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Manager leadership skills subordinate performance organizational productivity

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The study investigated about the impact of manager leadership skills. The purpose of the research is to highlight the leadership augmentation process for the companies to generate results-oriented, people-focused leaders instead of purely mangers, which they help in improving the subordinate’s performance, raise retention and morale of the employees, and bring bottom-line results for the organizations.

The research linkages between manager skills and leadership skills that help Managers to be aware of their personality traits as a leader, that further assist managers in evaluating the subordinates’ performance and organization effectiveness. The research rationale is all about Manager’s leadership skills in reality have any influence or not to enhance the subordinate performance and organizational productivity.

For the study, Judgmental Sampling has been used; deliberately handpicked individuals from the population based on our knowledge and judgment and conducted both Focus- Group and Questionnaire tool as our primary source of data. We arranged a focus group in IXLMS organization and questionnaire survey tool in SOFSOL organization. Total of 54 respondents participated which comprises of both managers & subordinates from different departments. In-depth questions were asked and the responses were recorded. The data that was gathered is analyzed by the use of mathematical tools such as tables, percentages and pie charts. This allows us to obtain quantitative data that can help in the analysis of our hypothesis. T-Testing of hypothesis was conducted which resulted that there is an impact of Managers leadership skills to enhance the subordinate performance and organizational productivity.

To increase subordinates’ satisfaction, performance, and organization productivity, in this research Managers are suggested to give prominence efforts on their leadership skills instead only rely on manager skills and companies should also work on this as employees are the leading key factors of any organization, they, therefore, have to come up with the strategies of encouraging their employees and make them willing to grant as much time in leadership skills as they do in management skills.



Background of the Topic and

Statement of the Problem


Organizations must be certain that every employee carry out to the best of their ability and delivers significant value to the business but in today’s economy it’s critical to get the most efficiency from every employee.   One main issue that almost every business resist with is the challenge of dealing with employee’s performance. Great organizations know that measuring their accomplishment with people both customers and employees is just as important as measuring the achievement of their financial bottom line. Great organizations focus on two bottom lines instead of just one. In these organizations, developing loyal customers and engaged employees are considered equal to good financial performance. Upper Management at these organizations know that in order to succeed they must create a encouraging environment for employees, which results in better customer service, which leads to higher income.

There are many elements that go into creating a victorious organization like customer focus, different marketing strategy, and passionate employees etc are the factors that come to mind but the one place that organizations should focus on first is leadership skills of the mangers. That’s because leadership is the succession that drives the other factors. Developing impressive leaders is the key to organizational success.

One of the mainly common sources of low productivity in any organization and deprived work ethic is the lack of leadership skills in their managers. When the managers of the companies keep going with the appropriate coaching of leadership skills, they are able to quickly reach the levels of confidence and competence needed to increase productivity to meet requirement. With suitable leadership style, managers develop new skills more rapidly and begin to donate sooner to the bottom line.

Leaders help subordinates to achieve astonishing results. They lend a hand others to develop eagerness and passion for their work as well as higher self-esteem and more self-confidence. When given the leadership skills to give work direction, goal setting, coaching, performance evaluation, active listening, feedback, and practical problem solving employees experience fewer disturbances and more success. Mentoring high-potential ability and giving employees the resources to grow into competent and confident, leaders creates a conduit for organizational growth.

Over a period of time by receiving the appropriate leadership skills, mangers can reach the levels of self-reliance and competence that enable them to increase their productivity and success of the organization. Without the proper leadership skills, most mangers end up achieving only a temperate level of performance on key tasks instead of pushing through to the highest level possible. The question then is for organizations to develop their mangers to reach higher levels as quickly and proficiently as possible, thus improving productivity and overall business performance.


The research rationale is that leadership of the manager is the key factor in influencing employee performance and organizational success. This study is to highlight the leadership development process for organizations to create results-oriented, people-focused leaders instead of simply mangers, that they improve subordinates performance, increase retention and morale, and deliver bottom-line results. The objective of the research is to find that:

Do employees know there is a difference in a leader and a manager?

Do really manager have any leadership skills in them or not?

What managers think about leadership?

Do mangers believe in developing team members into individual who can complete pre determined goals?

How leadership skills effect the overall organization productivity?

Manager’s leadership skills in reality have any impact to enhance the subordinate performance and organizational productivity or not?

The research questionnaires also highlight the ways that managers can improve his/her leadership skills and motivate the employees to perform their best that boost the organization productivity.


