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Transformational leadership, pride in being a follower of the leader and organizational commitment

Simon C.H. Chan (Department of Management and Marketing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
W.M. Mak (Department of Management and Marketing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 28 October 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship among transformational leadership, pride in being a follower of the leader, and organizational commitment, as represented by affective and normative commitment.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from two samples in Mainland China (Study 1 of 145 executive MBA students in one of the local universities located in Xian; Study 2 of 210 employees in a service-based private-owned company located in Shenzhen). Descriptive statistics and regression analyses, Sobel tests, and bootstrapping tests were used to analyze the data.

Findings

Both studies found that transformational leadership is positively related to pride in being a follower of the leader, and affective and normative commitment. Results indicated that pride in being a follower of the leader fully mediated the relationship between transformational leadership, affective and normative commitment.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation of this study is to collect data from a self-reported single source in a cross-sectional survey design. The findings are susceptible to problems of common method variance of the independent variable, mediator and dependent variables.

Practical implications

The findings assist managers to better understand the importance of getting the support of their followers. If the followers are pride in being a follower of their leader, they are more likely to be committed toward an organization.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the existing literature by which pride in being a follower of the leader as a mediator between transformational leadership and organizational commitment in the Chinese context.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Citation

C.H. Chan, S. and Mak, W.M. (2014), "Transformational leadership, pride in being a follower of the leader and organizational commitment", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 35 No. 8, pp. 674-690. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-12-09-0076

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited