The role of leadership styles in knowledge management processes

Document Type: Articles

Authors

Abstract

Introduction: Knowledge is a critical resource for organizations working in dynamically competitive environments. In any organization, leaders who have the power to incite and influence knowledge management processes. Nevertheless, there is lack of empirical evidence from previous studies on examining this relationship. In view of this, the current study examined the relationship between transformational and transactional leadership with knowledge management in university.Method: The research method was descriptive-correlative. The statistical population consisted of 484 university employees, from whom 214 were selected randomly using Morgan table. Data were collected through Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire and Knowledge Management Questionnaire. To examine the reliability of the questionnaires, Cronbach alpha coefficient was used, and to determine the validity, content validity method was applied. All descriptive statistics, correlation and regression were performed in SPSS 19.Results: The results showed that the correlations between transformational leadership (R=0.55) and transactional leadership (R=0.44) with knowledge management were significant (P<0.001). Other results showed that the correlations between transformational leadership and knowledge management components - creating knowledge (R=0.59), sharing knowledge (R=0.24), storing knowledge (R=0.56), applying knowledge (R=0.41) - were significant (p<0.001). Results showed that the correlations between transactional leadership and knowledge management components - creating knowledge (R=0.45), sharing knowledge (R=0.27), storing knowledge (R=0.33), applying knowledge (R=0.41) - were significant (p<0.001). Also, it was revealed that there was no significance relationship between Laissez-faire style and dimensions of knowledge management. Finally, the results of multiple regression analysis showed that among transformational leadership components, inspirational motivation (β= 0.460) and idealized influence (β=0.194) could predict knowledge management processes.Conclusion: Managing knowledge requires a conscious effort on the part of leaders at all levels of the organization to manage four key knowledge processes: creating, sharing, storing, and applying knowledge. Transformational leadership theory and transactional leadership theory provide a foundation for understanding how leaders impact on knowledge management processes.Keywords: Transformational leadership, Transactional leadership, knowledge management processes

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