The research will foster managers to develop their skills as a leader. If one relies only on being a manager, he’ll never instigate subordinate to give their very best and increase organizational productivity so good managers should think like leaders within their orb of influence. Leadership skills are vital in an organization. It enhances organization productivity. The manager cannot get the job done on time by employees unless he/she has good leadership skills.

Leadership is mostly about being one-self and preserving one personal legitimacy. Most mangers are not born with leadership skills so they can develop their leadership skills through this research as it highlighted the importance of personal progress, thinking innovatively, caring for people and also having the will to become a leader. Effective leadership skills among managers are not only avoid delays, misunderstandings, confusion or distortions of facts during uncertain situations but also establishes harmony in the organization environment.


The research is designed to illuminate the impact of leadership skills of a manager on subordinates performance and organizational productivity. The study is conducted in the natural environment with the minimum interference of researcher with the normal flow of events. All the expenses and barriers will be kept in consideration while designing this research.

As time was a major constrain in this exercise, so within this short time frame the focus group methods and online questionnaire survey helped us in getting fairly dependable data from two organizations i.e. IXLMS and Sofsol. Both companies are emerging business solution providers.


Bottom line it’s an organization net earnings, net income or EPS (Earnings per share).

Leadership a crucial management skill is the ability to encourage a group of people in the direction of a common goals.

IXLMS It’s a company name, an emerging business solution provider.

Sofsol It’s a company name.

Non-Contrived If the research is completed in the natural environment where work carry on normally.

Judgmental Sampling The sample based on the researcher thinking who they think would be suitable for the study.

Questionnaire Tool A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a sequence of questions that help in collecting the information from respondents.

Focus Group a research in which a group of people are asked about their observations, views, ideas and attitudes towards a concept. It is usually qualitative research.

Null Hypothesis It is normally offer a general or default position, such as that there is no relationship between two measured facts, or that an imminent treatment has no effect or no impact.

T-Test A t-test is a statistical hypothesis test in which the test statistics go after a student’s t distribution if the null hypothesis is carried.

OJT OJT stands for “On-the-Job Training” which is a form of training received in a normal working work place.


Research Method and Procedure


The research is designed in a way that all aspects of interest as well as efficient data collection are kept under consideration. It is also to cover the entire important facet related to manager’s leadership skills that help in improving the employee’s performance and organization productivity.

2.1.1 Purpose of the Study

The study is descriptive research in nature. The purpose is to discover the impact of the leadership skills of a manager that’s helps in enhancing the employee’s performance and improving the organization structure in terms of its productivity.

2.1.2 Study Setting

It is a field study as it examining the effect of leadership skills. The study setting is non-contrived in nature.

2.1.3 Unit of Analysis

Unit of analysis are two organization IXLMS and SOFSOL. Both are business solution providers.


The respondents can easily be identified. Our respondent includes Managers and Subordinates working in IXLMS and Sofsol organizations. To have a diverse sample, we choose individuals, belonging to different departments (like Finance, IT, Administration, sales and HR) having different functional responsibilities. We have categorized the target population into following two groups according to their role in an organization:



2.2.1 Sampling Frame

The samples are selected from HR repository of each of above mentioned organizations.

2.2.2 Sampling Procedure

For our study, we have used Judgmental Sampling we have purposely handpicked individuals from the population based on our knowledge and judgment. Also, we have obtained the information from a very specific group of people for which this method is most feasible. We have chosen limited number of people that have expertise in the area being studied.

2.2.3 Sample Size

The sample size for this exercise estimated to be 54 respondents which include both managers and subordinates.


The instruments include the primary and secondary sources of the data.

Primary Sources

We choose both Focus- Group and Questionnaire tool as our primary source of data. We have arranged a focus group in IXLMS organization and questionnaire survey tool in SOFSOL organization, where individuals from different departments participated. In-depth questions were asked and the responses were recorded.

The reason being the Focus Group discussions on a specific topic at a particular location and at a specified time, it gives the opportunity to capture spontaneous responses. This focus group unstructured responses reflect the genuine opinions, ideas and feelings of the respondents about the topic under study. Whereas the questionnaire survey will be a useful step as to encapsulate the answers/responses in a pie chart and bar chart form. The online survey questionnaire is floated in SOFSOL organization for collecting data from managers and subordinates. The responses results are shared in chapter 4 and the survey can be viewed online by following the links:

For Managers: http://tiny.cc/ManagersSurvey

For Subordinates: http://tiny.cc/DirectsSurvey

The questions were designed in such a way that it allows free flow of information from the minds of our target population. This allows us to attain quantitative data that can help in the analysis of our hypothesis. The questionnaire will help in investigating the related matters of the research, which includes all the related questions about the manager and subordinates that reveals the major aspects of the leadership skills.

