1.1 Background to the study

In society today, thousands of individuals are appointed or elected to shoulder the role and responsibilities of leadership. Leadership is practiced in schools and colleges, factories and farms, business enterprises, dispensaries and hospitals, in the civil and military organizations of a country and public life, at all levels, in short in every walk of life. These leaders should promote unity, harmony, strength, prosperity and happiness in society.

The challenges of coping with today’s uncertain business environment have put many organizations on their toes to struggle for survival in the heat of competition. The driver of such strategic move towards surviving the competition is the leadership provided by managers who are expected to influence others in achieving organizational goals and also boost employee’s performance. Shafie et. al., (2013) explains the importance of leadership in organizations and especially on human beings who are apparently the biggest asset of any firm; “The main drivers of organizations are usually employees, they give life to the organizations and provide goals” (Shafie et al., 2013). It is very paramount to provide workers with direction and psychological satisfaction to get the best from them, this direction can only come from leaders. In fact, leadership is very critical for all organizations in realizing their set objectives. Since leadership is a key factor for improving the performance of many if not all organizations and the success or failure of an organization depends on the effectiveness of leadership at all levels. Paracha et al (2012) is in support of this “Leaders play essential role in accomplishment of goals and boost employee’s performance by satisfying them with their jobs” (p.55) Leadership is perhaps the most thoroughly investigated organizational variable that has a potential impact on employee performance (Cummings and Schwab, 1973). “It is a vital issue in every organization primarily because the decisions made by the leaders could lead to success or business failure”. Notably, it has been widely accepted that effective organizations require effective leadership and that employee performance together with organizational performance will suffer in direct proportion to the neglect of this, Fiedler and House (1988). Furthermore, it is generally accepted that the effectiveness of any set of people is largely dependent on the quality of its leadership – effective leader behavior facilitates the attainment of the follower’s desires, which then results in effective performance (Fiedler & House, 1988; Maritz, 1995; Ristow, et al., 1999).

Ipas (2012) reports that autocratic leadership to be the most used style by managers in the hotel industry arguing that it is perceived as a style that yields the most results. Aboshaiqah et al (2015) also looked at the link between leadership and employee performance among hospital nurses and report that the transformational and transactional work styles are significantly positively related to employee performance while laissez-faire is significantly negatively correlated to employee performance. Significant positive relationship between bot transformational and transactional work styles and employee performance is also reported in Pradeep and Prabhu (2011) in India, and in Kehinde and Banjo (2014) and Ejere and Abasilim (2013), both in Nigeria. Other studies in Africa are Tsigu and Rao (2012) and Gimuguni et al (2014) in Ehtiopian banking industry and Ugandan local government authorities respectively. While Tsigu and Rao finds that the transformation leadership explained the variation is employee performance better than transaction work style, Gimuguni et al report significantly positive relationship between autocratic, laissez-faire and democratic and performance.

Therefore, although the literature on leadership and employee performance is scattered across countries and across industry, the evidence of the effect of work style on employee performance is also varied. While most of the literature reviewed is somehow consistent in suggesting that both transformational and transactional work styles are significantly positively related to employee performance and that transformational style’s effect is more pronounced than that of the transactional work style (Rasool, et al., 2015; Kehinde and Bajo, 2014; Tsigu and Rao, 2015), the evidence on the relationship between laissez-faire and performance is not that straight forward. For example while, some are reporting negative relationship, e.g. Aboushaqah et al (2015), others like Gimuguni, et al (2014) have reported a positive relationship. This suggests that the evidence on this work style is inconsistent. In addition, neither all industries nor countries are covered in the literature. Of those reviewed, the medical field is represented (Rassol et al, 2015; Aboushaqah, et al 2015), local government authorities (Gimuguni, et al., 2014), hotel (Ipas, 2012), Petroleum (Kehinde and Bajo, 2014). Of more interest to this study is the paucity of researches in this area from Africa and East Africa in particular. A few reviewed here are Tsigu and Rao (2015), Ejere and Abasalim (2013) and Gimuguni (2015), Nuhu, (2010), but there are also those from South Africa (Howard, et al., 2003). While several industries are repreets in the growing body of evidence few are coming from the banking sector, see for example Tsigu and Rao (2015) from Ethiopian banking industry.

Therefore, from the preview of literature it is evident that the research evidence on the effect of work style on employee performance that work style can explain significant number of performance outcomes at individual and organizational level.

But the evidence is not evenly distributed across economies at large or even within African economies. It is also evident that evidence from the banking sector is lagging behind. It is these facts that have motivated this study in order to contribute evidence from the Nigerian banking industry.


1.2 Statement of Problem

Kehinde and Banjo (2014) emphasized on the importance of leaders in an organization “In today’s competitive environment, organizations expand globally and face a lot of challenges in meeting their objectives and chase to be more successful from others”. In this study the researcher sought to develop an interest in this topic from the many concerns of the shareholders of GTB Nigeria limited on increased drop in productivity/performance of the bank’s staff. Work styles affect everyone in the organization from senior management to temporary/ interns /contract employees. In the case of GTB, only a fraction of staff received bonuses which were purely pegged on performance implying that many employees failed to meet the set targets for the year 2014, this clearly shows that the performance of the past two years has not been to the expected standards.

Employee performance which is perceived as: Executing defined duties, meeting deadlines, team input, and the cohesion of both leadership and performance should be evident through style and approach used by managers in the attempt to cause efficiency which requires specific leadership approaches to unique performance challenges in achieving departmental goals. The above should as pointed by Armstrong (2005) lead to efficiency, specialization, effective feedback and good organizational relations. The independent variable (IV) in this study was work styles and indeed Richard et al (2010) states that leadership is the ability to influence people towards attainment of goals. This captures the idea that leaders are involved with other people in achievement of goals. This is an area of concern that promoted the researcher to carry out a study on the subject. The idea here is to assess performance of employees and test whether it is affected by employees’ perception of work style that is practiced by immediate supervisor.

1.3 Research Objective 1.3.1 General Objective

The objective of this study was therefore to investigate the effect of different work styles on the performance of employees at GTB Nigeria.

1.3.2 Specific Objectives

The study was guided by the following specific objectives:

  1. To evaluate the effects of transformational leadership on employee performance in Guaranteed Trust Bank Plc Nigeria
  2. To evaluate the effect of transactional leadership on employee performance in Guaranteed Trust Bank Plc.
  3. To evaluate the effect of laissez-faire work style on employee performance in Guaranteed Trust Bank Plc Nigeria.
  4. To evaluate the effect of autocratic leadership on employee performance in Guaranteed Trust Bank Plc Nigeria

1.5 Research Questions

The study sought to answer the following questions;

  1. What is the effect of transformational work style on employee performance in Guaranteed Trust Bank Plc Nigeria?
  2. What is the effect of transactional work style on employee performance in Guaranteed Trust Bank Plc Nigeria?
  3. What is the effect of laissez -faire work style on employee performance in Guaranteed Trust Bank Plc Nigeria?
  4. What is the effect of Autocratic work style on employee performance in Guaranteed Trust Bank Plc Nigeria?


1.5 Significance of the study

The researcher hopes that in view of this study:

  1. The basis and findings of this research will be useful by future researchers, students and academicians digesting the effects and importance of different work styles on employee performance.
  2. After determining the relationship between work style and employee performance, the bank will be in a better position to use the findings of this research to develop leadership programmes that will see leaders acquire relevant leadership skills for effective management and organizational performance.
  3. This study’s findings will assist different leaders in identifying the best and the most appropriate work style to use in relevant situations for team effectiveness and increased staff productivity.

1.7 Scope of the study

This study was carried out on work styles and Employees Performance in an organization. The study was delimited to GTB plc in Uyo metropolis, Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria.


1.8 Limitation of the study

The following limitations were anticipated in this study:

  1. Since the study was only carried out in only one province, the results may not be generalisable to the whole country. The researcher collected data on his own without research assistants.
  2. Financial constraints were also anticipated in the current study. Although the researcher received assistance from the bursary, it was not possible to carry out the study at national level.
  3. The researcher is a full time employee so time to carry out the study was limited.

1.9 Organization of Study

The study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one deals with the study’s introduction and gives a background to the study. Chapter two reviews related and relevant literature. The chapter three gives the research methodology while the chapter four gives the study’s analysis and interpretation of data. The study concludes with chapter five which deals on the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


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