Date of Conferral

2018

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

Steven C. Tippins

Abstract

Previous research has indicated that leadership affects employee behavior, but additional research could explain how this relationship is mediated. The purpose of this correlational, quantitative design study was to test the mediating effects of employee income level on the relationship between leadership and employee behavior within the United States. The general problem for leaders is the lack of a comprehensive understanding regarding the relationship between their leadership and employee behavioral outcomes. The specific management problem is that unintended employee behavioral outcomes may be due to leadership decisions made without consideration given to the mediating effects of employee income level. Based on Adams's equity theory, the primary research question for this study was â??How does income level affect the relationship between leadership and employee behavior?â?? To answer this question I collected a dataset of 95 individuals using an online survey through Qualtrics. Income level was examined as a mediation variable between leadership styles and employee behavior in this study; however, there was no significant relationship between leadership and employee behavior present in the dataset. It was hypothesized that income level partially mediates the relationship between leadership and employee behavior, but the results indicated that income level does not mediate the relationship between leadership and employee behavior. This research is relevant to the field of management and has a positive social change implication because it demonstrates that the understanding regarding leaders and employees may not be as significantly correlated as previously demonstrated.

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