2.3.2 Secondary Sources

The Secondary sources include the following:

Newspapers, Books,

articles, magazines

Other Publications like company reviews.

World Wide Web, Internet


The analysis will be done on the basis of the data gathered by visiting the organization IXLMS, SOFSOL and information that revealed by them. The data that is gathered will be analyzed by the use of mathematical tools such as tables, percentages and graphs. T-Testing of hypothesis will be conducted in order to know the impact of leadership skills on subordinate performance and organizational productivity.


Review of Related Literature

& Studies


There are many duties predictable of a leader. Leadership is not only about being the face man. It is not only about bestowing orders. It is not even about grasp the blame. Good leadership is a challenging, all rounder role that want commitment, skill, intelligence and most important of all, leadership qualities and abilities.

All managers want to have good quality subordinates. A lot has been on paper about this topic. It is not only about the power of the boss, but in many cases, it is about the gift to lead. Leadership is so very different from being dominant. Some bosses believe that good leadership means that they set a good example. If they put a good example, they are good leaders. I think that is a little too simplistic.

If you desire good subordinates, you must first be a good leader. That leadership expands too many aspects of your interaction with and your management of the people.

When you first begin working, you are skilled to toe the line, that your boss is always right; my way or the highway. Abruptly, if you want your people to imagine out of the box, the easiest technique to achieve this is, don’t generate the box in the first place. You are inquired to think out of the box.

For a moment this happens that you select someone as your leader. He is going to be your direct light and fetch you across the desert. You rejoice your new leader. Then the party is over and the journey begins. What happens? If this were a democratic system, then the leader sets a direction, say, south, and everyone votes on it. If it were Moses, he just ups and moves on and everyone follows. One is a leader, the other is a coordinator. Do you own a car that is red on the front and polka dotted pink behind? You would if you allowed your 3 year old girl to decide on half the colors. If you did not paint the back polka dotted pink, she will be unhappy. At some point, a leader has to take responsibility for his decisions. Everyone will have their own beliefs. A good leader understands and accepts that. To be firm that everyone shares exactly the same opinion and everyone to have the same decision, is not factual leadership.

When we consider of leaders, we think of someone who has vision. He has the big depiction. He knows where he is going away.

Leaders are not essential. This might appear as a surprise, but it is true. A good manager require not be a good leader – in some situation. You would see this most often in large, technical organizations. Management is about competence and effectiveness. Leadership is about motivation and vision. Leaders deal with public. Managers deal with procedures.

Which is why, to be a good leader, you need to have a good level of people handling skills. There are some foremost leaders who simply bull-doze their way through the team. In a disaster situation, that might work. But it can only be continued for a short while. Imagine yourself under the oppression of your supervisor, day in and day out; would you place for it?

To be a good quality leader, you need to understand your people. But to be a great leader, you need to not only understand them, but to know how to bring out the best in them. Before you can encourage and motivate, you need to understand. However, if you stop at merely understanding them, but not knowing how to bring them to the next level, then you are a unlucky leader.

Managers are power figures. They must be followed. They are in their positions through seniority, loyalty to the company or a million other reasons good and bad. Leaders, on the other hand, are people whom the group prefers to follow. They may have no organizational authority, but they motivate the group with their vision and obsession. Sometimes, when natural leaders appear, managers feel threatened, especially if it’s their group that is concerned. A good manager knows how to use and control the normal leaders.

I would like to suggest that for anyone to be a good leader, there are certain basic competencies that are desirable. A lot of focus has always been put on the personality of a leader, the tasks and the roles f a leader. These are important or not important, depending on what theory you pledge to. However, I would suggest that there are some basics that any leader must have. This is despite of the leadership type, leadership style and so on. There are basic competencies that a leader should to have. I have tried to sort them out and have put them into five basic competencies:

technical competence

operational competence

financial competence

people competence

strategic competence

A manager basically directs resources to complete prearranged goals or projects. For example, a manager may connect in hiring, training, and scheduling employees in order to attaining the work in the most efficient and cost effective manner probable. A manager believes in a failure if he/she is not able to complete the project or goals with effectiveness or when the cost turns out to be too high. On the other hand, a leader within a company build up individuals in order to complete preset goals and projects. A leader build up relationships with his/her employees by building communication, inducing images of success, and by bring forth loyalty.


There are several definitions of leadership, and the term leadership could mean different things to different people (see Bass, 1990 and Rost, 1993). There was evidence that leadership is a function of knowing yourself, having a vision that is well communicated, building trust among colleagues, and taking effective action to realize your own leadership potential (Bennis, 2003; 1989). Moorhead and Griffin (1998) suggested that leadership could be defined in two terms of both process and property. As a process, leader is the use of non-coercive influence to direct and coordinated the activities of group members to meet a goal. As a property, leadership is the set of characteristics attributed those who are perceived to use such influence successfully.

3.2.1 Leadership Personality Qualities and Traits

Researchers and scholars present a number of leadership personality traits (see Atwater and Yammarino, 1993; Kirkpatrick and Locke, 1991). In this study, however, seven leadership factors were chosen to measure the subordinates’ performance outcomes. Based mostly on Dubrin et al. (2006) work, the traits seem to be relevant to subordinates’ performance. Dubrin et al. (2006) indicated that it is important for the leader to be realistically self-confident. A leader must project his/her self-confidence to the group. Self-confidence is not only personality characteristic; it also refers to the personality trait a person exhibits in a number of situations. It is akin to being cool under pressure. A person is a self-confident leader when he or she retains composure during a crisis (Dubrin et al., 2006).

Emotional stability refers to the ability to control emotions to the point that one’s emotional responses are appropriate to the occasion (Dubrin et al., 2006). Emotional stability is an important leadership trait because group members expect and need consistency in the way they are treated. The effective leaders are generally calm, confident, and predictable during a crisis (Goleman, 1995). Initiative or being a self-starter refers to taking action without support and stimulation from others, and it also related to problem-finding ability (Dubrin et. al., 2006). As conceptualized by Kirkpatrick and Locke (1991), initiative refers to the proactive side of leadership. Rather than just reacting to events, effective leaders make choices and take action that leads to change.

A leader is also someone who facilitates change it therefore follows that a leader must be flexible and adaptable enough to cope with change (Dubrin et al., 2006). Corporate leader must be able to adapt to changes. Flexibility, or able to adjust to different situations, has long been recognized as an important leadership characteristic. Almost for all followers, it is desirable for the leader to be enthusiastic (Dubrin et al., 2006). Group members tend to respond positively to enthusiasm, partly because enthusiasm may be perceived as a reward for constructive personality trait. Dubrin et al. (2006) also indicated that leaders displayed their sensitivity and empathy to influence others and to show that the leaders understand their group members. This type of sensitivity to others means understanding whom the group members and what their position on issues is, and how to best communicate with and influence them (Dubrin et al., 2006).

Communication skill is another essential leadership requirement. However, managers spent at least 80 percent of every working day in direct communication with others people. In other words, 48 minutes of every hour in spent in meeting, on the telephone, or talking informally while waling around. The other 20 percent of typical manager’s time spent doing desk work. The communication is an important job of managers (Drft, 2000).

3.2.2 Subordinates’ Performance: Effectiveness and Productivity

Manager can use motivation theory to help satisfy subordinate’s need and simultaneously encourage high work performance. Draft (1999) suggested that motivation refers to the forces either within or external to a person that arouse enthusiasm and persistence to pursue a certain course of action. There are many meanings of job satisfaction which are defined in many ways, and increasing subordinate satisfaction is important for organization. Yoder (1959) defined job satisfaction as the degree to which employee’s feeling that he or she like or dislike in work and working condition. Beer (1964) said that job satisfaction is the employee’s expectation that affection the job, organization, colleague, and working condition. Robbins (2003) suggested that job satisfaction is the degree to which employee feel positively or negatively about their job. It is an attitude that response to work itself, compensation, supervision, co-workers, job security, and advancement opportunity.

Muenjohn and Armstrong (2001) found that leadership influences employee satisfaction. Employees are more satisfied when their managers are good leaders. This includes motivating employees to do a good job, striving for excellence or just taking action. Many people may be confused what the difference between effectiveness and efficiency is. Scholars defined effectiveness as the degree to which an organization realizes its goals, while efficiency is a more limited concept that pertains to the internal working of the organization and is defined as the amount of resources used to produce a unit of output (Moorhead and Griffin, 1998). It is leaders’ responsibility to ensure that their subordinates can achieve a high level of both effectiveness and efficiency.

