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Abstract Purpose — This paper aims to identify processes which may contribute to followers’ positive reactions to change. By focusing on the relationship between change antecedents and explicit reactions, we investigate the direct and indirect relationships between leadership styles (transformational and transactional) and followers’ appraisal of change through manager engagement. Design/methodology/approach — Using data from a longitudinal survey among 351 followers in two Danish organizations, our study tracked the planned implementation of team organization at two different times. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Findings — Transformational and transactional leadership styles were positively related to the engagement of managers. Managers’ engagement was associated with followers’ appraisal of change. The two leadership styles also had a direct, long-term effect on followers’ change appraisal; positive for transformational leadership and negative for transactional leadership. Practical implications — Our results have potential implications for change management, as followers’ change appraisal may be improved by developing managers’ leadership style and engagement. Originality/value — This is the first study to provide longitudinal evidence of the direct and indirect effects of leadership styles on followers’ change appraisal.
Leadership & Organization Development Journal
Leadership style and the process of organizational change
Ann-Louise Holten Sten Olof Brenner
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Ann-Louise Holten Sten Olof Brenner , (2015),"Leadership style and the process of organizational
change", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 36 Iss 1 pp. 2 - 16
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Leadership style and the process
of organizational change
Ann-Louise Holten
Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark and
The National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen,
Denmark, and
Sten Olof Brenner
The National Research Centre for the Working Environment,
Copenhagen, Denmark
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to identify processes which may contribute to followers
positive reactions to change. By focusing on the relationship between change antecedents and explicit
reactions, the authors investigate the direct and indirect relationships between leadership styles
(transformational and transactional) and followers appraisal of change through manager engagement.
Design/methodology/approach Using data from a longitudinal survey among 351 followers in
two Danish organizations, the study tracked the planned implementation of team organization at two
different times. Data were analyzed using structural equation modelling.
Findings Transformational and transactional leadership styles were positively related to the
engagement of managers. Managers engagement was associated with followers appraisal of change.
The two leadership styles also had a direct, long-term effect on followers change appraisal; positive for
transformational leadership and negative for transactional leadership.
Practical implications The results have potential implications for change management, as
followers change appraisal may be improved by developing managers leadership style and
engagement.
Originality/value This is the first study to provide longitudinal evidence of the direct and indirect
effects of leadership styles on followers change appraisal.
Keywords Change, Structural equation modelling, Transformational leadership, Change process,
Recipient change reaction, Transactional leadership
Paper type Research paper
Organizational change has become the rule rather than the exception for many
organizations (Kieselbac h et al., 2009). At the organizational level, change has been
associated with intention to quit (Holt et al., 2007; Oreg, 2006), absenteeism (Martin
et al., 2005), reduced productivity, and increased health care expenses (Mack et al.,
1998). At the individual level, change has been found to influence time pressure,
psychological well-being (Probst, 2003), job satisfaction (Amiot et al., 2006; Holt et al.,
2007; Oreg, 2006), and stress (Axtell et al., 2002). Accordingly, organizational change is
associated with a series of potentially negative outcomes for both organizations and
individuals.
Given the increase in frequency and range of organizational chan ge, it appears
pertinent to investigate processes whic h may contribute to positive reactions to change.
While much change literature focuses on the effects of change, our study exclusively
Leadership & Organization
Development Journal
Vol. 36 No. 1, 2015
pp. 2-16
© Emerald Grou p Publi shin g Lim ited
0143-7739
DOI 10.1108/LODJ-11-2012-0155
Received 29 November 2012
Revised 14 February 2013
10 May 2013
Accepted 10 May 2013
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/0143-7739.htm
This research was funded by the Danish Working Environment Research Fund Grant No.
16-2004-09. The authors thank Professor Arnold Bakker for valuable comments on a draft
version of the paper.
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investigates mechanisms of the chan ge process. Knowledge of these mechanisms will
have links to both practice and research . We place our study within the model of
change recipient reactions proposed by Oreg et al. (2011). The model describes
change as a process relating to four areas: Pre-change antecedents (recipient
characteristics, internal context), change antecedents (change process, perceived
benefit/harm, and change content), explicit reactions (affective, cognitive, and
behavioural reactions), and chang e consequences (work-rela ted and pe rsonal
consequences). We respo nd to the call of Semmer (2006) for evaluations of change
and intervention processes by focusing exclusively on the change process, that is,
the relationship between antecedents and explicit reactions. Few empirical studies have
investigated positive recipient reactions to organizational change, with the majority
focusing on where change goes wrong (Oreg et al., 2011). While much can certainly be
learned from negative processes, the aim of our study in contrast is to investigate the
processes antecedent to a positive development in followers appraisal of change.
