Full Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at
Public Management Review
ISSN: (Print) (Online) Journal homepage: https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rpxm20
Beyond the tipping point: the curvilinear
relationships of transformational leadership,
leader–member exchange, and emotional
exhaustion in the French police
Mathieu Molines , Assaad El Akremi , Martin Storme & Pinar Celik
To cite this article: Mathieu Molines , Assaad El Akremi , Martin Storme & Pinar Celik
(2020): Beyond the tipping point: the curvilinear relationships of transformational leadership,
leader–member exchange, and emotional exhaustion in the French police, Public Management
Review, DOI: 10.1080/14719037.2020.1795231
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/14719037.2020.1795231
Published online: 22 Jul 2020.
Submit your article to this journal
Article views: 2
View related articles
View Crossmark data
Beyond the tipping point: the curvilinear relationships of
transformational leadership, leader–member exchange,
and emotional exhaustion in the French police
, Assaad El Akremi
, Martin Storme
and Pinar Celik
ESCE International Business School, INSEEC-U Research Center, Paris, France;
Toulouse 1 Capitole
University, Toulouse, France;
IESEG School of Management, Lille, France;
LEM-CNRS 9221, Lille,
Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Université Libre de Bruxelles,
As one promise of transformational leadership (TFL), it inspires public servants to
perform beyond expectations and embrace needed change. However, it remains
unclear whether TFL is linked to reduced stress and exhaustion or whether ‘perfor-
mance beyond expectations’ comes at the expense of followers’ increased stress. In
line with the ‘too-much-of-a-good-thing’ eect, this article contributes to our under-
standing of leadership in public organizations by investigating the curvilinear eect of
TFL on emotional exhaustion through interpersonal relationships with the leader
(LMX). The results based on a two-wave study of 806 French police ocers support
the expectation of a curvilinear relationship.
KEYWORDS Transformational leadership; leader–member exchange; emotional exhaustion; police;
Transformational leadership (TFL) theory is one of the most prominent frameworks
for understanding leadership in public organizations (Vogel and Masal 2015; Ospina
2017; Crosby and Bryson 2018). Few leadership styles have received as much research
attention as TFL (Lin, Scott, and Matta 2019; Siangchokyoo, Klinger, and Campion
2019). TFL is intended to inspire followers to perform beyond expectations and
embrace needed change (Bass 1985). In turn, TFL is designed to ‘inﬂuence followers’
values and aspirations, activate their higher order-needs, and arouse them to transcend
self-interests for the sake of the organization’ (Podsakoﬀ, MacKenzie, and Bommer
1996, 259–260). Despite criticisms of in-depth theories and methodologies of TFL
constructs (van Knippenberg and Sitkin 2013; Jensen and Bro 2018; Siangchokyoo,
Klinger, and Campion 2019), research has shown that performing behaviours from the
TFL repertoire relates signiﬁcantly to a variety of individual, group, and organizational
outcomes (Lowe, Kroeck, and Sivasubramaniam 1996; Judge and Piccolo 2004; Wang
et al. 2011) and is particularly eﬀective in public sector organizations (Wright and
CONTACT Mathieu Molines firstname.lastname@example.org
PUBLIC MANAGEMENT REVIEW
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Grant 2010; Oberﬁeld 2012; Wright, Moynihan, and Pandey 2012; Bellé 2013; Sun and
Henderson 2017; Sun and Wang 2017).
As a result, it is currently assumed that transformational leadership is
a ‘universally positive management practice’ (Li et al. 2013), and public organizations
are adopting TFL as the prime mover of eﬀective change (Stazyk and Davis 2020).
Public leaders have been awarded a pivotal role in driving change and are believed to
play an active role in decision making and in deploying resources in shaping
organizational success (Sun and Henderson 2017; Schmidt and Groeneveld 2019)
as well as in mitigating risks of work stressors aﬀecting public servants’ health and
wellbeing (Mostafa 2016).
However, little attention has been devoted to the dark side of TFL and to its eﬀects
on health outcomes such as work stress (Li et al. 2013; Lin, Scott, and Matta 2019).
According to a meta-analysis by Harms et al. (2017), disagreement persists regarding
the role of leadership in stress-related outcomes. Leadership can act as either a major
source of stress for followers or as a buﬀer against work stressors (see Skakon et al.
2010; Montano et al. 2017). Thus, failing to consider the potential detriments of
transformational leader behaviours is a signiﬁcant oversight considering that an
emerging body of research suggests that engaging in ‘good’ leadership behaviours
can be costly to leaders themselves (Lin, Scott, and Matta 2019) as well as to followers
(Hildenbrand, Sacramento, and Binnewies 2018). For instance, it could be argued that
TFL may be particularly taxing because followers might spend longer hours working
and may dedicate more energy to their work, resulting in health-compromising levels
of stress (Arnold and Connelly 2013). For example, recent studies suggest that motiva-
tions to serve society and sacriﬁce oneself might have negative eﬀects on wellbeing
because public servants go ‘above and beyond’ what is asked and thus deplete their own
resources (Giauque, Anderfuhren-Biget, and Varone 2013; van Loon, Vandenabeele,
and Leisink 2015).
We propose that TFL can have positive as well as negative side of followers’
stress-related outcomes. In this study, we focus on burnout – a manifestation of
prolonged stress on the job – and its central dimension, emotional exhaustion, which
generally is more closely related to leaders’ behaviour than stress (Harms et al. 2017).
Research on the relationship between TFL and burnout (including emotional
exhaustion) yields inconsistent and inconclusive ﬁndings (i.e. negative, positive, or
null eﬀects) (e.g. Seltzer, Numerof, and Bass 1989; Corrigan et al. 2002; Nielsen and
Daniels 2012). It remains unclear whether TFL is linked to reduced stress and
exhaustion among followers or whether ‘performance beyond expectations’ comes
at the expense of increased stress and exhaustion (Hildenbrand, Sacramento, and
The aim of this article is to investigate and better understand the relationship
between TFL and emotional exhaustion among French police oﬃcers and to highlight
the potential dark side of TFL in public organizations. First, in light of recent advances
in management theories, we rely on the now widely established ‘too-much-of-a-good-
thing’ (TMGT) eﬀect (Pierce and Aguinis 2013), which challenges the assumption that
more of a desirable behaviour is always preferable, which questions the unilateral
beneﬁts of TFL. While prior studies have mainly focused on leaders’ inﬂuences on
followers’ reactions and behaviours in monotonically increasing or decreasing pat-
terns, researchers have begun to challenge this traditional approach (Cavarretta et al.
2015; Antonakis, House, and Simonton 2017; Vergauwe et al. 2018) and explore the
2M. MOLINES ET AL.
idea of a ‘dark side’ of leadership. According to Busse, Mahlendorf, and Bode (2016),
the TMGT eﬀect can be deﬁned as
a situation in which the incremental costs caused by an antecedent variable become larger than
the incremental beneﬁts, which creates a success maximum. The antecedent itself is neither
good nor bad; rather, it generates both beneﬁts and costs that vary in their marginal eﬀects
depending on the value of the antecedent (pp.142–143).
The inconsistent eﬀects of TFL on emotional exhaustion may reﬂect a curvilinear
pattern that may not fully capture the eﬀects of leadership given the ‘unintended
eﬀects’ that result when TFL reaches excessively high levels (Cavarretta et al. 2015).
We argue that there is a point at which performing behaviours from the TFL repertoire
no longer reduces followers’ levels of exhaustion; at this point, such behaviours become
demands or hindrances that actually increase exhaustion.
Second, understanding the processes by which transformational leaders exert their
inﬂuence is an important and fundamental focus of leadership research (Boer et al.
2016). Accordingly, it is worth investigating how the curvilinear eﬀects of TFL on
exhaustion are mediated by costs and beneﬁts (Busse, Mahlendorf, and Bode 2016).
Additionally, studies consistently suggest that building positive interpersonal relations
(leader–member exchange [LMX]) (Graen and Uhl-Bien 1995) serves as an important
mediating mechanism through which transformational leaders aﬀect employees’ work-
place outcomes such as performance and organizational citizenship behaviours (Wang
et al. 2005; Dulebohn et al. 2012; Ng 2017). Researchers have advanced the notion that
social relationships at work – speciﬁcally, employees’ perceptions of the quality of their
relationships to their supervisors – aﬀect stress-related outcomes such as exhaustion
(Harms et al. 2017; Tse et al. 2018).
In this study, we investigate the curvilinear eﬀect of TFL on emotional exhaustion
through the mediating mechanism of LMX. We draw on conservation of resources
theory (COR) (Hobfoll 1989) and social exchange theory (SET) (Gouldner 1960; Blau
1964), which oﬀer complementary insights into the U-shaped process that links TFL to
emotional exhaustion. As stated by Crosby and Bryson (2018), leadership is not
a ‘magic concept’ and more attention should be dedicated to understanding the cause-
eﬀect relationships of leadership with an emphasis on theory building and testing,
methods and practice. Our study combines both leader-centric perspectives (TFL) and
follower-centric processes (LMX), COR, and SET theories to develop a more thorough
understanding of the complex relationships between leadership and stress in public
organizations (Vogel and Masal 2015).
We take advantage of a large sample of French police oﬃcers. French police forces
have recently implemented a reform to create a service-oriented policing strategy
requiring the use of a new leadership approach that is conducive to discretionary
policing and that empowers subordinates to make decisions that are reﬂective of the
police organization’s mission (Russell, Cole, and Iii 2014; Hassan, Park, and
Raadschelders 2018). Rather than command and control, police leadership is more
concerned with ‘winning the hearts and minds’ of police oﬃcers and citizens (Skogan
and Harnett 1997). Accumulating evidence suggests that TFL is particularly eﬀective in
the various national police organizations where it has been studied (see Haberfeld
2006). TFL seems appropriate for developing long-term service- and citizen-oriented
relationships (Liao and Chuang 2007; Liaw, Chi, and Chuang 2010; Bro and Jensen
2020). Furthermore, prior research has shown that TFL, with its emphasis on a shift
PUBLIC MANAGEMENT REVIEW 3
‘from personal goals to collective goals, from personal identity to collective identity,
from self-interest to collective interest’ (Jiao, Richards, and Zhang 2011, 14), is relevant
and prevalent in public organizations, such as in police organizations, where there are
strong expectations of group loyalty and commitment to collective citizenship
(Campbell, Lee, and Im 2016; Sun and Wang 2017). In addition to this strategic
change, the French police must face a diﬃcult context with severe consequences for
police oﬃcer health. Overwork since a series of terrorist attacks starting in
January 2015 and weekly, often extremely violent anti-government protests since
November 2019 by the Yellow vests movement seeking more economic and social
justice have had deleterious eﬀects on individual police oﬃcer wellbeing. Police oﬃcers
now suﬀer from exhaustion (with a total of more than 20 million overtime hours
accumulated, mostly due to terrorist attacks) and increased suicide rates (51 cases in
2017) as underlined in a recent senatorial report (Zagrodzki 2017). These data provide
an interesting opportunity to examine how leadership practices (TFL and LMX) relate
to emotional exhaustion experienced by French police oﬃcers.
Theoretical background and hypothesis development
Curvilinear relationship between TFL and emotional exhaustion
Transformational leaders are theorized to achieve superior results with their followers
than those adopting other leadership styles (Bass and Riggio 2006) in part because they
act as role models to their followers, exhibit integrity; inspire and motivate; intellec-
tually stimulate; and are considerate, charismatic, and trustworthy (Bass and Bass
2008). TFL is conceptualized as having four dimensions: idealized inﬂuence, inspira-
tional motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration (Bass and
Riggio 2006). These dimensions combine into one higher-order TFL construct (Avolio,
Bass, and Jung 1999). Idealized inﬂuence characterizes the extent to which leaders
engage in behaviours that encourage followers to identify with them (Judge and
Piccolo 2004). Inspirational motivation denotes the extent to which leaders behave
in ways that motivate followers by providing meaning and showing optimism and
enthusiasm about goals and the future. Intellectual stimulation characterizes the extent
to which leaders challenge existing assumptions and encourage followers’ critical
reﬂection by questioning assumptions, reframing problems, and approaching old
situations in new ways. Individual consideration denotes the extent to which leaders
seek to meet the individual needs of their followers by acting as their coaches and
listening to their concerns (Judge and Piccolo 2004).
Hobfoll’s (1989, 2001) COR theory has been used to explain the eﬀects of leadership
on exhaustion (Harms et al. 2017). As the central tenet of COR theory, individuals
strive to obtain, retain, and protect valued resources and seek to maximize resource
gains while minimizing resource losses and avoiding potential threats. Resources are
deﬁned as ‘anything perceived by the individual to help attain his or her goals’
(Halbesleben et al. 2014, 1338). Individuals also experience stress when the things
that they value (i.e. their resources or their sense of duty) are under threat of loss or are
lost or when insuﬃcient resources are gained following previous investments. The
emotional exhaustion that results depletes the coping resources that individuals need
to meet emotional demands in the workplace (Maslach, Schaufeli, and Leiter 2001).
When such individuals’ resources have been depleted and they fail to generate
4M. MOLINES ET AL.
additional resources, they are likely to experience exhaustion (Wright and Cropanzano
1998). To counteract this loss, individuals ‘call on resources available to them from the
environment’ (Hobfoll 1989, 517).
According to Hildenbrand, Sacramento, and Binnewies (2018), TFL is a contextual
resource that forms part of a social context. TFL inﬂuences the pool of resources
available to followers (Halbesleben 2006) and therefore provides an ‘advantage’ in
terms of resource gains (Arnold et al. 2015). To the extent that transformational
leaders can reduce ambiguity, provide guidance for eﬀorts, or encourage followers to
pursue new avenues for growth, they can reduce police oﬃcers’ experiences of exhaus-
tion (Bass and Bass 2008; Diebig, Bormann, and Rowold 2016). Furthermore, police
leaders can project positive outlooks and visions, thereby providing reassurance in
times of stress (Bono and Ilies 2006). By providing support, transformational leaders
buﬀer the harmful eﬀects of stressful job environments (Nielsen et al. 2008; Diebig,
Bormann, and Rowold 2016). For example, TFL may temper negative eﬀects of time
pressure by encouraging police oﬃcers to see demands as a challenge that can be
addressed. Second, transformational leaders instil conﬁdence in police oﬃcers in their
abilities to complete their tasks and attain civic objectives (Bass and Riggio 2006).
Transformational leaders continuously develop and empower their subordinates by
working on their strengths and weaknesses (Bass 1985). Hence, police oﬃcers learn
new behaviours and develop skills to cope with pressure. Consequently, we expect TFL
behaviours to be associated with clear, positive visions that reassure subordinates,
allow them to deploy their resources eﬀectively, and reduce exhaustion (Montano et al.
Despite this COR-related rationale, empirical studies of the links between TFL and
exhaustion yield inconsistent ﬁndings (Arnold and Connelly 2013; Hildenbrand,
Sacramento, and Binnewies 2018). Seltzer, Numerof, and Bass (1989) suggest
a positive relationship between TFL and emotional exhaustion in which a leader’s
idealized inﬂuence leads employees to put in longer hours at work and devote more
energy to their work roles. In such cases, intellectual stimulation and the uncertainty
and risk involved in doing things diﬀerently are potential threats to wellbeing, and the
focus on group orientation discourages employees from considering their own health-
related needs. Other studies indicate a positive relationship between TFL and burnout
or employee strain (Franke and Felfe 2011; Arnold et al. 2015). However, some studies
fail to ﬁnd any signiﬁcant relationship between TFL and emotional exhaustion
(Stordeur, D’Hoore, and Vandenberghe 2001; Corrigan et al. 2002; Densten 2005;
Hetland, Sandal, and Johnsen 2007).
Such inconclusive ﬁndings suggest the potential for a curvilinear relationship and
the TMGT eﬀect. As Pierce and Aguinis (2013) argue, the TMGT eﬀect occurs when
ordinarily beneﬁcial antecedents (e.g. TFL) reach inﬂection points, after which their
relationships with desired outcomes (reducing exhaustion) cease to be linear and
negative. It is always undesirable to exceed these inﬂection points, as this leads to
waste (no additional beneﬁt), or worse, undesirable outcomes (increased exhaustion).
Accordingly, we argue that more frequent TFL behaviours are not always beneﬁcial for
followers; TFL inadequacy may entail either an underprovision or overprovision of
behaviours, such as articulating inspiring visions, modelling idealized behaviours,
oﬀering intellectual stimulation, or giving individualized consideration. Such TFL
inadequacies could be detrimental to police oﬃcers by increasing their levels of
PUBLIC MANAGEMENT REVIEW 5
According to COR theory, police leaders who consistently demand that police
oﬃcers go beyond their performance expectations are likely to drain employees’
psychological resources; such supervisors may also be perceived as personal threats
or threats to material resources (Carlson et al. 2012). Conversely, as transformational
leaders increase resources beyond the point at which police oﬃcers are concerned with
the protection or restoration of depleted vital resources, these police oﬃcers become
satiated, and less positive outcomes will be associated with the leaders’ behaviours.
In relying on the theoretical rationale of COR theory, we oﬀer insights into how TFL
behaviours might go beyond the tipping point at which they have a positive impact on
emotional exhaustion. After this inﬂection point (the point at which further increases
in the ‘desirable’ variable are no longer beneﬁcial, i.e. the TMGT eﬀect), TFL may
become detrimental to followers. Accordingly, we argue that TFL reduces emotional
exhaustion only to the point at which there is no additional beneﬁt from more
Hypothesis 1. TFL has a curvilinear (i.e. U-shaped) relationship to emotional exhaus-
tion among police oﬃcers.
LMX as a mediator of the curvilinear relationship between TFL and emotional
We delve into the black box of the relationship between TFL and emotional exhaustion
to better understand why TFL might backﬁre. We investigate the underlying mechan-
isms that intervene in this relationship. As suggested by Gerstner and Day (1997),
follower–supervisor relationships oﬀer a lens through which to view the entire work
experience. Studies have recently suggested that building positive interpersonal rela-
tions (LMX) is an important means through which transformational leaders aﬀect
employees’ organizational outcomes (Wang et al. 2005; Dulebohn et al. 2012).
We argue that the explanatory mechanism underlying the curvilinear relationship
between TFL and exhaustion resides in LMX theory (Graen and Uhl-Bien 1995), which
is grounded in SET (Blau 1964) and the norm of reciprocity (Gouldner 1960). LMX
theory states that leaders enter individually negotiated relationships with each of their
subordinates and do not treat all employees equally (Dansereau, Graen, and Haga
1975). Generally speaking, the realities of the workplace force leaders to divide their
resources and support among subordinates such that only a select few receive resources
that go above and beyond those formally deﬁned in employment contracts (Graen and
Uhl-Bien 1995). Followers who receive additional and valued resources have high-
quality LMX relationships and are subject to strong internal forces that compel them to
repay their supervisors (Sekiguchi, Burton, and Sablynski 2008). Such relationships are
characterized by trust, respect, and mutual obligation. In contrast, followers who
receive only the minimum resources deﬁned by their employment contracts are
typically regarded as little more than ‘hired hands’ (Graen and Uhl-Bien 1995); they
experience less obligation to expend valued resources in an attempt to satisfy direct
Empirical work suggests that LMX acts as a mediator between TFL and diﬀerent
performance outcomes (Wang et al. 2005). However, as Boer et al. (2016) note through
their meta-analysis, the relational process underpinning TFL does not work for all
outcomes, and theoretical underpinnings should be distinguished according to
6M. MOLINES ET AL.
outcome characteristics. The idea of LMX as a mediator of the curvilinear TFL–
emotional exhaustion relationship would be theoretically supported, in part, by three
main eﬀects: (1) the curvilinear relationship between TFL and emotional exhaustion
(see Hypothesis 1), (2) the linear relationship between TFL and LMX, and (3)
a curvilinear relationship between LMX and emotional exhaustion. We draw on an
integrated theoretical rationale that combines COR theory with SET to explain these
Relationship between TFL and LMX
We propose that TFL acts as an antecedent of LMX. Recent meta-analyses identify
a robust, positive association between TFL and LMX (Ng 2017). According to Ng
(2017), LMX is the most proximal and immediate reaction to TFL. Transformational
leaders create environments that enrich the LMX process (Wang et al. 2005). In this
way, TFL is an antecedent of the creation of strong, enduring LMX relationships.
Transformational leaders support their followers through individualized consideration
(Zacher et al. 2014) such that followers are likely to perceive their exchanges as of high
quality (Chun, Cho, and Sosik 2016). This individualized and considerate behaviour is
unique to transformational leaders and is key to enhancing the quality of social
exchange between leaders and followers due to strengthened reciprocation norms
(Cropanzano and Mitchell 2005). Followers led by transformational leaders are more
likely to admire their leaders for their charisma, and wisdom, thereby imbuing their
relationships with respect and trust (Ospina 2017).
Furthermore, transformational leaders are willing to invest time and eﬀort in
cultivating relationships with followers, who are seen as important long-term assets
that help teams. Transformational leaders grant resources and can be instrumental in
achieving high-quality LMX, as they create favourable environments for developing
mutual understanding in supervisor–subordinate dyads that enable subordinates to
meet their supervisors’ expectations more eﬀectively. Speciﬁcally, dyadic interaction
conditions are variables that characterize the tenure, frequency, and quality of dyadic
communication between supervisors and subordinates (Gerstner and Day 1997). In
this sense, TFL behaviours strengthen mutual understanding and reinforce super-
visors’ aﬀection for their subordinates (Ashkanasy and Tse 2000). Accordingly, we
suggest that TFL has a linear, positive relationship to LMX.
