مطالعه چند سطحی رهبری تحول گرا، شناسایی، و نتایج پیرو
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|20006||2012||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Leadership Quarterly, Volume 23, Issue 5, October 2012, Pages 775–790
Using a sample from a large diversified company, this study examines the influence processes of transformational leadership (TFL) at both the individual and group levels concurrently and explores cross-level relationships. Results showed that, at the individual level, followers' personal identification with the leader mediated the effects of individual-focused TFL behavior on individual performance and empowerment. At the group level, group identification mediated the effect of group-focused TFL behavior on collective efficacy. Results also supported two cross-level effects from the group level to the individual level. The paper addresses the implications for leaders of motivating individuals and teams, at the same time.
As teams become more important in many organizations, today's leaders face a challenging balancing act. On the one hand, they need to develop and motivate individual followers so as to ensure that each employee is capable of, and willing to, complete his or her own tasks; on the other hand, they need to facilitate collaboration and build trust among team members so that the team functions effectively as a whole. Overcoming this challenge requires capabilities in both individual and team leadership. However, traditional leadership models have not made a clear distinction between leader–follower interactions and leader–team interactions (Zaccaro, Heinen, & Shuffler, 2009). Previous research has investigated the leadership phenomenon from a multilevel perspective (Chun et al., 2009, Jung et al., 2009, Markham et al., 2010, Yammarino et al., 1997 and Yammarino et al., 1998); however, researchers have yet to fully investigate the interplay and connections between those two levels (Zaccaro et al., 2009). Leadership is inherently multilevel (Yammarino & Dansereau, 2008), so our understanding of effective leadership will be limited if we fail to integrate individual-level processes with group-level processes (Kozlowski & Bell, 2003). In order to fill this gap, Chen, Kirkman, Kanfer, Allen, and Rosen (2007) recently conducted a multilevel study to examine the effects of leadership on individual- and group-level outcomes, respectively. They reported that, at the individual level, leader–member exchange was related to individual performance via individual empowerment; whereas, at the group level, leadership climate related to group performance through group empowerment. The purpose of the present study was to extend this line of multilevel research to the domain of transformational leadership (TFL). Transformational leaders express high expectations, provide individualized development, articulate a compelling collective vision, and achieve extraordinary results (Bass & Riggio, 2006). In particular, we aim to investigate the influence processes of TFL at both individual and group levels simultaneously and to explore cross-level relationships between the group level and the individual level. Previous research has shown that some TFL behaviors are targeted at the individual level, whereas others are at the group level (Kark and Shamir, 2002, Wang and Howell, 2010 and Wu et al., 2010). Specifically, individual-focused TFL behavior develops individual followers' abilities and skills, increases their self-efficacy, and empowers them to develop their full potential ( Wang & Howell, 2010). The influence target is individual followers, meaning that the leader takes an interest in all followers, understands their unique characteristics and abilities, and tailors coaching accordingly ( Kark & Shamir, 2002). In other words, the leader may set different goals or provide coaching on different skills for different followers according to their experiences and abilities. Thus, the content of individual-focused TFL behavior may vary across followers. In contrast, group-focused TFL behavior communicates the importance of group goals, develops shared values and beliefs among followers, and inspires unified effort to achieve group goals ( Wang & Howell, 2010). The influence target is the whole group, meaning that the leader exhibits similar behavior toward different members of the group ( Yammarino & Bass, 1990). Unlike individual-focused TFL behavior, the content of group-focused TFL behavior remains the same across different followers. Specifically, the leader may articulate the same group vision and stress the same shared group identity to all group members, regardless of which member she or he is addressing. Dividing TFL behaviors into two levels lays the groundwork for multilevel TFL studies. The current study contributes to this line of research in four ways. First, to our knowledge, the underlying mechanisms of TFL have not been fully explored from a multilevel perspective, even though the direct effects of TFL on followers have been investigated using a multilevel approach (Yammarino et al., 1997 and Yammarino et al., 1998). Previous studies examining the influence processes of TFL have mainly focused on either the individual level (e.g.,. Bono & Judge, 2003) or the group level (e.g., Bass, Avolio, Jung, & Berson, 2003). The only exception is Liao and Chuang's (2007) study, in which they examined how TFL influences employee service performance from a multilevel perspective. The authors found that, at the individual level, employee self-efficacy mediated the relation between TFL and employee service performance, whereas at the group level, service climate mediated the cross-level effect of group-level TFL on employee service performance. Although this study was the first one to explicitly explore the dual-level process of TFL, it has two limitations. First, it did not measure any group-level outcomes, and therefore did not fully