Leaders continuously seek to improve organizational performance and enhance work group effectiveness to drive competitiveness and curtail the cost of employee turnover. The diversity of many work groups in the U.S. creates potential benefits and challenges for their leaders. Using data gathered from a manufacturing facility in southeastern U.S., this study examines how Path-Goal leadership styles, diversity, work group effectiveness, and work group members' turnover intention are related. Although all three Path-Goal leadership styles demonstrated significant positive correlations with work group effectiveness, only the Supportive style showed a significant negative relationship with turnover intention. Interestingly, work group effectiveness showed no significant correlation with turnover intention. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT] Full Text (5188 words)|
Copyright Pittsburg State University, Department of Economics Spring 2010 Globalization and the demand for a skilled, educated, and expeditious workforce pressure organizations to leverage their diverse workforces to gain competitive advantage (Harris, 1996). Throughout the next decade, the U.S. workforce is forecasted to become even more diverse, with 75 percent of the immigrant population arriving in the United States from Asia and Latin America, with only five percent coming from Canada and Europe. Women and minorities were projected to represent 70 percent of the U.S.'s 2008 workforce (Lockwood, 2005). To maintain financial competitiveness in this diverse landscape, organizational leaders must embrace the leadership styles that are most effective in motivating the diverse groups in which many employees work. Diversity in work groups can generate significant benefits for organizations, including enhanced innovation, creativity, and productivity (Valentine, 2001). Capturing these benefits takes the right type of leadership style and skills (Jung and Sosik, 2002; Silverthorne, 2001; Waldman et al, 2001; Kim and Organ, 1986; House, 1971; Fiedler, 1967). Despite recognition that an appropriate leader can enhance a work group's performance, increase group members' job satisfaction, and reduce turnover intentions, there is scant research assessing the impact of specific leadership styles on diverse work group effectiveness and turnover intention (Duemer et al., 2004). To help fill this gap, we analyze the relationships among three Path-Goal leadership styles, diversity, work group effectiveness and work group members' turnover intention. The following section discusses the important literature about diverse work groups, work group effectiveness, turnover intention, and Path-Goal leadership styles. Then, the methods and results of our data collection and analysis are presented. Finally, the conclusions and implications of this study's findings for organizational leaders and the fields of leadership and management are explained. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Work Groups and Work Group Diversity
Work groups are comprised of individuals who are interdependent and/ or interact with each other to complete tasks and projects that contribute to organizational productivity, innovation, and creativity. The exchange of information and know-how among work group members as they achieve common goals generates social bonds that enhance productivity and organizations' financial performance (Gil et al., 2005; Blanchard and Miller, 2001; Beck et al., 1999; Anakwe and Greenhaus, 1999; Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995). Diverse work groups exist when members' individual attributes differ (Mannix and Neale, 2005; Hobman et al., 2004, 2003). Researchers often focus on two dimensions of group member diversity. The first is "visible dissimilarity," which includes...