1 THE IMPACT OF LEADER POWER ON EMPLOYEE OUTCOMES: ì THE CASE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PROFESSIONALS IN TURKEY Tuna Cenkci Department of Business Administration, Yeditepe University North American Management Society (NAMS) 2013 Conference Chicago, Illinois
3 1. Introductionì This research focuses on studying the role of bases of leader power on IT professionals’ certain employee outcomes: ì attitudinal and behavioral compliance, organizational citizenship behavior, and intention to quit.ì Information technology (IT) professional: “an individual who participates in the design, development, implementation, support or management of computer- based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware” (Marchewka, 2006).
4 1. Introductionì IT professionals exhibit characteristics that differ from those in other professions (Armstrong et al., 2007).ì In Turkish context, there is very scarce research conducted on IT professionals employed in various industries.ì The size of Turkish IT market is forecasted to increase from US$7.7 billion in 2011 to US$13.8 billion by 2015 (Turkey Information Technology Report, 2011).ì Thus, Turkish IT professionals are chosen as the subject of this study.
5 2. Theoretical Framework Power:ì French and Raven (1959) defined social power as potential ability of an agent to influence a target.ì French and Raven’s (1959) power taxonomy (coercive, reward, legitimate, expert, and referent) has been widely used by scholars.ì Coercive power depends on the ability of the power holder to take something away from the target person or to punish the target for not complying with the request (Spoelstra & Pienaar, 2008).
6 2. Theoretical Framework Power:ì Reward power depends on the ability to provide things others want or need in exchange for desired behaviors (O’Connell & Cuthbertso, 2009).ì Legitimate power is the authority assigned to a social position within a group (O’Connell & Cuthbertso, 2009).ì Expert power refers to influence a person may have as a result of expertise, special skill, or knowledge (Robbins & Judge, 2009).
7 2. Theoretical Framework Power:ì Referent power is related to identification with a person who has desirable resources or personal traits (Robbins & Judge, 2009). Compliance:ì Warren (1968) differentiated between attitudinal and behavioral compliance.ì Attitudinal compliance is defined as the extent to which an employee wants to follow his/her superior’s directives or wishes. Behavioral compliance is defined as the extent to which a subordinate actually carries out these instructions (Rahim & Buntzman, 1988).
8 2. Theoretical Frameworkì Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB): “individual behavior at work, that is discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system, and that in the aggregate promotes the efficient and effective functioning of the organization” (Organ, 1988, p. 4).ì Organ’s (1988) statement of five component behaviors that represent organizational citizenship is widely accepted.
9 2. Theoretical Frameworkì Altruism is helping fellow employees with tasks or problems relevant to the work of that organization.ì Conscientiousness involves voluntary behavior going well beyond minimum requirements of the role.ì Civic virtue is an indication of participating responsibly in the organization life.ì Sportsmanship any behavior demonstrating tolerance of less than ideal circumstances without complaining.ì Courtesy includes efforts to prevent work-related issues with others (Goudge, 2006).
10 2. Theoretical Frameworkì Intention to quit is “one’s desire or willingness to leave an organization” (Altmaier & Hansen, 2012, p. 152).ì IT professionals’ intention to quit is a critical issue for organizations.ì High job skill marketability is likely to contribute to the high job turnover culture among IT employees (Beard, 2004).
11 2. Theoretical Frameworkì Hypothesis 1- Supervisors’ legitimate power positively influences subordinate behavioral compliance (1a).ì Hypothesis 2- Supervisors’ expert power positively influences subordinate behavioral compliance (2a), attitudinal compliance (2b), and organizational citizenship behavior (2c), and negatively influences intention to quit (2d).ì Hypothesis 3- Supervisors’ referent power positively influences subordinate behavioral compliance (3a), attitudinal compliance (3b), and organizational citizenship behavior (3c), and negatively influences intention to quit (3d).ì Hypothesis 4- Supervisors’ reward power positively influences organizational citizenship behavior (4a).ì Hypothesis 5- Supervisors’ coercive positively influences subordinate intention to quit (5a), and negatively influences organizational citizenship behavior (5b).
12 3. Methodologyì The target population of this study is Turkey’s information technology professionals.ì Conveince sampling was employed to collect data. Questionnaires in Turkish distributed to collect data from IT professionals.ì The questionnaire was placed in a survey web site.ì In total, 153 Turkish IT professionals participated to the survey.ì The responses were anchored on a 6-item Likert scale (completely disagree = 1, completely agree = 6).
13 3. Methodology Measures:ì To measure perceptions of subordinates regarding their supervisors’ bases of power, Rahim’s (1988) Rahim Leader Power Inventory (RLPI) was used.ì Behavioral and Attitudinal Compliance with Superior’s Wishes Scale (CSWS) developed by Rahim (1988) was used.ì Organizational citizenship behavior: The scale developed by Podsakoff, Ahearne, and MacKenzie (1997) was used.ì Intention to quit: Colarelli (1984) scale was used.
14 4. Analyses and Resultsì Factor analysis using principal components solution with varimax rotation was used.ì The reliability of the factors were checked.ì Regression analyses were conducted between the independent variables and the dependent variables.
16 4. Analyses and Resultsì The data analyses indicated that leader expert power, referent power, and legitimate power positively influence subordinate “behavioral compliance” as hypothesized (hypotheses 1a, 2a, 3a).ì Referent power also positively influences “attitudinal compliance” as hypothesized (hypothesis 3b). Other hypotheses on attitudinal compliance were not accepted.ì Referent power positively influences helping dimension of employee organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). Other hypotheses on OCB did not hold.
17 4. Analyses and Resultsì Referent power negatively influences subordinate intention to quit. Other hypotheses on intention to quit were not supported.ì In addition, even though it was not hypothesized, it was found that reward power negatively influences behavioral compliance.ì Leader legitimate power negatively influences employee attitudinal compliance and civic virtue factor of OCB.
18 5. Discussion and Conclusionì The outcomes particularly underline the importance of leader referent power on the listed IT employee outcomes.ì Referent power can be useful in increasing IT professionals’ attitudinal and behavioral compliance, helping factor of OCB and decreasing their intention to quit.
19 5. Discussion and Conclusionì The outcomes can be useful for organizations in efforts to increase leadership effectiveness and good management of IT human capital.ì The findings can also be beneficial for organizations in decreasing IT professionals’ intention to quit.ì This research has some limitations. The data were collected through questionnaires from IT professionals with self-reported measures.ì Both independent and dependent variables were gathered from the same source, which may lead to common method variance due to single-source bias.
20 5. Discussion and Conclusionì It is common for IT professionals to split their time to work on two or more projects (Schwalbe, 2011). ì If a respondent has more than one supervisor, the IT professional may hesitate about which one of the supervisors he/she should consider while answering the questionnaire.ì Future studies can test alternative models with additional variables such as organizational climate or leadership style (transactional or transformational).ì In addition, future studies on this subject especially in non- western settings can be fruitful.