Employees' perspective of characteristics of small business leadership : a mixed methods study
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This study explored characteristics of small independent restaurant business leaders using an exploratory sequential design of mixed methods research through employees' perspectives. The findings from the qualitative study (phase 1) were later used to develop a leadership measure for small independent restaurants and test it quantitatively (phase 2) for generalization. An exploratory sequential design in which qualitative research was conducted first was employed because of (a) the unique operations of small independent restaurant businesses that affect their owners' management style and (b) the lack of leadership studies on small hospitality businesses. In addition, no measure of leadership approach specifically for small independent restaurant businesses is found in the literature. Furthermore, most leadership constructs have been developed by using leaders or managers of businesses outside the hospitality industry and neglected employees' perceptions. Qualitative data were collected through three focus groups and one dyadic interview with 11 participants. The results of the qualitative data analysis revealed nine themes (respectful, compassionate, communication, experienced, delegation, recognition, sociable, emotional control, organized). A construct was developed using Hinkin, Tracey, and Enz's (1997) guidelines for scale development and analysis specific to the hospitality industry field research setting. For phase 2, the developed questionnaires were distributed via Amazon Mechanical Turk with a survey link created by University of Missouri Qualtric Survey Software. A total of 457 data items were collected and 366 were used for analysis. The quantitative results showed that the leadership characteristics of respectful, recognized, organized, and experienced were significantly related to employee intention to leave. In addition, leader-member exchange did not play a mediating role in the relationship between characteristics of small restaurant leadership and employee intention to leave, while employee work engagement only had a mediating role on two factors in the relationship between two characteristics (respectful and organized) of small restaurant leadership and employee intention to leave.
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