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Leadership styles and team performance in public sector

The aim of this paper is to evaluate how leadership styles influence team performance in public administration. Based on previous research, the hypothesis of this study posits that the transformational leadership style would lead to better results on performance. With that, a survey was employed in the executive branch of Minas Gerais state, in which a sample size of 315 public employees representing 82 work teams was obtained. We applied standardized questionnaires based on well tested instruments available in the literature. The results of this research do not support the literature on leadership because public employees suggest that team performance is influenced positively by the transactional leadership style instead of transformational leadership style. In other words, leaders who employ negotiation mechanism to link performance and reward are those who obtain better results. This research reveals that in public administration the transactional leadership style is more associated with better team performance, which embodies the new model of personnel management politics that has one of its pillars represented by meritocracy. Nevertheless, it is necessary to rethink the role of leaders in public sector because transactional leadership style in excess leads to a low employee involvement. This aspect is illustrated at the performance measurement of professional commitment, which is the lowest index of performance.

Leadership; Leadership Styles; Team Performance; HR Management; Public Management

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