Leadership Matters? The Moderating Effects of Perceived Transactional and Transformational Leaderships on Career Plateau and Organizational Commitment in Belize

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(1)Leadership Matters? The Moderating Effects of Perceived Transactional and Transformational Leaderships on Career Plateau and Organizational Commitment in Belize. by Delsie Loreni Ku. A Thesis Submitted to the Graduate Faculty in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION Major: International Human Resource Development. Advisor: Yi-Chun Lin, Ph.D.. National Taiwan Normal University Taipei, Taiwan August 2017.

(2) ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The completion of the thesis document is not an easy feat. It goes without saying that my accomplishment of such magnitude is attributed to many individuals who assisted or supported me in one way or the other. First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to my advisor, Dr. Lin – the expert who gave of her time, her ideas and suggestions, guidance and encouragement, all with a dash of humor. Without her, the process in completing this would have been of a greater challenge. Thereafter, I would like to thank my very own support group – The Secret Life of Pets. Together, we spent late nights writing, and taking breaks in between long hours, motivating each other to continue writing. In addition, I want to express my sincere appreciation to the rest of the Lin Family – Anna, Enka, Fan and ShangLin, each greatly contributing in their unique ways. It was always heart-warming seeing these lovely ladies and catching up with them even though they were all busy as well. Furthermore, it is necessary to express my gratitude to my committee members – Dr. Zhang and Dr. Lu. Thanks for your time and valuable feedback in improving my proposal and influencing my final thesis. Last, but not least, my most heartfelt appreciation goes to my family and friends in Belize, especially my parents. They never stopped believing in my potential and kept reminding me of it, motivating me to keep doing my best every single time we spoke over the phone..

(3) ABSTRACT The organizational structure and workplace environment is continuously changing and adapting. As a result, career plateau is more salient in the workplace, resulting in consequences such as reduced organizational commitment and challenges to management. Numerous researches on career plateau have supported the theory that a plateaued employee is harmful to the organization’s success, but few focus on the effects of career plateau in developing countries. Likewise, there is limited focus on how leadership can influence the outcome of organizational commitment in plateaued employees. This study sought to confirm the relationship between career plateau and organizational commitment, with a focus in the moderating roles of transactional and transformational leaderships, particularly in the context of Belize. Data collected, using an online questionnaire, from 247 full-time employed Belizeans, with at least one year tenure with their organization was analyzed. The linear and hierarchical regression analyses were used to confirm the negative correlation between plateaued employees and their affective and normative commitments, and a positive correlation to their continuance commitment. As well, the moderating effects of transactional and transformational leaderships on this relationship were analyzed. The findings show that plateaued employees display reduced affective commitment to the organization, and transactional leadership behaviors strengthen this negative relationship. The results also show that plateaued employees display reduced normative commitment to the organization; however, transformational leadership moderates this negative relationship. What's more, the results also showed that plateaued employees display higher continuance commitment, and transformational leadership strengthens this relationship.. Keywords: Belize, career plateau, organizational commitment, transformational leadership, transactional leadership. I.

(4) TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ............................................................................................ I TABLE OF CONTENTS ........................................................................ II LIST OF TABLES .................................................................................. IV LIST OF FIGURES ................................................................................ V CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION ............................................................ 1 Background of Study .........................................................................................1 Statement of Problem .........................................................................................3 Purpose of the Study ..........................................................................................4 Research Questions ............................................................................................4 Significance of the Study ...................................................................................4 Definition of Key Terms ....................................................................................5. CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW ............................................... 7 Context of Belize’s Economy ............................................................................7 Career Plateau ....................................................................................................8 Organizational Commitment ..............................................................................10 Relationship between Career Plateau and Organizational Commitment ...........12 Transactional and Transformational Leaderships ..............................................13 Moderating Role of Transactional and Transformational Leaderships .............15. CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY ........................................................ 19 Research Framework .........................................................................................19 Research Hypotheses .........................................................................................19 Sample................................................................................................................20 Pilot Test ............................................................................................................20 Data Collection Process .....................................................................................21 Measurement ......................................................................................................21 Control Variables ...............................................................................................23 Data Analysis .....................................................................................................24. CHAPTER IV FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION ................................. 29 Confirmatory Factor Analysis............................................................................29 Regression Analyses ..........................................................................................32 Discussion ..........................................................................................................37 II.

(5) CHAPTER V CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS .......... 41 Conclusions .......................................................................................................41 Research Limitations .........................................................................................43 Study Implications .............................................................................................43 Future Research Suggestions .............................................................................46. REFERENCES........................................................................................ 47. III.

(6) LIST OF TABLES Table 2.1. Conceptualizations of Organizational Commitment over Years of Research ........10 Table 3.1. Descriptive Statistics ..............................................................................................25 Table 3.2. Means, Standard Deviations, Correlations, and Reliability ...................................28 Table 4.1. Results of Confirmatory Factor Analysis ...............................................................30 Table 4.2. Results of Regression Analysis for Moderating Effect on Continuance Commitment ............................................................................................................................34 Table 4.3. Results of Regression Analysis for Moderating Effect on Affective and Normative Commitment ............................................................................................................................35 Table 4.4. Research Hypotheses Results.................................................................................39. IV.

(7) LIST OF FIGURES Figure 2.1. Full range leadership model .................................................................................16 Figure 3.1. Research framework .............................................................................................19 Figure 4.1. Structural four-factor model .................................................................................31 Figure 4.2. Moderating effect of transformational leadership on the relationship between career plateau and normative commitment ..............................................................................36 Figure 4.3. Moderating effect of transactional leadership on the relationship between career plateau and normative commitment .........................................................................................36 Figure 4.4. Moderating effect of transformational leadership on the relationship between career plateau and continuance commitment ...........................................................................37. V.

(8) CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION This chapter provides an overview of this research. To gain a better understanding, the areas outlined are as follows: background of study, the problem statement, the purposes of the study, the research questions, the significance of the study and finally, the definitions of key terms in the framework.. Background of the Study The nature of the working environment has been changing since the introduction of globalization. Fukuda-Parr (2003) identified job insecurity as a new threat to human security due to pressure on labor markets to be more flexible and competitive in the new globalization era. To remain competitive, organization structures are no longer vertical, but more horizontal, and the hierarchical structure is narrower. This makes the hierarchical upward or horizontal mobility among employees more competitive (Burke, 2002; Chao, 1990; Chay, Aryee, & Chew, 1995; Evans, Gunz, & Jalland, 1997; McCleese, Eby, Scharlau, & Hoffman, 2007; Trembley & Roger, 1993). Career advancement in terms of hierarchical promotion has become competitive and difficult (Jung & Tak, 2008). Nachbagauer and Riedl (2002) described today’s workplace as a “patchwork” of jobs rather than a pyramid-shaped organization. Consequently, many employees reach a point where they may perceive some level of career plateau (Bardwick, 1986; Feldman & Weitz, 1988). Plateaued employees usually remain in the same job position, routinely doing the same tasks that no longer offer them any opportunities or challenges just to remain employed (Bardwick, 1986; McCleese & Eby, 2006). Career plateau is rapidly attracting concern as it is becoming a critical managerial and organizational issue that needs to be managed properly to avoid employees’ discontent (Burke & Mikkelson, 2006; Tremblay, Roger, & Toulouse, 1995). Taking Belize as an example, the country is currently facing economic challenges that affect both its public and private sectors. One of the biggest challenges is the country’s high public expenditure. This prevents appropriate direct and indirect investments into the economy that can stimulate its development. Organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and International Development Bank (IDB) have recommended that the government cut down on spending, specifically on its wages for the public sector. So far, the government has halted a salary increase for some of its public servants, like government teachers, for the same reason. To improve the country’s economy, the Government of Belize (GOB) may rely on pay cuts or reduction on public servants’ pension contribution. 1.

(9) Consequently, there may be less promotions or salary increments, which may influence the public servants’ perception of career plateau. At the same time, the private sector lacks the necessary labor skills to compete with other vibrant, agile markets within the Central American and Caribbean region. Management of both sectors will be challenged with the ability to maintain their employees committed even in face of organizational changes. Managers now have to strategize methods to retain their plateaued employees in face of organizational changes and to keep them motivated when there is a lack of career advancement. Structural changes in organizations put a halt in career progression, causing feelings of unhappiness and dissatisfaction in some employees. A plateaued employee will undoubtedly have an effect on an organization’s success. Career plateau has been empirically proven to have a link to detrimental work outcomes like job dissatisfaction, poor work performance, low organizational commitment and increased turnover intention (Heilmann, Holt, & Rilovick, 2008; Salami, 2010). As it relates to organizational commitment, organizations do realize that it is a challenge maintaining employee commitment. Nachabagauer and Riedl (2002) concluded that career plateau is the ultimate reason why emotional devotion to the organization would reach a low level. Alternatively, having committed employees may reduce turnover and more than likely keep an organization’s competitiveness (Katz & Kahn, 1978). For example, Mathieu and Zajac (1990) indicated that the prestige associated with moving to higher job levels can likely increase attitudinal commitment. However, in the same study, they also indicated that other variables may influence an employee’s organizational commitment, some of which are likely to develop, interact and change over time. The literature on perceived career plateau has been of diverse focus. These range from the types of career plateau, its measurements (Chao, 1990), as well as the antecedents and consequences of it (Tremblay et al., 1995). Few studies have been reported on the roles of moderators on the relationship between perceived career plateau and its outcomes (Ettington, 1998), much less as it relates to leadership. The moderating role of effective leadership on the relationship between career plateau and organizational commitment is crucial in influencing followers to become creative rather than becoming dependent on a promotion or job rotation to feel accomplished. An employee’s perception of their immediate supervisor affects his/her attitudes and behavior (Yammarino & Dubinsky, 1992). Therefore, it seems reasonable to think that some styles of leadership may be more effective than others at influencing an employee’s organizational commitment (Emery & Barker, 2007). Bass (1985) categorized leadership as transactional and transformational. Transactional leaders ensure followers meet 2.

(10) minimum expectations.. On the other hand, the transformational leader motivates his. followers to look beyond their self-interests, to be creative and think “outside the box”, and to perform beyond minimum expectations. As a result, transformational leaders are considered effective leaders who are responsive to their followers’ needs and concerns (Bass & Riggio, 2006). For years now, transformational leadership has been studied, with the results supporting a positive link to multiple organizational work outcomes. As well, the context of these studies has been on many different types of organizations and situations (Avolio, Bass, Walumbwa, & Zhu, 2004; Dumdum, Lowe, & Avolio, 2002; Lowe, Kroeck, & Sivasubramaniam, 1996).. Statement of Problem There is quite an amount of research addressing the relationship between career plateau and organizational commitment. Albeit researchers have conducted many studies on moderators and their effects on the relationship between career plateau and its workplace outcomes (Jung & Tak, 2008; Lapalme, Tremblay, & Simard, 2009; Wen & Liu, 2015), there are scarce studies focusing on the possible effects that transactional and transformational leadership may have on plateaued employees and their level of commitment to the organization. Therefore, this study sought to fill the existing research gap in the empirical studies on the moderating effect that leadership style may have on the perception of career plateau and its association to reduced organizational commitment. Furthermore, most of these studies have been conducted in developed countries, and in a wide range of organizations. For example, McCleese and Eby (2006) examined a diverse population sample which included employees from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, all of which are developed countries. The organizations were of varying sizes, industries, and employment sectors. The study supported existing research that the perception of career plateau does influence employees’ commitment to the organization. On the other hand, studies conducted by Jung and Tak (2008) and Wen and Liu (2015) focused in the private sector in Korea and China, respectively, which are considered developed countries . Once more, their results supported the above-mentioned relationship. Not as many studies focused in developing countries. Salami (2010), for example, conducted an empirical study on government employees in Nigeria, with the results confirming the relationship between career plateau and organizational commitment. Similar to other developing countries, in Belize, the study of career plateau is scarce or non-existent. 3.

(11) With that in mind, this study also sought to add insight on the relationship between career plateau and organizational commitment, specifically in the context of Belize.. Purpose of the Study The relationship between career plateau and organizational commitment amongst employees within the work environment of Belize has not been studied. As well, there have been contradicting results as to the consequences of career plateau. It is assumed that plateaued employees remain committed to their employer due to the intrinsic rewards they receive from their organizations. Such intrinsic reward may come from the leader support they have at the workplace. Therefore, the purpose of this study intended to examine the relationship between career plateau and organizational commitment, as well as to explore the moderating effect of transactional and transformational leaderships on career plateau and organizational commitment in the work environment in Belize.. Research Questions Based on the purpose of study, the research developed the following questions: 1. Does career plateau have an effect on employees’ affective commitment? 2. Does career plateau have an effect on employees’ normative commitment? 3. Does career plateau have an effect on employees’ continuance commitment? 4. Does transformational leadership have a moderating effect on employees’ affective commitment, more than transactional leadership? 5. Does transformational leadership have a moderating effect on employees’ normative commitment, more than transactional leadership? 6. Does transformational leadership have a moderating effect on employees’ continuance commitment, more than transactional leadership?. Significance of the Study Although this study made contribution to the existing research on career plateau by examining the relationship between career plateau and organizational commitment, it also provided important practical implications for the workplace. As workforce in both developed and developing countries are becoming more dynamic and diverse, managers need to know how to retain their plateaued employees especially when these employees hold a wealth of valuable knowledge. Organizations are now realizing the value of human resources; hence 4.

(12) their attempt in understanding their employee’s commitment to the organization (Hafeez & Abdelmeguid, 2003; Lumley, 2008). This study also examined the influence that transactional and transformational leadership have on the relationship between career plateau and organizational commitment. Investigating a variable that can possibly moderate an employee’s reaction to their perceived career plateau provided insight for solutions to managing employees in a more effective way. Therefore, it added to the limited literature on moderators and their effects on the career plateau-organizational commitment relationship.. Definition of Key Terms The following definitions and terms were used in this study:. Career Plateau Career Plateau is characterized as a perception. It is the feeling of remaining in the same job position, routinely doing the same tasks that no longer offer further opportunities or challenges, and the perception that there is a low likelihood of receiving advanced assignments or responsibilities (Feldman & Weitz, 1988).. Organizational Commitment Organizational commitment is defined as an employee’s reflection of his/her identification and involvement with a particular organization, and their desire to contribute to the accomplishment of organizational goals (Meyer & Allen, 1997; Mowday, Steers, & Porter, 1979).. Transactional Leadership Transactional Leadership style provides its followers with clear instructions on what are the expectations, and outlines who is responsible for achieving the targets. As a result, the leader provides followers with rewards for meeting the minimum expectations in the form of assistance and support. At the same time, non-compliance and mistakes are punished in an effort to motivate followers to avoid such behaviors (Bass, Avolio, Jung, & Berson, 2003).. 5.

(13) Transformational Leadership Transformational leadership in this study is defined as a leadership style that encourages and inspires followers to achieve extraordinary outcomes, developing their potential and capacity through mentoring, coaching and support. It also inspires followers to commit to a shared mission and vision, encouraging them to be innovative problem solvers (Bass, 1991; Bass & Riggio, 2006).. 6.

(14) CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW This chapter reviews the existing literature pertaining to the concepts of career plateau, organizational commitment and transactional and transformational leadership. The hypotheses are derived afterwards.. Context of Belize’s Economy Economy In September 2016 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) described Belize’s economy as one facing many challenges. The challenges are characterized by the country’s reduced GDP, as its economic activity level in 2016 dwindled by 1.2% from 2015 (Statistical Institute of Belize, 2017a). Belize’s level of production decreased by 0.8% from the previous year. Despite this, production in the tertiary sector of the economy which produces more than half of the country’s economic activity, increased by 0.8% in the final quarter of 2016. The tourism industry had the highest increase of 7%, followed by government services with 1% increase (Statistical Institute of Belize, 2017a). The effects of globalization and the fact that Belize is a small country, ranks Belize’s public expenditures very highly in comparison to other Central American countries (LaFuente, 2013). According to LaFuente (2013), this has been a concern brought up by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) especially since personnel expenditure is one of the government’s biggest expenses. This includes considerable pay increases and the existence of the non-contributing pension scheme for public officers. In October 2016, the Statistics Institute of Belize released its latest statistics, highlighting an 11.1% unemployment rate, a marginal decline from 2015.. Economic Reform Organizations such as the IMF and IMDB have recommended strategies to reduce the high public expenditure; these structural reforms are necessary to boost the country’s productivity and competitiveness in the region (IMF). However, these recommended structural reforms promise to bring along changes to the working environment of Belize, both public and private sectors. In the history of Belize, there have not been changes of such nature. Therefore, this will possibly bring along challenges to managers and supervisors when re-assuring employees that change is necessary and should be embraced.. 7.

(15) So far, both sectors have sought reform with the ultimate goal of improving Belize’s economic competitiveness and performance (Metzgen, 2014). Belize’s economy was ranked 123 out of 142 countries in a 2011-2012 report, identifying it as one of the least competitive economies in the world (Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology, and Public Utilities, n.d.). Therefore, there is a wide gap in terms of competitiveness and performance that Belize has to fill. This is a task that can be achieved through a public-private sector coalition to build upon each other to improve the country’s economic status. Among the many suggested action plans is the preparation of adequate and competent labor skills to match the current demand of the economy or future demands of fast growing sectors (Metzgen, 2014). In 2000, Belize committed itself to reform its public service by addressing problems of attitude, poor productivity, poor customer service and most importantly, leadership (Caribbean Forum, 2000). To achieve such reforms, managers in both the public and private sectors must focus in well-being of employees, including their awareness of career plateau amongst the employees.. Career Plateau History of Career Plateau Career plateau was originally defined by Ference, Stoner, and Warren (1977) who stated that it is a natural consequence of the way organizations change in shape. Thereafter, many researchers studied career plateau, offering various empirical measurements and conceptual interpretations. For example, Bardwick (1986) classified career plateau into three dimensions: (1) structural plateau as a result of a lack of hierarchical advancement within the organization; (2) content plateau due to employees feeling bored at their job because they know it too well; (3) life plateau as a result of an unsuccessful career causing a feeling of being “trapped” in life. Also, Stoner, Ference, Warren, and Christensen (1980) distinguished between successful and unsuccessful plateaus. They identified successful plateau as employees with above-satisfactory performance. On the other hand, unsuccessful plateau means employees with satisfactory performance. Chao (1990) stated that it is difficult to identify systematic differences between plateaued and non-plateaued employees. That is, the idea of career plateau is highly dependent on an individual’s perception of it. It then becomes a subjective evaluation as “it emphasizes how the individual perceives, assesses, and reacts to the present work situation” (Chao, 1990, p.182). Nonetheless, there have been studies that conceptualized career plateau 8.

(16) using a more objective evaluation, specifically job tenure. Some of the many definitions include employees as being plateaued when their job tenure is 5 years or more (Slocum, Cron, Hansen, & Rawlings, 1985; Stout, Slocum, & Cron, 1988), 7 years (Gould & Penley, 1984; Veiga, 1981), or 10 years (Gerpott & Domsch, 1987). In other respects, there have been studies which used age as the fundamental concept for defining career plateau (Evans & Gilbert, 1984) or self-assessments using ratings of the employee’s perception on the possibilities of future promotions (Carnazza, Korman, Ference, & Stoner, 1981; Near, 1985). Many studies, however, focus on the subjective measurement of career plateau to better understand the related consequences. For example, Tremblay et al. (1995) established that an individual’s workplace attitudes and behaviors are associated to the feeling of being plateaued more than to the objective measurement of job tenure. As well, Stoner et al. (1980) suggested that career plateau may be perceived as permanent or temporary, and quite dependent on the context of the organization and culture. Therefore, each firm, country and culture has a different concept as to what is an acceptable period before an individual starts perceiving career plateau.. The Conceptualization of Career Plateau Career plateau was first defined as the point in an individual’s career where there is a low possibility of additional upward mobility within the organization (Ference et al., 1977; Ongori & Angolla, 2009; Veiga, 1981). It has also been described as the feeling of being in the same position for a long time, and not receiving additional learning opportunities, challenges or responsibilities (Ettington, 1998; Feldman & Weitz, 1988). However, Bardwick (1986) suggested the existence of two forms of career plateauing; namely, (a) structural (hierarchical) plateauing and (b) content (job content) plateauing. Hierarchical plateau refers to the low possibilities of further promotion within an organization (Ference et al., 1977). On the other hand, job content plateau occurs when individuals are experts in their work and are no longer challenged by it (Bardwick, 1986). The two constructs have been empirically confirmed as being different from each other (Allen, Russell, Poteet, & Dobbins, 1999; Milliman, 1992; Tremblay & Wils, 2004).. 9.

(17) Organizational Commitment The Conceptualization of Organizational Commitment For over twenty five years now, researchers have provided substantial evidence that having a strongly committed workforce is beneficial to an organization. That is, committed employees have less turnover intention (Mathieu & Zajac, 1990; Tett & Meyer, 1993), are less absent (Meyer, Stanley, Herscovitch, & Topolnytsky, 2002), are effective performers (Cooper-Hakim & Viswesvaran, 2005; Riketta, 2002) and display good organizational citizenship behavior (Meyer et al., 2002; Riketta, 2002). As well, several studies over the years have provided varying definitions of organizational commitment. Table 2.1 provides a summary of these conceptualizations. Table 2.1. Conceptualizations of Organizational Commitment over Years of Research Conceptualization. Reference. “…the relative strength of an individual’s identification with and. Mowday et al., 1979,. involvement in a particular organization.”. p.226. “…the totality of normative pressures to act in a way which meets. Weiner, 1982, p.421. organizational goals and interests.” “…the psychological attachment felt by the person for the. O’Reilly & Chatman,. organization; it will reflect the degree to which the individual. 1986, p.493. internalizes or adopts characteristics or perspectives of the organization.” “…a psychological state that binds the individual to the. Allen & Meyer, 1990,. organization (i.e. makes turnover less likely).”. p.14. “…a bond or linking of the individual to the organization.”. Mathieu & Zajac, 1990, p.171. After review of several studies, Meyer and Herscovitch (2001) concluded that commitment can be defined as a strong force that influences employees’ behavior. For example, it can restrict freedom of choice, as well as tie a person to a course of action. It is important to understand that commitment is different from motivation or general attitudes 10.

(18) (Brickman, Sorrentino, & Wortman, 1987; Brown, 1996). Brooke, Russell, and Price (1988) proposed a validation study of not only organizational commitment, but also job satisfaction and job involvement. The results prove respondents are able to distinguish between job satisfaction, job involvement and organizational commitment. Yet Mowday et al. (1979) defined organizational commitment as a reflection of an employee’s identification and involvement with a particular organization, embracing three dimensions. That is, a committed employee embraces the organization’s goals and values as his own; has a strong willingness to go the extra mile; and has a strong desire to remain in the organization. Nonetheless, further studies were conducted, specifically by Meyer and Allen (1987). They developed a three-dimension model for organizational commitment-affective, continuance and normative commitment. What they identified is that, depending on the type of commitment an employee is experiencing, the individual will experience a different kind of link or tie to the organization. Generally, they stated that someone with affective commitment stays with the organization because of their emotional attachment to it; one with continuance commitment remains because they have a need to, and one with normative commitment remains because they feel obliged to do so.. Affective Commitment Allen and Meyer (1990) defined affective commitment as an employee’s desire to stay in the organization because of their emotional attachment to it. Therefore, an employee who displays strong affective commitment identifies with the organizations and its objectives, gets quite involved in the attainment of these, and also relishes being a member of the organization. Meyer and Allen (1987) stated that an individual’s work experience is the strongest antecedent of all for developing affective commitment. This especially refers to experiences that fulfill an employee’s psychological needs to feel comfortable within the organization and competent in their work-role. Consequently, employees who are satisfied and feel competent in their work-role express greater affective attachment to the organization (Allen & Meyer, 1990).. Continuance Commitment Continuance commitment is developed based on the amount of investments individuals make for an organization and the availability of alternatives should the employee leave the organization (Allen & Meyer, 1990). Basically, employees weight the costs and 11.

(19) benefits of leaving the organization. To expound on this, take for example, an employee who invests time, and possibly money, to learn a job-related competency. The goal is to improve one’s job performance with the hopes of receiving a salary increment. Such an investment may prevent the employee from performing poorly; here, the benefit outweighs the cost. The lack of employment alternatives also plays a role. For example, if the employee perceives that it will be difficult to find a new job if he quits, the perceived costs associated with leaving the organization increases (Farrell & Rusbult, 1981; Rusbult & Farrell, 1983). Therefore, the fewer viable alternatives employees believe are available, the stronger will be their continuance commitment to their current employer (Allen & Meyer, 1990). Basically, if the employee has more to lose, then the individual remains committed to the organization.. Normative Commitment Normative commitment will be influenced by the individual’s experience both prior to and following entry into the organization, also known as familial/cultural socialization and organizational socialization, respectively (Weiner, 1982). For example, an employee expressing a strong normative commitment may have been influenced by significant others, like a relative, who are or have been former loyal employees of an organization. Sometimes, organizational practices or the organizational culture influence the organizational socialization of employees, leading them to believe that it depends on their loyalty; consequently, the employee displays strong normative commitment (Allen & Meyer, 1990).. Relationship between Career Plateau and Organizational Commitment Numerous researches on career plateau focus mainly on its consequences, highlighting the fact that career plateau affects both the employee and organization (Chay et al., 1995; Lemire, Saba, & Gagnon, 1999; Tremblay et al., 1995). Extensive research support the theory that the consequences of employees experiencing career plateau are poor work performance, loss of motivation and reduced or loss of commitment (Carnazza et al., 1981; Evans & Gilbert, 1984; Near, 1985; Slocum et al., 1985; Stout et al., 1988). Furthermore, studies in career plateau include studying it as an antecedent to detrimental work outcomes including low job satisfaction, increased stress levels, bad performance, depression and increased turnover intention (Allen, Poteet, & Russell, 1998; Chay et al., 1995; Heilmann et al., 2008; Lemire et al., 1999; McCleese & Eby, 2006; McCleese et al., 2007; Nachbagauer &. 12.

(20) Riedl, 2002; Tremblay et al., 1995). Without undermining the other undesirable work outcomes, some studies have focused on organizational commitment. The recent organizational changes, such as restructuring and downsizing, have caused previously loyal workers to lose their commitment to the organization (Hunter & Thatcher, 2007). When individuals perceive a career plateau, they may feel that it will be difficult to achieve their career goals under the current circumstances (Wen & Liu, 2015). Consequently, employees no longer perform to their potential and may even express their dissatisfaction through counter-productive behaviors (Lemire et al., 1999). In a study conducted by Salami (2010), the empirical results show that career plateau was negatively related to organizational commitment. Despite the fact that many empirical studies have studied the antecedents of organizational commitment, very few have studied the same but with focus on the three distinguished forms of commitment. Meyer et al. (2002) found that affective and normative commitments are highly correlated. According to their findings, these two dimensions displayed similar patterns of antecedents and consequence variables. Allen and Meyer (1990) outlined that affective and normative are not one and the same, but there is a tendency that employees develop these concurrently. With this in mind, and the literature presented above, the following hypotheses were drawn: Hypothesis 1a: Career plateau has a negative relationship with affective commitment. Hypothesis 1b: Career plateau has a negative relationship with normative commitment. Continuance commitment, on the other hand, will display an opposite direction of relationship with its antecedents when compared to affective and normative commitment (Meyer et al., 2002). This is likely attributed to the element that continuance commitment is affected by the employee’s individual perception of lack of alternatives, and not by the employee’s general experience in the organization, like supervisor support or career plateau. As a result, the following hypothesis was drawn: Hypothesis 1c: Career plateau has a positive relationship with continuance commitment.. Transactional and Transformational Leaderships Leadership is a process of leading followers by influencing them to accomplish a goal or objective; the leader then helps to steer the organization in achieving them (Acar, 2012).. 13.

(21) Many leadership theories have been developed and debated as well. For the purpose of this study, the full range leadership theory developed by Bass and Avolio (Avolio, 1999; Bass & Avolio, 1994) will be applied. This theory identifies the ranges of leadership styles from nonleadership, transactional and transformational styles. For this study, the theory reflects transactional and non-leadership as one style, and transformational as another. Leadership styles were first conceptualized by Burns (1978) using two terms: transactional and transformational. These two styles can be distinguished by the method each uses to encourage followers or to appeal to follower’s values and emotions (Nguni, Sleegers, & Denessen, 2006).. Transactional Leadership In transactional leadership, the leader focuses on task completion and employee compliance, relying heavily on rewards and punishment to influence followers. This leadership style places emphasis on work standards, assignments and task-oriented goals (Burns, 1978). Transactional leadership was further conceptualized as having four behavioral dimensions addressing the leader’s activity and involvement within the range of passive to active (Avolio, Waldman, & McDaniel, 1990; Bass & Avolio, 1990). Contingency reward behavior focuses in clearly outlining expectations and performance targets. Reinforcement is provided in terms of rewards for meeting the goals. Active management-by-exception (MBEA) includes actively monitoring and keeping track of non-compliance and failure. In contrast, passive management-by-exception (MBEP) behavior is waiting to learn of noncompliance and mistakes, or waiting for problems to become chronic before taking corrective actions. Laissez-faire leadership behavior displays avoidance of responsibilities, and delaying making decisions.. Transformational Leadership On the other hand, in transformational leadership, the leader motivates followers to perform beyond what is expected by transforming their attitudes, beliefs and values rather than relying on basic compliance (Bass, 1985; Burns, 1978; Yukl, 1999a, 1999b). They must be able to clearly articulate a mission and vision for their organizations and the followers must have confidence on the leader (Emery & Barker, 2007). As well, the transformational leader motivates followers to higher levels of potential by encouraging them to “think outside the box” and look at different alternatives to problem solving (Bass, 1985; Bass & Avolio, 14.

