Date of Award

Spring 1-21-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Ed.D. in Education Leadership Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Richard Blissett, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Thomas Shea, D.Sc.

Committee Member

David Reid, Ph.D.


Transformational Leadership, Conflict Management Style, Job Satisfaction, Law Enforcement



Effective leaders are essential for any organization, including law enforcement. Police work is not free from the challenges of leadership, confronted with its own unique challenges, including developing ways to adapt to rapid change and continually having to adjust to various political and environmental factors.

This research is an in-depth examination of how transformational leadership and conflict management style drive job satisfaction in law enforcement. The goal is to determine whether employee satisfaction achieved through transformational leadership is, in fact, largely the result of how leadership handles conflict. The idea is to disentangle the relationship between transformational leadership and conflict management style to understand which is a more potent driver of job satisfaction. It specifically examines the lower levels of police organizations, where the majority of subordinate-supervisor relationships occur.

Data was collected through three brief survey instruments: Global Transformational Leadership Questionnaire, measuring transformational leadership; Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire - Short Form, measuring employees’ individual satisfaction with various aspects of their work and work environment (intrinsic and extrinsic satisfaction); and Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory-II (ROCI-II), measuring conflict management style. A multiple regression analysis was conducted of the data, using conflict management style as a confounding variable, transformational leadership as the independent variable, and job satisfaction the dependent variable. Control variables included gender, Hispanic origin, years of service, age, and education level.

Results show that both conflict management style and transformational leadership lead to employee satisfaction and that incorporating both is a more exacting way to explain employee

job satisfaction. Collaboration, a key measure of conflict management style accounted for more of the variance in job satisfaction than transformational leadership. This research’s primary takeaway is that the combination of transformational leadership and the collaborative measure of conflict management style leads to greater job satisfaction in law enforcement among subordinate members of a police department.

This research may help guide changes in law enforcement, departmental policies, and training. It is intended to help police leadership in shaping competent supervisors to help enhance department-wide job satisfaction.

Key words: transformational leadership, conflict management style, job satisfaction, confounding variable, law enforcement, supervision, subordinate