Transformational Leadership Academic Essay

Exploring the Relationship between Transformational Leadership and Offshore Employee Retention in Oil Companies

In order to move forward and issue document two the following comments to be considered


Needs to provide further clarity as to the study’s contribution to practice .
Consider further key aspects of staff retention and the factors influence retention.
consider rational and possibly expand the study into other areas of staff retention.
Evaluate how current study would benefit various organization and reconsider the motivates conducting the study
Student should reconsider the study’s objective in preparation for document two .
Focus of the study requires further consideration and refinement.
Investigate all of the potential factors contributing to staff retention, initially positioning leadership style as one on a number potentially significant contributing factors.


Should understand further any cultural , management and organizational different in the interpretation of the subject.
Develop specific framework for document two .
Explain further the study’s implication , not for personal perspective but form research /academic point of view.
The current proposal lacks a comprehensive analysis of the factors which may be contributing to the presenting problem .
Further development work will be required in order to widen the scope of the investigation , while maintaining the clear focus on the corporate problem of skilled staff retention.


Evaluate current academic arguments and provide a specific academic framework .
Understand the complexity of employee retention and how retention could be managed .
Explore further other elements and retention and how leadership could influence employee attitude and behaviors.
The complexity would provide clarity as to what the study aims to achieve and justify further why the study is unique .
Extensive reading around human resource management themes will be required.
More critical approaches to theory and evidence must become evident.


Demonstrate a moderate level of analytical evaluation and critical thinking.
Improve the ability to evaluate academic literature and discuss key issues in less practical and more critical manner.
Read more widely and deeply.


need to explain further personal dissemination goals .


Make explicit links with the aims and objectives, and provide further clarity as to how various tools are used to aIDress key research objectives
Avoid over simplifying key arguments
Make sure key points will be justified with academic literature
How conceptual framework is linked to methodology
How various method collection tools could be used to fully understand employee retention?
Look into the current studies methodology sections and evaluate their effectiveness / appropriateness to the subject.


Need to improve academic writing
Avoid descriptiveness of current literature
Develop further ability to evaluate various arguments from critical perspective.
Identify current knowledge gaps rather describing various ideas.

General Comments :

Design an initial framework
The focus of the investigation is inappropriately narrow , and must be broadened , at least initially to consider the range of factors that could be contributing to the presenting problem .
Further reading across the HRM field is required., considering a wider range of policies and practices.
Developing of a more critical perspective will be essential for the research methodology that required further detailing, including appraisal and compelling justification for the approach and methods that are being proposed .

Exploring the Relationship between Transformational Leadership and Offshore Employee Retention in Oil Companies at Qatar

Table of Contents

1.Industry profile and background information. 3

2.Study background and need for the research. 7

2.1. Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. 8

3.The academic fields – an overview and mapping of the key literatures 10

3.1. Transformational leadership and retention 12

3.2. Objectives. 13

3.3. Research questions 13

3.4. Study’s Contribution and Impact 13

Research Method and Plan 14

4.1. Research Philosophy. 15

4.2. Research Approaches 15

Ethical & access issues 15

5.1. Ethical Consideration 15

5.2. Resources Required & Access 16

References. 17

Appendix. 22

An organization is a body of persons who are legally registered in furtherance of a certain objective.The mission statement, vision, goals, objectives, structure, and decision-making organs (Bass & Riggio, 2006) define an organization.Oil companies are the largest form of organization that the modern world is experiencing.

In Qatar, oil and gas form the backbone of the economy in which case it produces approximately 850 thousand barrels of oil and 18 billion foot of gas each day. These resources are produced in the North Field, which contains gas reserves of approximately 380 trillion cube feet. This is a huge amount of resource, which has seen the developing of a number of companies in the industry. For instance, Maersk oil company is a multinational oil corporation that has been operating for approximately 50 years. The company has several branches in different parts of the world and has to offer quality services to its consumers while ensuring that its employees are in a comfortable working environment. The corporation has a huge number of employees who come from different parts of the world and has a given set of basic values, which guide all the employees. In brief, the Maersk group operates in approximately 135 countries and boosts of 89000 employees (Maersk Oil Company Profile, 2014). Due to the competitive nature of the industry,these oil companies require a properly structured organization for effective execution of its functions (Davila, Epstein, & Shelton, 2012).One of the challenges that these oil companies face is the ability to retain their employees. The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), a body whose role, among others, is to reflect on the serious challenges facing the industry suggest that some time back, labor shortage was not an issue worth discussing in their conferences and meetings. In the recent past, a number of oil and gas companies have lost their skilled employees to other rival companies. This shift has led to a shortage of labor as a factor of production in this industry. This has created panic among these companies and so most of these companies are seeking out a solution. As a result, most of the SPE meetings in recent times are characterized by discussions on the shortage of skilled labor. Some companies undertake the pain of educating good employees but once the individual is through with the training, the get greener pastures in rival companies and end up leaving. For instance, in the year 2013, Maersk Corporation trained over 1,430 both onshore and offshore employees and contractors but some have found greener pastures and left. This is a common problem in the industry in which most companies are seeking a solution of holding on to their good employees, a process referred to as employee retention. This threat is most rampant among offshore employees. Since these employees are usually far from the headquarters of the company, they are quite vulnerable towards incentives from rival companies.

