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Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health
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Transformational leadership behavior, emotions,
and outcomes: Health psychology perspective in
To cite this article: Mosad Zineldin (2017) Transformational leadership behavior, emotions, and
outcomes: Health psychology perspective in the workplace, Journal of Workplace Behavioral
Health, 32:1, 14-25, DOI: 10.1080/15555240.2016.1273782
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/15555240.2016.1273782
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JOURNAL OF WORKPLACE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
2017, VOL. 32, NO. 1, 14–25
Transformational leadership behavior, emotions, and
outcomes: Health psychology perspective in the
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Linnaeus University – Växjö, Växjö, Sweden
The purpose of this study is to empirically evaluate the
transformational leadership styles, emotions, and organizational
outcomes among different professionals in different sectors.
The transformational leadership and emotions theories were
utilized and tested in a sample of 128 leaders in Sweden. The
main objectives of the study are (1) to determine which of the
transformational leadership styles (TLS) are best at predicting
effective outcomes (OUT) of extra effort by employees (EXE),
leader effectiveness (EFE) and job satisfaction (SAT) and (2) to
examine which TLS predict significant positive emotions
(TEMO). Results of the study reveal that TLS and most of the
outcome scales (SAT, EXE, SAT) are positively and significantly
correlated. Charisma (C) and idealized influence (II) are not
correlated with EFE. The results further supported that
inspirational motivation leaders behavior could produce greater
amounts of SAT (r = .54**), EXE (r = .41**). Individualized
consideration (IC) also generates great SAT, r = .42. The study
also found that only inspirational motivation (I) and intellectual
stimulator leadership styles made a significance for TEMO such
as being enthusiastic, hopeful, proud, happy, attentive, and
inspiring with β = 26 and β = 17, respectively. Inspirational
transformational leaders’ behavior and emotions are the most
capable in increasing the organizational overall outcomes by
boosting employees’ job satisfaction, additional effort, and
effectiveness. Hence, these improve and enhance the mental
and psychological health inside and outside the workplace.
Received 21 May 2016
Revised 24 November 2016
Accepted 2 December 2016
Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, argues that behavior is
prompted by conscious and unconscious mental processes while emotions
are generally assumed in psychoanalytic theory to be an affect (Carr, 2001;
Freud, 1984). Several studies found that leadership behaviors and mismanage-
ment of leaders’ emotions at the workplace are associated with mental and
overall health problems and illnesses such as cancer and heart disease, stress,
and work burnout (e.g., Grandey, 2000; Gross & Levenson, 1997; Pennebaker,
CONTACT Mosad Zineldin firstname.lastname@example.org Linnaeus University – Växjö, Universitetsplatsen1,
SE-35195 Växjö, Sweden.
© 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
1990). Inhibiting feelings and emotions increase autonomic nervous system
activity (ANS). ANS regulates bodily functions such as the heart rate, diges-
tion, and sexual arousal. Thus, long-term and constant inhibiting emotions
can cause intensified physiological activities which would exhaust the body
over time by overloading the cardiovascular and nervous systems as well as
weakens the immune system (Grandey, 2000; Gross & Levenson, 1997).
The importance and impact of leadership styles and emotions on work
organization performance and overall psychological health is recognized in
several studies (Ashkanasy, 2004; Krasikova, Green, & LeBreton, 2013;
Ramachandran, Jordan, Troth, & Lawrence, 2011; Schyns & Schilling, 2013;
Zineldin & Amsteus, 2014; Zineldin & Hytter, 2012). Zineldin and Amsteus
(2014) argue that managers who avoid people, their emotions, and reactions
or who leave damaged relationships in their path tend to be ineffective, at
best, and destructive or toxic at worst. In this study, leadership effectiveness
(EFE), his or her ability to motivate staff to devote extra effort (EXE), will
be used as indicators for organizations’ performance. The satisfaction of the
leader him- or herself in leading the organization as well as employees’ satis-
faction can also be considered indicators that could improve overall psycho-
logical health. There is a clear correlation between leadership behaviors, styles,
and the outcomes/performance at workplaces (Leymann, 1996; Shaio et al.,
2011; Sosik, Avolio, & Kahai, 1997; Zineldin & Amsteus, 2014).
Neuroscientists argue that the amygdala in the limbic system in the brain is
the source of our earliest emotions of fear and anger. Empathy is a complex
emotion. The real empathy is not just about knowing that other people feel
the same as one do; it’s about knowing that though they do not feel the same
way, they care anyway.
