Date of Award
Master of Arts
The purpose of this experimental study was to examine the role of a Transformational, Transactional, and Laissez-faire leader in the perceived likelihood of employees exhibiting Organizational Citizenship Behaviors (OCBs) at work. The extent to which employees identify with their leaders was also examined as a mediator on the relationship between leadership style and OCB performance. OCBs are behaviors that are not directly required of an employee, but that benefit the overall organization by promoting excellence while allowing employees to go beyond the job requirements. Previous research suggests that Transformational Leaders inspire and instill values in employees through empowerment and positive relationships (Bass, 2007; Bass & Riggio, 2006; Carter, Mossholder, Feild, & Armenakis, 2014; Eagly, Johannesen-Schmidt, & van Engen, 2003), and that employees that perform OCBs greatly benefit organizations (Akinbode, 2011; Finkelstein & Penner, 2004; Organ & Ryan, 1995; N. P. Podsakoff, Whiting, Podsakoff, & Blume, 2009; Shaffer, Li, & Bagger, 2015). One of three vignettes describing one of the three leadership styles (e.g., Transformational, Transactional, Laissez-faire) was shown to 200 employed participants working at least part time (i.e., 20 hours per week) under a supervisor via an online survey using MTurk. After rating their respective leader (as described in the vignette) on the Global Transformational Leadership (GTL) scale, participants completed an identification with leader inventory and an OCB-checklist, indicating likelihood of OCB performance under their particular leader. Multivariate analysis of variance was utilized to examine the effect of leadership style on OCB performance. Further, correlational analyses were used to examine the relationship between GTL scores and OCB-Checklist scores. Finally, a mediation analysis with identification with the leader mediating the relationship between leadership style and OCB performance was conducted. Results showed individuals in the Transformational Leader Condition reported the highest likelihood of performing OCBs, followed by Transactional Leader and finally Laissez-faire Leader. Identification with the leader significantly mediated the relationship between Transformational leadership and OCB performance. Finally, individuals that perceived their leader as more Transformational were also more likely to report performing OCBs. Implications of these findings for OCBs in the workplace are discussed.
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