Journal of
Hospitality Management and Tourism

  • Abbreviation: J. Hosp. Manage. Tourism
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6575
  • DOI: 10.5897/JHMT
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 59

Full Length Research Paper

Enhancing employee performance using selected leadership styles of middle-line managers in the hospitality industry in Mid-Western Uganda

David Mwesigwa
  • David Mwesigwa
  • Department of Public Administration and Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, Lira University, Uganda.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 26 March 2018
  •  Accepted: 01 June 2018
  •  Published: 31 July 2018


This study explains the success of employee performance using selected leadership styles of middle-line Hotel managers in Mid-western Uganda. The simple random sample included 196 employees from ten Hotels. The respondents completed the measures of styles of leadership (democratic, autocratic and laissez faire) and employee performance. Bivarriate correlations and regression matrices were used to test for the relationship of these distinct styles of leadership on employee performance. Results revealed that a style of leadership explains the degree of employee performance in the hospitality industry. Therefore, employees in the sector have reactive attributes to each of the selected styles of leadership exhibited to them. The results provide insight into the relationship between styles of leadership and employee performance in the hospitality industry. In particular, it was found that while employee performance is higher under a specific style of leadership that gives them freedom to exercise their abilities at the place of work, employee performance may exist in every style of leadership. From the employee perspective, we find that choice of a style of leadership has a significant effect on the degree of employee performance in the hospitality industry. These outcomes provide implications for future research in the aspect of leadership within the hospitality industry as well as insight and direction for middle-line managers.


Key words: Style of leadership, employee performance, democratic, autocratic, laissez faire.


The term ‘leadership’ refers to how an individual influences others for purposes of attaining a long-term, medium-term or even a short-term common objective. A study by Northouse (2004) demonstrates that leadership involves a process whereby an individual influences a group of people to achieve a common goal. This description underpins the view that leadership entails “influence” notwithstanding that influence can be “soft” or “hard”. While soft influence is democratic, hard influence applies force. That is probably why Miller and Vaccaro (2016) present leadership in terms of the art of influencing people to strive, willingly and enthusiastically, toward  the achievement of group goals because leaders are expected not only to be competent but confident and assertive. As a consequence, confidence and assertiveness help an individual leader to gain influence and become more reliable (Eagly and Karau, 2002).One of the important aspects in the Agentic behaviour is self-promoting behaviour which improves according to the extent to which a person is perceived to be competent (McFadyen, 2010).  Owing to the view that progress is an inescapable part of employee life, one of the essential targets that a number of organisations have is to enhance the degree of employee performance if the organisation is to survive the growing global and local competition (Ogilvie et al., 2017).
In a number of organisations, the degree of employee performance has not grown proportionate to the expectations set by managers, this includes the hospitality industry. Ogbeide seem to suggest that if employee performance is to improve, managers should give a second look at the attributes of organisational leadership (Ogbeide et al., 2008). However, recent studies highlight the need to focus attention on the styles of leadership rather than looking at leadership in entirety. A study by Yoonkyeong (2016) recognises the view that one way to improve the style of leadership in an organisation is to explain its success, which can be manipulated to influence selected constructs of employee performance. While this recognition can be approached from several theoretical perspectives, in this article, the investigator opted for styles of leadership which focus on mapping how a selected style explains employee performance. 
This paper reports the outcomes of a study that aim to explain the aspects that have led to the success of particular leadership styles and how such achievement can be linked to employee performance in the hospitality industry within the developing world including Uganda. Importance is placed on the relationship between three leadership styles (that is, democratic, autocratic and laissez faire) of middle-line managers and employee performance in selected hotels in mid-western Uganda. Essential to the article is investigating what could be the most ideal style of leadership for adoption by middle line hotel managers in order for them to remain relevant in one of the fastest growing sectors and to also ensure that hotels in the region meet the soaring competition. This article asserts that it is not the absence of committed hotel employees that is to blame for poor employee performance in the hospitality industry; instead failure to focus on the style of leadership is a key subject in the poor employee performance in Mid-Western Uganda. In sectors, such as hospitality sectors, styles of leadership have never been satisfactory owing to the ever dynamic needs and preferences from clientele. Nonetheless, an appropriate style of leadership among middle line hotel managers can take a greater role in attaining one of the requisite  objectives  of   employee   performance.   As   a  consequence, having and working towards an appropriate style of leadership occupies an enormous position in the achievement of employee performance targets.
The behaviourist thinking concentrates on what leaders can do rather than on the qualities, as a result different patterns of behaviour were observed and categorized as styles of leadership. Authentic leadership theorists concentrate on a number of mechanisms through which one can be reliable to self as well as being reliable to others as a daily practice. For example, a study by Kotze and Nel (2017) looked at authentic leadership and personal factors, while Olsen and Espevik (2017) focussed on whether moral justice reasoning, self-importance of moral identity and psychological hardiness stimulate authentic leadership.
On the contrary, recent studies demonstrate that more attention needs to be directed on both leaders and leadership if employee performance is to be enhanced (Worthy et al., 2016). In this article, the dependent variable is employee performance which is perceived to be essential in sectors such as the hospitality industry. Employee performance is perceived as what staffs do or do not do (Ogilvie et al., 2017). In managerial terms, the degree of employee performance affects how much an employee contributes to the organisation in terms of quality and quantity of output, their presence at work and teamwork in an organisation. Available studies demonstrate how employee performance affects several factors in an organisation. In particular, Audeneart et al. (2016) reveal that employee performance affects innovation. Interest, here, is put to performance among lower employees within the hospitality industry; this is referred to as employee performance within units of selected Hotels.
The Scientific Management thinking highlights the view that all employees should be developed according to the highest priority of a company for which they are employees (Dunford, 2013).  This view draws from an understanding that employees are, for the most part, an indispensable resource needed by every organisation to achieve competitive gain (Gallus and Frey, 2016). This matter collaborates with the findings of Raduan et al. (2009) which state that the profit-maximising and competitive-based theory underscores taking full advantage of long-term profit and developing continually economic benefits over competitive hostility. While the above three studies are silent on employee performance, their views appear to be in agreement with the view that employee development and competitive advantage call upon employees to raise their productivity which cannot be attained without employee performance.
Consequently,   the   scientific    management    thinker, Fredrick Taylor, stresses that in order to develop employees, there is need for scientific selection, scientific placement, and scientific training at the work place, aimed to equip employees with the methods and skills of work that are needed in the organisation (Mentzer, 2013).
Employee performance, in this study, is formal, in terms of, coordination (Boin and Bynander, 2016), quality work (Centra and Gualtiere, 2014), meeting deadlines as well as availability at work (Dettmers, 2017). It is not good to have the right staff in the right positions that cannot deliver the services; this has led to the shift from employment contracts to performance contracts in a number of profit-oriented organisations (Yang and Chou, 2017). The complexity of employee performance therefore, suggests the broadness of the concept itself and the amount of importance academics should invest. While several definitions have been put forth, the interpretation presented by Mathis and Jackson (2000) has become the operational definition of performance, “what staff do or fail to do”’. As a consequence, within the framework of employee performance, there are essential ingredients which require that employees at whichever level should be assessed in terms of performance including coordination, quality work, meeting deadlines and availability. This reveals that employee performance should be explained in terms of the degree to which they coordinate, yield quality of work, meet deadlines, and are available.
Leadership styles and employee performance
A style of leadership can be necessary in the management of employees in a number of organisations, be they public or private or not-for-profit. While this is not to say that the style of leadership is the sole factor in explaining the behaviour of employees in organisational setting, available studies on leadership and styles of leadership are very essential factors. In particular, recent studies demonstrate that when charismatic, directive, participative and supportive styles are combined, their impact on the behaviour of employees is great.
This finding collaborates with one of the recent studies (Park, 2018) regarding the contribution of selected styles of leadership on employee performance. A different study reveals that if women are to face up to the status quo of a male dominated system, they have to be cognisant of the relationships which exist between them and the men in most organisational settings (Yoonkyeong, 2016). By implication, this reveals that the relationship between the “leader” and the “led” is essential in explaining the behaviour of the led rather than the leader. The choice of style of leadership can be necessary in maintaining the process through which different programmes and policies within an organisation are implemented (Jabnounand Al-Ghasyah, 2018).
