Influence of Leadership Style, and Work Discipline on Employee Performance
6. What is the aim of the study? (there should only be 1 Aim)
The aim of the study in this case is to evaluate the perceived influence of transformational leadership style on levels of employee performance in the multinational companies of the US.
7. What are the objectives of your study? (there should normally be at least 3 or 4 objectives and these should be SMART)
The objectives of the researcher are highlighted as follows.

·         To analyse the transformational leadership style that is followed within the multinational organizations.

·         To evaluate the perceived influence of transformational leadership style on levels of employee performance in the multinational organizations in the US.

·         To establish how effective transformational leadership style can be used to improve levels of employee performance in future.


8. What is the rationale (both theoretical and organizational) for your study? (Approximately 500 words)

As per Chandrasekar (2011), leadership is an interpersonal phenomenon through which one person is likely to influence the other person with the help of the activities performed by the individuals or the group. It is crucial for an organization to possess knowledge regarding the leadership style that plays a key role in stimulating the employee performance. In the recent era, leadership has been considered as a new effective method for controlling the employees and the organizational as a whole (Chandrasekar, 2011). The studies have indicated that different leadership styles are followed that fit the employees on the basis of the amount of directions and the decision-making power. As per the Fiedler Leadership Contingency Model Theory, employee performance depended upon the ability of the leaders to lead and the situational factors that affected the leaders’ capabilities, behaviour, preferred style and the contingency of the employees. Kim and Brymer (2011) argued that the theory indicated that the leaders need to adopt a particular style which is most suitable for the situation and arouse the employee performance with immediate effect. Leadership is likely to involve persuasion and explanation which the ability to identify and renew the values of the group that the leader represents (Kim and Brymer, 2011). An effective leader is expected to provide appropriate guidance and share knowledge with the employees in order to lead them for improved performance and make them expert in sustaining the quality of performance delivered.

Figure 1: Conceptual Framework of Transformational Leadership

(Source: Jyoti and Bhau, 2015)

According to Baker‐McClearn, et al. (2010) in the modern era, the organizations give greater preference to teamwork which is necessary for the achievement of the organizational goals. Transformational leadership style is considered as a way that helps to lead the teams in which the needs for the change are identified by the leader in association with the members of a particular team (Baker‐McClearn, et al., 2010). The transformation leaders are considered to be enthusiastic by nature and are able to convince the team members so that they can deliver their potentials. According to Baker‐McClearn, et al. (2010), the transformational leadership style relates to the employee performance because it is effective in motivating the employees to adopt creativity. Bass’ Transformational Leadership Theory indicates that the transformational leaders move the subordinates beyond normal self-interest on the basis of idealized influence or individualized consideration. Individualized consideration is depicted when transformational leaders show active consideration to the developmental needs of the followers and training them to meet the needs (Gilbert, De Winne and Sels, 2011). According to Gilbert, De Winne and Sels (2011), performance excellence is one of the major aspects that needs to be focused upon so as to gain competitive advantage in the international market. Gilbert, De Winne and Sels (2011) have also pointed out the fact that the transformational leadership style has some special characteristics which helps it to be differentiated from other leadership styles. For instance, the leaders possess individual mission and vision that make the employees proud. In fact, the leaders are also known to take care of the workplace discipline that is maintained by the employees within the organizations. This charisma is dependent on the leader’s understanding of the vision and mission of the company (Tsai, 2011). The leaders also have the capability to guide the employees to solve their problem so that they are able to deliver high performance within the organization. Based on the evidences gathered, it can be stated that the leadership style plays a significant role not only in case of the small businesses but also for the large organizations. Hence, the research topic can be considered ideal for evaluating the impact of the transformational leaders on employee performance. This would also give an idea regarding the managing of work discipline by the transformational leaders in the multinational companies of the US (McCleskey, 2014).



9. Brief review of relevant literature (Approximately 1500-2000 words) with a minimum of 6 key publications should be cited. (Critically evaluate recent and relevant research that has addressed similar issues to those covered in your objectives)

Concept of transformational leadership style

According to Neuman (2013) transformational leadership mostly involves four important dimensions such as idealized influence, intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation and individualized consideration. Idealized influence depicts the degree to which the leaders are perceived as the inspirational role models. The leaders are considered to be respected, admired and trusted so as to contribute to the growth of the organization (Neuman, 2013). Inspirational motivation is considered as the degree to which leader’s vision is considered to be attractive and encouraging. The leaders are known to strengthen the vision of the followers. Intellectual stimulation indicates the degree to which the followers are likely to bring innovation and creativity (Walumbwa and Hartnell, 2011). On the other hand, the individualized consideration leaders encourage the team members to take up challenges and contribute to the growth of the organization.

The transformational leadership style is based on various aspects which have been discussed as follows.

1.      Transformational leaders are likely to have the choice and power to affect the change within themselves and the organization. The researchers have undertaken a number of research to determine the type of leadership that has been used within the organization (Gilbert, De Winne and Sels, 2011).

2.      The transformational leaders mostly connect with the strengths, purpose and values and research indicates the fact that when the individuals are focused on the values and sense of purpose, it makes them more confident, courageous and resilient to the changes that take place.

3.      The transformational leaders are interested to experiment by depicting new behaviors and actions within the organization. It can be stated that they are willing to move out of the habitual way and try something innovative in order to bring in change within the organization (Gilbert, De Winne and Sels, 2011).

4.      Transformational leaders bring in a mindset of curiosity rather than the judgement and it can be considered as an effective survival mechanism. The transformational leaders are likely to have the tendency to think of new ways to bring in the changes within the organization as a whole (Tsai, 2011).

5.      The transformational leaders are known to look for the opportunity within the change that can be brought so that the organization is able to compete in the international market. It can be stated that in case of transformational leadership style, the ideas are considered to be more important that processes and change is to be encouraged (Tsai, 2011). The studies have also stated that the team members can work in small groups and they are believed to indicate high level needs. In fact, the transformational leaders are known to provide personal attention to the followers, individualized consideration and enable new way of problem-solving and provide coaching of specific behaviors through intellectual stimulation.

Impact of transformational leadership in the US MNCs 

According to D. Banker, Mashruwala and Tripathy (2014), transformational leadership has been able to gain reputation in the last 20 years as the paradigm of understanding the meaning of leadership. Transformational leaders are likely to specify the need for the change, develop a particular vision and also mobilise the follower commitment in order to achieve suitable results. There are several studies related to the transformational leadership in terms of North American context (D. Banker, Mashruwala and Tripathy, 2014). The researchers have examined the display of transformational leadership in Mexico. The culture specific perspective has indicated that majority of the leadership theories have developed in North America and these theories are not generalizable when they are used by the leaders of different cultural orientations because they are considered to be bounded to the roots of the western culture (D. Banker, Mashruwala and Tripathy, 2014). The researcher has presented in depth understanding of the cultural boundaries relating to the effectiveness associated with that of the transformational leadership. Cultural values are considered as the internalised beliefs which are conveyed through specific context in which it exists. The transformational leaders are likely to articulate a specific vision related to the future of the organisation that focus on the accomplishment of the group goals. The followers are likely to develop trust and respect towards the transformational leaders so that they are able to contribute to the benefit of the organisation. The researchers have indicated the fact that the MNCs in the US have assumed a number of cultural dimensions that is transformational leaders emphasises on the hierarchy and relationship making it relevant to the understanding of leadership (Allio, 2012). As per Thompson and Glasø (2015), the Confucian based values are expected to emphasise hierarchy and interpersonal harmony. The cultural dimension of traditionality relies on a specific measure that has been authenticated at an individual level of analysis. The leadership style is, therefore, assumed to be reliable with the cultural values of the nation.

