Transformational leadership development: Connecting psychological and behavioral change
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Purpose: This paper aims to investigate whether leaders whose transformational leadership behavior improves after training exhibit different psychological reactions compared to leaders whose leadership behavior does not improve. Design/methodology/approach: The authors followed 56 leaders taking part in a transformational leadership training program. Questionnaire measures of leaders' self-efficacy, positive affect, perspective taking, and transformational leadership behavior were obtained pre- and post-training. Findings: Leaders whose self-efficacy, perspective taking and positive affect increased over the training period also reported improvements in their transformational leadership behavior. In addition, leaders whose positive affect increased were more likely to receive improved transformational leadership behavior ratings from their supervisors, team members and peers. Research limitations/implications: The study supports the proposition, derived from social cognitive theory that change in transformational leadership behavior is related to change in leaders' psychological attributes. Further research is required to establish the direction of this relationship and whether leaders' psychological reactions represent a means through which the effectiveness of leadership interventions can be improved. Practical implications: Leaders' psychological reactions should be monitored and supported during developmental interventions. Effective leadership training interventions are important not only to achieve change in behavior, but to avoid negative psychological outcomes for leaders. Originality/value: The study is unusual because it explores the relationship between leader attributes and leadership behavior longitudinally, in a training context. The longitudinal analysis, focussing on change in leaders' psychological attributes, allowed us to explain more variance in leaders' reactions to training. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
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