The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationships of public service motivation (PSM) with leadership style (transformational and transactional) in two different sectors: nonprofit and public research.
The authors have investigated the effects of leadership styles on the level of PSM, assuming that transformational leadership has a positive and higher relation to PSM than transactional one. The analysis is based on data collected in two different investigations: a group of nonprofit volunteers, sitting in the NPs boards of directors, and a group of employees working for a National Research Institute.
Transformational leaders in the nonprofit organisation have higher scores on PSM than transactional leaders. For the employees of the research institution a charismatic leadership is not necessary, and even demotivating; autonomy is a central factor for researcher, and the intervention of the leader seems to be playing a motivation role only in moments of impasse.
Some more work should be done in refining the measures used in the scales. The perception of the leader attitude as controlling or supportive can be the key to better understand some controversial results: this can be object of further studies.
The results offers some preliminary results indicating that, in research institutions, a charismatic leadership should not be considered a generalised management solution. The transformational style reach better results in those research contexts in which research programmes are carried out via team work.
Not so much work in this field has been done yet in Italy, even less focusing on leadership in the research institutions.
The authors thank the editor and both reviewers for their insightful comments on the paper, as these comments led an improvement of the work.
Fazzi, G. and Zamaro, N. (2016), "Exploring the interplay between leadership styles and PSM in two organisational settings", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 37 No. 5, pp. 859-877. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJM-01-2015-0008Download as .RIS
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