test the dual-level TFL model. Second, the group-level TFL was calculated by averaging team members' evaluation of a leader's individual-level TFL scores. In other words, Liao and Chuang's study did not distinguish individual-focused TFL from group-focused TFL. However, as stated above, recent developments in TFL research have demonstrated that TFL behaviors may involve different components at the individual versus group levels (Wang and Howell, 2010 and Wu et al., 2010). The present study draws on this advance to examine the influence processes of each TFL component at its designated level (i.e., leader identification as the mediator at the individual level and group identification as the mediator at the group level), and thus renders a complete test of the dual-level TFL model (Kark & Shamir, 2002). The second contribution of the present study is that the dual-level TFL process model allows us to test the cross-level effects from the group level to the individual level, which will shed light on the dynamic interplay between individuals within a team and the team as a whole (Chen and Kanfer, 2006, Chen et al., 2007 and Kozlowski and Bell, 2003). According to the Open Systems Theory (Katz & Kahn, 1978), the individual- and group-level phenomena of leadership, motivation, and performance are strongly connected. The cross-level approach goes beyond the traditional single-level approach and delineates a synergistic and complementary way through which group-level and individual-level inputs jointly affect individual motivation and performance. Specifically, the cross-level approach is able to explain additional variance in individual-level motivation and performance over and beyond the individual-level antecedents, and thus help us better understand employee motivation and performance at the individual level. Furthermore, the cross-level approach is crucial for advancing research on leadership, especially transformational leadership. Although recent research has divided TFL into two levels (Wang and Howell, 2010 and Wu et al., 2010), researchers have treated the two levels separately and have yet to consider the top–down effect of group-focused TFL on followers at the individual level. We argue that, although group-focused TFL is targeted to the group as a whole, it will also have a trickle-down effect on followers' personal identification with the leader. In other words, leading the group also leads the individuals within it. Investigating such a cross-level effect can demonstrate how group-focused TFL influences the motivation of individual followers over and beyond individual-focused TFL. Third, this study investigates the motivating role of leader identification in TFL processes. Although previous evidence has shown the impact of TFL on leader identification (Kark, Shamir, & Chen, 2003), it remains unclear whether such identification has positive or negative effects on followers. Howell and Shamir (2005) posit that since leader identification involves idealizing and romanticizing the leader, followers may end up blindly adoring and heavily depending on their leader, “over-empowering” him or her and creating harmful consequences. In contrast, other theorists (Conger and Kanungo, 1998, Kark and Shamir, 2002, Kelman, 1958 and Kelman, 1961) contend that leader identification may cause followers to internalize the leader's values and vision and adopt a positive attitude, and motivate them to improve their individual performance. For example, Sosik, Jung, and Dinger (2009) found that leaders with self-transcendent values tend to have a more salient collective self, which in turn motivates them to display more altruistic behavior. Thus, followers who identify with such leaders are expected to internalize those self-transcendent values and exhibit more altruistic behavior towards others. Therefore, the current study tests whether leader identification mediates the positive effects of TFL on followers at the individual level. Finally, the present study attempts to answer managerially relevant questions such as: how can leaders motivate individual followers and the whole team at the same time? Are individual- and group-focused TFL behaviors equally important or one is more favorable than the other? Answers to those important questions will help managers conquer the challenge of leading individuals and the team simultaneously and provide guidance on how to hone their leadership skills accordingly.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
5.1. Theoretical implications Our first contribution is to provide empirical evidence for an integrative multilevel model of transformational leadership, identification, and follower outcomes. Our study answers the continual calls for more multilevel studies on both leadership (Kozlowski & Bell, 2003) and motivation (Chen & Kanfer, 2006). It advances Self-concept Leadership Theory (Kark and Shamir, 2002, Lord et al., 1999 and Shamir et al., 1993) by demonstrating that different aspects of leadership (i.e., individual- and group-focused TFL behaviors) are related to different self-identities in followers (i.e., leader identification and group identification). Furthermore, this study contributes to TFL research by examining the underlying mechanisms of TFL from a multilevel perspective (Kark & Shamir, 2002). We found that leader identification, at the individual level, mediated the relations between individual-focused behavior and individual performance and empowerment, whereas group identification, at the group level, mediated the relation between group-focused TFL and collective efficacy. These results support Yukl's (1999) assertion that TFL may involve distinct influence processes across different levels. Our study responds to calls for multilevel leadership studies that explicitly address levels-of-analysis issues in theory building and empirical testing (Yammarino et al., 2002 and Yammarino et al., 2005). It should be noted that group identification did not mediate the effect of group-focused TFL on group performance, suggesting that team members' identification with the group is not sufficient to enhance group performance. Teamwork is a complex process that involves a variety of different mechanisms. Besides motivational constructs (e.g., group identification), there are also cognitive mechanisms (e.g., transactive memory, team learning) and behavioral mechanisms (e.g., coordination, communication) that influence group performance (Kozlowski & Bell, 2003). Future studies should examine if those constructs mediate the effect of group-focused TFL on group performance. Our second contribution lies in the two cross-level effects. First, group-focused TFL behavior was positively related to leader identification. Although group-focused TFL behavior is targeted to group members as a whole, it still has a trickle-down effect on individual followers. When a leader displays group-focused TFL, followers may feel resonance with the leader, with whom they share the same values and beliefs. Alternatively, followers may see the leader as a trustworthy and reliable role model to follow, and internalize the leader's values and vision (Kark and Shamir, 2002, Kelman, 1961 and Pratt, 1998). It is possible that the group-focused behavior itself then becomes a part of the “personal charisma” of the leader in the eyes of followers, and builds strong connections between the leader and individual followers (Conger and Kanungo, 1998 and Shamir et al., 1993). Contrary to the clear-cut dichotomy suggested in the literature (Howell & Shamir, 2005), the development of leader and group identification may be interrelated, rather than opposite. Our results are aligned with those of Kark et al. (2003), indicating that leader and group identification can be promoted by the same leader behavior. It should be acknowledged, however, that leader and group identification processes could also be contradictory. For instance, if the leader is dominant and authoritarian, rather than empowering, and emphasizes his or her private goals and personal ambition over collective identity and shared vision, followers may personally identify with the leader at the expense of the group ( Howell, 1988). The relationship between leader and group identification appears to be more complex than suggested by the literature. Future research should investigate when one form of identification works with or against the other. The second cross-level effect demonstrated that group identification was associated with individual performance and empowerment. These results extend prior research that reports positive effects of group identification on group-level outcomes, such as team climate and helping behavior (Riketta & Dick, 2005), yet did not fully explore its cross-level implications on employees' individual behavior. Group identification can improve individuals' self-esteem and self-efficacy (Ashforth & Mael, 1989), and help fulfill such crucial individual needs as security and belongingness (Pratt, 1998 and Tajfel, 1982). Our results support the contention that individuals who identify strongly with the group feel more empowered and capable, devote more effort to their own jobs, and deliver higher levels of individual performance, because they believe their efforts embody the collective identity and shared values of the team and contribute to the group's effectiveness (Dutton et al., 1994, Shamir et al., 1993 and Walumbwa et al., 2008). In summary, our findings are in line with Chen and Kanfer's (2006) assertion that group-level motivators (e.g., group identification) incrementally affect individuals over and above individual-level motivators (e.g., leader identification). As such, leaders should utilize motivating inputs at both levels in order to optimize their influence on followers at the individual level. Our third contribution is the mediating role of leader identification in TFL processes. Leader identification has been a controversial construct in TFL research. Some researchers argue that strong leader identification could result in followers' unquestioning obedience and dependence on the leader, which may feed the leader's desire for personal power. This, in turn, may encourage the leader to abandon ethical and other restraints on his or her power, with detrimental consequences for the organization (Conger and Kanungo, 1998, Howell, 1988 and Howell and Shamir, 2005). In contrast, other researchers propose that individuals have a fundamental need to identify with others as a means of attaining human connections. Such relational identification serves various functions, such as reducing uncertainty, enhancing self-esteem, and providing mutual understanding and social support (Aron and Aron, 2000 and Brewer and Roccas, 2001). The impact of leader identification on followers may depend on the leader's behavior. Leader identification built upon dominant and authoritarian behavior may lead to followers' “hyper-compliance” (Zablocki, 1999) with the leader (Howell, 1988). Leadership identification based on developmental and supportive behavior may create a sense of empowerment in followers and motivate them to perform well in order to maintain a good relationship with the leader (Kark and Shamir, 2002, Kelman, 1958, Kelman, 1961 and Lord et al., 1999). The present study measured the latter set of leadership behaviors. Our findings confirm previous research (Chen et al., 2007 and Liden et al., 2000) that higher levels of individual performance and empowerment can grow from close relationships with a leader. However, it is possible that followers may develop two forms (negative vs. positive) of leader identification, with different consequences (e.g., compliance vs. independence). The nature and consequence of leader identification may also depend on the values (e.g., self-enhancement vs. self-transcendent values) and self-concept salience (independent vs. collective self) of the leader with whom the follower identifies (Sosik et al., 2009). Future research should further investigate the self-concept content of both the leader and follower and how they relate to identification processes. 