A number of studies have been advanced to describe the   relationship   between   styles   of    leadership    and employee performance by demonstrating how managers ought to be mindful of the style of leadership they choose to apply since different styles are likely to yield different outcomes in terms of employee performance. In particular, a study by Rast III et al. (2012) demonstrates the attitude of employees towards autocratic leaders and non-autocratic leaders; while employee performance will rise following non-autocratic leaders, their performance will slow down under autocratic leadership. These views collaborate with the view that styles of leadership are essential in ensuring ground–breaking free enterprise within an organisation (Van Hemmen et al., 2015) as well as organisational virtue (Nartgun and Dilekci, 2017).  In their study, Hariri et al. (2014) reveal that a style of leadership is essential when making choices that contribute to the welfare of employees in an organisation; while Zydziunaite and Suominen (2015) suggests that a style of leadership is necessary in the management of dilemmas such as those relating to ethics and norms of communities within which an organisation is situated. Both propositions suggest that a style of leadership touches the intrinsic behaviour of employees within an organisation although the former focuses on welfare of employees while the later looks at the degree of employee performance. However, the two studies fail to draw attention to employees in the hospitality industry. In view of issues raised above, the relationship between styles of leadership and employee performance should be characterised by respect for individual values, listening to them and engaging them when making decisions that affect them.
Employee performance is one of the central focal points a number of organisations embark on, bearing in mind that when the degree of employee performance is higher, productivity is ensued; and when it is low, productivity follows in the same proportion. Studies reveal this notion in a number of organisational settings. Ogilvie et al. (2017) investigated the impact of multiple psycho-logical climates on frontline employee performance and found out that the outcomes of employee performance include client satisfaction, helping performance, endeavour, and increased performance of the sales. As a result, when employee performance is mapped against service and sales climate, an organisation attains much. A different study by Hahn and Kim (2017) conducted a similar study and concluded that perceived employability can affect employee performance in one way or another in terms of how an individual goes about their routines in the organisation; familiarize themselves with the different organisational atmospheres; and get acclimatised with the clients of an organisation. These studies support the view that employee performance, although affected by a number of factors, is an essential component of an organisation. They however, fail to link specific styles of leadership to employee performance in the hospitality industry. While a number of studies look at leadership in relation to conscious groups, other studies reveal that leadership  is  essential   even   in   unconscious   groups within or without the organisation (Schimmel and Jacobs, 2011). In the case of the hospitality industry in mid-western Uganda, employee performance is essential seeing that the region is attracting much attention in the country, owing to the discovery and subsequent exploration of oil in the Albertine graven.
In this study, democratic style of leadership is defined as a management style in which members form a team that is guided by a leader where all individual members are involved and take part in the process of making decisions so as to determine what should be done, how it should be done, using what resources and how accountability will be measured to establish whether results conform to what was agreed upon by members.
Autocratic leadership is a management style in which one person assumes control over all processes of decision making (consequently, results are based on their own volition) and accepts little contribution from other members of the team. Laissez faire style of leadership is a management style in which both the leader and the members of the team have the opportunity to exercise their potential to the fullest, believing that people excel when they are left alone to respond to their responsibilities and obligations in their own ways. On the other hand, employee performance was measured using four aspects, namely: (i) degree of coordination, (ii) quality of work; (iii) ability to meet deadlines; and (iv) availability at unit station. 
Despite the view that the hospitality industry in Uganda is expected to provide high quality service to every visitor, and in spite of all efforts to foster organisational leadership, levels of employee performance for a number of hotels in mid-western Uganda are very low. Anecdotal research reveals that a number of hotels in the mid-western region not only depend on few individuals that are committed to ensure that visitors receive value for money services but register a high employee turnover. Unofficial statistics demonstrate one of the factors behind high employee turnover that is styles of organisational leadership which leave a lot to be desired in the hospitality industry.
Consequently, low levels of employee performance reflected by particular organisational leadership styles reveals waste of colossal sums of money invested in the hospitality industry. The question of wastage of funds becomes even more significant to this study when one considers the view that the numbers of visitors to hotels are still low and so the financial system of several hotels is not well established to meet the net cost of operation. Low levels of employee performance in the hospitality industry suggest low competitive advantage between hotels in Mid-Western Uganda and hotels in adjacent regions such as south-western, central and mid-north. At the   same   time,   the   failure   to   compete    effectively neighbouring regions is likely to slow down efforts of hotel owners in mid-western region to enhance and benefit from domestic tourism. As a consequence, the number of visitors to the region remains lower than what should have been if the quality of hotel service was up to standard. This condition discourages not only first-timers from having a repeat visit but even prospective visitors from other regions from taking advantage of the robust tourism potential available in Mid-Western Uganda due to, in part, activities related to oil exploration in the Albertine graven.
