Department of Political Science

Sharing the Fire? The Moderating Role of Transformational Leadership Congruence on the Relationship Between Managers’ and Employees’ Organizational Commitment

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ABSTRACT: The organizational commitment of public employees has repeatedly been found to have positive effects on several outcomes, but we know little about how public managers’ work attitudes and leadership affect employees’ organizational commitment. This article examines how the relationship between managers’ and employees’ organizational commitment depends on congruence between manager-intended and employee-perceived transformational leadership. Multilevel data from surveys of 75 principals and 1,470 teachers in Danish secondary education show that principals’ and teachers’ organizational commitment is positively related when principals are perceived to be transformational leaders and principals’ leadership intentions are congruent with the teachers’ perceptions. Organizationally committed managers who are not seen as transformational and/or who overrate their leadership relative to employees have a negative impact on employees’ organizational commitment. The results imply that public managers’ transformational leadership plays a critical role in conveying organizational commitment, but that it is equally important that they are aware of and responsive to their employees’ perceptions of leadership.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Public Management Journal
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2018

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