Bass (1985) developed the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ;
an instrument designed to quantitatively measure transformational and
transactional leadership styles and behaviours). According to Bass (1990),
Leithwood and Jantzi (2000), and Zineldin and Amsteus (2014) three leader-
ship style categories are identified. These are transformational, transactional,
and laissez faire. The focus of this study is on the transformational leadership
style, emotions, and outcomes. A short presentation about the types of the
transformational leadership style is presented below:
1. Charisma (C): Such leaders emphasize high standards for ethical and moral
behavior. They focus on dissemination of vision and sense of mission and
2. Idealized influence (II): They behave as ideal role models for their subordi-
nates. They avoid using power for personal interest or gain. Thus they are
highly admired and gain respect and trust. Their behavior is consistent
rather than arbitrary.
3. Inspiration (I) or inspirational motivation (IM): Such leaders define and
structure their and subordinates’ roles toward organizational goal
JOURNAL OF WORKPLACE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH 15
attainment. They communicate high expectations, use symbols to focus
efforts, and express important purposes in simple ways. They also are opti-
mistic and encourage others to understand and to be committed to the
visions and missions.
4. Intellectual stimulation (IS): The leaders are good listeners, give information
and express trust in their subordinates, respect their ideas and consider their
feelings, promote intelligence, rationality, and careful problem solving. They
also stay calm, relaxed, and hopeful when they make decisions.
5. Individualized consideration (IC): An IC leader gives personal attention
and treats subordinates individually to develop their competences. They
are functioning as coaches and advisors.
Bass (1985) argues the following about the transformational leadership:
Superior leadership performance—transformational leadership—occurs when
leaders broaden and elevate the interests of their employees, when they generate
awareness and acceptancee of the purposes and mission of the group, and when they
stir their employees to look beyond their own self-interest for the good of the group.
Transformational leaders achieve these results in one or more ways: They may be
charismatic to their followers and thus inspire them; they may meet the emotional
needs of each employee; and/or they may intellectually stimulate employees. (p. 121)
Some studies state that leaders are supposed to be rational and unemo-
tional. Problem-solving skills and strategic planning issues are considered
to be exclusively rational. Thus, according to such studies, high and powerful
positions in most organizations are ritually focused through strict ability of
emotional control. Other studies show that such rational theory is not justi-
fied because the most rational leader is subject to her or his own translational
values and principles that are sustained by her or his own personal emotions
because the mind itself is an integrated mixture of thinking and feeling
(Damasio, 1994; Lazanyi, 2009).
There are different definitions of emotion. The most simple definition is
that it is a “feeling” or an affective state of consciousness such as excitement,
love, satisfaction, pleasure, hate, fear, anger, joy, sorrow, fear, guilt,
depression, and so on. According to Lazanyi (2009):
emotions are divided into two broad categories. Negative and positive emotions.
Some negative emotions are driven by an underlying fear of the unknown or other
people’s actions, and a need to control or stop them to avoid being harmed. Positive
emotions are driven by an underlying desire for unity and enjoyment. Positive
emotions improve and enhance creativity, encourage helping behavior and
cooperation, and reduce aggression against either the organization or people. (p. 105)
Work organizations should have variety of tools, rules, and mechanisms to
regulate leadership styles and emotions. The main aim of such tools is to con-
trol and/or prevent emotions from arising in the first place while stressing on
the rationality and regulation of the emotions. The workplace emotional labor
16 M. ZINELDIN
rules and mechanisms include expectations that members of the organization
should be pleasant and helpful (Little, Kluemper, & Nelson, 2012). Leaders
should also express a minimum of hostility and negative emotions. Leaders’
jobs should also include positive emotions such as enthusiasm that motivates
staff to improve their performances and outcomes (Briner & Totterdell, 2002;
Lazanyi, 2009; Strazdins, 2002).
It is well known that moods can have a significant impact on performance
and outcomes (Jordan et al., 2006). Panic actions or reactions can intensify the
problems, though calm, supportive behavior of leaders can smoothly overcome
the problems and improve the outcomes. Vantieghem, Marcoen, Mairesse, and
Vandekerckhove (2016) found that emotion regulation mediates the relation-
ship between personality and sleep quality too. Thus, the emotions of leaders
have extreme influence on the organization outcomes (Lazanyi, 2009). Attridge
(2009) argues that highly engaged leaders and employees positively affect
organization outcomes. It can be concluded from past studies that there is a
interrelation between leadership style on leadership outcomes such as effective-
ness (EFE), staff job satisfaction (SAT), and staff willingness to exert extra
effort (EXE). On the other hand, there are very few studies linking leadership
styles, leadership emotions, and outcomes (Alloubani, Abdelhafiz, Bughalyun,
Edris, & Almukhtar, 2015; Bass & Avolio, 1994; Burke et al., 2006).
