Journal Article

Effectiveness of Welfare Organizations: The Contribution of Leadership Styles, Staff Cohesion, and Worker Empowerment

Amnon Boehm and Nir Yoels

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 39, issue 7, pages 1360-1380
Published in print October 2009 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online April 2008 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcn036
Effectiveness of Welfare Organizations: The Contribution of Leadership Styles, Staff Cohesion, and Worker Empowerment

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Numerous recent studies reveal the contribution of leadership and leadership style, in particular, to effectiveness in different organizations (Sosik et al., 1998; Ogbnna and Harris, 2000; Hoyt and Blascovich, 2003; Hullinger, 2003; Berson and Avolio, 2004), including the field of welfare organizations (Gummer, 1995; Arches, 1997; Fisher, 2005; Mary, 2005). These publications suggest a preference for the transformational, compared with the transactional, leadership style. However, the studies reviewed do not examine the contribution of organizational leadership compared with other aspects of organizational life. Using the previous studies as its point of departure, the present research examines the contribution of the leadership styles of the directors in welfare departments to the effectiveness of the social workers in these organizations. However, it also undertakes another task, by comparing the contribution of leadership style to effectiveness with that of staff cohesion and social worker empowerment. Thus, the findings and discussion presented in this paper compare the respective contributions of three central levels of the organization to effectiveness—the administrative level (director's leadership styles), the staff level (staff cohesion), and the individual level of the social worker (worker empowerment). The research examines this issue in a public welfare department in Israel.

Keywords: Effectiveness; welfare organizations; leadership styles; cohesiveness; empowerment

Journal Article.  7113 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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