Effects of transformational leadership and organizational position on knowledge management

C.B. Crawford (Professor, Department of Leadership Studies, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas, USA)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Publication date: 1 December 2005



The purpose of this research report is to empirically explore the relationship between transformational leadership, organizational position, and knowledge management.


Adult subjects (n=1,046) were asked to complete a survey battery consisting of questions about their leadership abilities, organizational position, and knowledge management behaviors.


Knowledge management behaviors were significantly predicted by transformational leadership accounting for 19.5 percent of the variance. Organizational position was a significant predictor of knowledge management and, with transformational leadership, accounted for 21.1 percent of the variance of knowledge management.

Research limitations/implications

Future research needs to more clearly focus on the specific aspects of transformational leadership, position, and knowledge management in a variety of contexts, but the results of this study clearly support the basis for a relationship between these variables. Furthermore, future research should continue to clarify the causative details surrounding leadership and knowledge management such that more specific cause and effect relationships might be exposed.

Practical implications

Transformational leaders are better suited to handle even the most technical aspects of the modern workplace than are transactional or laissez‐faire leaders. Additionally, as individual leaders move up in an organization they are better suited to engage in knowledge management, at least partially, because they are more transformational in leadership style.


This paper reveals that the relationship between knowledge management and effective organizational management is not just theoretically sound, but, in fact, empirically proven. This report has applicability to any leader, or aspiring leader, in an organizational setting seeking to improve their abilities.



Crawford, C. (2005), "Effects of transformational leadership and organizational position on knowledge management", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 9 No. 6, pp. 6-16. https://doi.org/10.1108/13673270510629927

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