In their article, Valdiserri and Wilson (2010) discuss the problems associated with small business in the United States, particularly, the effect that leadership styles have on an organization. From this point of view, the title of the article The Study of Leadership in Small Business Organizations: Impact on Profitability and Organizational Success reflects the main topics discussed in the article, which is the relationship between a leadership style, profitability, and job satisfaction. Yet, it is arguable whether ‘organizational success’ is measured only by employee job satisfaction. Although the authors discuss the challenges of small business in the Unites States and the relationship between clearly stated organizational goals and the potential of business in terms of ‘surviving’. Although the problem has both theoretical and practical rationale, it is not clearly stated by the authors.
The article does have a part with the literature review. Considering the time when the article was published (2010), the literature that it incorporates can be considered relevant. All of the sources used by the authors were published at earliest in 2010. Perhaps the most important conclusion that one can draw from the literature review provided by the authors is that ineffectively used managerial and leadership skills are one of the primary reasons why small business fails in the United States. In addition to this, the literature review draw attention to the relationship between business surviving potential and employee job satisfaction.
The study is a quantitative survey and the research design used in the study is correlational. Namely, the data was analyzed with the help of Pearson r correlation. The instrument used in the study was a questionnaire, yet the authors did not attach it as an appendix. The study sample was composed of 8 leaders and 40 employees from 8 organizations located in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The study offered four hypotheses, each of them clearly stated. All of the hypotheses focused on a relationship between a leadership style and profitability or job satisfaction. In order to minimize the sampling errors, the scholars a statistical approach in order to validate 48 participants as a sample size that it big enough (Valdiserri & Wilson, 2010). As it has already been noted above, the study used Pearson r correlation to analyze the data.
The article clearly lists the findings of the study. These include a positive correlation between transformational and transactional leadership and profitability and a positive, yet weaker correlation between laissez-faire leadership and profitability. In addition to this, as found in the study, there is a positive correlation between transformational and transactional leadership and job satisfaction. In contrast, the connection between job satisfaction and laissez-faire leadership is negative, as stated by the authors. The limitations of the study are also included to the article. These, according to Valdiserri & Wilson (2010), are the sample size and the unwillingness of some leaders to participate in the survey.
The main conclusions of the study are consistent with the empirical findings described by the authors before. Yet, to a big extent the authors repeat the information that they have already stated previously in the article. From this point of view, conclusion does not add any new understanding to the findings of the study and their possible implications.
The evidence presented in this study supports the experience I have working as a part of an organization. Namely, there has been a relatively recent shift in the way that leadership is carried out at my company – the leadership style has become more relationship-oriented, compared to the one before that was characterized by a higher level of authoritarianism, which eventually resulted in higher job satisfaction.
- Valdiserri G. & Wilson J. (2010). The Study of Leadership in Small Business Organizations: Impact on Profitability and Organizational Success. The Entrepreneurial Executive (15), 47-71.