Transformational Leadership and Innovative Work Behavior in an IT Department of a Public Organization in the Kingdom of Bahrain

Transformational Leadership and Innovative Work Behavior in an IT Department of a Public Organization in the Kingdom of Bahrain

Minwir M. Al-Shammari (University of Bahrain, Zallaq, Bahrain) and Noof Y. Khalifa (University of Bahrain, Zallaq, Bahrain)
DOI: 10.4018/IJHCITP.2019070102

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to provide an understanding of the role that transformational leadership plays in innovative work behavior of employees in an IT department of a public organization in Bahrain. An online questionnaire hyperlink was sent to 127 randomly chosen employees. The completed and submitted questionnaires were 98, at a response rate of 77%. Results of the Spearman rank correlation tests indicated that there were significant relationships between transformational factors and employees' innovative behavior, except for the idealized influence factor that showed no significant relationships. Furthermore, the study found significant relationships between innovative behaviors and employee demographic variables (gender and academic qualification). Managers need to react positively to the innovative efforts of employees and provide them with resources and rewards needed for innovation.
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Introduction

Organizations that operate in the present fast changing world face an increasing demand to create and deliver new products and services. Information Technology (IT) departments are experiencing rapidly evolving environmental pressures, tremendous technological changes, and increasing customer demands. IT plays a significant role in planning, operating, and supporting organizational processes and enabling end users to carry out their activities in an innovative, efficient and productive manner. Innovative work behavior (IWB) can be utilized as a unique asset (Sartori et al., 2013) to enable organizational success in dynamic environments (Ramamoorthy et al., 2005; Wojtczuk-Turek and Turek, 2015).

Transformational Leadership (TL) is one of the main paths to innovation, creativity, and success in organizations. Transformational leadership (TL) plays a significant role in fostering employees’ IWB to create and deliver new products or services. TL motivates employees to change (Albrecht, 2005), empowers and inspires them to step out of their comfort zone (Bass, 1985), and encourages team work to achieve a visualized new future (Vera and Crossan, 2004).

Although there have been a lot of studies conducted on job satisfaction, organizational commitment, innovation, efficiency, and effectiveness, few have analyzed leadership behaviors, innovation, and effectiveness in public sector organizations (Schutte and Barkhuize, 2016) and, particularly, in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. This study is one of the first to investigate the relationship between TL and employees’ IWB of an IT department in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, and in Bahrain in particular. More specifically, the study seeks to examine the following:

  • Employees’ perceptions of IWB in the IT department;

  • Employees’ perceptions of TL in the IT department;

  • Differences in IWB based on employees’ demographics;

  • Relationships between the TL and IWB.

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