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Transformational leadership and performance: An experimental investigation of the mediating effects of basic needs satisfaction and work engagement


Kovjanic, Snjezana; Schuh, Sebastian C; Jonas, Klaus (2013). Transformational leadership and performance: An experimental investigation of the mediating effects of basic needs satisfaction and work engagement. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 86(4):543-555.

Abstract

The aim of the present research was to integrate and extend theorizing on transformational leadership, self-determination, and work engagement. Specifically, we tested experimentally our hypotheses that the satisfaction of followers' basic psychological needs (i.e., for competence, relatedness, and autonomy) and work engagement mediate the relationship between transformational leadership and performance. A total of 190 participants worked on a brainstorming task under either a transformational or a non-transformational leadership condition. Followers' performance was operationalized through quantity, quality, and persistence. Results revealed that satisfaction of the needs for competence and relatedness mediated the relationship between transformational leadership and work engagement, which, in turn, was positively related to quality, quantity, and persistence. Taken together, these findings are largely in line with our theoretical model and support Bass' (Leadership and performance beyond expectations. New York, NY: Free Press, 1985) and Burns' (Leadership. New York: Harper & Row, 1978) theories on needs satisfaction being a central mechanism behind transformational leadership.

Abstract

The aim of the present research was to integrate and extend theorizing on transformational leadership, self-determination, and work engagement. Specifically, we tested experimentally our hypotheses that the satisfaction of followers' basic psychological needs (i.e., for competence, relatedness, and autonomy) and work engagement mediate the relationship between transformational leadership and performance. A total of 190 participants worked on a brainstorming task under either a transformational or a non-transformational leadership condition. Followers' performance was operationalized through quantity, quality, and persistence. Results revealed that satisfaction of the needs for competence and relatedness mediated the relationship between transformational leadership and work engagement, which, in turn, was positively related to quality, quantity, and persistence. Taken together, these findings are largely in line with our theoretical model and support Bass' (Leadership and performance beyond expectations. New York, NY: Free Press, 1985) and Burns' (Leadership. New York: Harper & Row, 1978) theories on needs satisfaction being a central mechanism behind transformational leadership.

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14 citations in Web of Science®
18 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:23 Oct 2013 07:31
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:04
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0963-1798
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/joop.12022

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