(22) 1994). As a result, Bass et al. (2003) defined transformational leadership as a behavior process consisting of four factors: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. Idealized influence is observed when followers perceive a leader as charismatic and strive to imitate such leader. This can be either in the leader’s behavior or attributes (Bass & Avolio, 1995). The followers support their leader’s mission, values and beliefs; they adopt the same, forming a strong emotional tie to their leader. Individualized consideration is observed when leaders demonstrate concern for the individual needs of followers, treating followers on a one-to-one basis. Through mentoring, for example, transformational leaders have an opportunity to identify individual needs, to modify them appropriately to the level of challenges the followers may face. Intellectual stimulation is observed when leaders encourage followers to question the current way of doing things. Followers are allowed to question their own values, beliefs and expectations, as well as those of the leader and organization which may be perceived as outdated or inappropriate for addressing current problems. Lastly, inspirational motivation refers to motivating and energizing followers by communicating a compelling vision. By doing this, the leader often succeeds in elevating the expectations of followers, leading them to superior performance, more commonly by communicating a clear vision with confidence, leading by example, and motivating followers to strive for improvement.. Moderating Role of Transactional and Transformational Leaderships Various studies have been conducted on identifying effective leadership styles that influence employee behavior, including transactional and transformational leadership styles. However, most of them have contributed to the development of the transformational leadership theory and its influence on follower attitudes, behaviors and performance (Bass, 1985; Jung, Chow, & Wu, 2003; Keller, 2006; Liao & Chuang, 2007). After studying the leadership of managers in Austrian banks, Geyer and Steyrer (1998) noted a stronger relationship between transformational leadership and employee longterm performance. They attributed this to the behaviors of inspiring and motivating from the transformational leader. In a similar study on Evangelist pastors, Rowold (2008) concluded that there is significance in the transactional and transformational leadership model as it relates to the leadership influence on subordinates. He further stated that, indeed, transformational leadership augments the effect of transactional leadership, and that church. 15.

(23) followers’ satisfaction had higher correlation to the pastor’s transformational leadership style than to his transactional leadership style Furthermore, Emery and Barker (2007) studied 292 bank tellers and 97 counter checkers on the influence of the perceived leadership style (transactional or transformational) used by their supervisors, and its influence on their organizational commitment. Similar to Rowold (2008), they concluded that transformational leadership has a strong, positive influence on the emotional aspects of commitment (affective and normative), eventually leading to a positive employee attitude. As well, their study also supported previous research positing the use of transactional leadership as a less effective leadership style compared to transformational (Bass & Avolio, 1990). Nguni et al. (2006) concluded that transformational leadership, as opposed to transactional leadership, has as its focal point, stimulating employee motivation and commitment leading to performance required for organizational changes (Yukl, 1989). These studies, all support the full range leadership model (Figure 2.1.) developed by Kirkbride (2006).. Figure 2.1. Full range leadership model. Adapted from “Developing transformational leaders: The full range leadership model in action,” by P. Kirkbride, 2006, Industrial and Commercial Training, 38(1), p.24. After reviewing the relevant literature, the following hypotheses were developed: Hypothesis 2a: Transformational leadership will weaken the negative relationship between career plateau and affective commitment. Specifically, transformational leadership 16.

(24) has a stronger moderating effect on career plateau–affective commitment than transactional leadership. Hypothesis 2b: Transformational leadership will weaken the negative relationship between career plateau and normative commitment. Specifically, transformational leadership has a stronger moderating effect on career plateau–normative commitment than transactional leadership. Hypothesis 2c: Transformational leadership will strengthen the positive relationship between career plateau and continuance commitment. Specifically, transformational leadership has a stronger moderating effect on career plateau–continuance commitment than transactional leadership.. 17.

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(26) CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY This chapter is divided into the research framework, research hypotheses, sample, data collection, pilot test, measurement, control variables and data analysis.. Research Framework Based on the research purposes, and after reviewing the relevant literature, this study explored the relationship between career plateau and organizational commitment, as well as the moderating effects of transactional and transformational leaderships on the above relationship. As a result, the research framework in Figure 3.1. was created.. Transformational Leadership vs. Transactional Leadership H2a H2b. H1a. Affective Commitment. H2c Career Plateau. H1b. Normative Commitment. H1c. Continuance Commitment. Control Variables   . Gender Age Job tenure. Figure 3.1. Research framework. Research Hypotheses Based on the framework presented in Figure 3.1., the following hypotheses are proposed: Hypothesis 1a: Career plateau has a negative relationship with affective commitment. 19.

(27) Hypothesis 1b: Career plateau has a negative relationship with normative commitment. Hypothesis 1c: Career plateau has a positive relationship with continuance commitment. Hypothesis 2a: Transformational leadership will weaken the negative relationship between career plateau and affective commitment. Specifically, transformational leadership has a stronger moderating effect on career plateau – affective commitment than transactional leadership. Hypothesis 2b: Transformational leadership will weaken the negative relationship between career plateau and normative commitment. Specifically, transformational leadership has a stronger moderating effect on career plateau – normative commitment than transactional leadership. Hypothesis 2c: Transformational leadership will strengthen the positive relationship between career plateau and continuance commitment. Specifically, transformational leadership has a stronger moderating effect on career plateau – continuance commitment than transactional leadership.. Sample The target sample in this study consisted of full-time employees Belize. Belize currently faces economic challenges; therefore, this population was chosen because of interest to examine a population that is threatened with changes in their career and/or organization. The sample had to be full time employees, working for at least one year with their organization. An equal sample was obtained from both public and private sectors. However, only public servants working within the ministries and departments under the management of the Ministry of Labor, Local Government and Rural Development, Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities were considered. For the private sector, employees from all the different industries within Belize were considered.. Pilot Test A pilot test was conducted prior to the data collection. The purpose was to determine the effectiveness and suitability of the terms and structure of the questions for full-time employees in Belize. 40 responses were used for the pilot test. As well, the pilot test was to determine the reliability and validity of the instrument. The acceptable Cronbach’s alpha for reliability analysis is ≥0.7 (Nunnally, 1978). For the pilot test, Cronbach’s alpha for career plateau was 0.80, for transformational leadership was 0.96, while transactional leadership had 20.

