Exploring the affect of transformational leadership on nonprofit leader engagement and commitment

by Freeborough, Robert E., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2012, 140 pages; 3498733

Abstract:

Researchers have shown that transformational leadership is a valid leadership theory through research of for-profit organizations; however, it lacks empirical support among nonprofit organizations (Riggio, Bass, & Orr, 2003). The intent of this study was to determine whether nonprofit employees are more highly engaged and committed in organizations in which transformational leadership is practiced, building upon original research on transformational leadership theory conducted by the seminal works of Downton (1973), House (1977), and Burns (1978). Correlational analysis investigated the relationships between transformational leadership, employee engagement, and organizational commitment, using a survey of 389 nonprofit employees who completed the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ 5X-Short) which measures transformational leadership (Bass & Avolio, 1990), the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES-9) which measures engagement by Schaufeli, Bakker, and Salanova (2006), and the Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ) developed by Meyer, Allen, and Smith (1993), which measures organizational commitment. Results suggested a significant positive relationship between higher levels of transformational leadership and higher levels of employee engagement in all three engagement subscales (vigor, dedication, and absorption), and higher levels of organizational commitment in the normative commitment subscale. However, there was a significant negative relationship between higher levels of transformational leadership and higher levels of organizational commitment in the other two commitment subscales (affective commitment and continuance commitment). The results support the initial hypothesis that higher levels of transformational leadership lead to higher levels of engagement but do not support the hypothesis that higher levels of transformational leadership lead to higher levels of organizational commitment.

AdviserMelissa Hartman
SchoolCAPELLA UNIVERSITY
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3498733

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