5.2. Managerial implications The current study has two key implications for managers. First, since teamwork is increasingly important in today's organizations, leaders are now expected to drive individual performance and group performance at the same time (Kozlowski & Bell, 2003). Our study indicates that different sets of leadership behavior are needed to motivate individual followers and teams as a whole, respectively. It is important for leaders to understand the goals they are expected to achieve and to exhibit appropriate leadership behaviors in order to accomplish these goals through their followers' efforts and behavior. For example, if the leader is held accountable for team results, but the team has low morale and cohesion, he or she may need to exhibit group-focused TFL behavior in order to promote collective efficacy and improve group performance. In contrast, if the leader is accountable for results produced by individual contributors and learns that a certain follower is demotivated, the leader may need to display individual-focused TFL behavior in order to enhance the follower's feeling of empowerment and individual performance. Simultaneously leading individuals and teams is a daunting task for today's leaders, given the multiple challenges they face. How can leaders possibly juggle these onerous demands? The second implication of our results suggests that leaders can leverage their time and energy by engaging in group TFL to promote followers' identification with the leader and the group, and enhance both individual and team performance. Specifically, team leaders should first and foremost focus on group-focused TFL behavior, because it can enhance group identification and boost team performance; group identification in turn improves the performance of individual followers. In other words, group-focused TFL behavior has both direct benefit to the group as a whole, as well as indirect benefit to individual followers. Our findings are aligned with the original TFL theories by Burns (1978) and Bass (1985), which posit that the most significant effect of TFL is to inspire followers to transcend their self-interests for the good of the group or organization. 5.3. Limitations and future research Our study has several limitations. First, although we rely on theories to justify the effects of group identification on collective efficacy and of leader identification on empowerment, these four variables were measured at the same time (i.e., Time 2), which precluded us from drawing conclusions of causality. We cannot rule out the possibility that collective efficacy (or empowerment) may emerge at the same time or even before group identification (or leader identification). Future research should use longitudinal design to test the temporal ordering of the variables. Second, the majority (88%) of the leaders in our sample were male, which may constrain the generalizability of our results. Future research should further examine if the findings from our study can be replicated in organizations with more female leaders. Third, due to the relatively low ICC2 values of the three shared group-level variables (i.e., group-focused TFL, group identification, and collective efficacy), results for those variables should be interpreted with caution. By definition, ICC2 is an assessment of the reliability of a group mean (Bliese, 2000), and is influenced by group size. Our inferences would be more reliable and conclusive if the results could be replicated by other studies with bigger group size and higher ICC2 values. Fourth, we asked the leaders to rate their own teams' group performance. Such ratings may be subject to self-serving bias, because some leaders may inflate their ratings to make themselves look like a more “effective” manager. Future research should use objective measures or ask the supervisor of the leader to rate group performance. Last but not least, another direction for future research is to further examine the effect of differentiated leadership on followers. Previous research has demonstrated that transformational leaders treat followers differently and form unique one-on-one relationships with each follower, independent of the group (Chun et al., 2009 and Yammarino et al., 1997). In other words, a leader may have stronger relations with some followers than with others. However, Wu et al.'s (2010) study found that such differentiated superior–subordinate relations may damage group effectiveness at the group level of analysis. Specifically, they reported that when transformational leaders exhibited varying levels of individual-focused behavior across different group members, such differentiated leadership behavior, at the group level of analysis, dampened group effectiveness by generating divergence in leader identification and member self-efficacy. Future research should examine the cross-level effect of differentiated individual-focused leadership on individual-level outcomes such as individual work behavior or attitudes. In conclusion, this study synthesizes TFL, Self-concept, and Social Identity theories to examine leadership processes from a multilevel perspective. It identifies two mediating mechanisms of TFL, namely leader identification and group identification, at the individual- and group-levels respectively. The work examines the interplay between the two levels by demonstrating two cross-level effects. Findings from the current investigation could assist leaders make informed decisions about what, when, and how to use individual- or group-focused TFL depending on their context and the results they are expected to deliver. This study sets the stage for further research on multilevel leadership.