Managers or leaders have been aware it important that their firms maintain high levels of productivity. Productivity of an organization is a primary determinate of the firm’s level of profitability and, ultimately, its ability to survive (Griffin, 1996). Griffin (1996) said that in a general sense, productivity means an economic measure of efficiency that summarizes what is produced relative to the inputs used to produce them.


“People are 4 times more capable than we think, but only if they unleash their full potential of creativity, innovation, productivity, motivation & commitment”.

Organizations are public systems where human resources are the most important factors for success and efficiency; they need efficient managers and employees to attain their goals. The victory or failure of an organization is decided by human beings, thus management is anxious with this human resources matter. In other words, a company’s human resources can be the distinguishing factor between success and failure. It is for this reason that there is great importance on the leadership of managers. Good manager direct subordinates to work effectively in the direction of organizational goals and targets.

Organizational success in obtaining its goals and objectives depends on manager’s leadership skills, traits and behavior. By using appropriate tactics managers can affect subordinates job satisfaction, commitment and productivity. Organizational values can be viewed as a series of managerial attitudes, behaviors, characteristics and skills based on individual, leadership interests and reliability of employees in different situations. The managers leadership ability to adjust him with changing environment internally or externally and lead a group of subordinates to work together in the workplace is the key to success.

Employees at every level of their job make feel about whether they are appreciated and privileged from important way that come from their work environment, particularly those that come from the leaders in a straight line over them. The manager’s leadership skills and subordinate employee’s job satisfaction has for all time given high importance in the company. Job satisfaction is linked to the feeling of employees and can be partial by leadership factors of their supervisor or employer.

3.3.1 Competencies Are Growing From Leading Individuals to Organizations

Leading in successively larger framework from individuals to groups to organization-wide efforts, need successively better sets of competencies. For example, “core” competencies are the least needed in leading others, whether other individuals, in groups or organization-wide efforts. To actually be effectual at leading other individuals, people should have the core competencies plus certain other competencies to lead individuals.

3.3.2 Issues of Identifying Competencies Desired by Leaders

The exact competencies i.e. knowledge, skills and abilities that a person desires in order to lead at a specific time in an organization depend on a variety of factors, including:

if that person is leading one other individual, a group or a large organization,

The degree of leadership skills that person already has,

That person’s fundamental nature and values, competencies should be selected that are in accord with that nature and those values,

if the group or organization is for-benefit or non benefit, new or long-established, and large or small,

The actual culture or values and associated behaviors of whoever is being guided.

The above deliberation can make it very difficult when trying to decide what competencies someone should have in order to be a good leader. Maybe that’s why leadership training programs in institutions typically claim a set of standard competencies. Leadership is a main issue or the challenge in the growth of groups, organizations and states.


Employee’s plays significantly important role to drive in the organization achieve its goals and employee’s performance effects directly to the company’s outputs. However, keep up a good performance and motivating workers are not the easy things to do and that the responsibilities of managers to lead control, guide, and monitor their followers or subordinate performances. Organizations may endeavor to satisfy employees by offering sufficient compensation program, safe and friendly work environment. But, the subordinate could not have the good and efficient performance without the good leader.

If the company would like to achieve its goals and targets, it must have a good leader or effective leader because of the leader holds responsible for failure or the success of the whole organization and leaders hold the liability for the performance of the individual and group within the organization. It is also emphasis that the subordinate’s satisfaction, productivity, and effectiveness can be influenced by the leadership personality traits of the manager. Manager motivation or encouragement towards subordinate’s which is one of the leadership skills also has an effect on the productivity of the organization.


Due to limited resources the research will be restricted in finding the impact of manager leadership skills on subordinate performance and organizational productivity in Karachi two organizations only; In order to broad the scope of the project one can discover the correlation between the leadership factors and subordinates’ outcomes as well. However to obtain the best available result further projective techniques such as time series analysis and regression will be used to project the findings of the study in different organization overall in Pakistan.


Presentation Analysis


We employed two survey tools (Focus group and Questionnaire) for gathering data, and following are the Qualitative (used for Focus Group) and Quantitative matrixes (used for Questionnaire Survey tool) developed on that data.


In order to quantify the qualitative data gathered through the focus group participants, as per the responses collected I have generalized the results in each of the following category as follows:

4.2.1. Personality Traits

Personality traits defines how directs and managers analyze their personality with respect to leadership. The respondent’s response was 100%in this case. They all believed that their managers have the necessary traits to become a leader.

4.2.2. Practice leadership

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