Capstone project: Open access
MA Leadership Studies
Employee turnover is one of the most challenging dilemmas organizations have to deal with. A considerable amount of research indicates that turnover is mainly a result of a negative relationship between the leaders and managers in the workplace and their followers. However, seemingly conflicting studies seem to show that employees leave bosses they consider to be good at nearly the same rate as bosses they consider to be bad. If the relationship between the leadership and followers is not the sole factor in an employee’s decision to quit working, what other factors could be the main causes for employee’s turnover? And to what extent does the style of leadership of the manager contribute to overcoming these factors? The answers to these questions are of particular importance to those concerned with the American economy, as it is quite costly to replace an employee on a regular basis. The purpose of this study is to explore the possibilities and methods of retaining great employees without undue sacrifices on the part of managers, leaders, and employees, while at the same time allowing an organization as a whole to develop and progress. On a path towards finding a sustainable relationship between leadership style and employee turnover, the common causes of employee turnover have to be identified first. Then, we will identify a clearer understanding of what leadership means, in addition to identifying main roles and tasks to be investigated. The same approach was used towards identifying what followership means, in addition to identifying its main roles and tasks.
It was concluded that styles of leadership and followership have a direct impact on employee turnover or retention. However, the impact of leadership style is more prominent and has a greater effect then previously assumed. That is because leader is authorized to have the power to change what needs to be changes, unlike followers that are limited with their power and authority. To build an organization that develops individuals that are loyal to the shared vision without granting too many sacrifices from either the leaders or employees is a difficult task that requires us to extend our attention to the importance of followership as much as we pay attention to leadership. Furthermore, leaders should view their roles as duties rather than privileges. Leaders should be inclusive and understanding of all of their employee's needs to get motivated. Employees are unique individuals and should not be approached and dealt with in the same copy and paste method. Among other factors such as psychology and work styles, it is also important to consider the religious and spiritual needs as well as the cultural variations of employees.
This research helps in shedding some light on the importance of valuing leadership as much as followership. It is also a reminder of the huge responsibility leaders have towards reducing employee turnover, including leaders that are perceived as good leaders. That is because the effect of leadership style on employee turnover is not limited to bad leadership; rather, it includes good leadership with blind spots when self-evaluating their leadership style. However, one essential limitation is the absence of voices of leaders and followers. To further improve this study, interviewing some leaders and some followers get more detailed information about leadership-followership dynamics hoping to reduce employee turnover as possible.
Keywords: LMX theory. Employee Turnover, Leadership, Followership
Digital USD Citation
Alkhawaja, Arwa, "Leadership Style and Employee Turnover A Mythical Relationship or Reality?" (2017). M.A. in Leadership Studies Capstone Project Papers. 16.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.