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Transformational leadership in teams – the effects of a team leader’s sex and personality

Tiina Maria Brandt (Department of Management and Organization, University of Vaasa, Vaasa, Finland)
Piia Edinger (Department of Management and Organization, University of Vaasa, Vaasa, Finland)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 2 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate whether transformational leadership exists in teams, and if so, whether it is represented in a similar way as in more traditional leadership situations. The study also aims to determine whether a team leader’s sex has an influence on the relationship between personality and team leadership when team members evaluate the leader’s behaviour.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative analysis is conducted on input from 104 team leaders and 672 team members from a Finnish university. Data were collected during university courses, and the team leaders’ transformational leadership styles were evaluated by team members at the end of the courses.

Findings

The results indicate that the transformational leadership questionnaire is applicable when studying team leadership; the Visioning dimension might be absent, but Modelling, Enabling, Challenging and Rewarding dimensions represent transformational leadership in teams. Women tend to be more transformational team leaders than men. Personality seems to influence both sexes, so that extraverted and judging personality types are more transformational leaders than introverted and perceiving ones. In relation to sex, introverted, sensing, thinking and perceiving female leaders are regarded as more transformational than men with similar preferences. Additionally, some personality preferences seem to be sex-neutral in terms of team transformational leadership when rated by team members.

Originality/value

There is no previous study combining these variables in the academic team context.

Keywords

Citation

Brandt, T.M. and Edinger, P. (2015), "Transformational leadership in teams – the effects of a team leader’s sex and personality", Gender in Management, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 44-68. https://doi.org/10.1108/GM-08-2013-0100

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited