Ups and downs in transformational leadership: A weekly diary study

Manuela Morf*, Arnold Bakker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

We link job design and leadership literature to advance our understanding of the dynamics in transformational leadership. We tested the idea that motivating work characteristics can release positive energy (i.e., vigor) and help leaders who care about others (i.e., high in prosocial motivation) to realize their transformational leadership potential. We conducted a weekly diary study and collected data from leaders of organizations in Switzerland over five weeks (k = 100, N = 500). Multilevel analyses supported our hypotheses: When leaders were exposed to more motivating work characteristics (i.e., task significance, skill variety, and cooperation), they felt more vigorous. When leaders felt more vigorous, they showed more transformational leadership, although this finding was only observed in leaders with high (vs. low) prosocial motivation. Findings provide insights into when and for whom we can observe fluctuations in transformational leadership to guide organizations on supporting leaders to unleash their leadership potential.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Management and Business Economics
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We have no conflict of interest to declare. The first author received funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant no. 168566). We thank Prof. Dr. Bruno Staffelbach, University of Lucerne, Prof. emerit. Dr. Rudolf Steiger, ETH Zurich, and Dr. Patrick Hofstetter, University of Lucerne, for supporting us in participant recruitment.

Funding Information:
We have no conflict of interest to declare. The first author received funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant no. 168566 ). We thank Prof. Dr. Bruno Staffelbach, University of Lucerne, Prof. emerit. Dr. Rudolf Steiger, ETH Zurich, and Dr. Patrick Hofstetter, University of Lucerne, for supporting us in participant recruitment.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022

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