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Transformational leadership and outcomes: role of relationship duration

Venkat R. Krishnan (Xavier Labour Relations Institute, Jamshedpur, India)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 1 September 2005




To show that relationship duration enhances the effect of transformational leadership on follower's terminal value system congruence and identification (cognitive outcomes), but not on attachment and affective commitment (affective outcomes).


Data for this study were collected from the principal and 144 teachers of a prominent high school in western India. The principal and the teachers answered the value survey. The teachers also answered questions on transformational leadership and outcomes.


The positive effect of transformational leadership on the outcomes is enhanced by the duration of relationship between leader and follower in the case of congruence and identification, but not in the case of attachment and affective commitment.

Research limitations/implications

The entire sample of teacher‐respondents had a common leader (the school principal); this study needs to be replicated across a larger set of leaders to confirm the findings.

Practical implications

Transformational leaders, by spending more time with followers, would be able to change their cognitive framework including value systems and identities. On the other hand, time spent with a follower may not make any difference when it comes to enhancing affective outcomes.


Burns distinguished between heroes (emotion‐based) and ideologues (values‐based). The leadership that stops only at the hero level and does not proceed to the ideological level is pseudo‐transformational. This study demonstrates the role of relationship duration in leaders becoming heroes or ideologues. Transformational leadership is not complete without the enduring change in values and identities.



Krishnan, V.R. (2005), "Transformational leadership and outcomes: role of relationship duration", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 26 No. 6, pp. 442-457.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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