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Leadership, climate, psychological capital, commitment, and wellbeing in a non‐profit organization

A.J. McMurray (College of Business, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)
A. Pirola‐Merlo (Department of Management, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
J.C. Sarros (Department of Management, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
M.M. Islam (School of Management, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 20 July 2010



This exploratory study aims to examine the effects of leadership on organizational climate, employee psychological capital, commitment, and wellbeing in a religious/church‐based non‐profit organization.


Leadership effects are investigated using established scales including the transformational leadership scale, (TLS), organizational climate questionnaire (OCQ), positive and negative affect scale (PANAS), psychological capital (PsyCap), and organizational commitment. It is a context‐based study that considers a unique organizational culture that comprises social, political, economic, technological, personnel, and personal facets. The survey was administered across a large religious/church‐based non‐profit organization.


The findings show strong positive relationships between employee ratings of their immediate supervisor's transformational leadership and employee ratings of organizational climate, wellbeing, employee commitment and psychological capital. Additional analyses which explored the impact of demographic variables revealed older employees recorded significantly higher scores on psychological capital than younger employees. These findings inform organizational sustainability where the principles of socially responsible management practices form the heart of responsible stewardship.

Research limitations/implications

Risks of method variance or response biases are likely as all data are drawn from employee surveys, and some selection bias as respondents could not be directly compared with non‐respondents.


This study makes a significant contribution to the non‐profit literature by providing further evidence of the impact of leadership on organizational climate, with the added dimensions of psychological capital, employee wellbeing, and commitment adding to the knowledge of these relationships.



McMurray, A.J., Pirola‐Merlo, A., Sarros, J.C. and Islam, M.M. (2010), "Leadership, climate, psychological capital, commitment, and wellbeing in a non‐profit organization", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 31 No. 5, pp. 436-457.



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