Positive levels of employee engagement can be an organisation's sustainable competitive advantage. Engaged employees not only save the organisation money in terms of recruitment costs, but make the organisation money through increased productivity, sales, and quality of product. While much research has been conducted on the positive relationship between transformational leadership and employee engagement, this research goes further to understand whether there are merits to contextual leadership behaviours.
The study aimed to test if significant relationships exist between employee engagement and perceived transformational and service leadership behaviours. Furthermore, the contextual nature of these relationships would be unpacked to better help organisations target specific training interventions for managers to develop relevant leadership behaviour.
Quantitative research methods were used to test the hypotheses. A cross-sectional self-questionnaire was used to collect data. A final sample size of 165 participants was utilised for the analysis. The hypotheses were tested using correlation and regression analysis.
The study found that significant positive relationships exist between employee engagement and perceived transformational and service leadership. Furthermore, the employee engagement relationship with perceived transformational leadership was found to be consistent across sectors, whereas service leadership was found to be contextual. This study thus contributes to the literature in the fields of employee engagement and leadership.