Within this aim, we study the relatio nships between leadership styles (transformational
and transactional) and followers appraisal of change both directly and indirectly
through manager engagement. We do so within two Danish organizations, tracking
the plann ed implementation of team organization at two diffe rent times. Our study
potentially feeds into a best practice discussion.
Developing positive appraisals of change
Within change reaction research, studies have focused on the first and last stages
of the change recipient reactions model, i.e. pre-change antecedents (e.g. cognitive and
affective anticipa tion and readiness for change) (Oreg et al., 2011) and consequences
of change (e.g. job satisfaction, job involvement, intention to quit and depression,
and other health problems) (Grunberg et al., 2008).
The presen t paper considers neither pre-change antecedents nor consequences
of change, but focuses instead on the intermediate phases of change, i.e. change
antecedent and explicit reac tions to change. Through our change process perspective,
we investigate followers attitudes (Oreg, 2006; Rafferty and Griffin, 2006) and reactions
to change (Parish et al., 2008). We add to prior research by investig ating the role
of leadership (style and engagement) in developing positive appraisals of change.
We do so by exploring both cognitive and beha vioural developments via the concept
of followers appraisal of change. Contrary to most change research focusing on the
negative aspects of change, our concept of change appraisal specifically tracks positive
developments of attitudes towards the change , attitudes towards the manager, and
changes in behaviour related to routines and procedures, work methods, and traditions.
Our study focuses exclusively on the perceptions and evaluations of followers.
However, followers are not only recipients of change they also impact the change
process (Whelan-Berry et al., 2003) and its outcomes. (Mack et al., 1998). Thus,
followers positive change appraisal seems a prerequisite for a successful change
process and long-las ting, positive effects of change in individuals and organizations.
Leadership styles and manager change engagement
Transformational leadership style is characterized by four factors: idealized influence/
charisma, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individual
consideration (Bass, 1985). Transformational leaders act as role models, create a
sense of identification with a shared vision, instil pride and faith in followers, inspire
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and empower followers, encourage followers to rethink their conventional practice and
ideas, and give individual attention and recognize individual needs (Bass, 1999).
Transactional leadership style is characterized by two factors: contingent reward and
management by exception (Bass, 1985). The management by exception factor has later
been divided into two elements: active and passive (Lowe et al., 1996). Transactional
leadership style occurs in a leader-follower exchange relationship in whic h corrective
actions are an exception and followers are rewarded when meeting certain clearly
defined goals. Where a transformational leadership style encompasses values and
visionary leadership, a transactional leadership style is more close ly related to the
recognizing and rewarding of specific follower accomplishments.
The literature on transformational-transactional leadership discusses whether
gender and organization type entail certain response trends. While female managers
are found to be more transformational (Bass, 1999; Eagly et al., 2003), research on
gender dyads shows that female managers female followers report higher levels of
transformational leadership than their male counterparts (Ayman et al., 2009). Contrary
to their hypothes es, Lowe et al. (1996) find that transformational leadership and one
element of transactional leadership (management-by-exception) are more commonly
reported in public organizations. The authors discuss whether these findings reflect
a difference in enacted transformational leadership, in functional demands, or in
operational evaluation standards in private organizations.
Management behaviour influences the well-being of followers (Skakon et al., 2010),
influence that also holds true during organizational change, in which managers
play important roles both as drivers of change and role models (Kieselbach et al., 2009).
Organizational change research has found that positive reactions towards change are
produced if management is change competent, has a participative, informative
approach, and is perceived as fair (Oreg et al., 2011). Managers are thus important
change agents, facilitating the success of organizational change and influencing the
degree to which followers embrace change (Armenakis et al., 2007). We specifically
investigate the role of leadership style and change engagement in the process of
developing such positive appraisals of change by followers.
Transformational leadership is an appropriate leadership style for dealing with
organizational change (Bass and Riggio, 2006; Eisenbach et al., 1999). Transformational
leadership facilitates how followers cope with change (Callan, 1993) and bolsters
followers commitment, self-efficacy, and empowerment during change (Bommer et al.,
2005). T ransformational and transactional leadership styles are separate yet
complementary (Bass, 1985). According to the augmentation effect theory,
transformational leadership is at the base of and adds to the effect of transactional
leadership (Bass, 1999; Avolio, 1999).
During change, charismatic (transformational) leadership provides a psychological
focal point for followers by offering a role model who demonstrates desired actions.
Instrumental (transactional) leadership ensures compliance and consistency with the
commitment generated by the charismatic (transformational) leadership behaviour
(Nadler and Tushman, 1989).
The construct of engagement describes a po sitive state of work-rela ted well-being
characterized by three elements: vigour, dedication, and absorption (Bakker et al., 2008).
Engagement has typically been researched in relation to followers (Bakker et al., 2011).
However, recently one study on school principals has studied engagement at
managerial level (Bakker and Xanthopoulou, 2013). We extend current engagement
research in two ways: First, by applying the concept to managers, thereby representing
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an emerging trend of studying manager engagement, and second by investigating
change engagement specifically.
Our concept of change engagement consequently targets the enacted change-related
behaviours and attitu des, comprising elements of participation, information delivery,
and commitment as perceived by followers.
Indirect mechanisms in followe rs change appraisal
To achieve successful change, managers should see k to align their espoused and
enacted values (Eisenbach et al., 1999). Such alignment would in Simons (1999, 2002)
terminology be defined as behavioural integrity. Within the behavioural integrity
theory, we see transformational and transactional leadership styles as transporting
managers espoused values, and change engagement as transporting managers
enacted values. Thus, in successful change processes, both transformatio nal and
transactional leadership styles (transporting the espoused values of change) would
align with more specific manager change engagement (transporting the enacted
values of change).
Transformational and transactional leadership styles are complementary during
organizational change (Nadler and Tushman, 1989). Simons (1999, 2002) argues that
transformational leadership supports successful change through the development
of trust and credibility, created by behavioural integrity. We thus suggest that
transformational leadership will positively support change specific m anager
engagement. On the other hand, transactional leadership, being a more instrum ental
leadership style, represents a concrete platform from which ma nagers can actively
engage with followers in implementing the change. The reinforcing and rewarding
nature of transactional leadership would underpin specific engagement behaviours
such as information delivery and outlining of personal impact. Accordingly, we
propose that both transformational and transactional leadership will align with
managers change engagement:
H1. Transformational and transactional leadership styles are positively related to
managers change engagement.
Much research, investigating organizational change-related leadership behaviours, has
focused on followers commitm ent and receptivity. Herold et al. (2008) found that
change management was positively related to followers change commitment, while
Aarons (2006) found that having a positively perceived local opinion leader to introduce
and guide change may facilitate receptivity to change. Kavanagh and Ashkanasy
(2006) investigated a large scale merger and found that the change management
strategy determined followers acceptance or rejection of change.
We advance previous research by looking at the development of followers
change appraisal. Developing positive change appraisal would be an important
indicator of the potential success of change processes and thus ultimately of positive
individual and organizational ou tcomes. The mechanisms preceding this measure
are there fore of great importance and interest for organizations planning and
implementing change.
While focusing our research on explicit change reactions, we propose a path
between managers engagement and a positive development in followers appraisal of
change. We hypothesize that the more managers involve followers, communicate
clearly, share their knowledge of the change, actively work towards the change, are
positive towards the change, are available to followers with information, and talk about
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the consequences for each person, the more positively followers will appraise the
change:
H2. Managers change engagement is positively related to followers change
appraisal.
Direct mechanisms in followers change appraisal
Another aim of this paper is to investigate how leadership styles impact follo wers
appraisal of change directly. While transformational leadership correlates positively
with the successful implementation of change (Oreg et al., 2011), transactional
leadership fits an organizational situation which maintains status quo and achieves
specific goals (Gersick, 1994).
Transformational leadership is suggested to be appropriate in organizational
change (Eisenbach et al., 1999), and to positively impact followers reactions to
organizational change (Oreg et al., 2011). Transformational leadership taps into a
process which inspires change in the attitudes and assumptions of followers while
creating commitment to organizational goals (Yukl, 1989). We hypothesize that
transformational leadership will be associated with a greater appreciation of the
change process, as evidenced by changing routines and procedures, straightening up
bad work methods, and changing attitudes towards team organization and the teams
abilities to manage changes in the organization. We thus propose that transformational
leadership will inspire a positive development of followers appraisal of change:
H3. Transformational leadership style is positively related to followers appraisal
of change.
Based primarily on extrinsic motivation, transactiona l leadership supports follower
compliance with tasks through incentives and re wards (Bass, 1995). During
organizational change transactional leadership may inspire the acceptance of change
via reinforcement and rewa rd. Howeve r, such acceptance would be of an instrumental
nature rather than attitudinal. While transactional leadership fits organizations
maintaining status quo (Gersick, 1994), we do not anticipate transactional leadership
to positively impact followers appraisal of change. If transactional leaders hip entails
a failure to motivate followers beyond the expected outcomes, then impacting a positive
appraisal during the uncertainties of change would seem difficult. We thus propose
that transactional leadership will not reveal a positive relationship with change
appraisal:
H4. Transactional leadership style is not positively related to followers appraisal of
change.
