Chapter 21Improving Follower Well-Being With Transformational Leadership


Due to the critical importance of leaders in organizations, an extensive body of research has emerged that examines the effectiveness of different leadership styles. The most commonly studied of these styles is transformational leadership. Indeed, it has been suggested that this positive form of leadership has many benefits for individuals and organizations. For example, transformational leadership leads to increases in individual, team, and organizational performance (e.g., Wang, Oh, Courtright, & Colbert, 2011), safety behaviors (e.g., Clarke, 2013), organizational citizenship behaviors (Huang, 2013), and job satisfaction (e.g., Hobman, Jackson, Jimmieson, & Martin, 2011).

Researchers have also posited that transformational leadership leads to improved employee well-being. Sivanathan, Arnold, Turner, and Barling (2004) examined this relationship in their chapter in the first edition of Positive Psychology in Practice, “Leading Well: Transformational Leadership and Well-Being.” They drew attention to the absence from the leadership literature at that time of a clear understanding of the benefits of transformational leadership for follower well-being. In particular, there was a dearth of research into the underlying process through which transformational leaders influence the well-being of their followers. With a view to addressing this gap, Sivanathan ...

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