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Abstract. This study has been carried out to examine the relationship between leadership styles and organizational citizenship behaviour in telecom companies operating in Pakistan. The three popular styles of leadership including autocratic leadership style, democratic leadership style and Laissez faire leadership style have been observed and their relationship is explored with organizational citizenship behaviour in three major telecom companies of Pakistan. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis and ANOVA have been applied on the data collected from 72 leaders and 144 subordinates to test the hypotheses of the study. Statistical findings demonstrate that there is significant difference in leadership styles across telecom companies. The findings of the study indicate that there is strong positive relationship between leadership styles and organizational citizenship behaviour.

This study demonstrates that leadership styles significantly contribute to augment the organizational citizenship behaviour. Democratic leadership style stimulates more organizational citizenship behaviour among the employees. However, autocratic leader is unable to stimulate the feelings of helping others due to its task-oriented nature. Furthermore, Laissez faire leadership style has a very weak relationship with organizational citizenship behaviour.

Keywords: Leadership style, Organizational citizenship behaviour, Democratic leadership style, Autocratic leadership style, Laissez faire leadership style


Today huge changes are taking place in every direction of socioeconomic context. Innovative leaders can make a difference in all sectors of the economy: public, private, education, business etc. Moreover, change has generated many opportunities. In order to avail such opportunities, adaptable, inventive and conscious leadership is required. Today, organizations need to have leaders who are enlightened and responsive towards bringing change in the organization. Moreover, success of the organization lies in the ability of leader to effectively manage stress and addressing the various needs of its subordinates (Darling and Heller, 2011). Today organizations around the world are increasingly concerned about the effective and sympathetic leadership. Every organization needs that leader who is capable of achieving organizational goals in an effective manner as well as empowering its followers (Khan et al., 2013).

An effective leader builds good and long lasting relations with stakeholders (Al-Khasawneh and Futa, 2013).

Leadership plays a vital role in the success of organization. Leaders are able to influence not only their followers but also firm's performance (Darling and Heller, 2011; Sahaya, 2012). Leadership facilitates favourable change within the organization that influences "performance, development of particular skills, or a broader sense of personal growth" (Harper, 2012, p. 23). The area of leadership had gained the attention of numerous academic practitioners and scholars since the beginning of twentieth century (Al-Khasawneh and Futa, 2013; Euwema et al., 2007; Podsakoff et al., 2000). Leadership styles in organization received great attention in particular. Kamisan and King (2013, p. 107) define leadership as a "process in which individual persuades the group of individuals to achieve a common goal".

A number of studies have been conducted on the transactional and transformational classification of leadership styles (Bambale et al., 2011; Judge and Piccolo, 2004; Kamisan and King, 2013; Lee and Salleh, 2009; Saeed and Ahmad, 2012; Sahaya, 2012; Vigoda-Gadot, 2007). There is a need to explore the relationship among more leadership paradigms and Organizational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB) in order to identify the characteristics of effective leaders.

The other construct of the present study is OCB which is a dynamic field of research. It is defined as a "discretionary and voluntary behaviour being followed by formal reward system" (Organ, 1988). Studying OCB is important because it contributes to greater productivity in organizations (Podsakoff and MacKenzie, 1997) and previous findings on the nature and antecedents of OCB. Employees who demonstrate higher OCB are more likely to be committed to their organizations (Organ, 1988; Podsakoff and MacKenzie, 1997; Sevi, 2010). Therefore, it is worthwhile for management to understand the existing leadership styles prevalent in organizations and how specific leadership styles augments the OCB level of subordinates.

The following section presents a brief overview of existing literature on the three leadership styles and also the concept of OCB. The next section discusses the theoretical framework and the significance of this study. Next the method and statistical analyses are presented. Finally, the paper concludes with the discussion of findings, limitations and prospects of future study.



The complex phenomenon of leadership is an essential area of interest with universal appeal. Leadership has been defined by industrial-organizational psychologists, academic scholars and practitioners over the decades. The element which is common to almost all definitions is that leadership is a persuasive process that assists different groups of individuals towards goal attainment (Germain, 2012).

The definition of leadership varies from person to person. Leader is defined as a person who holds a significant position in a group, persuades others regarding the job expectation of a position; and organizes and directs the group in sustaining itself and reaching its purpose (Doh et al., 2011). According to Al-Khasawneh and Futa (2013, p. 3), leadership is a "social process of influencing others to voluntary participate in achieving organizational goals".

The topic of leadership has been comprehensively studied by numerous researchers. Various leadership theories have appeared: the Great Man theory; Trait theory; Behavioural theory, Participative leadership theory, Situational leadership theory, Contingency theory, Transactional theory, Transformational theory etc. (Armandi et al., 2003; Bass and Bass, 2009; Kamisan and King, 2013). The two most noteworthy approaches include: Traits theory and Behavioural theory. According to traits theory, leaders are distinct from subordinates due to personality attributes, social characteristics and physical features. Any person born with attributes such as intelligence, confidence, idealism and determination has potential to become a leader (Kamisan and King, 2013). Furthermore, Behavioural theory distinguishes leaders and followers on the basis of behaviour patterns. According to this theory, any person can become leader through training and observation.

Behavioural theory gathers the attention of Michigan research center, Bureau of Business research center and other scholars (Al-Khasawneh and Futa, 2013). After the emergence of Behavioural theory, Raus and Haita (2011) illustrate the development of three leadership styles which are: autocratic, Laissez faire and democratic.

Autocratic Leadership Style. Autocratic leaders make decisions according to their own choices and are not willing to accept advice from their subordinates. These leaders set direction, goals and structure work. Leaders demonstrate all the procedures and methods to be accomplished by the group members. Group members are not usually allowed to contribute in significant matters and decisions because they are not considered trustworthy. Such leaders dominate interactions and are personally responsible for completing tasks (Euwema et al., 2007; Malos, 2012). Autocratic leaders inhibit helping behaviour of subordinates, thereby negatively associated with OCB (Bambale et al., 2011). Authoritarian leadership is very similar to Theory X. These leaders remain aloof from group discussion but elucidate tasks for group members. They have pessimistic and negative views regarding the performance of their subordinates. These leaders foster reliance, submissiveness and loss of individuality.

However, these leaders are able to bring clarity in shorter period of time and efficient in motivating others to accomplish their work. It is appropriate style of leadership in case of emergencies (Northouse, 2011).

Democratic Leadership Style. Democratic leadership is a kind of leadership in which group members are more contributive towards decision making and inculcate a team climate in which team members feel empowered to act. This leadership style is similar to Theory Y. These leaders do not use a top down approach of communication and keep subordinates at the same level. The literature review reveals that democratic leadership leads to high production, better outcomes, increased group enthusiasm, group cohesiveness, high commitment, OCB and better involvement from group members. However, it might take more time in getting commitment from subordinates (Al-Khasawneh and Futa, 2013; Cruz et al., 1999; Malos, 2012; Northouse, 2011).

Laissez faire Leadership Style. Laissez faire leadership style is distinct from both Theory X and Theory Y. These leaders adopt hands off approach towards followers. Leaders tend to avoid sense of responsibility, are not qualified enough, lack leadership qualities and abilities to direct and make decisions, can't motivate or influence followers, create communication gaps and lack any kind of leadership attributes (Sahaya, 2012). Laissez faire leader is extremely passive leading to lower self-empowerment of subordinates (Harper, 2012). These leaders do not make any attempt to motivate their subordinates. Hence, this leadership style leads to negative outcomes: more time in completion of work, frustration among subordinates, difficulty in finding meaning and direction of work etc. (Northouse, 2011).


Research findings indicate that OCB is essential for effective functioning of organization. The study of Baker (2005) reports that the employees who inculcate OCB, make the organization successful because it has strong negative relation with counter work behaviour. OCB is attracting academic attention due to its positive association with organizational effectiveness (Podsakoff and MacKenzie, 1997), performance (Borman et al., 2001) and job satisfaction (Bateman and Organ, 1983).

