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Transformational leadership style, followership, and factors of employees’ reactions towards organizational change

Abdul Halim Busari (Department of Human Resource Development, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Kota Samarahan, Malaysia)
Sajjad Nawaz Khan (Department of Human Resource Development, Faculty of Cognitive Sciences and Human Development, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Kota Samarahan, Malaysia)
Siti Mariam Abdullah (Department of Human Resource Development, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Kota Samarahan, Malaysia)
Yasir Hayat Mughal (College of Public Health and Health Informatics, Qassim University, Al Bukayriyah, Saudi Arabia)

Journal of Asia Business Studies

ISSN: 1558-7894

Article publication date: 18 December 2019

Issue publication date: 20 April 2020

9598

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the relationship between transformational leadership style and factors of employees’ reactions towards organizational change in the telecommunication sector of Pakistan. Furthermore, to understand the importance of followership it has been analyzed as a moderating variable in the relationship between transformational leadership style and factors of employees’ reactions.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed methods study design was applied to investigate the factors underlying the phenomenon of transformational leadership and organizational change. A quantitative research design was followed by qualitative research questions to get more in-depth insights into the used relationships. The primary purpose of the qualitative study design was to support and strengthened the results of the main quantitative research design.

Findings

The results of the study showed that transformational leadership style was positively related to all three factors of employees’ reactions (frequency of change, trust in management and employees’ participation) towards organizational change. Moreover, followership has a significant effect on the relationship between transformational leadership style and factors of employees’ reaction.

Practical implications

This study suggests that for successful implementation of change in organizations, the employees play an important role and that managers with transformational leadership behaviour play a critical role in shaping positive change reactions. This study also highlights that both transformational leadership and followership are essential elements in shaping recipients’ reactions, with active followers contributing to the role of leadership in the change process.

Originality/value

This study is the first attempt specifically in Asian context to highlight the role of followership as a moderating variable in leadership theory in the organizational change context.

Keywords

Citation

Busari, A.H., Khan, S.N., Abdullah, S.M. and Mughal, Y.H. (2020), "Transformational leadership style, followership, and factors of employees’ reactions towards organizational change", Journal of Asia Business Studies, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 181-209. https://doi.org/10.1108/JABS-03-2018-0083

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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