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

The relationship between transformational leadership and work attitudes: Comparing mediating influences of social identity and the psychological contract

Vincent Cassar (Department of Management, University of Malta, Msida, Malta) (Department of Organizational Psychology, University of London, London, UK)
Frank Bezzina (Department of Management, University of Malta, Msida, Malta)
Sandra C. Buttigieg (Department of Health Services Management, University of Malta, Msida, Malta) (Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 3 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of social identity and the psychological contract as plausible frameworks of transformational leadership (TL)-attitudes relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional study was conducted amongst 134 employees. All variables were measured using self-report measures and multiple mediator analysis was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Both social identity and psychological contract acted as significant mediators between leadership and attitudinal outcomes. However, social identity emerged as the stronger mediator.

Research limitations/implications

This study provides evidence on the relative significance of social identity over the psychological contract in explaining TL-attitudes relationship at work. Further longitudinal work is warranted.

Practical implications

The results suggest providing internal work environments and practices which enable employees to experience a high degree of fairness and, above all, a sense of identity with the organization can link better their perceptions of their leaders with work attitudes.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature by highlighting the importance of TL not only on work attitudes but also on the value of important mediators like social identity and the psychological contract as feeding into this relationship. It therefore promotes and raises awareness of the need to explore the explanatory power of these two mediators in understanding the effects of leadership on followers.

Keywords

Citation

Cassar, V., Bezzina, F. and Buttigieg, S.C. (2017), "The relationship between transformational leadership and work attitudes: Comparing mediating influences of social identity and the psychological contract", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 38 No. 5, pp. 646-661. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-11-2015-0248

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited