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The relationship between followers’ perceived quality of relationship and preferred leadership style

David Notgrass (College of Business Administration, Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 26 August 2014

5928

Abstract

Purpose

Although leaders and followers are both essential elements within the leadership process, there has been limited research regarding followers and their role in the process. The purpose of this paper is to answer specific calls for research in the studies of followership, leadership, and the follower/leader relationship through the examination of the relationship between followers’ perception of quality of relationship with their leaders and followers’ preferred leadership style from their leaders.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilized a quantitative, correlational approach using the LMX-7 questionnaire to measure followers’ perceived quality of relationship with their leader and the MLQ-5x to measure followers’ preferred leadership style from their leader. The test sample was 105 CPA's working in the USA for companies over 1,000 employees in size.

Findings

The study determined positive, significant levels of relationship between follower's perceived quality of relationship and follower's preference for transformational leadership style. The study additionally determined that the level of preference for transactional leadership style, at the composite scale level, remained relatively consistent, regardless the quality of relationship.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the specific characteristic of the chosen research sample, the research results may not be generalized across other populations. Recommendations for future studies across different samples are identified.

Originality/value

This study is unique in that it adds to the body of knowledge of leadership studies through the perspective of the follower.

Keywords

Citation

Notgrass, D. (2014), "The relationship between followers’ perceived quality of relationship and preferred leadership style", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 35 No. 7, pp. 605-621. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-08-2012-0096

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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