The present study
While the purpose of our study is to empirically examine the antecedent mechanisms to
followers appraisal of change, our hypotheses relate to the expression of these
mechanisms and how they contribute to our understanding of the process of
organizational change. The mechanisms we look at encompass dire ct and indirect
relationships. Focusing on indirect relationships, we look at associatio ns between
leadership and manager engagement (H1), and between manager engagement and
followers appraisal of change (H2). We also look at the direct relationships between
leadership styles and change appraisal (H3 and H4).
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Method
Procedure
Participants in our study were followers in two Dani sh organizations operating
within different sectors: One within the eldercare sector (public) which is primarily
female dominated, the other within the financial sector (private) which is a more gender
balanced sector. In Denmark, the eldercare sector is organized in centres providing care
to elderly either in their own home or in eldercare homes. The care centres include four
staff categories: health care assistants, nurses, staff with other health-care educations,
and staff with no health-care education (e.g. janitors, administrative, and kitchen
personnel). Within the financial sector the participating organization was a large
company with 24 offices geographically spread across Denmark. About half of the
followers were located in the capital. All of the followers were accountants at differe nt
career levels.
Both organizations were in the process of restructuring into teams. The public
organization was, prior to the change, organized in groups defined by the geographical
area of work. Each group had a leader with managerial responsibilities. The overall
objective of implementing a new team structure was to develop teams with some degree
of self-management. The existing gro ups were divided into smaller teams with each
team being responsible for a certain group of clients. The new teams held regular team
meetings, shared knowledge, allocated tasks, and solved problems. Prior to the change,
the private org anization was organized in ad hoc project teams related to specific client-
related assignments. The private organization established a new, permanent coach
structure for groups of followers covering similar tasks or geographical areas. The
objective of the change was to minimize the distance between departmental
management and followers. Each group would have a coach who would function as a
communication link between department managers and followers. The coach groups
would decide indep endently on content and regularity of meetings.
Followers in both organizations were issued with questionnaires at two points in
time (in the beginning of and after restructuring). Data were collected from the public
organization during August 2005 and April 2007, and from the private organization
during November 2005 and October 2007. Due to differences in the nature of work,
questionnaires were distributed in paper format to the public organization and
electronic format to the private organization.
The public organizations questionnaires were distributed to 551 individuals at
Time 1 (T1). A total of 447 questionnaires were returned (response rate ¼ 81 per cent).
Female responses comprised 93 per cent of the total responses and the average
respondent age was 44 years (SD ¼ 11.13) (see Table I for an overview of participants).
At Time 2 (T2), questionnaires were distributed to 521 individuals. A total of 274
questionnaires were returned (response rate ¼ 53 per cent). Female responses were
equivalent to 91 per cent and average age was 45 years (SD ¼ 10.93).
Time
Distributed/
returned
Response
rate (%)
Female
(%)
Average
age (SD)
Public T1 August 2005 551/447 81 93 44 (11.13)
Public T2 April 2007 521/274 53 91 45 (10.93)
Private T1 November 2005 275/221 80 43 29 (6.93)
Private T2 October 2007 237/179 76 43 30 (7.88)
Table I.
Overview of
participants
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At T1, private organization questionnaires were distributed to 275 individuals. A total
of 221 questionnaires were returned (response rate ¼ 80 per cent). T1 data were
comprised of 43 per cent female responses with an average age of 29 years (SD ¼ 6.93).
T2 questionnaires were distribute d to 237 individuals. Overall, 179 questionnaires were
returned (response rate ¼ 76 per cent). T2 data were comprised of 43 per cent female
responses and the average age was 30 (SD ¼ 7.88). A dataset for analys is was created
including only respondents with valid responses on at least one of the study measures
(n ¼ 351). While some managers were exchanged from T1 to T2, respondents were
asked to refer to the executive change manager when responding to questions
concerning change engagement and change appraisal.
Measures
Outcome variable. The positive development in followers change appraisal
(change appraisal) was measured using the seven-item Exposure to Intended
Intervention scale developed by Randall et al. (2009). Sample items include: Through
the implementation of teams, we finally got to straighten up some bad work methods
that we had accepted; I have changed my attitude to the role of the leader after
the implementation of teams; I have changed routines and procedures after the
implementation of teams; In this change we openly discuss which traditions
or procedures we wish to change and which we wish to keep; New procedures
have been introduced after the implementation of teams; I have changed my attitude
to teams after the implementation of teams; and The implementation of teams has
made it easier to tackl e the changes in the organization. Response categories
ranged from 1 (strongly agree)to5(strongly disagree). Cronbachs α for scale
reliability was 0.84.
