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Public Policy and Administration


Anthony Fleming


The leadership style found in government is usually diverse in nature, with the chain of command being top-down and focused on bureaucracy. There are some leadership styles that can adversely impact or vastly improve workplace performance. This descriptive phenomenological study was used to understand employee perceptions of leadership styles that affect their workplace performance. Bass's transformational leadership theory guided this study to explore how a supervisor's leadership style impacts an employee's workplace performance. The primary research question focused on positive and negative perceptions employees held related to supervisors' leadership behaviors and characteristics. The data collection was derived from in-depth interviews with 10 mid-level management employees aged 27 to 55 years of age, who are currently or were previously employed with a local government agency. Using Moustakas's method of data analysis, four primary themes were disclosed: (a) perceptions of three leadership styles, (b) insights on workplace performance, (c) observations of leader behaviors and characteristics, and (d) work ethics, indicating that a supervisor's leadership behaviors and characteristics do impact employees' workplace performance. The 4 primary themes indicated that participants preferred leader characteristics and behaviors associated with transformational leaders than they did with transactional or laissez-faire leaders. An organization's culture is influenced by leadership style, and consequently, leadership style affects an employee's workplace performance. The social change implications, as related to the findings, enable a leader to evaluate the perceptions of an employee's view of appropriate leadership styles that increases their workplace performance.

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