Objectives of the study
The objectives and hypotheses of this study are twofold, namely, to determine
if there is correlation and significance between TLS, OUT, and TEMO:
Hypothesis 1: There is interrelationship between each of the five transformational
style (TLS) and effective leadership outcomes (OUT)
Hypothesis 2: There is interrelationship transformational leadership style (TLS)
and total positive emotions (TEMO)
Different questionnaires are used to identify and measure the relationship
between leadership style, emotions, and outcomes:
1. The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) developed by Bass and
Avolio (2000) to measure transformational leadership styles and the
2. Positive and Negative Affect Schedule–Expanded Form (PANAS-X) ques-
tionnaire (Watson & Clark, 1994), where the study deals only with TEMO
to investigate the true and displayed positive emotions of the leaders.
The leaders’ styles and behavior represented in each item were measured
using 5-point Likert-type scale ranges from 0 (not at all) to 4 (frequently).
JOURNAL OF WORKPLACE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH 17
According to Lowe and Kroeck (1996), transformational leadership scales of
the MLQ are very reliable and significantly predicted work unit effectiveness
across the set of studies examined PANAS-X twice. The respondents were also
asked to score on a 5-point Likert-type scale the listed PANAS-X emotions
on how often and how intensely their overall emotions or feelings were
displaying regarding the main course of their daily leadership duties. The
operationalization of the criterion variable appeared as a powerful moderator.
The target group were 128 Swedish managers in different sectors with
different years of experience as leaders. A sequential snowball without
discrimination data collection strategy was used to obtain the data. The
collected questionnaires were transferred to IBM SPSS version 22.0 for
analysis. A p value of <.05 was considered significant. Table 1 show the
distribution of some demographic variables.
The study group consisted of 67 (52.3%) male participants and 61 (47.7%)
female participants. The age showed a varied distribution. The smallest age
group was the younger than age 30 group (2.3%) followed by the older than
age 60 group (10.9%) whereas the largest was the age group of 41 to 50 years
(47%) and 51 to 60 years (42%). Regarding the education variable, the fewest
groups were the elementary school, others, and postgraduate groups (4.7%,
7.0%, and 8.6%, respectively). The university graduates of the leaders were
the largest (49.2%) and the secondary school graduates (30.5%) followed. After
controlling for demographic factors, estimation was not materially changed.
Different tests were also run to analyze the instrument’s and tool’s suitability.
In general alpha values of .70 or higher are considered to be acceptable, with .60
being acceptable for new scales (Churchill, 1979; Zineldin & Amsteus, 2014).
The reliability test of our study showed a high Cronbach’s alpha (.79).
Factor analysis and reliability analyses were used. Factor analysis (Malhotra,
2007), using principal component analysis and varimax rotation with Kaiser
Table 1. Distribution of some demographic variables.
Male 67 52.3
Female 61 47.7
Under 30 3 2.3
31–40 22 17.2
41–50 47 36.7
51–60 42 32.8
Older than 60 14 10.9
Elementary school 6 4.7
Secondary school 39 30.5
University 63 49.2
Postgraduate 11 8.6
Other 9 7.0
18 M. ZINELDIN
Meyer-Olkin measure of sampling adequacy (KMO), was used to identify key
points emerging from the questionnaire. This revealed the major points where
the most important tool for the IS leader is to reexamine critical assumptions to
question whether they are appropriate and IC leader should encourage others’
willingness to try harder to achieve best performance and outcomes. KMO
value was over .78, exceeding the recommended value of .6 and the Bartlett’s
Test of Sphericity reached statistical significance supporting the factorability
of the correlation matrix. The components that have an eigenvalue of 1 or more
(initial eigenvalues) were identified to be two main components (3.98 and 1.03).
These two components explain a total of 55.63% of the variance.
Results and analysis
Descriptive statistics and reliability analysis
Descriptive statistical analysis and Cronbach’s coefficient alpha (α) were
utilized to test the reliability of the tools and measures used for the 128
respondent managers. As shown in Table 2, the different constructs reflected
acceptable and very good reliability levels. The results of computation
show that total positive emotion is .738 and the reliability for organizational
outcomes is highest for the ability of transformational leaders to create staff
job satisfaction at the organization (.72) and for motivating staff willingness
to exert extra effort is .77.