Relationship between LMX and emotional exhaustion
The few studies that have empirically investigated the relationship between LMX and
emotional exhaustion (Bakker, Demerouti, and Euwema 2005; Thomas and Lankau
2009; Son, Kim, and Kim 2014; Harms et al. 2017) have shown that those involved in
high-quality LMX relationships experience fewer role stressors. The rationale for this
ﬁnding stems from role theory (Liden, Sparrowe, and Wayne 1997): leaders of indivi-
duals involved in high-quality LMX relationships provide emotional support, stronger
communication, and clearly deﬁned roles for their subordinates, which help those
subordinates eliminate uncertainty and keep their levels of stress and exhaustion low.
Conversely, those engaged in low-quality LMX relationships experience higher levels
of stress and exhaustion, as they do not receive adequate information to alleviate their
feelings of uncertainty.
PUBLIC MANAGEMENT REVIEW 7
According to COR theory, LMX also functions as a valued resource for subordi-
nates. Hobfoll (1989) argues that interpersonal relations are resources to the extent that
they provide or facilitate the attainment of other valuable resources. For example,
supervisors provide emotional and informational support to subordinates by engaging
in high-quality exchange relationships. When eﬀective dyadic relationships are estab-
lished, supervisors oﬀer sensitivity, information, and support to their subordinates
(Dienesch and Liden 1986). Subordinates who receive more material and social
resources achieve the job performance that supervisors expect (Jensen, Olberding,
and Rodgers 1997). As a result, supervisors assign them additional tasks (Dienesch
and Liden 1986) and view them as more promotable candidates. This interactive
process indicates that LMX bestows subordinates with valuable emotional and tangible
beneﬁts that render them better able to achieve performance and career success.
Because of its eﬀectiveness for high-performance outcomes, LMX is valued and desired
by subordinates. Subordinates therefore use TFL resources to develop high-quality
However, Harris and Kacmar (2006) show that a U-shape form characterizes the
relationship between LMX quality and stress. Speciﬁcally, stress levels are high when
LMX quality is low, decrease when LMX quality is moderate to moderately high, and
increase again when LMX quality is high. Those who enjoy high-quality LMX relation-
ships with their supervisors experience more stress than their counterparts involved in
moderate-quality LMX relationships. According to Harris and Kacmar (2006), this
result stems from the extra pressures and obligations that subordinates involved in
high-quality LMX relationships experience to go above and beyond their duties, reduce
their feelings of obligation, and meet the expectations of their admired bosses (Blau
According to SET, the more people become interdependent, the more they give,
receive, and return to their partners (Blau 1964). As explained by Bernerth, Walker,
and Harris (2016), repeated successful exchanges with the same partners elicit
positive reactions, as relationship balance is achieved; persistent imbalance instead
elicits negative reactions, as feelings of indebtedness or non-reciprocity develop
(Carnevale et al. 2020). In this sense, social exchange is a self-reinforcing process
that is intertwined with aﬀect (Walter and Bruch 2008). However, not all relation-
ships are deﬁned by equitable giving and receiving; many relationships result in
negative outcomes when people perceive imbalances between what they give and
what they receive. Unbalanced social exchange relationships in the workplace expose
employees to one-way exchanges/losses of resources that initiate negative outcomes
such as emotional exhaustion (Thomas and Lankau 2009). If at some point the
requests of police leaders overwhelm subordinates, those requests may lead to
increased levels of exhaustion as police oﬃcers move from positive to negative
outcomes of LMX. As suggested by Bernerth, Walker, and Harris (2016), high levels
of LMX can have negative eﬀects due to challenges between resource reciprocity and
self-protection. In examining both parts of LMX theory simultaneously, we predict
that at a certain point, for subordinates, the beneﬁts of having high-quality relation-
ships with their supervisors no longer counteract the demands placed on them,
thereby increasing their levels of exhaustion (Edwards 1992). For subordinates,
there is a point of diminishing returns at which the aggregation of felt obligations
(Carnevale et al. 2020) is no longer counteracted by increased support and commu-
nication from their supervisors.
8M. MOLINES ET AL.
Hypothesis 2. LMX mediates the curvilinear (i.e. U-shaped) relationship between TFL
and emotional exhaustion for police oﬃcers.
Materials and methods
Participants and procedure
We collected data from the French police force, which is one of the country’s most
important employers, with approximately 149,000 police oﬃcers. The French police
force is in charge of urban areas where most public safety issues and police-community
conﬂicts take place. Although the French police force is dependent on a central
authority (and thus directly answerable to the government), each police station func-
tions as an autonomous unit with one senior police leader held responsible for
managing local oﬃcers (Molines, Sanséau, and Adamovic 2017).
French police are managed under a bureaucratic system involving the specialization
of tasks and duties, objective qualiﬁcations for positions, action according to rules and
regulations, and hierarchical authority (Monjardet 1997). Police oﬃcers mostly oper-
ate under an authoritarian command structure in which orders ﬂow one way and top
down (i.e. high power distance). However, various works in sociology report a process
of hierarchical inversion speciﬁc to police organizations that emerges from a police
oﬃcer’s autonomy in the ﬁeld (van Maanen 1975). Indeed, policing requires that
enough initiative capacity be left to the police oﬃcer in the ﬁeld. Police oﬃcers need
to be able to select tasks to be performed and how they will achieve them to face the
uncertainties of the diﬀerent situations in their everyday routines. However, if the
‘hierarchy has no control over action, it has control over men’. Police leaders play
a central role in the rating of their subordinates that directly aﬀects their salaries and
career advancement. These leaders also control numerous other signiﬁcant elements
such as managing relationships with external sponsors, budgets, or materials
(Monjardet 1997). These speciﬁcities seem to hold across diﬀerent police forces in
the world (Haberfeld 2006).
We collected data from the mailing lists of the police trade unions of 35 selected
police stations, which contain the contact information of street police oﬃcers whose
primary responsibility is to ensure public order at demonstrations and riots. We sent
the participants an Internet link that informed them of the purpose of the research and
guaranteed that their responses would be kept conﬁdential, assuring them that no
organizational representative would have access to their responses. No ordinary police
oﬃcers, senior oﬃcers, or trade union oﬃcials saw the completed surveys. We also
indicated the voluntary nature of participation. We asked that the questionnaires be
completed within two weeks and sent a reminder after one week.
We administered online surveys at two points of measurement separated by an
average of eight weeks to reduce biases pertaining to our data collection methods
(Podsakoﬀ, MacKenzie, and Podsakoﬀ 2012). To match participants’ responses across
the two waves and to corresponding police stations, we asked the participants to
generate identiﬁcation codes. In the ﬁrst wave of data collection, we included measures
of TFL and control variables (age, gender, and seniority). We assessed the mediating
and dependent variables, LMX and emotional exhaustion, in the second questionnaire.
PUBLIC MANAGEMENT REVIEW 9
Leadership constructs (TFL and LMX) referred to participants’ direct supervisors (i.e.
senior police oﬃcers).
At Time 1, we sent 1,308 questionnaires and collected responses from 1,036 police
oﬃcers, of which we excluded 5 due to missing data or identiﬁcation codes. At Time 2,
we received the responses of 847 police oﬃcers. We excluded 6 participants due to
missing data or identiﬁcation codes. Matching the two questionnaires yielded a sample
of 806 complete responses (76% response rate for all respondents at Time 1). To
determine whether subject attrition led to non-random sampling, we tested whether
the probability of remaining in the sample at Time 2 was predicted by Time 1 variables
(Goodman and Blum 1996). We carried out logistic regression to predict the response
to one measurement occasion (vs. responses to both Time 1 and Time 2), which
revealed that employees who provided incomplete answers at one of the two measure-
ment points did not signiﬁcantly diﬀer by gender or study variables from those who
completed both questionnaires. However, older participants (B = 0.03, z = 3.01, p <.01)
and those with more seniority (B = 0.03, z = 3.36, p < .001) were more likely to respond
to one phase only.
Our ﬁnal sample includes 806 police oﬃcers from 35 French police stations. The
average number of respondents per police station is 23.03. The average age of the
respondents is 37.70 years (SD. = 7.39), and 92.18% are men. We should note that our
sample is mostly composed of male police oﬃcers and thus cannot be considered
representative of the whole French police. The participants’ average tenure with the
police force was 14.66 years (SD. = 7.81).
We translated all scales from English to French using a back-translation procedure
We used 16 items from the short version of the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire
5X (Avolio, Bass, and Jung 1999), as in previous studies (Kark, Shamir, and Chen 2003;
Hildenbrand, Sacramento, and Binnewies 2018), including items reﬂecting the follow-
ing behavioural components: individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation,
inspirational motivation, and idealized inﬂuence. In line with previous studies, due
to the strong intercorrelations across the four dimensions of TFL, we averaged the
items to compose an overall measure of TFL. We asked participants to denote the
frequency with which their leader engaged in each of the behaviours on a 5-point scale.
A sample item reads: ‘My direct supervisor seeks diﬀering perspectives when solving
problems.’ The coeﬃcient alpha was .94.
We assessed emotional exhaustion using eight items from Maslach and Jackson’s
(1981) emotional exhaustion measure (MBI). We gauged responses using a scale
ranging from 1 (‘strongly disagree’) to 5 (‘strongly agree’). A sample item reads: ‘I
am emotionally drained from my work.’ The coeﬃcient alpha was .90.
10 M. MOLINES ET AL.
We used a short version of the 12-item LMX–MDM scale from Liden and Maslyn
(1998) containing 8 items to measure individual perceptions of the quality of relation-
ships between supervisors and their employees. The LMX–MDM scale is
a multidimensional measure of LMX quality. We collected data from the perspective
of subordinates and measured them on a scale ranging from 1 (‘not at all’) to 5
(‘extremely’). A sample item reads: ‘I like my direct supervisor very much as
a person.’ The coeﬃcient alpha was .96.
To reduce the likelihood of possible alternative explanations, we also collected demo-
graphic data that may aﬀect followers’ perceptions of TFL, LMX, and emotional
exhaustion. Speciﬁcally, we controlled for the eﬀects of age, gender, and police seniority.
We used multilevel modelling to test our hypotheses in Mplus 7.0 (Muthén and
Muthén 2015), as the studied police oﬃcers are employed at precincts (police stations);
TFL, LMX, and emotional exhaustion were thus used as individual (Level 1) variables.