(28) 0.69. The Cronbach’s alpha for affective commitment was 0.90, for normative commitment was 0.77 and continuance commitment was 0.77. After the pilot study, no changes were made or errors corrected. Therefore, the results of the pilot study were included in the final data analysis.. Data Collection Process Belize’s labor force totaled 164, 935 by April 2017 (Statistical Institute of Belize, 2017b). Due to the distribution of the labor force throughout the country, and the difficulty in personally accessing a representative sample from each district, convenient and snowball sampling were used. A quantitative research approach was adopted for this study; therefore, data was gathered using online questionnaire. The main approach for conducting data collection was personally contacting individuals who meet the sample criteria, by sending them an email with the link to the online questionnaire. They were then asked to distribute the questionnaire to their friends, family and co-workers who also met the criteria. In addition, the online questionnaire was posted on social media, such as Facebook. The questionnaire had a cover letter, indicating the purpose of the research, reassuring confidentiality and the researcher’s contact information in case of any questions. A total of 247 valid questionnaires were filled. The questionnaire consisted of 66 variable related items, and 10 personal and demographic items.. Measurement The measurement in this study comprised of three parts: career plateau, organizational commitment, leadership and demographical information. These measures are described below:. Career Plateau The instrument for this variable was adopted from Milliman (1992). It measures the two constructs of career plateau: structural and job content plateau. The measurement consisted of 12 items (6 for each construct). A seven-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 = Strongly Disagree to 7 = Strongly Agree, response format was used for this variable. In his study, Milliman (1992) reported a Cronbach’s Alpha of 0.87 for career plateau. The Cronbach’s alpha for this study was 0.78, as shown in Table 4.2.. 21.

(29) Sample items for structural plateau included: “My job tasks and activities have become routine for me”; and “My job requires me to continually extend my abilities and knowledge.” As for job content plateau, items include: “I am unlikely to obtain a much higher job title”; and, “I expect to be promoted frequently in the future.”. Organizational Commitment Because this study focused on the three dimensions of organizational commitment, the instrument adopted for measuring this variable was adopted from Meyer, Allen, and Smith (1993). This measurement included three dimensions: affective, normative and continuance commitment. It contains a total of 18 items with 6 items for each dimension. These were measured on a five-point Likert scale (1 = Strongly Disagree; 5 = Strongly Agree). The reported Cronbach’s alpha in Meyer et al. (1993) for affective commitment was 0.85, normative commitment was 0.76 and continuance commitment was 0.74. In this study, the Cronbach’s alpha for affective commitment was 0.89, normative commitment was 0.84 and continuance commitment was 0.69. Sample questions were: “This organization has a great deal of personal meaning to me”; “I owe a great deal to my organization”; and “I feel that I have few little options to consider leaving this organization” for affective, normative and continuance commitment, respectively.. Transactional Leadership This variable will be measured using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ-5X) proposed by Bass and Avolio (1990). The instrument consisted of 16-items for transactional leadership, with 4-items for each dimension. Responses were collected using a five-point Likert scale ranging from 1 = Strongly Disagree to 5 = Strongly Agree. Some of the items included were: (contingent reward) “My direct supervisor provides me with assistance in exchange for my efforts”; (active management-by-exception) “My direct supervisor keeps track of all mistakes”; (laissez-faire) “My direct supervisor is absent when needed”; (passive management-by-exception) “My direct supervisor fails to interfere until problems become serious.”. 22.

(30) Transformational Leadership This variable was also measured using the MLQ-5X questionnaire by Bass and Avolio (1990). The instrument consisted of 20-items for this variable, with 4-items for each of the dimensions. Responses to the items were measured on a seven-point Likert scale ranging from 1 = Strongly Disagree to 7 = Strongly Agree. The cumulative Cronbach’s alpha reported for this measurement was 0.85. This study had a cumulative Cronbach’s alpha of 0.83. Examples of items included: (individualized consideration) “My supervisor spends time teaching and coaching me”; (intellectual stimulation) “My supervisor seeks differing perspectives when solving problems”; (inspirational motivation) “My direct supervisor speaks enthusiastically about what needs to be accomplished”; (idealized influence attributes) “My supervisor acts in ways that builds his/her respect”; (idealized influence behaviors) “My supervisor talks about his/her most important values and beliefs.”. Control Variables Some of the control variables which might have influenced organizational commitment were identified. These are listed and described below:. Gender A study by Khan, Ziauddin, and Ramay (2010) showed that the female participants were more committed than the male participants. As well, Jung and Tak (2008), in their study of career plateau and organizational commitment identified gender as a control variable.. Age Khan et al. (2010) also indicated that participants aged 25 years have relatively low organizational commitment while those between 35 and 46 portrayed a relatively higher commitment. Moreover, Meyer et al. (2002) showed a positive correlation between the employees’ age and all three dimensions of organizational commitment. Hunt, Chonko, and Wood (1985) also supported that characteristics such as age have influence on organizational commitment.. 23.

(31) Tenure Mathieu and Zajac (1990) have demonstrated that tenure is a potential predictor of organizational commitment. Other studies on career plateau and organizational commitment also demonstrated that job tenure positively correlates with organizational commitment (Chay et al., 1995; Jung & Tak, 2008).. Data Analysis The responses collected from the online questionnaire were analyzed by IBM SPSS version 22.0. Other statistical techniques used to analyze the data collected included descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlation analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and hierarchical regression analysis.. Descriptive Statistics This type of analysis provided an overview of the characteristics of the participants in terms of frequency and percentages. Descriptive statistics in this study included background information such as gender, age, education level, job tenure, public/private sector and organizational structure position (hierarchical position). It also provided an idea of the respondents’ profile through the distribution pattern and percentage of demographic information. The frequency and percentage of these demographics are shown in Table 3.1. Most of the participants were females (54.3%). As well, most of the sample were single (43.3%), and were aged between 26 to 30 years (39.7%). Almost 86% of participants had been working in their organization between 1 to 10 years. The Belize private sector employs 52.6% of them, while the public sector employs 47.4%. In addition, 54.3% of the population considered themselves as “professional staff” in the hierarchical structure of their organization.. 24.

(32) Table 3.1. Descriptive Statistics (n=247) Item. Frequency. Percentage. Gender Female. 134. 54.3%. Male. 113. 45.7%. Item. Frequency. Percentage. 26 – 30. 1. 0.4%. More than 30. 1. 1.2%. Agriculture, Fisheries…. 13. 5.3%. Public Service Age 16 – 20. 1. 0.4%. Economic Development. 1. 0.0%. 21 – 25. 16. 6.5%. Education, Culture…. 22. 8.9%. 26 – 30. 98. 39.7%. Finance & Natural Res…. 19. 7.7%. 31 – 35. 63. 25.5%. Foreign Affairs & Home... 2. 0.8%. 36 – 40. 32. 13.0%. Health. 12. 4.9%. 41 – 45. 15. 6.1%. Housing & Urban Dev…. 0. 0.0%. 46 – 50. 12. 4.9%. Human Development…. 5. 2.0%. Above 50. 10. 4.0%. Labor, Local Gov’t…. 11. 4.5%. Defense. 20. 8.1%. Transport and NEMO. 8. 3.2%. Marital Status Married. 92. 37.2%. Tourism and Civil. 0. 0.0%. Single. 107. 43.3%. Works. 2. 0.8%. Divorced/Widowed. 14. 5.7%. Attorney General. 3. 1.2%. Common law. 34. 13.8%. Agriculture, Forestry…. 11. 4.5%. Private Sector Education Ph.D.. 0. 0.0%. Arts, Entertainment…. 4. 1.6%. Master Degree. 21. 8.5%. Chemical & Pharma. 1. 0.4%. Bachelor Degree. 67. 27.1%. Computer & Software. 2. 0.8%. Associate Degree. 126. 51.0%. Construction. 1. 0.4%. High School Diploma. 32. 13.0%. Education Services. 13. 5.3%. Energy (Electricity,. 11. 4.5%. Financial & Insurance. 15. 6.1%. Tenure 1–5. 103. 41.7%. Food Services. 2. 0.8%. 6 – 10. 109. 44.1%. Hospitality Services. 6. 2.4%. 11 – 15. 23. 9.3%. Human Health & Social…. 4. 1.6%. 16 – 20. 6. 2.4%. Information…. 26. 10.5%. 21 – 25. 2. 0.8%. Manufacturing. 0. 0.0%. (continued) 25.