It's almost been a decade and a half since Organ (1988) and his fellows first invented the term OCB. The term OCB is based on Barnard's (1968) concept of willingness to cooperate and Katz and Kahn's (1978) concept of innovative and spontaneous behaviours. Organ (1988) elucidates that individual behaviour that OCB is such a behaviour totally depends on personal choice and is not rewarded in an organization but it certainly affects the overall performance of an organization. This behaviour is not demanded by the organization as a part of the job's terms and conditions. Rather it's totally optional and non-existence of such behaviour can't be questioned or punished (Podsakoff et al., 2000).

Organ (1988) defines the term OCB as:

"Individual behaviour that is discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system and that in the aggregate promotes the effective functioning of the organization. By discretionary, we mean that the behaviour is not an enforceable requirement of the role or the job description, that is, the clearly specifiable terms of the person's employment contract with the organization; the behaviour is rather a matter of personal choice, such that its omission is not generally understood as punishable." (Organ, 1988, p. 4).

An extensive review of literature reveals that OCB attracted academic attention after Organ (1988) introduced this construct. OCB is described as "a set of voluntary behaviours that results in improved functioning of organization's duties" (Appelbaum et al., 2004, p. 19). According to Bukhari (2008), OCB is the act of defending the organization when the organization is facing difficult times and encourages stakeholders to make an investment in organization.

Following Organ (1988), this study measures OCB encompassing five dimensions (that are altruism, conscientiousness, civic virtue, courtesy, and sportsmanship). Organ (1988) has given the most reliable classification of components of OCB (Kashif et al., 2011) which is the prime basis of our study.


The literature review reveals that most of the studies regarding OCB and leadership styles have been conducted using transformational, transactional and laissez faire leadership style (Kamisan and King, 2013; Podsakoff et al., 2000; Saeed and Ahmad, 2012; Sahaya, 2012; Vigoda-Gadot, 2007). This study contributes to literature through incorporating democratic and autocratic leadership style and proposed its relationship with OCB. Although this relationship has been studied before, there has yet been the study that may investigate the relationship between democratic, autocratic and laissez faire leadership and OCB in Pakistan's telecommunication sector.

There is literature gap on the studies regarding leadership styles of managers in telecom companies. It is due to the fact that most of the studies regarding leadership styles have been conducted in Information Technology (IT) firms, academic sector, banking sector and airlines (Al-Khasawneh and Futa, 2013; Jiao et al., 2011; Kamisan and King, 2013; Khan et al., 2013). This study contributes to literature through analyzing the relationship between various leadership styles and OCB in remarkable telecom sector of Pakistan, which is a rapidly growing sector and facing a lot of frequent changes.

As has been stated above, leadership is vital to organizational success and so the researcher wants to know the dominant leadership style of the telecom companies and the ways in which the managers motivate and lead their subordinates. This study contributes to literature through identifying which leadership style (Autocratic, Democratic, or Laissez faire) is prevalent in telecom companies and subsequently list the recommendations for the telecom companies from the study's findings.

Lastly, only few studies have explored the relationship between group or organization level OCB with other constructs (Chen et al., 2005; Podsakoff et al., 2000). The purpose of this study is to respond to this scant attention by exploring relationship between leadership styles and organization level OCB.


The study aims to achieve the following objectives:

Review literature on leadership styles and OCB with the intention of identifying the relationship between leadership styles and OCB.

Examine and compare the leadership styles of the leaders in three telecom companies.

Examine the relationship between autocratic leadership style and organizational citizenship behaviour.

Determine the relationship between democratic leadership style and organizational citizenship behaviour.

Evaluate the relationship between laissez faire leadership style and organizational citizenship behaviour.


The literature review reveals that leadership styles have positive relationship with OCB (Al-Khasawneh and Futa, 2013; Bambale et al., 2011; Lee and Salleh, 2009; Podsakoff et al., 2000; Northouse, 2011; Saeed and Ahmad, 2012). In this study, the main concern is on the effect of leadership styles on the subordinate's level of OCB (Euwema et al., 2007). According to Gunavathy and Indumathi (2011), leadership styles have a strong influence on the effectiveness of the organization and mainly on subordinate's willingness to engage in OCB. Leader gets the subordinates to act as the mangers intend them as well as satisfy their needs at the same time. Leader communicates the organization's vision, mission and objectives in a clear and eloquent manner, thereby increasing creativity and innovation of subordinates to provide a sustainable competitive advantage in today's global market (Al-Khasawneh and Futa, 2013).

