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Leadership in context: Investigating hierarchical impacts on transformational leadership

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abstract Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate hierarchical impacts on specific transformational leadership (TFL) behaviors (i.e. idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration). Design/methodology/approach - Survey data on TFL, job satisfaction, and hierarchy were collected from 448 managers from a multinational corporation in Sweden. Findings - Idealized influence and inspirational motivation occurred more frequently among upper rather than middle managers, while there were no differences for intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration. Also, idealized influence, inspirational motivation, and intellectual stimulation were more effective in strengthening subordinates' job satisfaction among upper rather than middle managers, while individualized consideration was similarly effective in both groups. Research limitations/implications - The cross-sectional research design precludes causal conclusions and potentially allows for common method bias. With the main research interest pertaining to hierarchical differences in TFL, however, method bias seems unlikely to fully account for the results. Practical implications - Study results emphasize the necessity to strengthen TFL on lower managerial levels. Organizations might achieve this by cutting administrative constraints and empowering lower level leaders. Originality/value - The study addresses repeated calls for a consideration of contextual factors in TFL research. It points to the role of hierarchy as a boundary condition of TFL.
   
type journal paper
   
keywords Leadership, hierarchy, job satisfaction
   
language English
kind of paper journal article
date of appearance 1-11-2007
journal Leadership & Organization Development Journal
publisher Emerald (Bradford)
ISSN 0143-7739
ISSN (online) 1472-5347
DOI 10.1108/01437730710835452
volume of journal 28
number of issue 8
page(s) 710-726
review double-blind review
   
citation Bruch, H., & Walter, F. (2007). Leadership in context: Investigating hierarchical impacts on transformational leadership. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 28(8), 710-726, DOI:10.1108/01437730710835452.