According to Al-Harthy (2008), the most significant factor towards retaining these employees is through motivation. The term is coined from two terms which are move and action. According to him, it is not possible to retain an employee without motivating him or her. Motivation is a key ingredient not only towards retention, but also in boosting the performance of the employees (Tealdi & Bruni, 2005). A significant factor of motivation that a number of managers in the oil and gas industry fail to understand is that motivation emanates from inside a person. Motivation does not entail forcing people to carry out given tasks or to abide to a set of rules, but rather entails establishing a conductive environment where people can work effectively (Nicholson, 2003). A number of managers in the oils and gas industry believe that money is the only motivating factor that can guarantee employee retention. Because of this narrow perception of facts, many companies are experiencing high turnover rates. In as much as money is necessary in retaining employees, it can never be sufficient to retain an employee. These oil companies need to put more effort in retaining their employees by exploring other available options rather than money. There are several other non-monetary means of motivating employees and thus retaining them. All these factors have an ultimate goal of motivating the employees are determined by the leadership of the companies. Among other roles, a leader in an organization has the responsibility of ensuring that employees are comfortable with what they do and the environment in which they operate.

An understanding of the reason why motivation has become an issue of concern in the Qatar oil and gas industry calls for the understanding of the recent changes in the industry. Critical insight indicates a number of external factors which are responsible for this occurrence. First, some years back, the environment was a monotony in which there was only the national oil company. There was no form of competition in the market and so people had no option but to work for only one employer. Therefore, there was no any form of competition in the market. Changes started creeping in with the formulation of different oil companies and other related industries. As this competition increased, employees started leaving these national companies and also government employment to look for greener pastures. The second reason is the increased number of oil companies that were getting into the Qatar market. This made the shortage of labor even more important. However, it is worth pointing out that the phenomenon is not unique to Qatar only but to the entire world. The third factor is that it was twice as cheap hiring a local and training them rather than relying on an expatriate. These are the major factors that have made a number of employees to leave their jobs which has inturn brought about the aspect of motivation and retention.

As earlier mentioned, leaders are significant especially in determining employee’s working environment which shapes the employee’s attitude towards the job. The term leadership does not have a consistent definition. Some authors define the term as encouraging others to perform a duty of their own volition, not because it is mandatory, and not due to the consequences of not doing it. In most cases, the term leadership is used interchangeably with management in which case management entails developing, planning and controlling the organizational resources whereas leadership entails the alignment of people with the expected outcomes of the set vision. A leadership style, on the other hand, refers to a given behavior that a leader employs to motivate his or her subjects to achieve the objectives of the business. Staff retention refers to the ability of an organization to influence the decision of its employees to remain committed to the organization even when other job opportunities are available outside of the organization (Michael, 2008).

Under the leadership evolution, most twentieth century teachings were based on a top-down system of management. The leader in this case was expected to know what to do and direct his or her subjects. There were strict rules and consequences for those who violated the social system. With the evolution of the nature of work, these directives became less effective with workers starting to believe that they could think for themselves and so did not need to be directed on what to do (Herman 2000, p. 73). Unlike transactional leadership, which operates under a give and take concept, transformational leadership entails a committed relation between the leader and his subordinates. A good relationship between a leader and an employee guarantees job satisfaction and less chances of the employee leaving. One of the five core values governing the operation of Maersk with regards to their employees is ensuring that the right people are put in the right environment. Other core values that employees of the corporation have to abide by include constant care, humbleness, uprightness and the name of the corporation. The company also has some group policies, which determine its working culture. These policies are geared towards motivating employees in their work. The corporation’s working culture is to provide employees with the relevant opportunities to develop and succeed. Thus by showing trust and empowering these employees, they get the motivation to deliver the best for the company. Another way that the corporation motivates its employees is through linking the results of the business with job performance and the rewards. Implementation of all these policies calls for a strong management. This boils down to the different leadership styles that leaders embrace in their governance. There are mainly two types of leadership styles, which include the transactional style and the transformative style. Transactional leadership style aims at rewarding the performing employees and punishing those with poor performance records. In this type of leadership style, a manager and employee discuss and set targets that should be achieved by the employee. It encourages employees to perform better, it is not appropriate for Oil Companies. Transformative leadership, on the other hand, is a leadership style that induces change in employees and the social systems (Bass & Riggio 2006). It aims at converting its subjects into future leaders. It motivates, improves morale and performance margins of employees by use of various mechanisms. Transformative leadership style aims at connecting the employee’s identity and their personal missions to the collective identity and mission of the organization for better performance. It develops leaders who inspire their subjects, challenges them to take personal responsibility for their work, and promotes understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of its subjects. A transformative leader is able to assign duties that optimize employee performance (Judge & Bono, 2000, p. 751).Offshore workers may include offshore drillers, roughneck, roustabout, engineer, mechanic/ electrician and those providing medical services.Offshore employees are those who are working in platforms installation miIDle of the sea away from the land and most of them are expat and non-national employees.A transformative leader should carefully assign these duties to individuals who are properly qualified in order to get their maximum potential. The main objective of this research is to determine whether transformative leadership is effective while dealing with foreign employees. Available literature suggests that offshore employees are exposed to tough conditions which demotivate them and hence more likely to seek for other greener pastures. Cox (1987) made a suggestion that offshore environment remained a rough and tough one which was likely to affect the mental state of any person who was not mentally stable. Every endeavor has its own challenges and having an offshore team increases the challenges. A leadership style that knows its realistic expectations while managing offshore employees is likely to avoid misunderstandings and focus on its projects.

This research paper seeks to determine the impact of transformational leadership on motivation of employees; the effect of motivation on offshore employee retention; and how transformational leadership affects offshore employee retention. The paper thus seeks to determine how the three factors, which are

The research topic focuses on exploring the relationship between transformational leadership and offshore employee retention in oil companies at Qatar through determination of the impact of transformational leadership on employee motivation.The research topic is motivated by the fact that offshore employees are experiencing several challenges that need to be aIDressed by the leaders in Oil companies. Offshore employees face health and safety risks, infringement of basic human rights and failure to aIDress the needs of the vulnerable groups. Taking care of these risk factors is in itself a motivation to the employees.

The research is justified on grounds that it seeks to determine whether transformative style is appropriate in dealing with offshore workforce for the benefit of employees and the companies. Findings of the research will influence the policies and regulations of companies in relation to offshore employees. The research is also justified on the basis that Oil companies have conducted little unreliable research in this area, which led to inconsistent and unreliable policies. The research will define key terms, which are used in transformational leadership and retention of employees. It will discuss the evolution of leadership and its roles to organizations and examine the link between transformational leadership and retention. Furthermore, thefour main factors of transformational leadership will be examined using a multi-factor leadership questionnaire. In brief, the key terms that will be used in defining transformation leadership and retention of employees include leadership, leadership style, and staff retention (Ng’ethe, Namusonge & Iravo, 2012 p. 21).

In the year 1985, Bernard Bass, an industrial psychologist established four main elements of transformational leadership and these include idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration(Schieltz, 2014). The multi-factor leadership questionnaire accompanying these factors is as follows:

2.1. Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire

Instructions: This questionnaire describes a leadership style. It involves a list of eleven descriptive statements. The word “others” imply a leader’s followers, clients, or members of his or her group.


0= Not at all, 1= Once in a while, 2= Sometimes, 3= Fairly often, 4= Frequently, if not always

I ensure others feel comfortable being around me. 1 2 3 4

I communicate simple words on what we could and should do. 1 2 3 4

I make members to think about old problems in new ways. 1 2 3 4

I help others develop themselves. 1 2 3 4

I tell others what to do if they want to be rewarded. 1 2 3 4

I am satisfied when members meet the set standards. 1 2 3 4

Others have complete faith in me. 1 2 3 4

I let others know how I think they are doing. 1 2 3 4

Others are proud to be associated with me. 1 2 3 4

I give personal attention to others who seem rejected.1 2 3 4

I ask no more of others than what is absolutely essential. 1 2 3 4

SCORING: The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire measures your leadership on four factors related to transformational leadership. The score for each factor is determined by summing three specified items on the questionnaire. For example, to determine your score for Factor 1, Idealized Influence, sum you responses for items #1, #8, and #15. Complete this procedure for all four factors.


Idealized Influence (items 1, 8, & 15) _____________________________________ Factor 1

Inspirational Motivation (items 2, 9, & 16)_________________________________ Factor 2

Intellectual Stimulation (items 3, 10, & 17) ________________________________ Factor 3

Individualized Consideration (items 4, 11, & 18) _____ _______________________Factor 4

Score Range: High = 9-12, Moderate = 5-8,Low = 0-4


Factor 1:Idealized Influence shows the leader’s capacity to hold the trust of his subjects and keep their respect and faith. It also shows the level of dedication of the leader and his ability to appeal to their hopes and dreams, and be as a role model.

Factor 2:Inspirational motivation determines the extent to which a leader provides a vision and help others focus on their work.

Factor 3:Intellectual stimulation indicates the extent to which a leader encourages his subordinates to be creative in looking at old problems in new ways and inspire people to be critical of their own beliefs and values.

Factor 4:Individualized consideration indicates the extent to which a leader shows interest in others’ well?being and ensures an active participation of all people in a group.

According to Gray and Starke (1997), leadership is the ability of a person to inspire his or her subordinates to achieve their goals. It does not only entail giving direction to the follower but also offering the necessary support for achieving goals. Johnson, Wysocki & Kepner, (2002) define transformational leadership as the ability to make people to want to be led. It entails assessing the capabilities of the employees and seeking out means of bringing out this potential. Motivation is a conjunction that links transformative leadership and employee retention.

According to Baluch, motivation is an inward force of a person, which compels him or her towards achieving a given goal. Each individual possess targets or objectives that have to be met. For this reason, the management has to motivate each individual if it desires to achieve goals. From these studies, it is evident that motivation is a significant factor in enhancing the performance of employees. According to a study by Cheung and Wong (2010), there is a positive correlation between transformational leadership and employee creativity, which is directly linked to employee motivation. Zineldin (2000) defines retention as the obligation to continue collaborating with a given company or corporation. Chaminade (2007) posits that in order to retain its employees, an organization has the obligation of establishing an environment which effectively engages employees in the longterm. Samuel and Chipuza (2009) state that the sole objective of retaining staff is to prevent the company from losing competent employees to rivals. This is because it leads to low productivity and profitability. According to studies, there are several factors that determine retention some of which include the organizational culture, their career development systems, and the strategy and the pay and benefits philosophy.

Transformative leadership performs vita in employee engagement and performance. It further enhances psychological ownership in the aspects of self-efficacy, belongingness self-identity and accountability. Ghafoor et al, (2011) have provided a rich literature on how transformative leadership enhances psychological ownership, which in turn supplements the best relationship between Oil Company and offshore employees. Koppula (2008) provides a supplementary study of transformative leadership and engagement of employees, which is vital in aIDressing the research topic.

Nyamekye (2012) posits that a number of employees cease to possess organizational loyalty once they get a demotivation through such instances as the lack of job security. This makes many employees to make career moves, which can guarantee them of their job security. The process of offshoring is quite complex especially when it comes to hiring new employees and having to train them. It is hence much cheaper to retain employees and seek out different ways of ensuring their loyalty. Nyamekye (2012) further posits that one of the means of retaining employees and hence managing turnover is through establishment of an effective reward system. A reward can be defined as what employees get in appreciation of their efforts towards achieving the organizational goals. The rewards could come in different forms including promotions, bonuses, salary among other incentives. An effective management of an organization’s reward system ensures that the objectives of the organization are met and at the same time retaining a productive workforce. Employees are most likely to leave if they perceive themselves to be inadequately rewarded. This would then call for a replacement, which is usually most costly, and in most instances, not readily available. Sherman et al., (2006)list some of the reasons why employees move from one organization to another or from one country to the next insearch of better employment prospects include the hiring practices of the organizations, absence of a competitive system of compensation, the style of management, and the toxic working environment. Other factors include lack of job security, inability to derive pleasure in the work being done, inadequate training opportunities and lack of promotions.