All predictor variables were grand mean centred as recommended by Hofmann,
Griﬃn, and Gavin (2000). We computed squared terms on the centred scores for
TFL and LMX. For all analyses, we controlled for the age, gender, and seniority of the
police oﬃcers, as each of these features may aﬀect the leadership constructs (TFL and
LMX) and emotional exhaustion.
Our theoretical model tests nonlinear mediation from TFL (X) to emotional
exhaustion (Y) through LMX (M). Speciﬁcally, our model can be described by the
following set of equations (excluding control variables):
To test the mediation hypothesis, we employed the approach described by Hayes and
Preacher (2010), which is speciﬁcally designed for nonlinear mediation. In our model,
path a is linear while path b is quadratic. Consequently, the indirect eﬀect must be
computed according to the following formula: θ¼a b1þ2b2iMþaX½ �ð Þ (see Hayes
and Preacher 2010, 633). As the formula shows, the indirect eﬀect is not constant as in
traditional linear mediation but depends on the value of the predictor X. In other
words, the mediating eﬀect of LMX depends on the level of TFL. Because the indirect
eﬀect is not constant, in this approach, the indirect eﬀect is known as the instantaneous
indirect eﬀect (Hayes and Preacher 2010). The instantaneous indirect eﬀect is the
mediating eﬀect of the mediator (LMX) at a speciﬁc value of the predictor (TFL). Our
analysis of instantaneous indirect eﬀects allows us to understand the relationship
between TFL and exhaustion by identifying levels of TFL at which LMX acts as
PUBLIC MANAGEMENT REVIEW 11
Table 1 reports descriptive statistics. We performed conﬁrmatory factor analysis (CFA)
of TFL, LMX, and emotional exhaustion to assess the quality of our measures. The
analysis yielded a satisfactory ﬁt (χ2  = 27.786, p < .01, conﬁrmatory ﬁt index
[CFI] = .965, root mean square of approximation [RMSEA] = .074, standardized root
mean square residual [SRMR] = .056) signiﬁcantly better than those of the alternative
measurement models (p Δχ2 < .01).
Next, we investigated whether the participants’ responses are related to their pre-
cincts. A one-way analysis of the variance in the two outcome variables reveals that
a signiﬁcant amount of variance can be explained by diﬀerences between precincts for
emotional exhaustion (F[34,771] = 1.657, p < .05, intraclass correlation [ICC] = .028)
and LMX (F[34,771] = 1.534, p < .05, ICC = .021). The ICC values are very low,
meaning that using a multilevel framework did not result in substantial improvements
in the non-multilevel analyses (Bliese 2000).
We ﬁrst tested the relationship between TFL and emotional exhaustion. For our ﬁrst
model, we entered the control variables (age, gender, and seniority) as predictor
variables (Model 1a). For our second model, we entered TFL and the squared term
for TFL as predictor variables (Model 1b). In both models, the dependent variable is
emotional exhaustion. Table 2 reports the estimates of both models. Figure 1 (Panel A)
reports the plot of the relationship between TFL and emotional exhaustion while
controlling for age, gender, and seniority.
Model 2b explains signiﬁcantly more variance than Model 2a (ΔF = 14.05, p < .001).
Consistent with the hypothesized U-shaped curvilinear relationship, the squared term
for TFL is positive and signiﬁcant (B¼:090;p<:01). The linear term is also signiﬁcant
(B¼ :236;p<:001), suggesting that higher levels of TFL negatively relate to emotional
exhaustion, but only to the point at which there is no additional beneﬁt of more TFL.
We then tested the mediation hypothesis by including TFL (X), LMX (M), and
emotional exhaustion (Y). Prior to testing the mediation hypothesis, we ran regression
analyses to investigate (1) the hypothesized linear relationship between the predictor
(TFL) and the mediator (LMX) and (2) the hypothesized U-shaped curvilinear rela-
tionship between the mediator (LMX) and the outcome (emotional exhaustion) while
controlling for TFL. In both analyses, we controlled for age, gender, and seniority.
Table 1. Means, standard deviations, alphas, and correlations.
Mean SD 1 2 3 4 5 6
1. Age 37.30 7.39 -
2. Gender (0 = Female, 1 = Male) .92 .27 .12 -
3. Seniority 14.66 7.81 .93 .11 -
4. Transformational Leadership (TFL) 2.34 .75 −.13 .04 −.14 (.94)
5. Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) 2.66 1.13 −.12 .04 −.13 .63 (.96)
6. Emotional Exhaustion 2.44 .90 .01 .00 .01 −.10 −.22 (.90)
N = 806. SD = Standard deviation. Correlations of >.06 are signiﬁcant at p =.05. Reliabilities are shown in
parentheses on the diagonal.
12 M. MOLINES ET AL.
We entered the control variables (age, gender, and seniority) as predictors of LMX
(Model 2a). Next, we entered TFL as a predictor (Model 2b). Table 3 reports the
estimates of Models 2a and 2b. Model 2b explains signiﬁcantly more variance than
Model 2a (ΔF = 1188.34, p < .001). Consistent with our hypothesis, the association
Table 2. Estimates of models predicting emotional exhaustion.
Model 1a Model 1b Model 1 c 95% Conﬁdence Interval
Step 1. Control variables
Age −.002 −.005 −.002 [−.027;.022]
Gender −.007 .015 .032 [−.245;.310]
Seniority .004 .005 .002 [−.024;.028]
Step 2. Total eﬀects of TFL
TFL −.236*** −.047 [−.151;.056]
Squared TFL .090** .004 [−.088;.096]
Step 3. Direct eﬀects of LMX
LMX −.157*** [−.244; −.069]
Squared LMX .087* [.005;.170]
Overall F.07 5.66 7.46
.03 .06 .08
N = 806. TFL = Transformational leadership; LMX = Leader-member exchange. *** p <.001; ** p <.01; * p <.05.
Figure 1. Graphic representation of the relationships between transformational leadership and emotional exhaus-
tion (Panel A), transformational leadership and LMX (Panel B), and LMX and emotional exhaustion (Panel C).
Table 3. Estimates of models predicting leader-member exchange (LMX).
Model 2a Model 2b 95% Conﬁdence Interval
Step 1. Control variables
Age −.001 .009 [−.009;.026]
Gender .213 .071 [−.112;.256]
Seniority −.012 −.012 [−.029;.005]
Step 2. Total eﬀect of TFL
TFL 1.037 [.978; 1.096]
Overall F4.76 305.87
N = 806. TFL = Transformational leadership; LMX = Leader–member exchange. *** p < .001; ** p <
.01; * p < .05.
PUBLIC MANAGEMENT REVIEW 13
between TFL and LMX is positive and signiﬁcant (B¼1:040;p<:001). Figure 1 (Panel
B) shows the linear relationship between TFL and LMX.
Table 2 (Model 1 c) reports the results of the analysis involving the mediator (LMX) and
outcome (emotional exhaustion) while controlling for TFL; Figure 1 (Panel C) shows the
representation. Model 1 c explains signiﬁcantly more variance than Model 1b (ΔF = 11.61,
p < .001). Consistent with our expectations, the squared term for LMX is positive and
signiﬁcant (B¼:087;p<:05). The linear term is also signiﬁcant (B¼ :157;p<:001),
suggesting that higher levels of LMX negatively relate to emotional exhaustion but only to
the point at which there is no additional beneﬁt of more LMX. In this model, TFL and its
squared term are no longer signiﬁcant, which is in line with our mediation hypothesis.
We then tested the mediation hypothesis by computing instantaneous indirect
relationships for various levels of TFL. Figure 2 shows a plot of instantaneous indirect
relationships against TFL together with their 95% conﬁdence intervals (CIs).
As Figure 2 shows, combining the linear path a and the quadratic path b yields
a linear curve for the instantaneous indirect relationship between TFL and emotional
exhaustion through LMX. For low levels of TFL, the instantaneous indirect relation-
ship is signiﬁcantly negative. The absolute value of the instantaneous indirect relation-
ship decreases as TFL increases and becomes non-signiﬁcant for high levels of TFL
(95% CIs include 0).
Our analysis of the instantaneous indirect eﬀect allows us to better understand the
curvilinear relationship between TFL and emotional exhaustion. Note that we found
a negative relationship between TFL and emotional exhaustion, but only to the point at
which there is no additional beneﬁt of more TFL (Model 1). In calculating instanta-
neous indirect eﬀects, we ﬁnd that at low levels of TFL, the relationship between TFL
and emotional exhaustion is mediated by LMX. In other words, at low levels of TFL,
Figure 2. Instantaneous indirect mediation eﬀect of transformational leadership on emotional exhaustion via
LMX as a function of transformational leadership.
14 M. MOLINES ET AL.
TFL negatively relates to emotional exhaustion, as more TFL leads to more LMX,
which in turn leads to less exhaustion.
The situation is very diﬀerent at high levels of TFL. The relationship between TFL
and exhaustion weakens and even starts to reverse as TFL increases. Our analysis of
instantaneous indirect eﬀects reveals that at higher levels of TFL, LMX reaches a level
at which it no longer contributes to exhaustion. Consequently, at high levels of TFL,
the instantaneous indirect eﬀect becomes non-signiﬁcant, and there is no relationship
between TFL and emotional exhaustion.
Our research aims to contribute to current understanding of leadership and exhaustion
in public organizations. Previous theoretical perspectives and empirical works argue
for linear relationships, but we challenge this conventional wisdom by postulating the
presence of a curvilinear (i.e. U-shaped) relationship between TFL and emotional
exhaustion through LMX among French police oﬃcers. According to the TMGT
framework (Pierce and Aguinis 2013) and a framework that integrates the theories
of COR (Hobfoll 1989) and SET (Blau 1964), our study suggests that the relationship
between TFL and emotional exhaustion through the mediation of LMX is more likely
to be curvilinear.
Consistent with COR assumptions and previous work (e.g. Harms et al. 2017), we
propose that TFL may act as a contextual resource that allows followers to deploy their
own resources more eﬀectively and thereby reduce their levels of emotional exhaus-
tion. However, our results suggest that the negative eﬀect of TFL on emotional
exhaustion may not be perfectly linear; it becomes less and less pronounced. It
seems that TFL reduces emotional exhaustion only to a point (i.e. inﬂection point) at
which there are no beneﬁts of more TFL. Beyond this inﬂection point, when TFL
increases from moderate to high, levels of emotional exhaustion are more likely to
increase. Our results suggest that this counterintuitive ﬁnding can be attributed to the
fact that LMX as a mediator may reach a level at which it no longer reduces emotional
Speciﬁcally, at low to moderate TFL levels, LMX may serve as both a resource and
a reservoir of resources that may be drawn on as predicted by role theory (Liden,
Sparrowe, and Wayne 1997) such that it reduces exhaustion. Additionally, TFL
enhances LMX by strengthening the reciprocation norm (through a social exchange
mechanism), which motivates followers to reciprocate (Ng 2017; Carnevale et al. 2020).