Predictors. Transformational leadership was measured using the seven-item Global
Transformational Leadership ( GTL) scale developed by Carless et al. (2000).
An example item is My manager communicates a clear and positive vision of the
future. Response categories ranged from 1 (to a very large extent)to5(to a very
small extent). Cronbachs α was 0.92 at T1 and 0.93 at T2. Transactional leadership
was measured by the transactional contingent reward index developed by Sosik and
Godshalk (2000). An example item is My manager makes it clear what we can expe ct
when we reach our goal. Response categories ranged from 1 (to a very large extent)
to 5 (to a very small extent). Cronbachs α was 0.84 at T1 and 0.85 at T2. Managers
change engagement (Engagement) was measured using the seven-item Line Manager
Attitudes and Actions scale developed by Randall et al. (2009). Sample items include:
My immediate manager has done a lot to involve followers throughout the process;
My imm ediate manager communicated clearly the advantages of implementing
teams; My immediate manager shared whatever (s)he knew about the
implementation of teams; My immediate manager has actively worked towards
the implementation of teams; My immediate manager was positive about the
implementation of teams; I have had the opportunity to speak with my immediate
manager about which consequences implementation of teams would have for me; and
The information concerning the implementation of teams ha s been easily accessible.
Response categories ranged from 1 (strongly agree)to5(strongly disagree).
Cronbachs α was 0.89.
Prior to analysis all scores were transformed to a 0-100 scale. A high score on the
scale indicated a high value for the item.
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Data analysis
We tested our theoretical model by applying structural equation modelling (SEM)
in Lisrel 8.8, utilizing maximum likelihood estimation procedures and the covariance
matrix as input for analyses ( Jöreskog et al., 2001). We performed bo th cross
sectional with control for ba se line levels of leadership styles and longitudinal
analyses. We tested the structural model in two steps: we tested the significance
and sign of the model relationships and we tested the goodness of fit of the model.
We present and evaluate several fit indices, focusing mainly on the RMSEA and χ
2
measures. RMSEA values smaller than or equal to 0.08 are interpreted as an acceptable fit
(Cudeck and Browne, 1993) and non-significant χ
2
values suggest a good model fit to data.
Our structural model predicts followers change appraisal at T2 using different
explanatory models (Models 1-3). We compared models via a χ
2
difference test to nested
models in accordance with Bollen (1989), where Δχ
2
and Δdf are compared and tested
for significance. Measurements at T1 were initially introduced as stability indices, thus
entering relationships betw een transformational leadership T1 and T2, transactional
leadership T1 and T2, and a correlation between transactional and transformational
leadership at T1. In order to test our theoretical assumption that transactional
leadership has an impact on and forms the foundations of transformational leadership,
we also included a structural relationship between transactional and transformational
leadership at T2. We interpreted significance levels using standardized regression
coefficients with the following levels: t-values W 1.96 ¼ 5 per cent significance level;
t-values W 2.58 ¼ 1 per cent significance level.
Results
Initially, all scales were tested for reliability and were found to be satisfactory
(see Tabl e II).
Due to the uneven gender distribution in our sample, we tested whether gender had
an effect on the prevalence of leadership styles. Results show no statistically significant
differences in female and male scores on leadership styles; neither at T1 nor at T2
(see Table III). As our study includes followers from a public and a private
organization, we also tested whether organization type had an effect on the prevalence
of leadership styles. Results show no statistically significant difference between public
and private organization followers scores on transactional leadership. We did find a
significantly higher level of transformational leadership reported by private followers
at both T1 and T2.
We then modelled a reduced model (Model 1) (see Figure 1, Table IV) testing our
hypotheses (H1 and H2) on indirect mechanisms in change appraisal. In the support of
H1 and H2 , the model revealed a close to acceptable fit, RMSEA ¼ 0.10, AGFI ¼ 0.91,
Scale M SD α 123456
1. Transformational T1 60.98 18.79 0.92 1
2. Transformational T2 62.58 18.38 0.93 0.48** 1
3. Transactional T1 60.88 20.94 0.84 0.79** 0.46** 1
4. Transactional T2 59.26 20.21 0.85 0.38** 0.78** 0.40** 1
5. Engagement 58.26 20.07 0.89 0.26** 0.56** 0.32** 0.54** 1
6. Change appraisal 42.83 17.41 0.84 0.14 0.37** 0.06 0.32** 0.60** 1
Notes: n ¼ 351. **po 0.01 (two-tailed)
Table II.