(33) Table 3.1. (continued) Item. Frequency. Percentage. Item. Frequency. Percentage. Mass Media. 1. 0.4%. Hierarchical Position. Professional. 11. 4.5%. Professional Staff. 134. 54.3%. Real Estate. 0. 0.0%. Supervisory Level. 72. 29.1%. Transportation. 3. 1.2%. Middle-Management. 37. 15.0%. Water. 1. 0.4%. Top-Management. 4. 1.6%. Wholesale & Retail. 9. 3.6%. Other Industry. 10. 4.0%. Correlation and Reliability Analysis The reliability and Pearson correlation analyses were conducted to ensure the reliability of the measurements and to examine the correlations among the variables. Table 3.2 presents the mean, standard deviation, and reliability for each variable and Pearson correlation coefficient among each variable. The acceptable Cronbach’s alpha is ≤ 0.7 (Nunally, 1978). The results show career plateau had a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.78, transactional leadership had a 0.72, transformational leadership had a 0.93, affective commitment had a 0.89, continuance commitment had a 0.69 and normative commitment had a 0.84. The Pearson coefficient was used to examine the correlations on career plateau, organizational commitment and transactional and transformational leaderships. The Pearson correlation (r) was used to describe the strength and direction of the relationship between career plateau and organizational commitment as well as the moderating relationship of transactional and transformational leaderships. A high correlation meant there was a strong relationship between variables. The coefficient value ranges from -1.0 to +1.0. Should the coefficient value be greater than 0, it is indication that there is a positive relationship. Otherwise, it indicates a negative relationship. When analyzing relationships, two variables are said to be correlated if change in one variable causes change in the other; the change can be in the same direction or reverse. As well, coefficient values r < 0.4 were considered low correlation. Also, coefficient values between r > 0.4 and r < 0.7 were considered medium, while high correlation are r > 0.7. The correlation values are what indicated the strength of the relationship between variables. The results of the Pearson correlation analysis (Table 3.2.) showed that most of the major variables in this study had significant correlation coefficients. Career plateau had a 26.

(34) negative, low correlation to affective (r = -.26, p < .001) and normative commitment (r = -.27, p < .001), while it had a low, positive correlation to continuance commitment (r = .34, p < .001). At the same time, transformational leadership had a medium, positive correlation with affective and normative commitments (r = .49, r = .45, p < .001), while it had a low, negative correlation with continuance commitment (r = -.13, p < .05). As for transactional leadership, this variable had a low, negative correlation with affective (r = -.20, p < .01) and normative commitments (r = -.13, p < .05), while it had no significant relationship to continuance commitment.. 27.

(35) Table 3.2. Mean, Standard Deviations, Correlations, and Reliability (n=247) Mean. S.D.. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 1. Gender. .46. .50. 1.00. 2. Age. 33.05. 7.62. -.12. 1.00. 3. Tenure. 7.20. 5.04. .03. .52***. 1.00. 4. Career Plateau. 4.30. .84. -.13*. .03. -.03. (.78). 5. Transformational Leadership. 3.31. .59. .06. -.03. -.01. -.51***. (.93). 6. Transactional Leadership. 2.74. .42. .17**. -.09. .03. .07. -.24***. (.72). 7. Affective Commitment. 3.40. .88. .01. .29***. .33***. -.26***. .49***. -.20**. (.89). 8. Continuance Commitment. 3.41. .70. -.04. .00. -.07. .34***. -.13*. .05. -.11. (.69). 9. Normative Commitment. 3.22. .76. .06. .17**. .26***. -.27***. .45***. -.13*. .71***. .07. Note. Cronbach’s Alpha are in boldface. *p < .05, **p < .01, ***p < .001.. 28. 9. (.84).

(36) CHAPTER IV FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION This chapter aims to present the findings based on the proposed hypotheses in this study. Here, the results of regression analysis to test hypothesis were explained, and discussed.. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to examine the adequacy of measurements using AMOS 22.0. The study had a total of 247 respondents. The number of observed variables for career plateau was 12, transactional leadership had 16, transformational leadership had 20, and organizational commitment had 12. To confirm the adequacy, three categories of fit indices of the CFA model were analyzed (Hair, Black, Babin, Anderson, & Tatham, 2010). These are the absolute fit indices, incremental fit indices, and parsimony fit indices. According to Hair et al. (2010), three to four indices are enough to indicate “adequate evidence” in evaluating a good fit. These must include one absolute index, one incremental index, the chi-square (x2) value, and the associated degrees of freedom. The acceptable range for the incremental index (Bollen’s IFI) is < .90. The same applies for the non-normed fit index (TLI). The other index, chi-square, is the result of chi-square divided by degrees of freedom. This index is used to investigate whether distributions of categorical variables differ from one another (Marsh & Hocevar, 1985). The result of chi-square confirms the model fit. The root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) then indicates how well a model fits a population. The standardized root mean square residual (SRMR) indicates the average discrepancy between the correlations in the input matrix and the correlations which is predicted by the model. Lastly, the comparative fit index (CFI) assesses how well the estimated model fits relative to some alternative baseline model. A good model fit, therefore, will have a chi-square (x2) value of p < .05, CFI > .95, SRMR < .09, and SRMEA < .08 (Hair et al., 2010). The results of the CFA for this study are displayed in Table 4.1. Examining the 12item model of measurement for career plateau suggest that the model did not provide an adequate model fit. The CFA analysis produced a relative chi-square (x2) of 654.05 and a ratio of chi-square to degrees of freedom (x2/df) of 12.11, well above the acceptable range of a good model fit (Carmines & McIver, 1981). Other fit indices, as well, were significantly below the acceptable range; the RMSEA was 0.21; the CFI was 0.54; the NFI was 0.52; IFI 29.

(37) was 0.54; TLI was 0.44 and the GFI was 0.61. Furthermore, as Table 4.1. shows, the results for leadership measurement also resulted in indices outside the acceptable range. Nonetheless, organizational commitment had acceptable indices for CFI which was 0.81; NFI was 0.76; IFI was 0.81; TLI was 0.78 and GFI was 0.78. Otherwise, the ratio of chi-square to degrees of freedom (x2/df) of 4.19 and the RMSEA of 0.12, were above the indices’ acceptable range. The structural four-factor model (Figure 4.1.) was also analyzed. This model contained measures for career plateau, leadership (transactional and transformational) and organizational commitment. Although the ratio of chi-square to degrees of freedom (x2/df) for the structural model was within the acceptable limit, with an index of 2.93, the other fit indices were not. That is, the RMSEA was 0.09, which was slightly above the acceptable range. Meanwhile, CFI was 0.60; NFI was 0.50; IFI was 0.60; TLI was 0.59, and GFI was 0.54, all of which were lower than the acceptable range.. Table 4.1. Results of Confirmatory Factor Analysis (n=247) x2 Career Plateau. df. x2/df. RMSEA. CFI. NFI. IFI. TLI GFI. 654.05. 54. 12.11. .21. .54. .52. .54. .44. .61. 2486.51. 594. 4.19. .11. .60. .53. .60. .57. .54. 570.63. 132. 4.32. .12. .81. .76. .81. .78. .78. One-factor. 8279.06. 2080. 3.98. .11. .38. .32. .38. .36. .38. Two-factor. 7030.66. 2075. 3.39. .10. .50. .42. .51. .49. .44. Three-factor. 6739.04. 2075. 3.25. .10. .53. .45. .54. .52. .47. Four-factor. 6067.68. 2073. 2.93. .09. .60. .50. .60. .59. .54. Leadership Org Commitment. 30.

