Follower dependence, independence, or interdependence: A multi-foci framework to unpack the mystery of transformational leadership effects

Qing Lu*, Yonghong Liu, Xu HUANG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We develop a multi-foci framework—“follower dependence,” “follower independence,” and “leader-follower interdependence”—to explain how transformational leadership influences follower performance. Follower’s personal identification with the leader, psychological empowerment, and leader-member exchange are employed as proxies for each of the three foci. Two separate studies consistently show that personal identification (denoting a “follower dependence” focus) is a more salient mechanism than the other two in explaining the transformational leadership-organizational citizenship behavior relationship. These results suggest transformational leadership is perhaps a theory of follower dependence rather than independence or interdependence. Theoretical implications, limitations, and future directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4534
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Follower performance
  • Leadership process
  • Multiple-mediator model
  • Transformational leadership

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