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Background of the study

The development of management can be traced back to the era when humans began to live in social collectives. Management is the systematic approach of attaining organisational effectiveness by efficiently utilising resources through the processes of planning, organising, leading, and controlling. Efficient management necessitates a repertoire of abilities such as strategic planning, effective communication, meticulous organisation, and exemplary leadership (Ekor, 2023). The discipline of management has seen significant changes since the 17th century and continues to do so as a result of technical breakthroughs in the modern world. These advancements have altered the way employees carry out their work tasks in the workplace. Due to the rise of globalisation and modernization, employees in Western nations are now being treated more humanely compared to previous centuries when they were considered as mere machines. This can be observed through the progression of managerial ideologies. Contemporary firms have consistently prioritised the use of employee-centric managerial approaches to effectively compete in the global market (Buntu, 2022).

Leadership is a notion that is difficult to grasp or define. Similar to numerous intricate concepts, it is misleadingly effortless to employ in everyday discourse. It is a topic that is often discussed, yet only a small number of people truly comprehend it. The desire for it is common, but its attainment is rare. What is the definition of the subject known as "Leadership" that is captivating and thought-provoking? Due to the desire for leadership, many individuals tend to develop emotional attachments when attempting to define the concept. Alternatively, it is possible that our inclination to imitate the actions of a leader and define leadership as a "personality" stems from our familiarity with such individuals. A prevalent concept included in most definitions is that leadership is exerting influence in some manner (Ekor, 2023). The concept of leadership inherently assumes the presence of a follower. Leadership is dependent on having followers to guide, and its purpose is to have intentional influence over the behaviour, beliefs, and emotions of group members.

The significance of managers in guaranteeing outstanding organisational performance cannot be emphasised enough. Sufficient motivation, an appropriate work environment, competitive compensation, and effective communication between supervisors and employees are critical factors in advancing this objective. Additionally, planning and organising one's task are vital. There are researchers who contend that the prevailing challenges impeding organisational performance in businesses and other institutions are ineffective leadership, inefficiency, and a negative work attitude among employees (Andem et al., 2019). However, an opposing viewpoint is held by others. The operational success or lack thereof of an organisation is determined by the leadership style it employs.

The distinction between management and leadership has been defined as follows: "Management does not encompass leadership in its entirety... Leadership is the capacity to inspire and motivate others to actively pursue a predetermined goal. It is the human element that unifies and inspires a group to achieve its objectives. According to Bello (2021), management activities, including planning, organising, and decision-making, remain quiescent and inactive until a leader inspires individuals and directs them towards the achievement of objectives. 

While there is considerable overlap between leadership and management, they are not identical. In contrast to management, which merely entails "getting things done through others," leadership is characterised by its strong association with inspiring and directing others. It entails guiding a group in a different direction and equipping members for responsibilities and circumstances that are outside their present expertise. In contrast, management is concerned with improving and regulating in accordance with predetermined principles, which include planning, organising, commanding, and controlling.

Personal leadership styles are possessed by managers across all organisational levels and levels. These styles dictate not only how they guide their subordinates but also how they carry out additional management responsibilities. Research findings indicate that, in addition to the individual leadership styles of managers, there is variation in leadership styles across different countries and cultures. For example, empirical research indicates that European managers are generally more people-oriented and humanistic in nature compared to their American and Japanese counterparts. The collectivist cultural orientation prevalent in Japan prioritises the collective over the individual, thereby downplaying the significance attributed to personal attributes, necessities, and aspirations. Organisations operating in the United States have a tendency to prioritise individual requirements and desires over those of their employees due to their strong emphasis on people-oriented approaches (Holls, 2018). 

It is also crucial to comprehend the impact of leadership on performance, as certain researchers consider leadership to be one of the primary motivating factors in enhancing the performance of an organisation. It is widely acknowledged that effective leadership significantly contributes to the growth of management and provides a lasting competitive edge that enhances the performance of an organisation. Visionary leaders formulate a strategic vision of a future state, convey that vision through the use of metaphor and framing, exemplify the vision through consistent action, and inspire followership towards the vision. In new organisational environments, Peter (2019) suggests that visionary leadership will generate high levels of cohesion, commitment, trust, and motivation, and thus performance. Okon (2018) argue that when organizations seek efficient ways to enable them outperform others; a long standing approach is to focus on the effects of leadership hence the need for this study.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Overall, there is a dearth of research examining the impact of leadership on organisational performance, according to Ethan's (2018) review. Ethan argues that leadership studies have placed an excessive emphasis on superior-subordinate relationships, neglecting various other functions performed by leaders and organisational and environmental factors that are critical mediators of the relationship between leadership and performance. The results of existing leadership studies are also dependent on the level of analysis, which is an additional issue.

Based on the examination of pertinent scholarly works, it is apparent that divergent viewpoints exist regarding the extent to which leadership improves organisational performance. However, it is critical to note that distinct conceptualizations of leadership have been utilised across various studies, rendering direct comparisons exceedingly challenging. Continue to be gaps and unanswered inquiries. Therefore, the primary objective of this research is to reassess the postulated correlation between leadership and performance. By doing so, it makes a substantial contribution to the expanding corpus of literature and understanding in this field. 

1.3 Objectives of the study  

The general objective of this study is to investigate the nexus between leadership styles and organizational performance in Cameroon. The specific objectives include the following:

To determine whether there is any relationship between leadership styles and organizational performance in Cameroon.

To find out the type of leadership styles exhibited in businesses in Cameroon.

To examine the effects of leadership styles on organizational performance in Cameroon.

To investigate the challenges of leadership styles on organizational performance in Cameroon.

1.4 Research Questions

The relevant research questions related to this study include the following:

Is there any relationship between leadership styles and organizational performance in Cameroon?

What are the types of leadership styles exhibited in businesses in Cameroon?

What are the effects of leadership styles on organizational performance in Cameroon?

What are the challenges of leadership styles on organizational performance in Cameroon?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

The following research null hypothesis will validate this study:

Ho1: There is no significant relationship between leadership styles and organizational performance in Cameroon.

1.6 Significance of the study

This study will enable the leadership of businesses in Cameroon to see the impact which leadership style has on organizational performance.

It will help the leaders to have a better understanding of their employees and know the best leadership style to adopt in order to effectively influence or motivate their subordinates.

This work will also be of importance to other organization especially those having problems with leadership. They can draw lessons from the recommendation of this study to enhance the qualities of their leaders.

This research work will also be of relevance to individuals most especially students in the field of business studies as it will enlighten them on how to become efficient leaders.

Lastly, it is of great significant to the researcher because it has broadened his knowledge on the importance of leadership in an organization.  

1.7 Scope of the study

Generally, this study focuses on the nexus between leadership styles and organizational performance in Cameroon. Empirically, this study focuses on determining whether there is any relationship between leadership styles and organizational performance, finding out the type of leadership styles exhibited in businesses, examining the effects of leadership styles on organizational performance and investigating the challenges of leadership styles on organizational performance.

This study will be carried out in Cameroon.

1.8 Limitation of the study

The researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that leadership styles and organizational performance discourse is vast thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size covering only residents of Cameroon. Thus findings of this study cannot be used for generalization for other regions within Cameroon. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work will impede maximum devotion to the research. Howbeit, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.

1.9 Definition of terms

Organization: A structured process in which people interact to attain an objective.

Organizational Performance: In today's workforce, organizational performance can be defined as a company's ability to achieve goals in a state of constant change.

Leader: A person who influence and direct the affairs of others.

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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  • Reference(s):

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  • Methodology: Yes available

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