To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Self-esteem and transformational leadership

Kurt Matzler (Department of Strategic Management, Marketing and Tourism, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria)
Florian Andreas Bauer (Department of Management & Law, MCI Management Center Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria)
Todd A. Mooradian (School of Business, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 14 September 2015




The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether transformational leadership behavior is a function of the leader’s own self-respect and his/her evaluation of being capable, significant, and worthy (self-esteem). It is also tested whether transformational leadership is related to innovation success.


Data were collected from 411 entrepreneurs and managing directors of small- and medium-sized Austrian companies. The proposed hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling (PLS).


A strong and significant relationship between self-esteem and transformational leadership was found. Furthermore, data analyses revealed that transformational leadership has a positive impact on innovation success.


This study reveals the important but heretofore neglected role of self-esteem, defined as a manager’s overall self-evaluation of his/her competences, as an important predictor of transformational leadership.



Matzler, K., Bauer, F.A. and Mooradian, T.A. (2015), "Self-esteem and transformational leadership", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 30 No. 7, pp. 815-831.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles