Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5668-7353

Date of Award

5-3-2020

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)

Department

Business

First Advisor

Naveen Donthu, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Todd J. Maurer, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Wesley J. Johnston, Ph.D.

Abstract

Organizations strive to achieve competitive advantage and deliver superior performance by adequately utilizing and coordinating the resources available to them. Employees are a key resource in an organization, but it is the chief executive officer (CEO) in particular, who leads and coordinates all the resources of the organization, that has the most impact on the organization’s fortunes. Even though the CEO may utilize many leadership styles and behaviors, each CEO has an innate or preferred leadership style. Organizations are structured differently, which has an impact on the way their activities are coordinated.

In this paper, I argue that if an organization is structured in a way that does not align with the CEO’s leadership style, then it will not be a high-performing organization. Conversely, if an organization is structured in a way that aligns with the CEO’s leadership style, then it will be a high-performing organization. The leadership styles evaluated are transactional and transformational leadership, and the organizational structures reviewed are functional, divisional, and matrix structures.

I shed light on this issue by undertaking a quantitative study of 448 employees of small- to medium-sized companies (with 1-3,000 employees) in the technology industry operating in the United States of America. My findings show that irrespective of the organizational structure used by a technology company, the CEO’s transformational leadership style has a direct and indirect impact on organizational innovativeness and business performance. Contrary to some of my hypotheses, I did not find that the CEO’s transactional leadership style has an impact on organizational innovativeness or on business performance for any of the organizational structure types. Additionally, I found no relationship between organizational structure and innovativeness, or between organizational structure and business performance.

My academic contribution is demonstrated by applying CEO leadership style as a contingency factor in the structural contingency theory, and my contribution to practice stems from identifying which CEO leadership style is important in the achievement of organizational innovativeness, superior performance, employee commitment, and job satisfaction.

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