A study by Tukamushaba et al. (2015) reveal that failure to address the issue of employee performance, the hospitality industry in Mid-Western Uganda is risking their very survival in the 21st century, where the sector needs to stand up and remain afloat. Establishing the link underpinning hotel leadership styles and employee performance in selected hotels in Mid-Western Uganda is therefore a timely concern for both the study as well as the Hospitality industry. Yet, one way that is particularly essential for the survival of the hospitality industry in this epoch is organisational leadership styles, given its benefits such as enhancing staff efficiency and effectiveness of the hospitality industry.
By addressing the levels of employee performance, a number of positive outcomes are realised including higher competitive advantage and increased number of visitors (Jasinskas et al., 2016) as well as greater confidence among repeat and prospective visitors (McCartney and Ge, 2016). Put differently, employee performance can facilitate first time visitors to the Hotels to be impressed with the region, thereby planning a repeat visit against their counterparts from other regions (Tjørve et al., 2015). While there could be a number of contributory factors, leadership styles within the hospitality industry appear to play a major role. Consequently, there is the need for a study to consider the relationship between the two social correlates; leadership styles and employee performance in selected hotels in Mid-Western Uganda so as to determine the most appropriate style of leadership for adoption in the sector.
The purpose of this study is to find out whether selected styles of leadership used by middle-line managers in the hospitality industry can enhance employee performance in Mid-western Uganda. Selected styles of leadership in the hospitality industry were investigated using case study method of inquiry, resulting in increased employee performance. In this study, a style of leadership will be defined, in general, as a technique applied by an individual in the process influencing a group of people to achieve a common goal; this includes communication, participation and working well with stakeholders (Farrell, 2017). Consequently, three objectives were developed to guide this study, namely:
a) To examine the relationship between democratic style of leadership and the level of employee performance among    selected    hotels    in    Mid-Western     Uganda;
b) To investigate the relationship between autocratic style of leadership and the level of employee performance among selected hotels in Mid-Western Uganda;
c) To examine the relationship between laissez faire style of leadership and the level of employee performance among selected hotels in Mid-Western Uganda.
While three hypotheses were generated within the framework of each of the three objectives, the basic hypothesis was that “a style of leadership can explain employee performance in the hospitality industry in mid-western Uganda”. This hypothesis was examined by assessing three selected styles of leadership against employee performance in the hospitality industry. 


Research design
The study adopted a quantitative case study design (Sarantakos, 2005). It was quantitative as the study involved testing a set of variables and analysing those variables using statistical procedures so as to establish whether the projected outcomes, in the conceptual framework hold precision. The case study design was used because the research problem involved an intensive investigation of the complex factors that contributed to the individuality of the hospitality industry (Wang, 2013). The case study design was also adopted since the study aimed to describe the characteristics of a contemporary phenomenon, styles of leadership. The chosen design was thus expected to enable the collection of data from a straightforward sample of respondents without discriminating any of the individual elements. The case study design compares well with recent recommendations in the field of organisational leadership. Therefore, the design was expected to yield realistic outcomes in both the quantitative and phenomenological aspects.
The study was conducted in ten Hotels and all participating hotels were selected from four districts in the Mid-Western Region of Uganda, namely: Masindi, Hoima, Kibaale, and Kagadi. The Respondents were selected in the four districts, namely:(i) Masindi district (Kabalega Resort Hotel, Kolping Hotel and Masindi Hotel); (ii) Kagadi district (Nuel Hotel and Centre Hotel); (iii) Kibaale district (Star Light Hotel); and (v) Hoima district (Mica Eco-Resort Hotel, Riviera Hotel, Glory Summit Hotel and Kontik Hotel). The target population was calculated with a view of realising the population trends, age distribution and the different categories of the selected population. The study targeted two segments of the population that is the middle line managers (these were in the marketing, restaurant, residence, and sanitation units) and the lower level employees (these were cooks, waiters and waitresses, security guards, drivers, and caterers). Using the Krejcie and Morgan's (1970) table, a sample of 196 was determined from a target population of 400. The respondents were sampled using proportionate stratified and in order to ensure heterogeneity, a simple random sample was generated from each of the quotas.
Data collection
Data were collected using a questionnaire which presented a  quick  and confidential means to the social scientific study as well as allowing coverage of big number of respondents (Tall, 2009). Accordingly, self-administered questionnaires (SAQs) were used in order to allow respondents enough time to make well-thought-out responses (McBride and Cantor, 2010).One set of SAQs was prepared; it had three parts, they are: (i) a cover letter from the researcher addressed to the individual respondent detailing the purpose of the study, how the respondent was selected and requesting the respondent’s cooperation; (ii) this part covered selected socio-demographic characteristics of the respondent; (iii) part three covered the key variables and was sub-divided in four sections corresponding to each of the variables under investigation: democratic leadership, autocratic leadership, and laissez faire leadership and employee performance.
The questionnaire was measured so as to establish its internal consistency as well as validity (Zhang et al., 2013). Data reliability was established and attained through pre-tests that were held in an interval of two weeks in two Hotels using 10 randomly selected respondents and results yielded 0.617. Inter-consult indices were used to measure the validity of all instruments. The average Content Validity Index (CVI) formula was used to capture adequate and representative sets of items which were used to tap the content. Four experts evaluated the questionnaire and the findings were: expert one (0.848), expert two (0.981), expert three (0.830) and expert four (0.934), generating an overall CVI of 0.898.
The overall content validity index (CVI) requires that the outcomes of the inter-consult average for all scales should not be less than 0.60. Studies, such as Sekaran (2003), recommend that for any instrument to be accepted as valid, the average CVI should be 0.7 or more; the CVI for this SAQ yielded 0.898. All SAQs were administered in August 2017 and collection was concluded in November 2017. The SAQs were administered to 196 respondents, though a total of 156 questionnaires were retrieved. The retrieval rate accounted for 79.6 (approximately 80 %), which was excellent given that it was above 75 %.
Data processing and analysis
Data processing involves conversion of data given to an individual in non-structured mode into a proper structured arrangement in line with some standard and following some systematic process. In the study, the data processing involved editing, coding, entry, and distribution of all data, that is: (i) data from all SAQs was edited immediately after data collection; (ii) the edited data were coded by translating responses into numerical values; (iii) the coded data was entered in the software using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets; (iv) the entered data was distributed using simple frequency tables for each categorical variable in order to determine the frequencies (percentages, means and standard deviations); and (v) data were analysed using the statistical package for social scientists (SPSS) so as to establish the relationship between the key study variables (organisational leadership and employee performance) and to make sense from the data (Weinberg and Abramowitz, 2008).
As a consequence, the following strategies were applied: firstly, all data on the independent variables and dependent variables were analysed using frequency tables and percentages. Secondly, descriptive statistics were used to generate means and standard deviations for each of the hypotheses (Cavallaro and Fidell, 2015). And thirdly, both Bivarriate correlations and Regression matrices were used so as to test the relationship each of the three styles of leadership and employee performance. Inferential statistics was used for Pearson chi-square test to establish the relationship between overall styles of leadership and employee performance; and Somers’d test was used to ascertain the direction of the relationship between the independent variables and the dependent variable. 


The outcomes, hereto, are presented within the framework of three hypotheses that were tested during the study. The results reveal a variety of relationships between each of the styles of leadership and employee performance indicating that when middle-line managers in the hospitality industry decide to apply styles of leadership, the outcomes will differ.
Democratic style of leadership and employee performance
The first null hypothesis (Ho¹) stated that “democratic style of leadership does not significantly affect the level of employee performance in Hotels in mid-western Uganda”; a Bivarriate correlation and simple regression matrices were conducted. The outcomes of the correlation matrix (r(90) =.204, P>0.05) suggest that there was no significant relationship between  democratic style of leadership and employee performance. This means that according to respondents, democratic style of leadership does not necessarily translate into employee performance in the Hospitality industry. The outcome was also supported by the view that there was no linear relationship between democratic style of leadership and employee performance (F (1, 89) =3.798, P>0.05). When a simple regression was conducted to find out how much democratic style of leadership predicted employee performance, it yielded the results illustrated in Table 1.