(38) Figure 4.1. Structural four-factor model. 31.

(39) Regression Analyses Linear Regression Analysis Linear regression was used to analyze the relationship between career plateau and each dimension of organizational commitment-affective, normative and continuance. When conducting the regression, control variables were entered first. Thereafter, the independent variable (career plateau) was entered to test its effect on the dependent variable. The results of the linear regression analysis are displayed in Tables 4.2. and 4.3. Hypothesis 1a stated that career plateau has a negative relationship with affective commitment. The results, as shown in Table 4.3., Model 2, support this hypothesis as career plateau was significantly and negatively related with affective commitment (β = -.25, p < .001). Career plateau was also significantly and negatively related with normative commitment (β = -0.26, p < .001), in Model 7 (Table 4.3.), supporting Hypothesis 1b. The results in Table 4.2. indicate that career plateau was also significantly, but positively correlated to continuance commitment (β = 0.34, p < .001). Therefore, Hypothesis 1c was supported.. Hierarchical Regression Analysis This analysis was used to examine the moderating effect of each dimension of leadership (transactional and transformational) on the relationship between career plateau and affective, normative and continuance commitment, respectively. Control variables considered for this analysis were gender, age and tenure. Three steps were conducted to test the moderating effect of each leadership style on each of the three dimensions of organizational commitment. Firstly, control variables were entered, followed by the independent variable – career plateau, and the moderator. Transformational and transactional leaderships were entered as individual moderators. Hypothesis 2a predicted that transformational leadership will weaken the negative relationship between plateaued employees and affective commitment, more than transactional leadership. The findings for this hypothesis were designated as Models 4 and 5 in Table 4.3. The regression in Model 4 was not significant after the interaction of transformational leadership was entered with career plateau. On the other hand, Model 5 shows a negative significance when the interaction of transactional leadership was entered, explaining an incremental variance in affective commitment (β = -.162, F = 13.52, p < .001, ΔR2 = .025). As a result, Hypothesis 2a was not supported. 32.

(40) Hypothesis 2b predicted that transformational leadership, more than transactional leadership, will weaken the negative relationship between plateaued employees and normative commitment. Table 4.3., Models 9 and 10, show that when the relative interaction is entered, both leadership styles have a moderating effect with career plateau. Model 9 shows that transformational leadership is positively significant (β = .19, F = 17.98, p < .001, ΔR2 = .036). Model 10 indicates that the regression is negatively significant when the interaction for transactional leadership is entered (β = -.121, F = 8.182, p < .001, ΔR2 = .014). Further details of the moderating effects in Figures 4.2. and 4.3. show that transformational leadership has a stronger, positive effect in the relationship between career plateau and normative commitment, than transactional. Therefore, Hypothesis 2c was supported. However, Hypothesis 2c stated that transformational leadership will strengthen the positive relationship between plateaued employees and continuance commitment, more than transactional leadership. As per Table 4.2., Model 4, the interaction of transformational leadership has a positive significance on continuance commitment. The analysis shows an incremental variance (β = .127, F = 6.53, p < .001, ΔR2 = .016). Table 4.2., Model 5, also indicates that transactional leadership does not have an interaction effect on career plateau and continuance commitment. Consequently, Hypothesis 2c was also supported. Figure 4.4. further supports this conclusion.. 33.

(41) Table 4.2. Results of Regression Analysis for Moderating Effect on Continuance Commitment (n=247) Continuance Commitment. Variables. Model 1. Model 2. Model 3. Model 4. Model 5. Gender. -.04. .01. .00. .01. .01. Age. .04. .03. .03. .03. .03. Tenure. -.10. -.08. -.08. -.07. -.09. .34***. .37***. .38***. .32***. TRL Leadership. .06. .05. TRA Leadership. .04. Step 1: Controls. Step 2: Main Effect Career Plateau. .02. Step 3: Interaction CP x TRL. .13*. CP x TRA. .10. R2. .01. .12. .13. .14. .13. Adj. R2. -.00. .11. .10. .12. .11. F. .70. 8.46. 5.78***. 6.54***. 6.11***. ΔR2. .01. .11. .12. .02. .01. ΔF. .69. 31.15***. 10.79***. 4.42*. 2.48. Note. TRL = Transformational; TRA = Transactional; CP = Career Plateau. *p < .05, **p < .01, ***p < .001.. 34.

(42) Table 4.3. Results of Regression Analysis for Moderating Effect on Affective and Normative Commitment (n=247) Affective Commitment Variables. Normative Commitment. Model 1. Model 2. Model 3. Model 4. Model 5. Model 6. Model 7. Model 8. Model 9. Model 10. Gender. .27. -.00. .01. -.00. .01. .06. .03. .04. .03. .04. Age. .17*. .183**. .17. .19**. .17*. .06. .07. .06. .07. .06. Tenure. .24*. .23**. .25***. .25***. .26***. .23**. .22. .23***. .25***. .24**. -.25***. -.01. -.00. -.21***. -.26***. -.05. -.04. -.23***. TRL Leadership. .47***. .49***. .41***. 0.42***. TRA Leadership. -.08. Step 1: Controls. Step 2: Main Effect Career Plateau. -.16**. -.04. -.11. Step 3: Interaction CP x TRL. .05. CP x TRA R2. .19** -.16**. -.12*. .13. .20. .38. .38. .25. .07. .14. .28. .31. .17. .12. .18. .37. .36. .23. .06. .13. .26. .29. .15. 12.43***. 14.80***. 24.8***. 24.47***. 13.52***. 6.47***. 9.95***. 15.23***. 17.98***. 8.18***. ΔR2. .13. .06. .25. .00. .03. .07. .07. .20. .04. .01. ΔF. 12.43. 19.13***. 32.36***. 1.08. 7.99**. .47***. Adj. R F. 2. Note. TRL = Transformational; TRA = Transactional; CP = Career Plateau. *p < .05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. 35.

(43) Figure 4.2. Moderating effect of transformational leadership on the relationship between career plateau and normative commitment. Figure 4.3. Moderating effect of transactional leadership on the relationship between career plateau and normative commitment 36.

(44) Figure 4.4. Moderating effect of transformational leadership on the relationship between career plateau and continuance commitment. Discussion This study explored the effects of transactional and transformational leadership on career plateau and organizational commitment in Belizean employees. As hypothesized, career plateau has high correlation with each of the dimensions of organizational commitment (Table 4.4.). The more an employee feels restricted in one hierarchical position, or no longer feels challenged by their job, the less emotional attachment the individual develops towards the organization. The results are in line with research conducted by Lapalme et al. (2009) who suggested that there is a direct negative relationship between plateauing and affective commitment. Similarly, the results reflected that plateaued employees displayed reduced normative commitment. This leads to employees feeling less guilty to stay in the organization. The lack of promotional opportunities or job challenges can be considered as one less reason to keep working there. On the other hand, the results suggested that plateaued employees seemed to have an increase in their continuance commitment, as pointed out by Nachbagauer and Riedl (2002), in their study of university staff and school teachers in Austria. Overall, the results of this 37.

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