Leadership and Job Satisfaction: Addressing Endogeneity with Panel Data from a Field Experiment
An, Seung-Ho, Kenneth J. Meier, Jacob Ladenburg, and Niels Westergård-Nielsen. 2019. "Leadership and Job Satisfaction: Addressing Endogeneity with Panel Data from a Field Experiment." Review of Public Personnel Administration 40 (4): 589-612
41 Pages Posted: 7 May 2019 Last revised: 5 Apr 2021
Date Written: 2020
The interaction between leaders and employees plays a key role in determining organizational outcomes and performance. Although human resources management literature posits positive effects of leadership behaviors on employee job satisfaction, the causal path between the two is unclear due to potential endogeneity issues inherent in this relationship. To address the issue, we first provide theoretical explanations about why and how transformational and transactional leadership behaviors would enhance employee job satisfaction. Second, we test the relationship between leadership behaviors and employee job satisfaction using panel data from a year-long randomized field experiment that engaged leaders and employees from hundreds of public and private organizations in Denmark. Primary findings suggest that although leadership training does not have direct effects on changes in employee job satisfaction, leadership-training induced changes in leadership behaviors (transformational leadership and verbal rewards) are positively related to changes in job satisfaction.
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