Original Research

Leadership style and organisational commitment in the mining industry in Mpumalanga

Ereen McLaggan, Adele Bezuidenhout, Chris T. Botha
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 11, No 1 | a483 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v11i1.483 | © 2013 Ereen McLaggan, Adele Bezuidenhout, Chris T. Botha | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 June 2012 | Published: 16 October 2013

About the author(s)

Ereen McLaggan, Department of People Management and Development, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Adele Bezuidenhout, Department of Human Resource Management, University of South Africa, South Africa
Chris T. Botha, Department of People Management and Development, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa


Orientation: The mining industry is a notoriously difficult environment in which to achieve positive work outcomes, such as organisational commitment. Therefore it was decided to investigate the association between transformational leadership and organisational commitment at a coal mine in Phola in the Mpumalanga province, a geographical area largely neglected by scientific researchers.

Research purpose: The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between the transformational and transactional leadership styles (as measured by the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire 5X) and organisational commitment (as measured by the Organisational Commitment Questionnaire) in the coal mining industry at a specific site in Phola.

Motivation for the study: A need was identified for research to be conducted in the coal mining industry in Mpumalanga on a leadership style that enhances organisational commitment. Committed employees represent valuable human capital that should be retained for as long as possible.

Research design, approach and method: A quantitative, cross-sectional survey design with random sampling (n = 88) was used to collect the necessary data. Both instruments showed acceptable internal consistencies.

Main findings: Statistically significant relationships were found between two variables: organisational commitment (for the purposes of this article, this refers to affective commitment) and leadership styles (transactional and transformational).

Practical/managerial implications: Managers and human resource practitioners will benefit from the knowledge gained by the study. Line managers should practise transformational leadership to improve commitment, engagement and satisfaction among their subordinates.

Contribution/value add: The findings of this research add to the body of existing knowledge on transformational leadership and commitment. Valuable insights have been gained on the appropriate leadership style needed to improve commitment in a demanding and under-researched context, namely the coal mining industry in Phola, Mpumalanga.


transformational leadership, transactional leadership, affective commitment, normative commitment, continuance commitment, engagement


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