Transformational leadership affecting organizational commitment

Mackey and Gass (2015) have stated that there is a significant positive impact of the transformational leadership on the organizational commitment of the employees. An efficient leader can be trusted to motivate the subordinates so that they are able to deliver high level of performance within the organization. According to Fiaz, Su and Saqib (2017), if a leader is able to encourage its subordinates, then the employees are motivated to be part of the organization.  The researchers have indicated that there are different types of organizational commitment indicated by the employees such as affective commitment, continuance commitment and normative commitment. Affective commitment relates to the way in which employees are able to stay in their organization. The studies indicate the fact that in case if an employee is committed to the organization it means that they are willing to serve the organization for a long period of time. Jyoti and Bhau (2015) argued that the employees are able to identify the organizational goals and they consider themselves to be able to satisfy all the objectives. It can be stated that employees who are affectively committed consider themselves to be valued for delivering high level performance within the organization. Continuance commitment implies that the employees feel the need to stay within the organization. It can be depicted that the possible reasons to stay within the organization vary but the prime reason involves the lack of work alternatives. An example of the continuance commitment can be when the employees are able to identify the need to stay within the organization because their salary may not improve if they move to a different organization. The third type of commitment is that of normative commitment when the employees feel the need to stay in the organization due to the disastrous consequence of leaving the organization (Jyoti and Bhau, 2015). The reasons for the guilt might vary but are often linked to the perceptions of the employees and their knowledge about the tasks assigned. Employees who possess normative commitment are likely to remain within the organization because they consider their ethical responsibility (Jyoti and Bhau, 2015).

Kim and Brymer (2011) stated the fact that the transformational leaders are likely to stimulate the followers to determine new ways to deal with the challenges and provide appropriate solution to the disputes and the crisis. Organizational commitment is considered as a job attitude which is indicated as a degree to which an employee is willing to serve the organization. Organizational commitment is believed to be one of the most widely researched areas that has contributed to the overall performance delivered by the organization. In fact, high organizational commitment can also reduce the level of turnover intention of the employees (Kim and Brymer, 2011). A stable workforce is pre-requisite so as to deliver high quality performance within the organization and these organizations are able to compete in the international market. According to Baker‐McClearn, et al. (2010) the transformational leaders are expected to use intellectual stimulation to challenge the followers’ thoughts, creativity and imagination based on the beliefs, values and mindset. The transformational leaders are known to exhibit individualized considerations to paying attention to the needs of the followers (Baker‐McClearn, et al., 2010). The transformational leaders are also known to develop the team spirit through high moral standards, enthusiasm, integrity, confidence and self-determination.

Research Gap

The previous studies have indicated the fact that leadership influences the actions of the employees along with the choice of objectives for a specific group within the organisation (Baker‐McClearn, et al., 2010). There are several studies carried out on the leadership style in general and their impact on the job satisfaction of the employees (Gilbert, De Winne and Sels, 2011). However, this particular the researcher has considered transformational leadership as the most suitable approach to bring in changes within the quality of tasks performed by the employees. Furthermore, workplace discipline is also expected to make a difference to the performance of the organisations in the US. There is little research carried out focusing on the influence of transformational leadership style on the employee performance. Hence, it can be considered as the research gap that would be addressed in this particular study to evaluate the level of employee performance in the US MNCs.



10. Provide a concise outline of research methodology, including justification for choices. Please ensure each sub section is completed. (Approximately 500 words)


9.1 Research Strategy

The researcher has decided to carry out a specific applied research in order to evaluate the impact of the leadership style on the employee performance in the US multinational company. Applied research helps the researcher to monitor the employee performance in Apple, Inc. in an effective way on the basis of the data gathered from the employees of the multinational company. The researcher has focused mostly on the impact of transformational leadership style of Tim Cook on the employee performance and thus, it can be considered as a new aspect (McCleskey, 2014). There has been already existing research linking the leadership style to the employee performance but this particular research is expected to consider both leadership style and work discipline of Apple, Inc. affecting the level of employee performance (McCleskey, 2014). The suitable research philosophy followed in this case is that of realism which enables the researcher to gather qualitative data and analyze this data logically. The researcher has chosen qualitative research approach as this enables the researcher to gather data from case studies of Apple Inc., regarding the impact of the leadership style on them. The research has followed mono method that is only qualitative research approach has been undertaken due to time constraint.