Furthermore, Podsakoff et al. (2000) asserts that leadership style (transformational leadership style) expressed by the leader is the depiction of their subordinate's willingness to engage in helping behaviour and plays an important role in inducing OCB in their subordinates. According to Wang et al. (2005), Leader Member Exchange (LMX) theory is premised on dyadic exchanges between leader and follower. When leaders convey role expectations to followers and provide them tangible and intangible rewards, subordinates feel an obligation to reciprocate this favourable treatment and are motivated to perform extra role behaviours. Perhaps number of theories identify characteristics of leadership, it is influential to use multi-style leadership (Harper, 2012). Hence, this study uses multifaceted leadership style through analyzing the relationship between autocratic, democratic, Laissez faire leadership style and OCB.

It is pertinent to understand the difference of each leadership style across telecom companies before examining the relationship of leadership styles with OCB. This analysis will enable us to understand whether leadership styles vary from organization to organization or is consistent across organization. For this purpose, the study proposes three hypotheses which are as follows:

H1: There is difference in Autocratic Leadership Style across telecom companies.

H2: There is difference in Democratic Leadership Style across telecom companies.

H3: There is difference in Laissez faire Leadership Style across telecom companies.

The fourth hypothesis examines the relationship between autocratic leadership style and OCB. The literature review depicts that autocratic leadership style is significantly related with the OCB (Al-Khasawneh and Futa, 2013; Bambale et al., 2011; Northouse, 2011). Autocratic leaders avoid group discussions and set direction themselves. Hence, subordinates loose interest and become dissatisfied with their job. It is expected that a leader who possesses higher autocratic style generates low level of OCB and inhibit helping behaviour of subordinates. Autocratic leaders negatively influence group stability, effectiveness of group climate, and feelings of being content and happy (Bambale et al., 2011; Northouse, 2011; Yun et al., 2007), which makes them reluctant to help others. Therefore, we hypothesize:

H4: There is a negative relationship between Autocratic leadership style and Organizational Citizenship Behaviour.

The fifth hypothesis proposes that democratic leadership style is positively associated with OCB. It is expected that democratic leaders generate higher OCB level in the subordinates and has been supported empirically (Al-Khasawneh and Futa, 2013). Democratic leaders inform their subordinates about all the issues that affect their work and share the responsibility of decision making and problem solving. It raises the self-capability of employees and they engage in behaviours that manifest in OCB (Bambale et al., 2011; Northouse, 2011). Therefore, fifth hypothesis states that:

H5: There is a positive relationship between Democratic leadership style and Organizational Citizenship Behaviour.

The sixth hypothesis investigates the relationship between laissez faire leadership style and OCB. According to Al-Khasawneh and Futa (2013), there is no relationship between laissez faire leader and OCB of subordinates. Laissez faire is a weak style of leadership which fails to provide direcion to employees, avoids making decisions and delays in responding to urgent questions, thus employees are not willing to perform above the role requirements (Bambale et al., 2011; Boonyachai, 2011; Northouse, 2011; Sahaya, 2012; Vigoda-Gadot, 2007). It is expected that laissez faire leadership style leads to little modification in OCB level of subordinates. Thus, we hypothesize that:

H6: There is a weak relationship between Laissez faire leadership style and Organizational Citizenship Behaviour.


The schematic diagram is as follows:



This study is conducted among leaders and subordinates of telecom sector. Cluster sampling method is used to collect data from leaders and subordinates. First of all, the clusters of three major companies were selected and then within these clusters, further clusters of leaders and subordinates were selected on the basis of convenient sampling. For each leader, a cluster of subordinates was identified and then responses were matched for each leader-subordinate pairing. The respondents of study were required to report age, gender, department and organization. For the purpose of describing the sample characteristics, percentages were utilized. Out of the 72 leaders, 77 percent of them were male, and 24 percent were female. Majority of the leaders belonged to age group 41-45 which depicts that majority of the organizations leaders had experience of more than 10 years.