Means, standard
deviations, and
zero-order
correlations for
scales
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Gender Organization type
Females Males t df Public Private t df
Transformational
leadership T1
60.33
(19.33)
63.02
(17.02)
0.86 197 58.60
(19.47)
65.88
(16.38)
2.60** 197
Transformational
leadership T2
61.83
(19.66)
64.32
(14.89)
1.29 251 60.71
(19.64)
65.24
(16.12)
2.34* 334
Transactional
leadership T1
60.97
(21.03)
60.60
(20.91)
0.10 175 60.94
(21.03)
60.77
(20.95)
0.05 175
Transactional
leadership T2
58.66
(20.72)
60.66
(18.98)
0.84 341 58.73
(20.46)
60.02
(19.89)
0.58 341
Notes: n ¼ 351. The table contains results from two separate t-test analyses. Standard deviations
appear in parentheses below means. Gender; 1 ¼ female, 2 ¼ male. Organization type; 1 ¼ public,
2 ¼ private. *po 0.05; **po 0.01
Table III.
Independent samples
t-tests of leadership
styles for gender and
organization type
Transformational
Leadership T1
Transformational
Leadership T2
Transactional
Leadership T2
Transactional
Leadership T1
Engagement
Change
Appraisal
Notes: n = 351. Model specification. Grey arrows represent stability
indices; Model 1 (bold arrows); Model 2 (bold and full arrows);
and Model 3 (bold and broken arrows)
Figure 1.
Path diagram
for explanatory
Models 1-3
χ
2
df NNFI CFI AGFI RMSEA Model comparison Δχ
2
Δdf
Model 1 37.82** 8 0.95 0.97 0.91 0.10 ––
Model 2 36.61** 6 0.93 0.97 0.88 0.12 M1-M2 1.21 2
Model 3 13.40* 6 0.98 0.99 0.96 0.06 M1-M3*** 24.42 2
Null model 1,170.17 15 –– ––
Notes: χ
2
, Chi-square; df, degrees of freedom; NNFI, non-normed fit index; CFI, comparative fit index;
AGFI, adjusted goodness-of-fit index; RMSEA, root mean square error of approximation; Δχ
2
,
Chi-square difference; Δdf, difference in degrees of freedom; null model is the independent model.
*po 0.05; **po 0.01; ***p o 0.001
Table IV.
Model comparison
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CFI ¼ 0.97, NNFI ¼ 0.95, χ
2
¼ 37.82. All predicted relationship s had significant loadings
and followed the predicted direction in the model. The relationships between
transactional leadership at T2 and engagement, β ¼ 0.23, t ¼ 3.41, p o 0.01, and
transformational leadership at T2 and engagement, β ¼ 0.43, t ¼ 5.76, p o 0.01, were
both posit ive and significant. Furthermore, engagement had a positive, significant
relationship with change appraisal, β ¼ 0.53, t ¼ 14.31, po 0.01. The relationship
between transactional leadership at T2 and transform ational leadership at T2 was also
positive, β ¼ 0.64, t ¼ 20.70, p o 0.01, therefore confirming our theoretical
understanding of transactional leadership as a foundation of and impacting factor to
transformational leadership. Stability indices indicated a low to moderate level of
stability for both transactional, γ ¼ 0.38, t ¼ 7.92, p o 0.01 and transformational
leadership, γ ¼ 0.20, t ¼ 5.94, p ¼ 0.01. The correlation between transactional and
transformational leadership at T1 was high, r ¼ 78, t ¼ 11.46, po 0.01.
In Model 2, we added direct relatio nships (Figure 1, Table IV), thus testing a full
model comprising all hypotheses concurrently. The model did not reveal an acceptable
fit, RMSEA ¼ 0.12, AGFI ¼ 0.88, CFI ¼ 0.97, NNFI ¼ 0.93, χ
2
¼ 36.61. All predicted
relationships in the nested model were identical to the relationships in Model 1
except for a small change in the relationship between engagement and change
appraisal. The relationship maintained its significance level, β ¼ 0.52, t ¼ 11.37,
po 0.01. We found a non-significant, positive relationship for transformational
leadership, β ¼ 0.08, t ¼ 1.13. and thereby no support for H3. For transactional
leadership the relationship was non-significant and negative, β ¼ 0.05, t ¼ 0.94 thus
providing support for H4 . Accordingly, the inclusion of structural paths between
leadership styles at T2 and change appraisal did not improve the model (see Table IV),
M1-M2: Δχ
2
(2) ¼ 1.21, ns.
Both leadership styles at T2 did not relate significantly to change appraisal. The
observed non-acceptable fit could be explained by the theoretical model, the
measurement model, or both. Modification indices for Model 2 propose the inclusion of
a structural path from transactional leadership at T1 to change appraisal. Following,
we decided to test an elaborated version of our model by substituting T2 with T1 in the
structural paths be tween leadership styles and change ap praisal.
