Transformational Leader Behavior and Follower Citizenship Behaviors: the Mediating Effect of Leader-Member Exchange and Follower Collectivism

Business    Managers/Executives/Administrators

Download a Printer Friendly Version (PDF)
TITLE Transformational Leader Behavior and Follower Citizenship Behaviors: the Mediating Effect of Leader-Member Exchange and Follower Collectivism
Department of Leadership Studies
Our Lady of the Lake University (San Antonio, TX)
Unpublished doctoral dissertation: April 2012

The purpose of this study is to obtain an in-depth understanding of the interactions between transformational leader behaviors, follower organizational citizenship behaviors, Leader-Member Exchange, and follower collectivism/individualism.

The study population (N = 678) was a portion of the “highly diverse work force” from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. The sample population (N = 589; 87% response rate) was primarily female (73%), on average 47 years of age, mostly Caucasian (62%), US born (90%), married (71%), and with 10 years tenure with the organization. Respondents completed the LPI-Observer, along with the Organizational Citizenship Behaviors survey (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Moorman & Fetter, 1990), LMX-7 (Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995), and collectivist/individualist preferences of followers (Hui, 1988). Internal reliability coefficients in this study for the LPI were .90 Model, .94 Inspire, .92 Challenge, .92 Enable, and .95 Encourage.

No difference was found between male and female participants in rating their immediate supervisors on the five leader practices. No difference in the leadership practices of Model, Inspire, Challenge, and Enable were found between the ratings provided to female and male supervisors; with female supervisors being rated slightly higher on Encourage tan male supervisors. No significant differences were found on assessments of leadership practices based on participant ethnicity, country type (i.e., individualist versus collectivist cultures), or annual earning levels. Married respondents rated their supervisors slightly higher on Model, Inspire, and Challenge than did single respondents. Respondents with an advanced degree (master or doctoral) provided higher leadership practice scores than those without advanced degrees.

Transformational leader behavior (the five leadership practices) was positively related to follower tendency to perform organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB). The higher the participants rated their leaders in transformational leadership, the greater their tendency to engage in organizational citizenship behavior. Transformational leader behavior were also positively and strongly related to follower perception of the quality of social exchanges between leader and follower (LMX). The higher the participants rated their supervisor in transformational leadership, the higher they rated the quality of their exchanges with the supervisor.

The author concludes:

The findings of this study recommend transformational leadership behavior as predictive of the desired outcome of organizational citizenship behaviors from followers. Leaders should engage in the five exemplary leader behaviors of Kouzes and Posner (1987/2002) to elicit effort from followers that goes beyond the requirements of assigned tasks. Consistent with transformational leadership theory and the results reported by Kouzes and Posner, the study results show a significant correlation between transformational leadership and followers contributing additional effort to the enterprise beyond the tasks of their assigned roles (pp. 153-154).

In addition, based on the consistent evidence found in a large number of studies, leaders should expect the five exemplary leader behaviors to correlate positively with desirable outcomes from their individual followers in terms of follower in-role task performance and follower creative performance (Wang et al., 2011). Transformational leader behavior has also been shown to correlate positively with quantifiable outcomes at both the team and organizational levels. Examples include reduced turnover and absenteeism and cost reduction, (Podsakoff et al., 2009) (p. 154).