moustakas' modified van Kaam method of data analysis, 4 primary themes emerged: (a) perceptions of 3 leadership styles, (b) insights on job satisfaction, (c) observations of leader behaviors, and (d) leadership agility. The 4 primary themes and 18 subthemes indicated that participants perceived more positive experiences with transformational leaders than they did with transactional or laissez-faire leaders. The findings are important for first-line supervisors in the fields of business, finance, and education to develop strategies that may maximize positive experiences with leadership styles that will create and improve overall job satisfaction. Social change implications, given the findings, include supervisors' increased awareness of how the 3 leadership styles could provide more favorable experiences for hourly wageworkers.