A study by Sandhya & Kumar (2011) established that a good way of retaining employees is through motivating them using factors such as open communication, performance based bonuses, career development programs and recreational facilities among others. the author further highlights the significance of employee retention among which include lowering the turnover costs in which case they state that it is more difficult to determine the turnover cost by including other costs such as the hiring and training costs. Another significance of employee retention is to prevent the loss of company information. This is because whenever an employee moves away to another company, he or she carries valuable information and may sell vital secrets to the rivals of the company. Another factor is to cultivate the customer relationship and hence ensure customer loyalty. This is because as a person works for company X for instance, he or she develops a relationship with customers and so customers may find it easier to approach the company due to the single employee who is familiar to them. In the event, the client finds new staff members each time they come, they may find it hard to deal with them as some issues require consistent monitoring. Further, the leaving of one employee usually leaves a negative image to the rest of the staff who then become demoralized and in most instances tends to follow suit. One of the important of retaining employees is for the goodwill of the company. A company that has goodwill out of having long serving employees is likely to attract other fresh employees who may possess new and better skills. Further, this goodwill assures the employees of their job safety and will encourage them to explore their potential to the maximum without the fear of losing their jobs. According to Maslow’s theory of the Hierarchy of Needs (1943), motivation is a key factor to individuals in satisfying their needs, these needs can be represented as a pyramid having five levels. He posits that if any of these needs is not satisfied, then the employee’s focus on that particular job goes down and at this point they will start looking elsewhere for more interesting offers.

The link between transformational leadership and retention comes in the fact that leadership is a key factor in determining job satisfaction, which is a means of attracting and retaining good employees (Mohammad, Al-Zeaud & Batayneh 2011, p. 40). This is because leadership is mainly directed at people and their social interaction. Different leadership styles have different effects on job satisfaction and the most effective leadership style is the transformational leadership style. This is because patterns of transformational leadership reduce the pressures at work and boosts the morale of employees and hence their job satisfaction. According to a study carried out by Gardner (2010), which involved a study of leadership behaviors in a health facility, findings indicated that nurses who were working under leaders who had transformational qualities reported to be more satisfied with their jobs than those working under transactional leadership. The main aspect of transformational leadership that motivates employees to perform better and enjoy their work is intellectual stimulation (Ghadi, Fernando & Caputi, 2010). This takes place when leaders stimulate their subordinates to perceive any problem in a new perspective. Transformational leaders thus are able to retain employees through idealized influence, satisfaction, inspirational motivation, and intellectual stimulation. Transformational leaders use individual consideration as one of their approaches which refers to the extent to which leaders support their subordinates by individually listening to their ideas and needs (Kleinman, 2004).

The research paper is based on the below stated research questions and objectives which it seek to answer. If the research questions and the objectives are properly met, there is no doubt that the research will have met its main objective.

To find out the various ways in which transformational leadership motivates employees.
To find out motivation prompts employees to either leave an organization or stay.
To find out how motivation links transformational leadership and offshore employee retention

3.3. Research questions

What is the impact of transformational leadership on offshore employee motivation?
How does offshore employee motivation determine their retention?
What is the ultimate impact of transformational leadership on offshore employee retention?

Companies are learning that the traditional aspect of the employees is not the only skill that is important. There is also need to continually develop the career and professional skills in order motivate the employees, train and develop their skills to fit the needs of the 21st century and have a keen interest on the individual needs of the employees.

The research will enhance personal understanding and expertise in transformative leadership style. It will induce consultations from various people who want to apply transformative leadership in their organization. The research serves a vital career development as it increases the ability of providing the required competencies and skills in Oil companies.

The research findings will inform organizational professional policy as they will serve as a guideline in developing the policies. It ensures that organizations understand their ineffective policy principles and change according to the established principles. The policy principles developed from the research findings will be implemented as part of the practice and culture of organization. The research is expected to influence government policies in relation to offshore employees.

From career development and personal growth perspective it gives the opportunity to interact and meet new people, shares their experiences, and knowledge.

It might participates to change my entire future from a technical deeply involved in oil business into an academic professional that possibility join the university or open my own business as a consultant focusing in human resource management and development .

Finally, most importantly, it is expected to instill transformative leadership in Oil companies due to the dynamic nature of oil industry across the world. The research will aIDress the risks of offshore employees and determine the effectiveness of transformative leadership style in retaining workforces.

The method that will be used during the research will be a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods includes interviews, online reviewing available literature, open ended questionnaires and conferences offshore , which is the way of collecting data and analysis it . Interviews shall be conducted on face to face basis with leaders and experts, employees and government officials. The rationale for interviews is its ability to allow a person to fully express his views with regards to a certain question that is put to him. Interviews enable people to explain their experiences and make recommendations on what should be done (Bryman & Bell, 2015). Face to face interviews provide first-hand information which is n

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