The results of the SEM reveal that the elaborated model, Model 3 (Figure 1,
Table IV) has a good fit to data, RMSEA ¼ 0.06, AGFI ¼ 0.96, CFI ¼ 0.99, NNFI ¼ 0.98,
χ
2
¼ 13.40. The ad ded relationships between T1 leadership styles and positive
appraisal were significant. The relationship for transformational leadership was
positive, β ¼ 0.21, t ¼ 3.53, po 0.01, while for transactional leadership it was negative,
β ¼ 0.28, t ¼ 5.10, p o 0.01. The structural relationships did not change greatly in
Model 3. The relationships between transactional leadership at T2 and engagement,
β ¼ 0.23, t ¼ 3.41, po 0.01, and transformational leadership at T2 and engagement,
β ¼ 0.43, t ¼ 5.76, p o 0.01, remained positive and significant. Furthermore,
engagement maintained its positive, significant relationship with change appraisal,
β ¼ 0.57, t ¼ 15.43, po 0.01. The relationship between T2 transactional leadership and
T2 transformational leadership also remained positive, β ¼ 0.64, t ¼ 20.70, po 0.01.
The inclusion of the paths between leadership styles at T1 and change appraisal lead to
a significant improvement of the model (see Table IV), M1-M3: Δχ
2
(2) ¼ 24.42,
po 0.001. The coefficients of the added paths were both significant.
Modification indices for Model 3 suggest no modifications to the model as the model
fits data well. Altogether, Model 3 explains 42 per cent of the variance in change
appraisal and 35 per cent of the variance in engagement.
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Discussion
Two major outcomes emerge from our study: first, we found that through manager
engagement in change leadership style is indirectly related to the change appraisal of
followers. Corresponding to our hypotheses, both transformational and transactional
leadership styles were positively related to the engagement of managers. Both
leadership styles as general expressions of espoused leadership therefore constitute
a platform for enacted engagement to be expressed. Thus, leadership styles relate
positively to all three manager engagem ent elements, those being participation,
information delivery, and commitment. Additionally, supporting our expectation, we
found that followers change appraisal was influenced by manager engagement.
Second, we found that leadership style had a significant, direct impact on followers
appraisal of change . While we did not find cross-sectional relationships, our model
suggests that leadership style has a long-term effect on followers change appraisal.
Appraisal therefore seems to be influenced by leadership style expressed during the
initial phases of the organizational change process and not by the leadership style
expressed during the final phases. From a statistical perspective, the difference
between T1 and T2 leadership in predicting change appraisal may relate to the stability
of measures. We found high reliabilities for leadership styles at T1 and T2, but
moderate stabi lity indices. The moderate stability of measu res over time may
nevertheless be explained by the intervening organizational change taking place
between the two times. From a theoretical perspective, the long-term effect of
leadership style on followers change appraisal may be explained by the relational
nature of leadership style which builds up over time and throug h interactions (Herold
et al., 2008). Building behavioural integrity, through which transformational leadership
can support successful change (Simons, 1999, 2002), may take time and therefore cause
no immediate effects.
Overall, our results suggest that managers impact followers change appraisal
differently at different stages of change. During the initial stage of change, we found
that both leadership styles (the espoused values) impacted followers long-term
change appraisal. Transformational leadership had a positive, long-term effect on
followers appraisal of change. Thus, when preparing for and implementing change,
the more managers are visionary change role models, the more followers appraise the
change positively during the final stages of change. Contrarily, transactional
leadership performed during the initial stage of change, has a negative effect on
followers change appraisal. Being a dynamic process, change may thus potentially be
less supported by an exchange relationship based on a quid pro quo leadership
style. Hence, introducing a change process by ensuring compliance and consistency
through rewards and exchange seems to have negative effect on how followers
change appraisal.
During the later stages of change, leadership styles do not seem to play an important
role in directly determining the change appraisal of followers. What seems to matter
more, is how managers actively engage in change, thus the enacted values. However,
both transformational and transactional leadership styles positively support managers
change engagement.
Limitations
Several limitations of our study deserve mention. Our paper, for example, is based on
follower questionnaires and common source variance is usually a concern in studies
based on data from one source. However, as data were collected at two time points and
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analyses were performed across individuals, potential concerns related to common
source variance should be reduced.
Our study was performed in two organizatio ns: one public (mainly female) and one
private (mainly male). We found no effect of gender on any of the two leadership styles,
suggesting that the uneven gender distribution did not impact on our results and
ability to generalize from them. However, with regard to organization type, we found
that followers in the private organization reported a higher level of transformational
leadership at both T1 and T2. With only two organizations in our study, we are not able
to determine whether this difference is indeed an expression of differences in
organization type. Thus, there may be some contextual nuances to our findings that
call for further research.
