The relationship between transformational and transactional leadership of symphony orchestra conductors and organizational performance in U.S. symphony orchestras

by Bertsch, D. Lynn, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2009, 258 pages; 3359533


This study examined (a) the levels of transformational and transactional leadership of symphony orchestra conductors and (b) the relationship between transformational and transactional leadership of conductors and the performance measure of concert revenue in 91 symphony orchestras in the United States. Few empirical studies have quantified the leadership of symphony orchestra conductors, and this study provided an ideal opportunity to examine leadership and the relationship to organizational performance in a symphony orchestra. This quantitative survey study was a nonexperimental and correlational research design. A nonprobability purposive sample included 88 conductors and 910 principal musicians. The levels of transformational and transactional leadership of the conductor were measured through the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ), a frequently used valid and reliable survey instrument. Both conductors and principal musicians rated the conductor's leadership behaviors, the independent variables, through the Leader and Rater versions of the MLQ (5-X Short Form) respectively. Concert revenue, the dependent variable, was reported as ticket sales in fiscal year 2004-2005. Descriptive statistics revealed the conductors rated their own transformational leadership behaviors higher than the principal musicians' ratings. This is consistent with findings in the research literature. An independent samples t test compared the means of transformational leadership components in the conductor and musician samples. The test was statistically significant at p = .003, concluding with 95% confidence that there were statistically significant levels of transformational leadership in the conductor sample. The means of transactional leadership components were also compared, but the results were not statistically significant at p = .179. These results suggest the conductors in the sample were more transformational than transactional in their leadership behaviors. Further inferential statistical analyses revealed no statistically significant relationship between the transformational and transactional leadership levels of the symphony orchestra conductor and the organizational performance measure of concert revenue in the orchestra samples. Future research recommendations include using a different organizational performance measure, for the orchestra's concert revenue may be more representative of the orchestra's size rather than the orchestra's organizational performance.

AdviserJoseph LeVesque
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3359533

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