The outcomes on Table 1 reveal lack of significant effect of democratic style of leadership to employee performance (β = .204, P>0.05). The model summary of the regression matrix yielded an Adj. R² of 0.031, which translated into 3 %. This meant that there was no significant performance outcome from democratic style of leadership on the employees in Hotels. In view of those outcomes, it was noted that the null hypothesis (Ho¹) be upheld and consequently the study revealed that managers in the Hospitality industry, do not give a great deal of confidence to democratic style of leadership principles as earlier presented under Taylor’s- scientific management model in spite of the fact that this style of leadership (democratic) was most likely found  in  human resources theory and participative management (Robb, 2017).
The five-point Likert scale reveals that in no item did managers strongly agree that democratic style of leadership was favourable (Mean =3.78, SD=1.105). In their day-to-day organisation, managers in the hospitality industry do not give democratic style of leadership a high concentration (Mean =2.24, SD=0.936). Their institutions have, as a consequence, never developed policies concerning democratic style of leadership since it was never essential (Mean =2.58, SD=1.278).As a result, issues of redistribution of power and authority between staff and managers so as to promote staff involvement in decision-making were seldom prioritized. While the famous democratic style of leadership principles, such as self-determination, inclusiveness, equal participation and deliberation, were far from reach to managers of hotels in Mid-Western Uganda.
A study by Iqbal et al. (2015) reveals that democratic style of leadership is the finest since leaders formulate no policies but invite the group views and the group is not interfered with as they make their own choices which are then approved by the leader. However, it was revealed that religious-founded and owned hotels that echoed democratic style of leadership values, simply did it because it has been a symbolic tradition but not for the reason of premeditated employee performance. This revelation diverts from the views of Rugyendo (2015) which indicated that there were enormous democratic values espoused by a religious based institution.  
Autocratic style of leadership and employee performance
The second hypothesis (Ho²) stated that “autocratic style of leadership does not have any significant effect on the level of employee performance in Hotels in mid-western Uganda”. Hypothesis 2 was tested by use of a Bivarriate correlation that yielded a significant relationship between autocratic style of leadership and employee performance (r(90) =.655;P<0.01). This finding reveals that when the Hotel management oppresses its employees they can be compelled to perform.
Consequently, managers can achieve high employee performance through autocratic style. Anecdotal evidence reveals that managers applied  autocratic leadership  with cleverness, getting tasks done and making sure that each member was just where they needed to be and are  doing their work. By inference, autocratic style of leadership appears to facilitate attainment of organisational goals and objectives without having to consult with a large group or hoping that things will be done as expected. Using autocratic style of leadership in Hotel management, lower level employees can take charge of their work, tasks can be assigned without difficulty to different employees, and solid deadlines for tasks can be established and accomplished in time especially when the hotel management experiences a windfall during certain seasons of the year.
The study reveals that in situations that are demanding, such as festive seasons and end-of-year party times, middle-line hotel managers prefer applying autocratic style of leadership to get things done in time and with quality of service. This compels a number of employees to remain focussed on performing specific tasks and allows hotel management to have less worry about making complex decisions. It also allows employees to become more competent at performing certain tasks, which would then be useful to the Hotel in the long-run. The statistical test revealed that autocratic style of leadership and employee performance have a linear relationship (F (1, 89) = 65.809, P<0.01). A simple linear regression gave confirmatory results (β = 0.655, P<0.01) as indicated in Table 2.
The model summary on the regression produced a Sig of 0.059. This revealed that autocratic style of leadership did not explain a significant contribution to employee performance in the hospitality industry in Mid-Western Uganda. This outcome further suggests that autocratic style would not be a strong predictor in explaining employee performance when:
i. There is less respect for subordinates which leads middle-line hotel managers to be as inflexible as the rules they are trying to enforce. Nevertheless, it is likely that hotel managers remain reasonable and acknowledges that everyone contributes something, even if they do not “call the shots”. Making hotel employees realise that they are respected keeps their self-confidence positive and lowers the resentment since every functional team is built on a foundation of mutual respect.
ii. Rules are somewhat non-elaborate since hotel employees know they have to follow procedures and it helps them to do a better job if they know the motive.
iii. Being consistent since it is easy to respect someone forcefully, but hard to trust anyone who applies policy differently under similar conditions.
iv. Hotel employees are not well educated before they enforce any rules, because when employees become aware of their expectations up front, fewer surprises are expected and this reduces a great deal of mis-communication and misapprehension.
v. Limited listening to each other since employees need to be listened to despite the outcome.
