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Title: A situational perspective of the leadership role of the chief accountant in industry : managerial decision-making within the finance function
Author: McKenna, Eugene Francis
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1976
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The aim of the study was to contribute to the development of situational leadership theory by assessing the impact of what one considered to be significant situational or structural forces impinging on the leadership style of an influential occupational group - Chief Accountants - previously not subjected to such analysis. The choice of subjects was predominantly influenced by the author's exposure early in his working life to training in a professional accountant's office. The method used incorporated the mall questionnaire and the interview. The respondents who completed the questionnaire numbered 212 and were almost equally distributed over small, medium and large sized companies. Intensive interviews were conducted with 32 respondents. Within the limitations of the research methodology the following constitute the major findings. Contrary to a, general impression which suggests that accountants are directive in orientation, the Chief Accountant places almost equal emphasis on both restrictive and permissive leadership styles. What is particularly interesting is that he modifies his style to suit prevailing situational or structural circumstances. He behaves differently in programmed and task decision situations than in non-programmed and personnel decision situations. Other situalionally or structurally determined circumstances affecting leadership style are: job tenure; specialisation and specialism; calibre of subordinate staff; psychological closeness of the leader: employee-oriented behaviour; span of control; size of company and finance function; and hierarchical level. Type of decision and certain independent variables are also important as mediating variables. A situational perspective of the leadership role of a key functional manager could prove useful in encouraging others to conduct similar analyses in other functional areas, hopefully resulting in comparative analysis. Then significant strides forward could be made in the development of a global situational leadership theory.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available