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Transformational Leadership and Organizational Commitment: A Cross-Cultural Perspective

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TITLE: Transformational Leadership and Organizational Commitment: A Cross-Cultural Perspective
RESEARCHER: Maggie W. Dunn, Barbara Dastoor, & Randi L. Sims
Nova Southeastern University
Journal of Multidisciplinary Research
Vol. 4 (1), Spring 2012: 45-59

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of transformation leader behavior on the organizational commitment of research and development employees in the United States and Israel.

The population for this study consisted of research and development employees in a high technology multinational corporation, headquartered in the United States. A total of 332 employees from the US participated (44% response rate) and 142 from Israel (36% response rate). Most were engineers (79%), working with their current employer for approximately eight years. Each completed the Leadership Practices Inventory Observer and organizational commitment scale (Meyer & Allen, 1997)

No statistically significant differences were found between the US and Israeli employee’s perceptions of their leaders’ behaviors. There was a statistically significant correlation between affective commitment and each of the five leadership practices for the combined US and Israeli sample. The same pattern was found between normative commitment and all five leadership practices. However, no significant correlations were found between employee continuance commitment and any of the five leadership practices. No support was found for the hypothesis that the relationship between leader behavior and employee organizational commitment would differ between US and Israeli employees.

As the authors conclude:
This study links an established model of transformational leadership (Kouzes & Posner’s Leadership Practices Model) to an established model of organizational commitment (Meyer & Allen’s 3-Component Model). The study demonstrates that transformational leadership behavior, as defined by this model, is significantly and positively related to two of the three components of organizational commitment in both the US and Israel (p. 54).
Moreover, the authors were surprised that that the relationships between leader behavior and organizational commitment did not differ based upon the nation of employment. Given the contrasts between the national cultures, one might have expected to find that individuals living in these two cultures would react differently to the same leader behaviors. Possible explanations might be that all of these respondents were employed by a single US-based firm and performing similar tasks, that the Israeli participants were influenced by the fact that they work for a US-based corporation and may not be representative of Israeli employees in general, or that the “use of these transformational leadership practices can be equally effective, in terms of their link to organizational commitment, in both the US and Israel” (p. 56).