Original Research

Owner-managers’ transformational leadership behaviours and human resource strategies: A case of small fast-food restaurants in South Africa

Lebohang Ntlhanngoe, Crispen Chipunza
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 19 | a1482 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v19i0.1482 | © 2021 Lebohang Ntlhanngoe, Crispen Chipunza | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 September 2020 | Published: 28 June 2021

About the author(s)

Lebohang Ntlhanngoe, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Crispen Chipunza, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein, South Africa

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Orientation: The proliferation of fast-food restaurants in South Africa calls for transformational leadership (TL) to keep the businesses afloat, through the application of competitive strategic human resource (HR) practices. However, there is shortage of evidence on how TL behaviours of owner-managers in this sector are related to their choice of HR strategies.

Research purpose: The purpose of the study was, therefore, to determine the relationship between owner-managers’ TL behaviours and HR strategies relevant to small fast-food restaurants in a district in the Free State Province, South Africa.

Motivation of the study: Known studies emphasise that HR strategies can be linked to specific TL behaviours for business growth and survival. Nonetheless, no known study has been conducted within the South African context to establish the link between TL and HR strategies, particularly amongst the small fast food restaurants.

Design and method: A positivist research paradigm approach to test the relationships between the study variables. Quantitative data were collected through was used a self-administered questionnaire from (n = 102) small fast-food restaurants’ owner-managers following a cross-sectional study design. Descriptive and logistics regression data analyses techniques were used to make meaning out of data.

Main findings: The majority dimensions of TL behaviours and HR strategies are related and few not related.

Practical/managerial implications: The study offers insights into small fast-food restaurants’ owner-managers’ need to adapt leadership qualities depending on the HR strategy applied.

Contribution/value-add: The study adds to the body of knowledge on how TL precepts are applied in different strategic HR management contexts.


owner-manager; transformational leadership; fast-food restaurant; human resource strategy; South Africa


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