Table 2 shows also the mean and standard deviations for the five different
styles and behaviors of transformational leadership. The mean for the five
main behaviors ranged from 3.16 to 3.98. The results show that individual
consideration (IC) motivation dimension was the strongest contributor of
the Swedish transformational leadership styles with a mean of 3.98. This
was followed by intellectual stimulation with (IS) a mean of 3.97 and idealized
influence (II) and inspirational motivation (I) 3.58. Lastly charisma (C) had a
Table 2. Descriptive statistics analysis and Cronbach’s alpha.
items Sample items M SD α
C 4 I instill pride in others for being associated with me 3.16 .48 .75
II 4 I talk about my most important values and beliefs 3.97 .43 .74
I 4 I talk optimistically about the future 3.58 .46 .70
IS 4 I re-examine critical assumptions to question whether they
3.97 .44 .72
IC 4 I treat others as individuals rather than just as a member of a group 3.98 .49 .71
EXE 3 I increase others’ willingness to try harder 3.89 .45 .70
EFE 4 I am effective in meeting organizational requirements 3.85 .47 .71
SAT 2 I use methods of leadership that are satisfying 3.96 .49 .72
TEMO 14 Engaged, optimistic, enthusiastic, proud 3.49 .26 .74
TLS ¼transformational leadership styles; C ¼charisma; I ¼inspirational motivation; II ¼idealized influence;
IS ¼intellectual stimulation; IC ¼individual consideration; EXE ¼extra effort; EFE ¼effectiveness;
SAT ¼satisfaction; TEMO ¼total emotions.
JOURNAL OF WORKPLACE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH 19
mean of 3.16. The table shows also number of items of each scale/construct
and an example of each item/measure. An independent-samples t test was
conducted to compare the TLS scores for males and females. The analysis
shows that there was no significant difference in scores for males and females.
For instance, the scores of C (charisma) for males was (M = 12.89, SD = 2.18)
and females (M = 12.40, SD = 1.66); t(121) = 1,43, p = .15 (two tailed).
Regarding the idealized influence (II) scale, the scores for males were
(M = 15.83, SD = 1.75) and for females were (M = 15.95, SD = 1.73);
t(125) = − .37, p = .71 (two tailed).
As shown in Table 3 Pearson’s product–moment correlation coefficient (r)
was used to measure the strength and direction of the relationship between
The results show that TLS and outcomes (OUT) are positively correlated,
except outcomes of idealized influence (II). The strongest correlation was
between I and SAT, r = .54 followed by the correlation between IC and
SAT, r = .42. The correlation between I and EXE was also positive and strong
r = .40 but moderately correlated with EFE, r = .28. C has a significant positive
correlation to EXE, r = .35 and to SAT, r = .24. There was no significant
correlation between EFE and C or II.
Total positive emotions (TEMO) has a significant positive correlation to
inspirational motivation (I) leader’s behavior, r = .36 followed by IS and IC,
r = .31 and r = .22, respectively. The correlation between the TEMO and II
is positively but very weak, r = .19. There was no significant correlation
between TEMO and C.
Table 3. Correlation between the study variables.
C II I IS IC EXE EFE SAT TEMO
II .033 1
I .264** .172 1
IS .110 .197* .450** 1
IC .085 .278** .430** .298** 1
EXE .357** .200* .405** .396** .376** 1
EFE .013 .125 .280** .221* .307** .339** 1
SAT .248** .202* .540** .388** .420** .409** .597** 1
TEMO .071 .197* .363** .313** .228** .553** .476** .301** 1
TLS ¼transformational leadership styles; C ¼charisma; I ¼inspirational motivation; II ¼idealized influence;
IS ¼intellectual stimulation; IC ¼individual consideration; EXE ¼extra effort; EFE ¼effectiveness;
SAT ¼satisfaction; TEMO ¼total emotions.
*Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (two-tailed); **Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level
20 M. ZINELDIN
However, most independent variables (TLS) were correlated with a
significant = .00 at the level of .01 (two-tailed) with the dependent variables
OUT and TEMO.
Hypothesis 1: Interrelationship between transformational style (TLS) and
organizational outcomes (OUT)
A multiple regression analysis was carried out to test the hypothesis, and
the results demonstrated that there is positive correlation between transfor-
mational leadership and organizational outcomes and between transforma-
tional leadership and emotions (p < 0.01).