9.2 Research Design

The researcher aims at gathering qualitative data from the case studies of Apple Inc., regarding the impact that the workplace discipline and leadership style of the company has on the level of employee performance. The data would be gathered through online research of various books and journals where previous researchers have shared their perceptions regarding the transformational leadership style followed in Apple, Inc. The data would be gathered from authentic books and journals so that appropriate conclusion can be derived about the leadership style within the organisation (D. Banker, Mashruwala and Tripathy, 2014). The researcher is assumed to register to various databases so that adequate information can be gathered from the books and journals available online. The data collection method through survey has been planned to be conducted between 15th Jan, 2019 and 25th Jan, 2019. The collected information would be recorded in a separate document and the data should be suitably analysed so that the impact of transformational leadership on the employee performance can be judged for Apple, Inc. The job satisfactions levels of the employees can also be judged on the basis of their experiences shared within the case studies.



Data Collection Method Reason for choice of method Population Size Sample Size Sample Criteria Data Collection


Employees of Apple Inc. Secondary research Adequate information can be gathered from the case studies available online. NA NA NA 15th Jan, 2019- 25th Jan 2019

The final thesis would include an introduction chapter stating the background study, research rationale, research aims and objectives and research questions. The second chapter would be that of literature review discussing the concepts, theories and models related to the chosen research top and finally the research gap. The third chapter would comprise of the methodology that is used by the researcher. The fourth chapter would involve the findings of the research and the fifth chapter would involve the discussion related to the research. The sixth chapter is that of conclusion which would summarize the findings and the recommendations suggested by the researcher.


11. Project Plan – a Gantt chart showing the major activities you need to undertake to hand your dissertation on time (please use MS Project if possible) A minimum of 15 activities is expected for the plan to reasonably reflect what you need to do to complete your dissertation


12. References – a full list of all the sources used in the proposal, presented using the Harvard system of referencing.

Allio, R.J., 2012. Leaders and leadership–many theories, but what advice is reliable? Strategy & Leadership, 41(1), pp.4-14.

Baker‐McClearn, D., Greasley, K., Dale, J. and Griffith, F., 2010. Absence management and presenteeism: the pressures on employees to attend work and the impact of attendance on performance. Human Resource Management Journal, 20(3), pp.311-328.

Chandrasekar, K., 2011. Workplace environment and its impact on organisational performance in public sector organisations. International Journal of Enterprise Computing and Business Systems, 1(1), pp.1-19.

D. Banker, R., Mashruwala, R. and Tripathy, A., 2014. Does a differentiation strategy lead to more sustainable financial performance than a cost leadership strategy? Management Decision, 52(5), pp.872-896.

Fiaz, M., Su, Q. and Saqib, A., 2017. Leadership styles and employees’ motivation: perspective from an emerging economy. The Journal of Developing Areas, 51(4), pp.143-156.

Gilbert, C., De Winne, S. and Sels, L., 2011. The influence of line managers and HR department on employees’ affective commitment. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 22(8), pp.1618-1637.

Jyoti, J. and Bhau, S., 2015. Impact of transformational leadership on job performance: mediating role of leader–member exchange and relational identification. Sage Open, 5(4), p.543-748.

Kim, W.G. and Brymer, R.A., 2011. The effects of ethical leadership on manager job satisfaction, commitment, behavioral outcomes, and firm performance. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 30(4), pp.1020-1026.

Mackey, A. and Gass, S.M., 2015. Second language research: Methodology and design. Abingdon: Routledge.

McCleskey, J.A., 2014. Situational, transformational, and transactional leadership and leadership development. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 5(4), p.117.

Neuman, W.L., 2013. Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. London: Pearson education.

Thompson, G. and Glasø, L., 2015. Situational leadership theory: a test from three perspectives. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 36(5), pp.527-544.

Tsai, Y., 2011. Relationship between organizational culture, leadership behavior and job satisfaction. BMC Health Services Research, 11(1), p.98.

Walumbwa, F.O. and Hartnell, C.A., 2011. Understanding transformational leadership–employee performance links: The role of relational identification and self‐efficacy. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 84(1), pp.153-172.



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