Links between Perceived Leadership Styles and Self-reported Coping Strategies

Janez Stare, Maja Pezdir, Eva Boštjančič

Abstract


The focus of this study was the relatively unexplored link between perceived leadership styles and employees' current levels of workplace stress and coping strategies. The participants were 442 employees in five IT organisations in Slovenia. The theoretical background for leadership styles was taken from the full-range leadership model. Data were collected using three questionnaires: Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, Ways of Coping Questionnaire, and a single questionnaire item on the current level of workplace stress. Correlations and linear regression were used to test whether leadership style influences the employees' stress-coping strategies.
Lower levels of stress at work were found for employees whose leader showed more transformational or transactional leadership behaviours. The results showed low to moderate correlations between the three basic leadership styles and coping strategies such as positive reappraisal, seeking social assistance, and negative escape/avoidance. These coping strategies were more frequently used by employees whose leaders often used transformational and transactional leadership styles. Employees whose leaders frequently used passive-avoidant leadership style more often approach to stress situations with escape, avoidance, and rarely with positive reappraisal. But the regression models explained only 2% to 7% of the variance for certain coping strategie.

Keywords


leadership styles; occupational stress; coping behaviour; employees

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