Leadership and fulfillment of the three basic psychological needs at work

Hilde Hetland (Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway)
Jørn Hetland (Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway)
Cecilie Schou Andreassen (The Bergen Clinics Foundation, Bergen, Norway)
Ståle Pallesen (Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway)
Guy Notelaers (Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Publication date: 20 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between transformational leadership and a transactional leadership component (management by exception‐active), and fulfillment of the basic needs of autonomy, competence and relatedness.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on cross sectional data from 661 employees who completed validated questionnaires such as the the multifactor leadership questionnaire (MLQ) and the basic need satisfaction at work (BNSW). The data were analysed using structural equation modeling in AMOS 18.0.

Findings

The results show that both transformational leadership and the transactional behavior management by exception active are significantly related to fulfillment of the basic needs. Significant regression weights of 0.50 (p<0.01) 0.46 (p<0.01), and 0.21 (p<0.01) from transformational leadership to relatedness, autonomy and competence were also found. Negative and smaller paths were revealed from management by exception to relatedness (=−0.12, p<0.01), competence (=−0.12, p<0.05), and autonomy (=−0.18, p<0.01). Squared multiple correlations (R2) for relatedness, competence and autonomy were 0.28, 0.06, and 0.27, respectively.

Originality/value

The paper empirically addresses the theoretically suggested link between transformational leadership and need fulfillment.

Keywords

Citation

Hetland, H., Hetland, J., Schou Andreassen, C., Pallesen, S. and Notelaers, G. (2011), "Leadership and fulfillment of the three basic psychological needs at work", Career Development International, Vol. 16 No. 5, pp. 507-523. https://doi.org/10.1108/13620431111168903

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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