From the outcomes, it can be maintained that the null hypothesis (Ho²) was upheld and the alternate one (Hʌ²) “autocratic style of leadership explains significantly employee performance in hotels” was annulled.
Nonetheless, the findings divert from the views of Harness (n.d) who maintained that autocratic styled leaders can have honesty with their values, offer a vision, face processes, and provide employees with the means to grow. Autocratic style of leadership was further confirmed to be a key source of: (i) making hotel decisions (Mean =4.06, SD=0.943); (ii) having a high value in work methods and processes (Mean =4.16; SD=0.985) and (iii) institutions taking less time to deal with essential tasks in the hotel (Mean =3.62; SD=1.298).
This finding was confirmed by Harness (n.d) who suggested that autocratic leaders fall short of care. As regards hotel managers in Mid-Western Uganda, it was only in aspects where an activity at the hotel had less input from employees, since managers were perceived to be dominant and strict and could lead to resentment among employees. In addition that would lead employees to “retrace their steps” from innovative solutions to problems affecting hotel managers in Mid-Western Uganda, which would then damage the overall performance of employees (Mean =3.32; SD=1.397). This was illustrated by a number of reasons including: (i) a number of Hotels in the cohort were still weak in terms of managerial capability; (ii) hotels were initiated by individuals whose vision focussed on the “ends” rather than the means, and that; (iii) middle-line Hotel managers would find it apprehensive to look into the style of leadership as long as things were done.
Consequently, mid-line managers in the hospitality industry seldom thought about the quality of employee performance as long as revenue was generated. It can be highlighted that while middle-line Hotel managers in the   cohort   were   conscious   of    the    importance    of organisational leadership, they tried to avoid an inclusive system of leadership by “turning away” their eyes from the requisite leadership style. This practice collaborates with what Ruiz et al. (2014) call unproductive managerial conduct which also proves that shortage of commitment to the principles of scientific management reveals that a number of Hotels did not have objective strategic plans.
This also suggests that if Hotel managers in mid-western Uganda had strategic planning, autocratic style of leadership would have been frustrated. As a result, the machine model proposed by Taylor fits well in autocratic style of leadership of a number of Hotels since managers in the cohort did not appear to give a great deal of consideration to the humanistic values save work output. To corroborate the findings, Iqbal et al. (2015) note that  autocratic style of leaders give order and expect instant obedient without argument; plans and policies are made in isolation from the group and orders are given without explanation for the reasons or of future intentions.
Laissez faire style of leadership and employee performance
The third hypothesis (H³o) stated that “laissez faire style of leadership does not have any significant effect on the level of employee performance among Hotels in Uganda”. To test the hypothesis, both correlation and regression matrices were conducted. The outcomes of the correlation revealed that there was a positive significant relationship between laissez faire style of leadership and employee performance (r (90=.521, P<0.01). The obvious implication was that if the hotel management adopted laissez faire style of leadership, the performance of its staff would be better. Further tests of the regression matrix demonstrated that there was a linear relationship between laissez faire style of leadership and the performance of staff in Hotels (F (1, 89) =32.541, P<0.01). The outcomes of the regression are illustrated in Table 3.
The other results (β=519, P<0.01) implied that laissez faire style of leadership is a significant contributor to employee performance since the model summary yielded an Adj. of 0.261.This suggested that laissez faire style of leadership contributed 26% to employee performance in Hotels. It followed therefore that if Hotel employees were to excel, they needed at least three factors, namely: (i) having more freedom to make decisions; (ii) being provided with the necessary tools and resources; (iii) being left to solve problems on their own; and (iv) having modest control from managers. In the light of the outcomes, it was emphasized that the hypothesis (H³o) be adopted and any alternative be restrained.
The study examined the most essential aspects of employee performance as far as institutional managers of hotels in Mid-Western Uganda are concerned. Employee performance, as a variable, had 18 items. Those items were many and to isolate the factors that managers associated more strongly with employee performance, a factor analysis was conducted. Only five factors were extracted out of 18, using the Principal Competent Analysis (PCA). The results are presented in Table 4.