The study was conducted while the organizations underwent a planned change
process towards team organization. However, when the content and purpose of change
differs as, for example, in restructuring and downsizing, outcomes and processes at
both organizationa l and individual levels may also differ. Thus, generalizations from
our study to other types of organizational change should only be made tentatively.
However, such does not automatically exclude our results from being relevant in
relation to various forms of change. Future research into the mechanisms of the process
of change in different types of change would be instructive.
We initially applied baseline measures to test the stability of measures. However,
during analysis, we also identified longitudinal effects of leadership style on followers
change appraisal. As these effects may be spurious, further research is called for to test
and understand such relatio nships further.
Implications for research and practice
Our findings complement previous studies on organizational change, by investigating
the role of leadership style and manager engagement at different stages of the change
process in developing follower change appraisal. As followers also impact processes
and outcomes of change, their appraisals becomes crucial in securing desired
organizational and individual outcomes. Leadership styles and manager engagement
seem imperative in promoting such appraisal and consequently supporting positive
processes and outcomes of change.
The findings of our study support the contingency approach to leadership
behaviour (Fiedler, 1967) and the theory of situational leadership (Vroom and Jago,
2007) suggesting that there may be a right style for the right situation. Our study
thus provides applicable knowledge for developing policies and strategies for
organizational change. Transformational leadership may be an effective approach to
enhance followers positive appraisal of change. As this leadership style reveals both
long-term and short-term positive effects, directly and indirectly, strategically
increasing managers transformational potentia l may well benefit the entire process
of change. During the last stages of change, managers direct engagement in change is
associated with followers change appraisal. Thus awareness of managers role in
communicating important information, interpreting the individual consequences, and
working actively and positively towards the change may be an area of positive
investment for organizations in change. Our results may thus have implications for
change management, suggesting a long-term focus on managers abilities to perform
both transformational leadership and to engage themselves specifically in the change.
While transformational leadership is trainable (Kelloway and Barlin g, 2000) our
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findings suggest taking a training, sensibilizing ap proach to developing managers
change leadership skills.
A large amount of variance in followers change appraisal is explained by leadership
styles and managers engagement in change. However, additional explanatory
variables and mechanisms should be investigated in order to explain the residual
variance observed in the present study.
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Corresponding author
Dr Ann-Louise Holten can be contacted at: ann-louise.holten@psy.ku.dk
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تهدف هذه الدراسة إلى تسليط الضوء على الاتصال التنظيمي وفاعليته في تطوير أجهزة العلاقات العامة وأنعكاسه على ادائهم الوظيفي في المؤسسات الجامعية الليبية ,بالاضافة إلى توضيح أهميته وتأثيره الفعال في تطوير البرامج الاتصالية , ومدى نجاحه في تحقيق الاهداف المراد الوصول إليها ,حيث اعتمد الباحث على نظرية النظم كمدخل نظري لهذه الدراسة وبأستخدام منهج المسح والذي يعد من ابرز المناهج التي تستخدم في مجال الدراسات الاعلامية خاصة الدراسات الوصفية وبأستخدام مسح اساليب الممارسة لكل العاملين في اجهزة العلاقات العامة في الجامعات الليبية قيد الدراسة ( جامعة بنغازي- جامعة عمر المختار – جامعة اجدابيا ) والذين بلغ عددهم (33 ) موظفاً , خلصت الدراســة إلى عدة نتائج منها ان ( 94%) من الموظفين يرون ان الاتصال التنظيمي يساهم في تطوير أجهزة العلاقات العامة , كما اوضحت النتائج أهمية الاتصال التنظيمي لأجهزة العلاقات العامة في التواصل مع الجمهور الداخلي ( الموظفين ), حيث تكمن أهميته في سهولة الاتصال والتواصل المستمر معهم , من خلال توفير المعلومات التي يحتاجونها بنسبة (85%) , بالاضافة إلى تعريفهم بالبرامج والانشطة بنسبة (83%) , فضلاً عن أهمية الاتصال التنظيمي في التواصل مع بالادارة العليا بشكل منظم ومستمر بنسبة (73%) , وبذلك نستنتج ان اجهزة العلاقات العامة تعتمد على الاتصال التنظيمي بجميع انواعه ( الرسمي وغير الرسمي , الصاعد والهابط ) .
... A transactional leadership style occurs in a leader-follower exchange relationship in which corrective actions are an exception and followers are rewarded when they have achieved specific goals (Holten & Brenner 2015). Transactional leaders, therefore, use praise, reward and promise to motivate employees. ...
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