Calling for leadership: leadership relation with worker’s sense of calling

Tiago Esteves (Social and Political Sciences Institute, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal)
Miguel Pereira Lopes (Social and Political Sciences Institute, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal)
Rosa Lutete Geremias (Social and Political Sciences Institute, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal)
Patricia Jardim Palma (Social and Political Sciences Institute, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Publication date: 10 April 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the relation between leadership perception and workers’ sense of calling.

Design/methodology/approach

Workers’ sense of calling has been shown to relate to organizational outcomes such as job satisfaction, career development, personal growth, and well-being. Although recent studies point the sense of calling as a consequent of several organizational variables, the role of leadership in promoting workers’ sense of calling is yet to be analyzed. A self-report questionnaire was applied to a group of 325 Portuguese nurses to analyze this relation. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the results.

Findings

Results indicate a positive relation between a leader perceived as transformational or transactional and workers’ sense of calling. Directive and empowering leadership perception were found not to be related to calling. Unexpectedly, a significant positive relation with aversive leadership perception was identified.

Research limitations/implications

A confounding relation between aversive leadership perception and sense of calling cannot be excluded. It is possible that an unknown third variable, such as resilience or positive affect, is serving as a mediating bridge between leadership perception and the sense of calling. Further studies are necessary in order to explore this alternative path.

Originality/value

The sense of calling is known as a relevant organizational construct. Knowing what kinds of leadership promote workers’ sense of calling adds value for the literature and can help managers to learn how to improve their followers’ sense of calling.

Keywords

Citation

Esteves, T., Lopes, M., Geremias, R. and Palma, P. (2018), "Calling for leadership: leadership relation with worker’s sense of calling", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 39 No. 2, pp. 248-260. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-06-2016-0158

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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