As follows from Table 4, the regression models show that inspirational
motivation (I) generates the most significant outcome in relation to the
satisfaction (β = .35 and p < .0) followed by individual consideration (IC) with
extra efforts (β = .20 and p < .0). IS had weaker contributions and significance.
C had the best contribution to EXE (β = .28 and p < .0). II did not
contribute to the model. Hypothesis 1 is partly retained.
Hypothesis 2: Interrelationship between transformational leadership styles (TLS)
and organizational emotions (EMO)
Table 5 shows that only I and IS had significant contributions to the TEMO
with β value .26 for II and β = .17 for the IS which means that these factors
make strongest significant for the positive emotions such as being
enthusiastic, hopeful, proud, happy, attentive, and inspiring.
Hypothesis 2 is partly verified.
Table 4. Regression models for transformational leadership styles and outcomes scales.
Dependent variables EXE EFE SAT
Independent variable β p β p β p
C Charisma .28 .00 — — — —
I Inspirational motivation — — — — .35 .00
IS Intellectual stimulation .23 .00 — — .15 .07
IC Individual consideration .21 .01 .21 .03 .20 .02
EXE ¼extra effort; EFE ¼effectiveness; SAT ¼satisfaction.
Table 5. Regression models for transformational leadership styles
and significant positive emotions (TEMO).
Dependent variable TEMO
Independent variable β p
I Inspirational motivation .26 .01
IS Intellectual stimulation .17 .07
TEMO ¼total emotions.
JOURNAL OF WORKPLACE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH 21
Discussion, conclusion, and implication
An effective and sound relationship between transformational leadership
styles and emotions is critical as leaders’ personality, styles, and emotions
could either hurt or improve organizational effectiveness and satisfaction,
hence employees’ health (Choudhary et al., 2013; Schwepker & Good, 2010;
Zineldin & Amsteus, 2014). It can affect the ANS activity (that regulates
bodily functions such as the heart rate, digestion, sexual arousal, as well as
the immune system (Grandey, 2000; Gross & Levenson, 1997).
This study had some unexpected results showing that there was no corre-
lation or significant contribution of the charisma leaders (C) and ideal influ-
ence (II) with effectiveness. These criteria emphasize high standards for
ethical and moral behavior and ideal models for the employees that
suppose, traditionally, to be the most effective leaders who have ability to
provide employees with satisfaction or encourage them to make extra effort
as other studies have shown (e.g., Alloubani et al., 2015; Barling, Slater, &
Kelloway, 2000; Bass, 1985; Zineldin & Amstues, 2014).
I was the best to produce SAT and EXE. IC was best for the EFE. On
the other hand, inspirational motivator (I) was the strongest contributor of
the Swedish transformational leadership styles followed by individual
consideration (IC) as a characteristic of the most effective leaders who provide
better job satisfaction that is often used as a proxy for employee good overall
health and well-being at work (Ashforth & Humphrey, 1993; Grandey, 2000).
Individual consideration (IC) leadership style had the most significant
influence on effectiveness.
Inspirational motivational (I) and intellectual stimulation I (IS) behaviors
were the only scales that contributed with β = .26 and β = .17 for the positive
emotions (TEMO) such as enthusiastic, hopeful, proud, happy, attentive, and
inspiration. According to Bass and his followers, different emotions are
inherent to different transformational leadership behaviors. Specifically,
enthusiasm, optimism, and excitement are to be displayed in the process of
inspirational motivation (Bass & Avolio, 2000).
One important conclusion is that inspirational transformational leaders’
behavior and emotions are needed because they are most able to increase
the organizational overall outcomes by boosts employees’ job satisfaction,
additional effort, and effectiveness. Hence, improve and enhance the mental
and psychological health.
Although the results of this study are consistent with theoretical propositions,
the cross-sectional nature of the research design of this study does not allow
22 M. ZINELDIN
for investigation of casual effects or a reversed relationship between depen-
dent and independent scales. In addition, all data is self-report that was
obtained by a self-report questionnaire. Future study and research may use
additional or complementing subjective reports with objective data collection.
Furthermore, this research used a snowball data collection strategy that could
involve sampling bias. Finally, though a primary intention and interest of this
research was psychological health, the study used only scale satisfaction as an
emotional state that can affect the psychological health. Thus, future research
may adopt a broader perspective of health. Despite these limitations, a large
and diverse sample was gathered for this study, and results were principally
in line with the research hypotheses.
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