The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between the sub-dimensions of political skill and transformational leadership, arguing that in a Chinese sample, social astuteness, networking ability, and interpersonal influence will have a stronger impact than apparent sincerity. Additionally, transformational leadership is argued to mediate the relationship between leader political skill and subordinate job performance.
This study used a dyadic, cross-sectional design where all data were collected at a single point in time and supervisors were matched to their followers.
The results support that transformational leadership mediates the relationship between leader political skill and follower performance. Additionally, social astuteness was positively related to leader charisma, individualized consideration, and intellectual stimulation; whereas, interpersonal influence was related to leader charisma and intellectual stimulation. Apparent sincerity was not related to perceptions of transformational leadership.
The findings imply that the authors might be able to design more customized training to reduce the costs of leadership development programs. Specially, in China, focus should be paid to increasing social astuteness and interpersonal influence only.
This study is one of the few to examine the relationship between the sub-dimensions of political skill and transformational leadership. This is especially noteworthy in the context of the Chinese sample employed, as most political skill research has been done in western contexts.
The authors would like to express gratitude to Professor Lois Tetrick and two anonymous reviewers for comments that substantially improved this manuscript. The authors would also like to thank Professor Fred Dansereau for helpful comments on earlier versions of the paper.
Brouer, R., Chiu, C. and Wang, L. (2016), "Political skill dimensions and transformational leadership in China", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 31 No. 6, pp. 1040-1056. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-05-2014-0166Download as .RIS
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