About 45.8 percent of leaders belonged to the Human Resource department, 31.9 percent were working in the Marketing department and 22.2 percent were in the Finance department. Moreover, 38.9 percent of leaders were from Mobilink, 19.4 percent were from Telenor and 41.7 percent belonged to Pakistan Telecommunication Limited (PTCL). Out of total 144 subordinates, 66 percent were male and 34 percent were female. Majority of the respondents belonged to age group 26-30. About 50.7 percent of the subordinates were part of the Human Resource department, 34 percent of them were part of marketing department and 15.3 percent from Finance department had been part of the study. Lastly, 17.4 percent were employees of Telenor, 39.6 percent were employees of Mobilink and 43.1 percent respondents belonged to PTCL.


The primary tool used for data collection was questionnaires. Questionnaire consisting statements on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) has been employed for measuring all concepts involved in the study. Questionnaire regarding leadership styles had been distributed among leaders and OCB were disseminated among subordinates. In the next section, the two instruments are discussed in detail.

Leadership Style. Leadership styles were measured by adapting the Leadership Style Survey developed by Northouse (2011) containing 18 items about the three leadership styles: autocratic, democratic and laissez faire (six statements each). The study by Al-Khasawneh and Futa (2013) reported reliability coefficient of 0.761, 0.79 and 0.74 for democratic, autocratic and laissez faire style respectively.

Organizational Citizenship Behaviour. Self-rated OCB is determined by using a scale of 24 items produced by Organ (1988). The scale has a reliability of 0.70 (Podsakoff et al., 1997) which meets recommended standards suggested by Nunnally et al. (1967) for new scales.


A cover letter is attached on the questionnaires to demonstrate respondent's confidentiality and anonymity. The questionnaires were delivered by hand to the respondents. The purpose of the investigation was explained before filling the questionnaire. The participants were assured that their participation in the study would be voluntary and confidential. Administrative people would have no access to the data of the study at any time during data collection. About 240 questionnaires were distributed among leaders and subordinates (72 among leaders and 144 among subordinates). Valid questionnaires amounted to 216 among the total questionnaires, thereby giving response rate of 90 percent.



The Cronbach-alpha value for OCB questionnaire having 24 questions used for this research is estimated to be 0.974. The Cronbach-alpha for the leadership style items is 0.865 (Autocratic Leadership Style), 0.882 (Democratic Leadership Style) and 0.815 (Laissez faire Leadership Style) (see Table 1). Nie et al. (1975) suggested that a score of more than.70 was satisfactory. Hence, reliability coefficients depicted adequate reliability for this research.

TABLE 1 Internal Consistency Reliability of Each Construct

Construct###Cronbach's Alpha

Organizational Citizenship Behaviour###0.974

Autocratic Leadership###0.865

Democratic Leadership###0.882

Laissez faire Leadership###0.815


The mean and standard deviation of OCB and all leadership styles are presented in Table 2. The mean of OCB is 3.3 which depicts that most of the employees' response rate is 'agree'. Autocratic leadership has lowest mean, followed by democratic leadership and laissez faire leadership respectively. It indicates that the majority of leaders exhibit democratic leadership style in telecom sector.

TABLE 2 Descriptive Statistics

Variable###Mean###Std. Deviation

Organizational Citizenship Behaviour###3.3045###1.00582

Autocratic Leadership Style###2.5000###1.56547

Democratic Leadership Style###2.7639###1.51512

Laissez faire Leadership Style###2.7222###1.23587


Table 3 shows the correlation coefficients between the key variables of the study. Autocratic leadership style and OCB (r = -0.847, p < 0.01), indicates a comparatively strong negative correlation. Democratic leadership style and OCB indicate strong positive relationship (r = -0.600, p 0.01). The interpretations are based on Cohen et al. (2013).

TABLE 3 Correlation Analysis


Autocratic Leader###1###-0.395**###-0.379**


Democratic Leader###1###-0.412**###0.600**

Laissez faire Leader###1###0.251*




In order to test the first three hypotheses, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) analysis is conducted. This analysis determines whether there is equal difference across groups of study or not. First of all, ANOVA is conducted for autocratic leadership style (see Table 4).

TABLE 4 ANOVA Analysis for Autocratic Leadership Style

Autocratic###Sum of###Mean


Leadership Style###Squares###Square

Between Groups###14.571###2###7.286###3.153###0.049

Within Groups###159.429###69###2.311


TABLE 5 ANOVA Analysis for Democratic Leadership Style

Democratic###Sum of###Mean


Leadership Style###Squares###Square

Between Groups###25.400###2###12.700###6.369###0.003

Within Groups###137.586###69###1.994


The results indicate that equal variance is not assumed for autocratic leadership style across three organizations (p < 0.05). There is significant difference in autocratic leadership style across telecom companies. Hence, H1 is supported. The ANOVA is again conducted for democratic leadership style (see Table 5). The results indicate that there is significant difference in democratic leadership style across telecom companies (p < 0.05), thereby supporting H2. Lastly, ANOVA is conducted for laissez faire leadership (see Table 6). The results depict that there is significant difference in laissez faire leadership style across telecom companies (p < 0.05). It provides support for H3.

TABLE 6 ANOVA Analysis for Laissez faire Leadership Style

Laissez faire###Sum of###Mean


Leadership Style###Squares###Square

Between Groups###27.835###2###13.917###11.913###.000

Within Groups###80.610###69###1.168



Hypotheses 4, 5 and 6 of the study are tested through performing hierarchical multiple regression. In step 1, control variables (age, education, organization and department) are entered, followed by autocratic leadership style, democratic leadership style and laissez faire leadership style in the step 2 respectively.

TABLE 7 Regression Analysis for Autocratic Leadership Style

###Organizational Citizenship Behaviour






Step 1

Control Variables###0.171###0.171###3.454###0.013

Step 2

Autocratic Leader###-0.821###0.742###0.571###37.929###-12.08###0.000

First of all, regression analysis has been conducted for determining the amount of change in OCB through autocratic leadership (see Table 7). The results (b = -0.821, p < 0.05, DR2 = 0.571) indicate autocratic leadership is negatively related to OCB, thereby offering support for H4. After this, regression analysis for democratic leadership is conducted (see Table 8). Democratic leadership is positively related to OCB (b = 5.125, p < 0.05, DR2 = 0.236). Thus, H5 is supported. Lastly, regression analysis for laissez faire leadership is conducted (see Table 9). The results indicate that it has very weak significant relationship with OCB (b = 0.330, p < 0.05, DR2 = 0.093). Laissez faire leadership leads to only 0.9 percent change in OCB, providing support for H6.

TABLE 8 Regression Analysis for Democratic Leadership Style

###Organizational Citizenship Behaviour






Step 1

Control Variables###0.171###0.171###3.454###0.013

Step 2




TABLE 9 Regression Analysis for Laissez faire Leadership Style

###Organizational Citizenship Behaviour






Step 1

Control Variables###0.171###0.171###3.454###0.013

Step 2

Laissez faire




The findings of this study shed some light on how superiors could better achieve their objectives of promoting positive OCB among their subordinates. The findings of the study proved that democratic leadership was the most dominant leadership style among the telecom companies. It indicated that leaders took input from subordinates and stimulated member's self-direction. The findings depict that there is significant difference in all leadership styles across three telecom sector organizations. It indicates that the behaviour and attitudes of leader vary from organization to organization. The study also demonstrates a significant positive relationship between democratic leadership and OCB. The study further proves that autocratic leadership is negatively associated with OCB. In addition, laissez faire leadership has a very weak relationship with OCB. It provides evidence that dominant leadership and autocratic leadership are significantly related to OCB in an additive manner.

It is therefore important that the leader should adopt adequate leadership styles to motivate his subordinates to perform beyond their specified job duties.

This study proves negative relationship between autocratic leadership and OCB. This result does not match the findings of Al-Khasawneh and Futa (2013) who prove that there is no relationaship between autocratic leadership and student's behaviour. The findings are also not consistent with Yun et al. (2007) who prove no significant effect of directive leadership on OCB. However, the result is consistent with finding of Cruz et al. (1999) who demonstrate that leaders have substantial impact on performance of employees. The sudy depicts that autocratic leadership is one of the predictors of OCB. Furthermore, the results support the conceptual model by Bambale et al. (2011), who propose that self-sacrificial behaviours including OCB would be negatively influenced using the autocratic leadership style.

The study proved a positive relationship between democratic leadership and OCB. This finding augments the findings of Al-Khasawneh and Futa (2013) who prove that the democratic style plays a vital role in learning process. The findings of the study support the argument of Yun et al. (2007) who demonstrate that democratic leadership is positively associated with OCB. Depending on the results of the study, this study recommends that democratic leadership style is the best style in dealing with employees of current organization as it facilitates learning through developing relationship of trust, cooperation and involvement between employees and managers. It is the most suitable leadership style in today's organizations as leaders can get feedback from employees at every phase of decision making process.

Lastly, the study proved a weak relationship between laissez faire leadership style and OCB. The findings augment the finding of Al-Khasawneh and Futa (2013) who indicate that this leadership style is less creative, and causes a permanent state of tension, dissatisfaction, conflict and decreased interest in subordinates. The findings of study are consistent with study of Vigoda-Gadot (2007) who elucidates that leaders must exhibit a bit of laissez faire style in order to be effective. This approach (that is laissez faire leadership) could be effective when employees are highly skilled, experienced, and educated (Bambale et al., 2011). The findings of the study indicates that laissez faire leadership has little impact on OCB, thereby indicating that employees are not experienced in telecom companies.


There are few limitations of the study which need attention. The study involved a cross-sectional research design. This research design prohibits the understanding of the causal relationships between leadership and OCB (Podsakoff and Organ, 1986). The assumption of causality from leadership to various behaviours including OCB could be derived from numerous theories (Jiao et al., 2011). Longitudinal studies should be conducted in future to get accurate and reliable results. Furthermore, the present study relies on self-reported data which enhances the chances of common method bias (Doty and Glick, 1998). Future studies should be conducted by applying specific procedures to reduce common method bias. Future research would also benefit from the inclusion of additional variables that potentially mediate or moderate the relationship between leadership and OCB (that is culture, subordinate's competency level, organizational politics) (Boonyachai, 2011; Lee and Salleh, 2009; Vigoda-Gadot, 2007).

The data of study is based on telecom companies of Pakistan, thereby the results may be biased and influenced by cultural context such as collectivism and power distance (Hofstede, 1984). Therefore, caution should be used while generalizing these results to other settings (Jiao et al., 2011). Future studies should be conducted using large sample size and more sectors to indicate generalizability of findings. The small sample indicates that conclusions drawn are tentative.

The validity of strong relationships among these three constructs should be replicated in future with larger sample sizes, different measures and profession. Future studies should be conducted using contemporary leadership paradigms including adaptive leadership, dispersed leadership, authentic leadership, respectful leadership, spiritual leadership, transcendent leadership and level five leadership (Bambale et al., 2011).


The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between leadership styles (Autocratic, Democratic and Laissez faire) and OCB. According to the research findings, a significant relationship is found between OCB and various leadership styles (i.e. Autocratic, Democratic and Laissez faire). Organizations need to focus on leadership styles of a leader so that they promote or motivate their subordinates and motivate them to perform extra role behaviours, which result in the high performance of the organizations. This phenomenon requires the proper understanding of the concept of OCB and its relationship with positive job performance and effectiveness. A leader can play an active role in developing awareness about OCB and mentor the employees to engage in extra role behaviours. The results reveal that a democratic leadership style and OCB is a result of high quality relationships between leaders and their followers.

The paper provides a good framework for understanding the relationship between existing leadership paradigms and new directions for OCB and leadership research in many years to come.


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Publication:Pakistan Economic and Social Review
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Date:Dec 31, 2016
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