The five items illustrated in Table 4 account for 71% of employee performance although “being cooperative” was rated highest while “having interest to work” was least rated with 17.5 and 9.4% respectively. As previously indicated, democratic style of leadership is so negligible that  it  is  closer  to   no   effect.   It   was   revealed   that democratic style of leadership is thought of in terms of re-distribution of power and authority between employees and hotel managers so as to attain employee involvement in making decisions affecting the hotel. This reveals that DL=ƒ(r); where DL represents democratic leadership and r represents re-distribution of power and authority. So democratic style of leadership does not necessarily translate into employee performance since the ƒ of r did not equal to P, and in order to have DL=P required another equation. In the Hospitality industry, employee performance can then be P=ƒ(s, i, e, d), where P represents performance, s represents self-determination, i represents inclusiveness, e represents equal involvement and d represents deliberation.
The results in Table 5 reveal that there is a significant relationship between style of leadership and employee performance (X2(4) =74.782, P<0.05) and this relationship is positive due to the significant positive value of Somers’d test (0.338, P<0.05). Respondents that agreed with the view that a style of leadership in their hotel translated into performance were 67.3%; while respondents that disagreed were 24.3%. This reveals that choice of style of leadership is linked to either high employee performance or low employee performance in the hospitality industry in Mid-Western Uganda. Hence a hypothesis of the positive relationship style of leadership and employee performance in the Hospitality industry was accepted.


The study was motivated by the thesis that “a style of leadership can explain employee performance in the Hospitality industry in mid-western Uganda”. Indeed, the three leadership styles of leadership were examined against employee performance in ten Hotels in mid-western Uganda. The general hypothesis was confirmed as a consequence suggesting that none of the styles of leadership saved employee performance  as justified by statistical outcomes of significant effect of democratic leadership to employee performance (β = 0.204, P>0.05) with the regression matrix yielding an Adj. R² of 0.031. Instead of having a negative effect, the study reveals that autocratic style of leadership and employee performance actually have a linear relationship (F (1, 89) = 65.809, P<0.01) as confirmed by the results from the linear regression (β = 0.655, P <0.01).
To this end, based on the positive significant relationship between laissez faire style of leadership and employee performance (r (90=0.521, P<0.01), laissez faire style of leadership explains superior employee performance. Consequently, it is proposed that if hotel management adopted laissez faire style of leadership, employee performance can be enhanced. Nonetheless, this conclusion diverts from the views of Harness (n.d) who suggests that the necessity to focus on the most suitable style of leadership as long as the practices give a concrete structure for leaders to adopt a style of leadership that serves individuals as well as their organisations best is essential. The study advocates that successful employee performance among middle-line hotel managers in Mid-Western Uganda can be attained by adopting laissez faire style of leadership.
Towards an ideal style of leadership for middle line managers in the hospitality industry
The study revealed that neither democratic leadership nor autocratic leadership would yield the requisite employee performance in the hospitality industry in Mid-Western Uganda. This article advocates the adoption of laissez faire style of leadership as a holistic model seeing that:(i) Employees in the hotel will need little guidance from managers; (ii) Laissez faire style of leadership will allow hotel employees to engage in decision making; (iii) It will enable for the provision of appropriate tools and other resources for employees; and (iv) the employees will be facilitated to solve day-to-day problems on their own. The model illustrated in Figure 1 will subsequently lead to improved employee innovation, cooperation, interest, self-direction, and accumulation of knowledge.
Adopting laissez-faire style of leadership by middle-line Hotel managers will be effective once the staffs are innovative, cooperative, interested to work, able to work under minimal supervision, and are knowledgeable in what they are doing as revealed by the outcomes of the factor analysis. Leaders would only stay open-minded and accessible to employees not only to consult but also offer prompt response.
On the contrary, adopting laissez faire style of leadership will necessitate access to information by employees in order for them to complete assignments and draw conclusions. It will also require employees to be excellent at setting their own targets, managing their own assignments, and resolving challenges on their own. By so doing, assignments will remain on track and targets will be achieved. Issues of employees’ bizarre to the assignment will reduce; middle-line hotel managers will take more hands-on approach in the short-term but as the employees gain more skill, middle-line managers will then yield to a more participative approach that gives employees more independence to work on their own.



The author would like to extend his sincere thanks to the management and   employees   of   all   the   hotels   that

participated in the study.


The author has not declared any conflict of interests.


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