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Improving follower well-being with transformational leadership

Academic Publications

Attached image of Improving follower well-being with transformational leadership

Author(s): Clarke, H. M., Arnold, K. A., & Connelly, C. E.

Date: 2015

Resource: In S. Joseph (Ed.), Positive psychology in practice: Promoting human flourishing in work, health, education and everyday life (2nd ed.). (pp. 341-356). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons.

Over the past decade, a significant body of research investigating the impact of transformational leadership on well-being has emerged. Leadership is now considered to be one of the most important workplace factors influencing employee well-being (Kelloway&Barling, 2010).Numerous studies also suggest that, of the various leadership styles, transformational leadership has the strongest relation with follower well-being (e.g.,DeHoogh&Den Hartog, 2009; Gill, Flaschner,&Shachar, 2006; Kanste, Kyngäs,&Nikkilä, 2007).What remains unclear, however, is how this relation occurs. Does transformational leadership have a direct effect on follower well-being, or does it exert its influence indirectly through the mediators of self-efficacy, trust, meaningful work, and identification, as posited by Sivanathan and colleagues (2004)?

We address this question within this chapter. Our first objective is to review the literature on the relation between transformational leadership and follower well-being that has accumulated over the past 10 years, and to distill from this review what advances have been made in terms of developing “a body of knowledge about positive leadership” (Sivanathan et al., 2004, p. 241). Second, we hope to contribute to current knowledge in this area through proposing the theory of conservation of resources as an overarching framework to explain the process through which transformational leadership influences follower well-being. Finally, we aim, through our review of the literature, to examine how the positive psychology perspective has advanced our understanding of transformational leadership and its effects.

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Related Research Areas: Leadership & Well-being