Visionary leadership and its relationship to organizational effectiveness

Colette M. Taylor (Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA)
Casey J. Cornelius (Department of Sociology, Delta College, University Center, Michigan, USA)
Kate Colvin (Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Publication date: 29 July 2014



The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between visionary leadership and the perception of organizational effectiveness in nonprofit organizations. Leaders with high levels of transformational leadership were predicted to be reported as having more effective organizations.


Data from 135 executive organizational leaders and 221 of their subordinates were collected from 52 various nonprofit organizations across USA. Leaders completed measures of leadership behavior and perceived organizational effectiveness, while followers provided ratings of their perspective leaders’ leadership style, organizational effectiveness, and organizational change magnitude.


Significant relationships were found between visionary leadership and perceived organizational effectiveness. Regression analysis also showed some significant correlations between high leadership behaviors and perceived organizational effectiveness. Visionary leaders with high leadership skills facilitated the greatest perceived organizational effectiveness in their respective organizations.

Practical implications

Leaders wishing to improve their organization's effectiveness may wish to adopt a visionary leadership style. Visionary leaders develop practices through executive training and development that would hone their skills to significantly impact organizational effectiveness.


This paper contributes to the existing literature focussed on the relationship between leadership styles and organizational effectiveness. Different aspects of these variables were tested in order to provide a wider and more comprehensive understanding of the factors affecting nonprofit organizations and their employees.



Colette M. Taylor, Casey J. Cornelius and Kate Colvin (2014) "Visionary leadership and its relationship to organizational effectiveness", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 35 No. 6, pp. 566-583

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