However, our results suggest that beyond the inﬂection point, when TFL increases
from moderate to high, the reciprocation norm induced by LMX may lead to exhaus-
tion. Thus, beyond this point, the relationship between LMX quality and emotional
exhaustion is more likely to become positive due to permanently expanded obligations
(i.e. social exchange rationale), resulting in a curvilinear relationship. Overall our
results suggest that below a certain level, TFL has motivating but also draining aspects
according to the quality of relationships with leaders.
We contribute to TFL research by theoretically explaining how (i.e. through LMX) and
when (i.e. through curvilinear relationships) TFL is most likely to be associated with
PUBLIC MANAGEMENT REVIEW 15
police oﬃcers’ emotional exhaustion. Our research in turn identiﬁes a new avenue for
leadership research in public organizations and law enforcement by revealing some
unintended eﬀects of TFL. Followers may respond to highly transformational leaders
with more exhaustion. In addition to focusing on constructive forms of leadership,
prior literature has explored the negative eﬀects or ‘dark side’ of leadership (Conger
1990) by using terms such as ‘destructive,’ ‘toxic,’ ‘derailed,’ ‘tyrannical,’ or ‘abusive’ to
describe ‘poor’ leader behaviours (e.g. harassment and mistreatment of subordinates)
(see Schyns and Schilling 2013 for a meta-analysis overview of destructive leadership;
Mackey et al. 2017 for a meta-analysis overview of abusive supervision). In the TFL
literature, the term ‘pseudo-transformational leadership’ describes cases in which
leaders’ intentions or motives explain the negative eﬀects of TFL behaviours (Bass,
Avolio, and Atwater 1996). Pseudo-transformational leadership diﬀers from TFL, as it
is manifested rom a combination of TFL behaviours (i.e. low idealized inﬂuence and
high inspirational motivation (Barling, Christie, and Turner 2008). Other authors
propose that TFL changes the relationship between leaders and followers from a two-
way exchange to a one-way process of domination that has inherently negative eﬀects
(Collinson, Smolović Jones, and Grint 2017). By focusing on constructive leadership,
we introduce another approach to understanding the potentially negative eﬀects of
TFL as a result of the TMGT eﬀect; that is, leaders’ intentions, motivations, or
dispositions (Dasborough and Ashkanasy 2002) are not necessarily the cause of
harmful eﬀects (i.e. transformational leaders ‘doing it wrong’). Rather, such eﬀects
may be the result of the core component of leadership and its curvilinear nature.
Several scholars acknowledge that leadership is a complex phenomenon and call for
explorations of the U-shaped relationships between leadership and employee out-
comes (Crosby and Bryson 2018; Vergauwe et al. 2018). Despite the popularity of
TFL among practitioners and public management scholars (Ospina 2017), to our
knowledge, this is the ﬁrst study to empirically test the curvilinear eﬀects of TFL on
followers’ exhaustion. Our results support the idea that TFL has motivating but also
draining aspects at below and above a certain level. The observed curvilinear outcomes
may explain why previous studies uncover inconsistent and inconclusive eﬀects when
studying the relationship between TFL and stress (Arnold et al. 2015).
Although TFL has been shown to inﬂuence employee wellbeing through mean-
ingfulness of work, trust in leaders, self-eﬃcacy, or striving (Arnold et al. 2007; Liu,
Siu, and Shi 2010; Hildenbrand, Sacramento, and Binnewies 2018), this study also
demonstrates that LMX is an important mechanism by which TFL aﬀects well-being.
This result reinforces Ng’s (2017) recent work by conﬁrming that LMX is the most
proximal antecedent of TFL and is an important mechanism for both performance
outcomes and well-being. We ﬁnd evidence of full mediation, suggesting that the
curvilinear relationship between TFL and emotional exhaustion stems from social
exchange components. Furthermore, our ﬁndings support the few studies that ﬁnd
curvilinear eﬀects of LMX on workplace stress outcomes (Harris, Kacmar, and Witt
2005; Harris and Kacmar 2006; Sui et al. 2016).
We provide a more reﬁned theoretical framework for understanding the curvilinear
relationship between leadership and emotional exhaustion in public organizations by
combining the theoretical lenses of COR theory (Hobfoll 1989) and SET (Blau 1964).
We answer various calls from public management scholars to develop and test leader-
ship theory with an emphasis on causality and theory building (Ospina 2017; Crosby
and Bryson 2018; Hartley 2018).
16 M. MOLINES ET AL.
Finally, though substantial work examines the eﬀects of TFL on followers’ attitudes
and behaviours, it tends to focus on leaders’ active roles and attributes. A follower-
centric approach devoted to the ‘romance of leadership’ (Meindl 1995) prompted
Shamir (2007) to suggest that scholars ‘reverse the lens’ by studying followers’ needs,
values, wants, and preferences with regard to their perceptions of and reactions to
diﬀerent leadership styles and levels. Our ﬁndings of the curvilinear eﬀects of TFL on
emotional exhaustion through LMX suggest that TFL and its positive or negative
consequences may be the result of followers’ perceptions and feelings of adequacy
related to their pre-existing and evolving needs. This notion not only supports the
literature on the importance of followers’ basic need fulﬁlment through leadership
processes (Kovjanic et al. 2012) but also conﬁrms evidence on the adequacy of these
needs and on their alignment with leadership styles, amounts, and levels (de Vries,
Roe, and Taillieu 2002).
Scholars often frame leadership constructs as ‘positive’ or ‘desirable’ in any and all
amounts and levels (Pierce and Aguinis 2013) while neglecting the dynamism of the
modern workplace (Cavarretta et al. 2015). Our results suggest that leadership beha-
viours traditionally regarded as beneﬁcial (i.e. TFL and LMX) can have detrimental
eﬀects on the emotional exhaustion of public employees when practiced at extraor-
dinary levels. In other words, too little or too much TFL or LMX can be dysfunctional.
By identifying counter-theoretical eﬀects of TFL on emotional exhaustion via LMX, we
can identify best leadership practices for public organizations.
First, there is a need to more thoroughly consider the impact of leadership practices
on public servants’ work outcomes from various perspectives such as health issues.
Because TFL and LMX have been associated with positive performance outcomes,
public managers have been heavily inﬂuenced by the notion that such behaviours will
necessarily result in outcomes that are systematically more desirable (Ospina 2017;
Crosby and Bryson 2018). However, our ﬁndings suggest that leaders who engage in
excessive TFL or LMX behaviours with their followers can generate emotional exhaus-
tion among these followers. Public managers should be aware of the potentially
negative eﬀects of leadership (as well as their positive eﬀects of course).
Second, our ﬁndings indicate that moderate levels of TFL and LMX are preferable.
While it is diﬃcult to draw a precise line between ‘just enough’ and ‘too much’ of
certain leadership behaviours, we identify a few factors that can inﬂuence positive
leadership eﬀectiveness in public organizations. We recommend that police managers
maintain a balanced approach when engaging in TFL behaviours towards their fol-
lowers. For those whose TFL may be above optimal, coaching and development
programmes aimed at managing potential operational weaknesses, enhancing self-
awareness, and encouraging self-regulation can be useful (Kark, Van Dijk, and
Vashdi 2018). Highly transformational leaders can also beneﬁt from receiving feedback
from their co-workers on their eﬀectiveness, revealing any potential gaps between their
perceptions and the perceptions of others. In contrast, coaching programs for leaders
low on transformational behaviours may focus more on encouraging their strategic
actions in police stations.
More generally, instead of providing ‘one-size-ﬁts-all’ advice, we encourage public
leaders to develop their own best practices by continuously taking the pulse of their
PUBLIC MANAGEMENT REVIEW 17
teams and establishing the extent to which their subordinates need more or less
transformational action. This implication is in line with recent work by Lee et al.
(2019), who empirically demonstrate the importance of consistency in performance-
related relationships (i.e. viewing relationships with followers in terms of both
quality and a lack of ambiguity). Furthermore, our work can help public managers
understand why TFL interventions intended to have positive eﬀects may evoke
negative eﬀects. For example, providing TFL behavioural training to work unit
leaders may produce emotional exhaustion in followers with strong LMX relation-
ships with trained leaders.
Accordingly, we propose several ways to mitigate police oﬃcers’ experiences of
emotional exhaustion (TFL training, evaluation of supervisors’ TFL as part of annual
developmental assessments, 360° feedback (see Piccolo and Colquitt 2006), and the use
of instruments such as Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire Form 5X-Short (Bass and
Bass 2008)) to tailor levels of transformational action to the needs of subordinates. To
diﬀerentiate and adapt their levels of transformational action, managers should iden-
tify their employees’ needs and characteristics. By ensuring that leaders express TFL
behaviours at moderate levels, organizations can better protect police oﬃcers’ mental
health and reduce their levels of job stress.
Our ﬁndings also reveal the importance of establishing quality relationships between
leaders and followers. Public organizations might consider reassigning leaders or fol-
lowers to break up ‘toxic’ or ‘overly friendly’ dyads. Therefore, our results suggest that
enhancing TFL behaviours in public organizations should also encourage LMX, which
might be especially relevant in contexts such as those of law enforcement. This implica-
tion is strengthened by research that links LMX to enhanced individual health (see
Harms et al. 2017). Public managers can more readily and quickly tailor the quality of
the relationships they share with their followers than change their employees’ percep-
tions and psychological attitudes – which are unobservable, subjective, and time-
consuming to change. Finally, recent works suggest that leaders are not the only source
of social exchange relationships that can develop through horizontal processes within
teams (see Banks et al. 2014 for a meta-analysis). Thus, public organizations should
develop team practices that create and enhance adequate social exchange relationships
among co-workers beyond those initiated by leaders (Lee et al. 2019).
Limitations and research directions
Several limitations to our study reveal new avenues for research. First, our use of self-
reported measures leaves our ﬁndings vulnerable to single-source bias (Podsakoﬀ,
MacKenzie, and Podsakoﬀ 2012). While we defend that individuals are in the best
position to provide information regarding their experiences of leadership and burnout
(see McKee et al. 2018 for a diﬀerent point of view), future research should try to avoid
issues associated with self-ratings by having direct supervisors rate their leadership
styles or experiences of burnout or by using ratings from colleagues or family members
(Hildenbrand, Sacramento, and Binnewies 2018). Furthermore, our temporal separa-
tion of our predictorsfrom our outcome variable likely to supports the curvilinear
relationship and mediation results observed. In addition, single-source variance is not
likely to inﬂuence interactions and curvilinear eﬀects (Siemsen, Roth, and Oliveira
2010). We also rely on solid, well-established theoretical rationales.
18 M. MOLINES ET AL.
Second, we collected our data from a single organization. While this approach
helped control for potentially confounding eﬀects across organizations and activities
(Hannah et al. 2009), the singular context considered may have also created unique
conditions that increased the observed range of leadership constructs (Hällgren,
Rouleau, and de Rond 2018). Prior research has shown that leadership in police
organizations can aﬀect oﬃcers’ health and wellness (Burke 2017). This study ﬁnds
a curvilinear relationship between TFL, LMX, and emotional exhaustion among
French police oﬃcers. The external validity of these ﬁndings depends on how similar
the eﬀects of leadership on oﬃcers’ health are in police organizations in other countries
with diﬀerent institutional and cultural characteristics to the eﬀects found in French
police organizations. In interpreting the impact of TFL on emotional exhaustion, one
cannot ignore the importance of work contexts. TFL is not independent of work
environments (van Knippenberg and Sitkin 2013). Organizational variables such as
organizational structure may also play an important role here. Context may also be
determined by cultural concerns. As we focus on French police oﬃcers in this study,
the relationships obtained here may be considered unique to the speciﬁc structures and
cultures involved. However, we believe that high-stress, high-pressure situations are
rather typical for the ‘normal’ leadership contexts of many public organizations (e.g.
nursing and ﬁreﬁghting) enhancing the likelihood of ﬁnding a too-much-of-a-good-
thing eﬀect (de Rond, Rouleau, and Hällgren 2018).
Studies of other settings (e.g. diﬀerent public organizations and national cultures)
would reinforce conﬁdence in the generalizability of our results. Moreover, we used
a unidimensional measure of TFL and LMX to capture all transformational beha-
viours and the exchange relationship. While the use of a composite unidimensional
measure of TFL and LMX is consistent with prior research, future research should
investigate whether speciﬁc dimensions of TFL and LMX might aﬀect the ﬁndings
reported in this study. Furthermore, recent studies in public management recom-
mend the use of a speciﬁc measure of TFL related to public organizations to over-
come limitations noted by van Knippenberg and Sitkin (2013) (see also Jensen et al.
2019 for a complete discussion). However, in line with previous works, we adhere to
the original Bass Full Range Leadership Model (and the MLQ) and do not divide the
four transformational subscales, as they are intended to form a measure of transfor-
mational leadership, which is conceptualized as a driver of change in an organiza-
tion. Our attempt is also important because the TFL research has been criticized for
a lack of clarity as a result of diﬀerent approaches used by diﬀerent researchers and
for a lack of theoretical justiﬁcation of the mediating processes tested (van
Knippenberg and Sitkin 2013).
Third, we did not introduce contextual factors into our analysis of the relationship
between TFL and emotional exhaustion. Previous research indicates that this relation-
ship is positive or negative depending on speciﬁc moderators used such as followers’
attributes or organizational contexts (see van Knippenberg and Sitkin 2013). For exam-
ple, in conditions of high levels of environmental uncertainty, the inﬂection point in the
curvilinear association between TFL and exhaustion might occur at higher levels of TFL
than it would in conditions of low levels of environmental uncertainty. Contingency
approaches to leadership also suggest testing the TMGT eﬀects of TFL while using
followers’ attributes and needs (i.e. self-determination theory) as moderators.
Another research focus arises from the sequential relationships between TFL, LMX,
and emotional exhaustion. Much more explanation is needed about the processes by
PUBLIC MANAGEMENT REVIEW 19
which TFL aﬀects public servants. Montano et al.’s (2017) recent meta-analysis shows
that burnout mediates the relationship between leadership and job performance. Qin
et al. (2014) support the idea that emotional exhaustion is not always detrimental for
followers; in speciﬁc conditions, it may magnify employees’ propensities to engage in
prohibitive voice behaviours. It is worth exploring the mediating role of emotional
exhaustion in workplace performance outcomes according to a curvilinear framework
to determine whether exhaustion is a prerequisite of strong performance when TFL
levels are high or when LMX is of high quality.
In this study, we build and test a theoretical model based on COR and SET to explore
how, through LMX, TFL may be related to emotional exhaustion. In line with the
TMGT framework, our results suggest a U-shaped relationship between TFL and
emotional exhaustion as a result of LMX. Our ﬁndings clarify how TFL is more likely
to be related to exhaustion and highlight the potential detrimental eﬀects of TFL when
it goes beyond a tipping point. Much more research applying experimental and
nonexperimental designs to diﬀerent contexts is needed before we can draw any
deﬁnite conclusions about the complex eﬀects of leadership on employee wellbeing
in public organizations.
No potential conﬂict of interest was reported by the author(s).
Notes on contributors
Mathieu Molines is Assistant Professor in Management at ESCE International Business School. His
research focus on leadership and wellbeing at work. He is specialized in survey studies and ﬁeld
Assâad El Akremi is Professor in Management at Toulouse School of Management, specialized in
Human Resources Management. His research focus on leadership and micro corporate social respon-
sibility. He has published in leading journals such as Journal of Management, Journal of
Organizational Behavior, and Journal of Management Studies.
Martin Storme is assistant Professor at IESEG School of Management. His research interests include
creativity, personality, and research methods.
Pinar Celik is assistant Professor at Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management. She is
specialized in cognitive and experimental psychology with a speciﬁc focus on emotions.
Antonakis, J., R. J. House, and D. K. Simonton. 2017. “Can Super Smart Leaders Suﬀer from Too
Much of a Good Thing? The Curvilinear Eﬀect of Intelligence on Perceived Leadership Behavior.”
Journal of Applied Psychology 102 (7): 1003–1021.
Arnold, K. A., and C. E. Connelly. 2013. “Transformational Leadership and Psychological Well-Being:
Eﬀects on Followers and Leaders.” In The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Psychology of Leadership,
Change and Organizational Development, edited by H. S. Leonard, R. Lewis, A. Freedman, and
J. Passmore, 175–194. Chichester, England: Wiley-Blackwell.
20 M. MOLINES ET AL.
Arnold, K. A., C. E. Connelly, M. M. Walsh, and K. A. M. Ginis. 2015. “Leadership Styles, Emotion
Regulation, and Burnout.” Journal of Occupational Health Psychology 20 (4): 481–490.
Arnold, K. A., N. Turner, J. Barling, E. K. Kelloway, and M. C. McKee. 2007. “Transformational
Leadership and Psychological Well-Being: The Mediating Role of Meaningful Work.” Journal of
Occupational Health Psychology 12 (3): 193–203.
Ashkanasy, N. M., and B. Tse. 2000. “Transformational Leadership as Management of Emotion:
A Conceptual Review.” In Emotions in the Workplace: Research, Theory, and Practice., edited by
N. Ashkanasy, C. Hartel, and W. Zerbe, 221–235. Westport, CT: Quorum Books/Greenwood
Avolio, B. J., B. M. Bass, and D. I. Jung. 1999. “Re-Examining the Components of Transformational
and Transactional Leadership Using the Multifactor Leadership.” Journal of Occupational and
Organizational Psychology 72 (4): 441–462.
Bakker, A. B., E. Demerouti, and M. C. Euwema. 2005. “Job Resources Buﬀer the Impact of Job
Demands on Burnout.” Journal of Occupational Health Psychology 10 (2): 170–180.
Banks, G. C., J. H. Batchelor, A. Seers, E. H. O’Boyle Jr, J. M. Pollack, and K. Gower. 2014. “What Does
Team–member Exchange Bring to the Party? A Meta-analytic Review of Team and Leader Social
Exchange.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 35 (2): 273–295. doi:10.1002/job.1885.
Barling, J., A. Christie, and N. Turner. 2008. “Pseudo-transformational Leadership: Towards the
Development and Test of a Model.” Journal of Business Ethics 81 (4): 851–861. doi:10.1007/
Bass, B. M. 1985. Leadership and Performance beyond Expectations. New York, NY: Free Press.
Bass, B. M., B. J. Avolio, and L. Atwater. 1996. “The Transformational and Transactional Leadership of
Men and Women.” Applied Psychology 45 (1): 5–34.
Bass, B. M., and R. Bass. 2008. The Bass Handbook of Leadership. New York, NY: Free Press.
Bass, B. M., and R. E. Riggio. 2006. Transformational Leadership. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum
Bellé, N. 2013. “Leading to Make A Diﬀerence: A Field Experiment on the Performance Eﬀects of
Transformational Leadership, Perceived Social Impact, and Public Service Motivation.” Journal of
Public Administration Research and Theory 24 (1): 109–136.
Bernerth, J. B., H. J. Walker, and S. G. Harris. 2016. “Rethinking the Beneﬁts and Pitfalls of Leader–
Member Exchange: A Reciprocity versus Self-Protection Perspective.” Human Relations 69 (3):
Blau, P. M. 1964. Exchange and Power in Social Life. New York, NY: Wiley.
Bliese, P. D. 2000. “Within-Group Agreement, Non-Independence, and Reliability: Implications for
Data Aggregation and Analysis.” In Multilevel Theory, Research, and Methods in Organizations,
edited by K. J. Klein and S. W. Kozlowski, 349–381. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Boer, D., A. Deinert, A. C. Homan, and S. C. Voelpel. 2016. “Revisiting the Mediating Role of Leader–
Member Exchange in Transformational Leadership: The Diﬀerential Impact Model.” European
Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 25 (6): 883–899.
Bono, J. E., and R. Ilies. 2006. “Charisma, Positive Emotions and Mood Contagion.” The Leadership
Quarterly 17 (4): 317–334.
Brislin, R. W. 1980. “Cross-Cultural Research Methods.” In Environment and Culture, edited by
I. Altman, A. Rapoport, and J. F. Wohlwill, 47–82. Boston, MA: Springer US.
Bro, L. L., and U. T. Jensen. 2020. “Does Transformational Leadership Stimulate User Orientation?
Evidence from a Field Experiment.” Public Administration 98 (1): 177–193. doi:10.1111/padm.12612.
Burke, R. J. 2017. Stress in Policing: Sources, Consequences and Interventions. New York, NY:
Busse, C., M. D. Mahlendorf, and C. Bode. 2016. “The ABC for Studying the Too-Much-of-a-Good-
Thing Eﬀect.” Organizational Research Methods 19 (1): 131–153.
Campbell, J. W., H. Lee, and T. Im. 2016. “At the Expense of Others: Altruistic Helping Behaviour,
Performance Management and Transformational Leadership.” Public Management Review 18 (6):
Carlson, D., M. Ferguson, E. Hunter, and D. Whitten. 2012. “Abusive Supervision and Work–Family
Conﬂict: The Path through Emotional Labor and Burnout.” The Leadership Quarterly 23 (5):
PUBLIC MANAGEMENT REVIEW 21
Carnevale, J. B., L. Huang, M. Uhl-Bien, and S. Harris. 2020. “Feeling Obligated yet Hesitant to Speak
Up: Investigating the Curvilinear Relationship between LMX and Employee Promotive Voice.”
Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. doi:10.1111/joop.12302.
Cavarretta, F., S. T. Hannah, R. F. Piccolo, and M. Uhl-Bien. 2015. “Leadership beyond the Tipping
Point: Toward the Discovery of Inversions and Complementary Hypotheses.” ESSEC Working
Chun, J. U., K. Cho, and J. J. Sosik. 2016. “A Multilevel Study of Group-Focused and
Individual-Focused Transformational Leadership, Social Exchange Relationships, and
Performance in Teams.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 37 (3): 374–396.
Collinson, D., O. Smolović Jones, and K. Grint. 2017. “‘No More Heroes’: Critical Perspectives on
Leadership Romanticism.” Organization Studies 39 (11): 1625–1647.
Conger, J. A. 1990. “The Dark Side of Leadership.” Organizational Dynamics 19 (2): 44–55.
Corrigan, P. W., S. Diwan, J. Campion, and F. Rashid. 2002. “Transformational Leadership and the
Mental Health Team.” Administration and Policy in Mental Health 30 (2): 97–108.
Cropanzano, R., and M. S. Mitchell. 2005. “Social Exchange Theory: An Interdisciplinary Review.”
Journal of Management 31 (6): 874–900.
Crosby, B. C., and J. M. Bryson. 2018. “Why Leadership of Public Leadership Research Matters: And
What to Do about It.” Public Management Review 20 (9): 1265–1286.
Dansereau, F., G. Graen, and W. J. Haga. 1975. “A Vertical Dyad Linkage Approach to Leadership
within Formal Organizations.” Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 13 (1): 46–78.
Dasborough, M. T., and N. M. Ashkanasy. 2002. “Emotion and Attribution of Intentionality in
Leader–Member Relationships.” The Leadership Quarterly 13 (5): 615–634.
de Rond, M., L. Rouleau, and M. Hällgren. 2018. “A Matter of Life or Death: How Extreme Context
Research Matters for Management and Organization Studies.” The Academy of Management
Annals 12 (1): 111–153.
de Vries, R. E., R. A. Roe, and T. C. B. Taillieu. 2002. “Need for Leadership as a Moderator of the
Relationships between Leadership and Individual Outcomes.” The Leadership Quarterly 13 (2):
Densten, I. L. 2005. “The Relationship between Visioning Behaviours of Leaders and Follower
Burnout.” British Journal of Management 16 (2): 105–118.
Diebig, M., K. C. Bormann, and J. Rowold. 2016. “A Double-Edged Sword: Relationship between Full-
Range Leadership Behaviors and Followers’ Hair Cortisol Level.” The Leadership Quarterly 27 (4):
Dienesch, R. M., and R. C. Liden. 1986. “Leader-Member Exchange Model of Leadership: A Critique
and Further Development.” Academy of Management Review 11 (3): 618–634.
Dulebohn, J. H., W. H. Bommer, R. C. Liden, R. L. Brouer, and G. R. Ferris. 2012. “A Meta-Analysis of
Antecedents and Consequences of Leader-Member Exchange.” Journal of Management 38 (6):
Edwards, J. R. 1992. “A Cybernetic Theory of Stress, Coping, and Well-Being in Organizations.”
Academy of Management Review 17 (2): 238–274.
Franke, F., and J. Felfe. 2011. “How Does Transformational Leadership Impact Employees’
Psychological Strain?” Leadership 7 (3): 295–316.
Gerstner, C. R., and D. V. Day. 1997. “Meta-Analytic Review of Leader–Member Exchange Theory:
Correlates and Construct Issues.” Journal of Applied Psychology 82 (6): 827–844.
Giauque, D., S. Anderfuhren-Biget, and F. Varone. 2013. “Stress Perception in Public Organisations.”
Review of Public Personnel Administration 33 (1): 58–83.
Goodman, J. S., and T. C. Blum. 1996. “Assessing the Non-Random Sampling Eﬀects of Subject
Attrition in Longitudinal Research.” Journal of Management 22 (4): 627–652.
Gouldner, A. W. 1960. “The Norm of Reciprocity: A Preliminary Statement.” American Sociological
Review 25 (2): 161–178.
Graen, G. B., and T. A. Scandura. 1987. “Toward a Psychology of Dyadic Organizing.” Research in
Organizational Behavior. 9: 175–208.
Graen, G. B., and M. Uhl-Bien. 1995. “Relationship-Based Approach to Leadership: Development of
Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Theory of Leadership over 25 Years: Applying a Multi-Level
Multi-Domain Perspective.” The Leadership Quarterly 6 (2): 219–247.
Haberfeld, M. R. 2006. Police Leadership. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
22 M. MOLINES ET AL.
Halbesleben, J. R. B. 2006. “Sources of Social Support and Burnout: A Meta-analytic Test of the
Conservation of Resources Model.” Journal of Applied Psychology 91 (5): 1134–1145.
Halbesleben, J. R. B., J.-P. Neveu, S. C. Paustian-Underdahl, and M. Westman. 2014. “Getting to the
‘COR’.” Journal of Management 40 (5): 1334–1364.
Hällgren, M., L. Rouleau, and M. de Rond. 2018. “A Matter of Life or Death: How Extreme Context
Research Matters for Management and Organization Studies.” Academy of Management Annals 12 (1):
Hannah, S. T., M. Uhl-Bien, B. J. Avolio, and F. L. Cavarretta. 2009. “A Framework for Examining
Leadership in Extreme Contexts.” The Leadership Quarterly 20 (6): 897–919.
Harms, P. D., M. Credé, M. Tynan, M. Leon, and W. Jeung. 2017. “Leadership and Stress: A
Meta-Analytic Review.” The Leadership Quarterly 28 (1): 178–194.
Harris, K. J., and K. M. Kacmar. 2006. “Too Much of a Good Thing: The Curvilinear Eﬀect of
Leader-Member Exchange on Stress.” The Journal of Social Psychology 146 (1): 65–84.
Harris, K. J., K. M. Kacmar, and L. A. Witt. 2005. “An Examination of the Curvilinear Relationship
between Leader-Member Exchange and Intent to Turnover.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 26
Hartley, J. 2018. “Ten Propositions about Public Leadership.” International Journal of Public
Leadership 14 (4): 202–217.
Hassan, S., J. Park, and J. C. N. Raadschelders. 2018. “Taking a Closer Look at the Empowerment-
Performance Relationship: Evidence from Law Enforcement Organizations.” Public Administration
Review 79 (3): 427–438.
Hayes, A. F., and K. J. Preacher. 2010. “Quantifying and Testing Indirect Eﬀects in Simple Mediation
Models When the Constituent Paths are Nonlinear.” Multivariate Behavioral Research 45 (4): 627–660.
Hetland, H., G. M. Sandal, and T. B. Johnsen. 2007. “Burnout in the Information Technology Sector:
Does Leadership Matter?” European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 16 (1): 58–75.
Hildenbrand, K., C. A. Sacramento, and C. Binnewies. 2018. “Transformational Leadership and
Burnout: The Role of Thriving and Followers Openness to Experience.” Journal of Occupational
Health Psychology 23 (1): 31–43.
Hobfoll, S. E. 1989. “Conservation of Resources: A New Attempt at Conceptualizing Stress.” American
Psychologist 44 (3): 513–524.
Hobfoll, S. E. 2001. “The Inﬂuence of Culture, Community, and the Nested-Self in the Stress Process:
Advancing Conservation of Resources Theory.” Applied Psychology 50 (3): 337–421.
Hofmann, D. A., M. A. Griﬃn, and M. B. Gavin. 2000. “The Application of Hierarchical Linear
Modeling to Organizational Research.” In Multilevel Theory, Research, and Methods in
Organizations: Foundations, Extensions, and New Directions, edited by K. J. Klein and
S. W. J. Kozlowdki, 467–511. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Jensen, J. L., J. C. Olberding, and R. Rodgers. 1997. “The Quality of Leader-Member Exchange (LMX)
and Member Performance: A Meta-Analytic Review.” Academy of Management Proceedings 1997
Jensen, U. T., L. B. Andersen, L. L. Bro, A. Bøllingtoft, T. L. M. Eriksen, A. L. Holten, . . . N. Westergård-
Nielsen. 2019. “Conceptualizing and Measuring Transformational and Transactional Leadership.”
Administration & Society 51 (1): 3–33. doi:10.1177/0095399716667157.
Jensen, U. T., and L. L. Bro. 2018. “How Transformational Leadership Supports Intrinsic Motivation
and Public Service Motivation: The Mediating Role of Basic Need Satisfaction.” The American
Review of Public Administration 48 (6): 535–549.
Jiao, C., D. A. Richards, and K. Zhang. 2011. “Leadership and Organizational Citizenship Behavior:
OCB-speciﬁc Meanings as Mediators.” Journal of Business and Psychology 26 (1): 11–25.
Judge, T. A., and R. F. Piccolo. 2004. “Transformational and Transactional Leadership: A
Meta-Analytic Test of Their Relative Validity.” Journal of Applied Psychology 89 (5): 755–768.
Kark, R., B. Shamir, and G. Chen. 2003. “The Two Faces of Transformational Leadership:
Empowerment and Dependency.” Journal of Applied Psychology 88 (2): 246–255.
Kark, R., D. Van Dijk, and D. R. Vashdi. 2018. “Motivated or Demotivated to Be Creative: The Role of
Self-regulatory Focus in Transformational and Transactional Leadership Processes.” Applied
Psychology 67 (1): 186–224. doi:10.1111/apps.12122.
PUBLIC MANAGEMENT REVIEW 23
Kovjanic, S., S. C. Schuh, K. Jonas, N. V. Quaquebeke, and R. van Dick. 2012. “How Do Transformational
Leaders Foster Positive Employee Outcomes? A Self-Determination-Based Analysis of Employees’
Needs as Mediating Links.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 33 (8): 1031–1052.
Lee, A., G. Thomas, R. Martin, and Y. Guillaume. 2019. “Leader-Member Exchange (LMX)
Ambivalence and Task Performance: The Cross-Domain Buﬀering Role of Social Support.”
Journal of Management 45 (5): 1927–1957.
Li, N., D. S. Chiaburu, B. L. Kirkman, and Z. Xie. 2013. “Spotlight on the Followers: An Examination
of Moderators of Relationships between Transformational Leadership and Subordinates’
Citizenship and Taking Charge.” Personnel Psychology 66 (1): 225–260.
Liao, H., and A. Chuang. 2007. “Transforming Service Employees and Climate: A Multilevel,
Multisource Examination of Transformational Leadership in Building Long-term Service
Relationships.” Journal of Applied Psychology 92 (4): 1006. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.92.4.1006.
Liaw, Y. J., N. W. Chi, and A. Chuang. 2010. “Examining the Mechanisms Linking Transformational
Leadership, Employee Customer Orientation, and Service Performance: The Mediating Roles of
Perceived Supervisor and Coworker Support.” Journal of Business and Psychology 25 (3): 477–492.
Liden, R. C., and J. M. Maslyn. 1998. “Multidimensionaﬁty of Leader-Member Exchange: An
Empirical Assessment through Scale Development.” Journal of Management 24 (1): 43–72.
Liden, R. C., R. T. Sparrowe, and S. J. Wayne. 1997. “Leader-Member Exchange Theory: The past and
Potential for the Future.” Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management. 15: 47–120.
Lin, S.-H., B. A. Scott, and F. K. Matta. 2019. “The Dark Side of Transformational Leader Behaviors for
Leaders Themselves: A Conservation of Resources Perspective.” Academy of Management Journal
62 (5): 1556–1582.
Liu, J., O.-L. Siu, and K. Shi. 2010. “Transformational Leadership and Employee Well-Being: The
Mediating Role of Trust in the Leader and Self-Eﬃcacy.” Applied Psychology 59 (3): 454–479.
Lowe, K. B., K. G. Kroeck, and N. Sivasubramaniam. 1996. “Eﬀectiveness Correlates of
Transformational and Transactional Leadership: A Meta-Analytic Review of the MLQ
Literature.” The Leadership Quarterly 7 (3): 385–425.
Mackey, J. D., R. E. Frieder, J. R. Brees, and M. J. Martinko. 2017. “Abusive Supervision: A
Meta-Analysis and Empirical Review.” Journal of Management 43 (6): 1940–1965.
Maslach, C., and S. E. Jackson. 1981. Maslach Burnout Inventory Manual (Research Edition). Palo Alto,
CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
Maslach, C., W. B. Schaufeli, and M. P. Leiter. 2001. “Job Burnout.” Annual Review of Psychology 52
McKee, R. A., Y. T. Lee, L. Atwater, and J. Antonakis. 2018. “Eﬀects of Personality and Gender on Self–
other Agreement in Ratings of Leadership.” Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
91 (2): 285–315. doi:10.1111/joop.12209.
Meindl, J. R. 1995. “The Romance of Leadership as A Follower-Centric Theory: A Social
Constructionist Approach.” The Leadership Quarterly 6 (3): 329–341.
Molines, M., P.-Y. Sanséau, and M. Adamovic. 2017. “How Organizational Stressors Aﬀect Collective
Organizational Citizenship Behaviors in the French Police.” International Journal of Public Sector
Management 30 (1): 48–66.
Monjardet, D. 1997. “Le Chercheur Et Le Policier: L’expérience des recherches commanditées par le
ministère de l’Intérieur.” Revue française de science politique 211–225. doi:10.3406/
Montano, D., A. Reeske, F. Franke, and J. Hüﬀmeier. 2017. “Leadership, Followers’ Mental Health and
Job Performance in Organizations: A Comprehensive Meta-Analysis from an Occupational Health
Perspective.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 38 (3): 327–350.
Mostafa, A. M. S. 2016. “High-performance HR Practices, Work Stress and Quit Intentions in the
Public Health Sector: Does Person–organization Fit Matter?” Public Management Review 18 (8):
Muthén, L. K., and B. O. Muthén. 2015. Mplus User’s Guide. Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.
Ng, T. W. H. 2017. “Transformational Leadership and Performance Outcomes: Analyses of Multiple
Mediation Pathways.” The Leadership Quarterly 28 (3): 385–417.
Nielsen, K., and K. Daniels. 2012. “Does Shared and Diﬀerentiated Transformational Leadership
Predict Followers’ Working Conditions and Well-Being?” The Leadership Quarterly 23 (3):
24 M. MOLINES ET AL.
Nielsen, K., R. Randall, J. Yarker, and S.-O. Brenner. 2008. “The Eﬀects of Transformational
Leadership on Followers’ Perceived Work Characteristics and Psychological Well-Being:
A Longitudinal Study.” Work & Stress 22 (1): 16–32.
Oberﬁeld, Z. W. 2012. “Public Management in Time: A Longitudinal Examination of the Full Range of
Leadership Theory.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 24 (2): 407–429.
Ospina, S. M. 2017. “Collective Leadership and Context in Public Administration: Bridging Public
Leadership Research and Leadership Studies.” Public Administration Review 77 (2): 275–287.
Piccolo, R. F., and J. A. Colquitt. 2006. “Transformational Leadership and Job Behaviors: The
Mediating Role of Core Job Characteristics.” Academy of Management Journal 49 (2): 327–340.
Pierce, J. R., and H. Aguinis. 2013. “The Too-Much-of-a-Good-Thing Eﬀect in Management.” Journal
of Management 39 (2): 313–338.
Podsakoﬀ, P. M., S. B. MacKenzie, and W. H. Bommer. 1996. “Transformational Leader Behaviors and
Substitutes for Leadership as Determinants of Employee Satisfaction, Commitment, Trust, and
Organizational Citizenship Behaviors.” Journal of Management 22 (2): 259–298.
Podsakoﬀ, P. M., S. B. MacKenzie, and N. P. Podsakoﬀ. 2012. “Sources of Method Bias in Social
Science Research and Recommendations on How to Control It.” Annual Review of Psychology 63
Qin, X., M. S. DiRenzo, M. Xu, and Y. Duan. 2014. “When Do Emotionally Exhausted Employees
Speak Up? Exploring the Potential Curvilinear Relationship between Emotional Exhaustion and
Voice.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 35 (7): 1018–1041.
Russell, L., B. Cole, and R. Iii. 2014. “High-Risk Occupations: How Leadership, Stress, and Ability to
Cope Inﬂuence Burnout in Law Enforcement.” Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics 11
Schmidt, J. E. T., and S. M. Groeneveld. 2019. “Setting Sail in a Storm: Leadership in Times of
Cutbacks.” Public Management Review 1–23. doi:10.1080/14719037.2019.1668472.
Schyns, B., and J. Schilling. 2013. “How Bad are the Eﬀects of Bad Leaders? A Meta-Analysis of
Destructive Leadership and Its Outcomes.” The Leadership Quarterly 24 (1): 138–158.
Sekiguchi, T., J. P. Burton, and C. J. Sablynski. 2008. “The Role of Job Embeddedness on Employee
Performance: The Interactive Eﬀects with Leader-Member Exchange and Organization-Based
Self-Esteem.” Personnel Psychology 61 (4): 761–792.
Seltzer, J., R. E. Numerof, and B. M. Bass. 1989. “Transformational Leadership: Is It a Source of More
Burnout and Stress?” Journal of Health and Human Resources Administration 12 (2): 174–185.
Shamir, B. 2007. “From Passive Recipients to Active Co-Producers.” In Follower-centered Perspectives
on Leadership, edited by B. Shamir, R. Pillai, M. C. Bligh, and M. Uhl-Bien, 9–39. Greenwich, CT:
Information Age Publishing.
Siangchokyoo, N., R. L. Klinger, and E. D. Campion. 2019. “Follower Transformation as the Linchpin
of Transformational Leadership Theory: A Systematic Review and Future Research Agenda.” The
Leadership Quarterly 31 (1): 101341.
Siemsen, E., A. Roth, and P. Oliveira. 2010. “Common Method Bias in Regression Models with Linear,
Quadratic, and Interaction Eﬀects.” Organizational Research Methods 13 (3): 456–476.
Skakon, J., K. Nielsen, V. Borg, and J. Guzman. 2010. “Are Leaders’ Well-Being, Behaviours and Style
Associated with the Aﬀective Well-Being of Their Employees? A Systematic Review of Three
Decades of Research.” Work & Stress 24 (2): 107–139.
Skogan, W. G., and S. M. Harnett. 1997. Community Policing, Chicago Style. Oxford, UK: Oxford
Son, S., D.-Y. Kim, and M. Kim. 2014. “How Perceived Interpersonal Justice Relates to Job Burnout
and Intention to Leave: The Role of Leader-Member Exchange and Cognition-Based Trust in
Leaders.” Asian Journal of Social Psychology 17 (1): 12–24.
Stazyk, E. C., and R. S. Davis. 2020. “Transformational Leaders: Bridging the Gap between Goal
Ambiguity and Public Value Involvement.” Public Management Review 22 (3): 364–385.
Stordeur, S., W. D’Hoore, and C. Vandenberghe. 2001. “Leadership, Organizational Stress, and
Emotional Exhaustion among Hospital Nursing Staﬀ.” Journal of Advanced Nursing 35 (4):
Sui, Y., H. Wang, B. L. Kirkman, and N. Li. 2016. “Understanding the Curvilinear Relationships
between LMX Diﬀerentiation and Team Coordination and Performance.” Personnel Psychology 69
PUBLIC MANAGEMENT REVIEW 25
Sun, R., and A. C. Henderson. 2017. “Transformational Leadership and Organizational Processes:
Inﬂuencing Public Performance.” Public Administration Review 77 (4): 554–565.
Sun, R., and W. Wang. 2017. “Transformational Leadership, Employee Turnover Intention, and
Actual Voluntary Turnover in Public Organizations.” Public Management Review 19 (8):
Thomas, C. H., and M. J. Lankau. 2009. “Preventing Burnout: The Eﬀects of LMX and Mentoring on
Socialization, Role Stress, and Burnout.” Human Resource Management 48 (3): 417–432.
Tse, H. H. M., A. C. Troth, N. M. Ashkanasy, and A. L. Collins. 2018. “Aﬀect and Leader-Member
Exchange in the New Millennium: A State-of-Art Review and Guiding Framework.” The
Leadership Quarterly 29 (1): 135–149.
van Knippenberg, D., and S. B. Sitkin. 2013. “A Critical Assessment of Charismatic—
Transformational Leadership Research: Back to the Drawing Board?” Academy of Management
Annals 7 (1): 1–60.
van Loon, N. M., W. Vandenabeele, and P. Leisink. 2015. “On the Bright and Dark Side of Public
Service Motivation: The Relationship between PSM and Employee Wellbeing.” Public Money &
Management 35 (5): 349–356.
van Maanen, J. 1975. “Police Socialization: A Longitudinal Examination of Job Attitudes in an Urban
Police Department.” Administrative Science Quarterly 207–228. doi:10.2307/2391695.
Vergauwe, J., B. Wille, J. Hofmans, R. B. Kaiser, and F. De Fruyt. 2018. “The Double-Edged Sword of
Leader Charisma: Understanding the Curvilinear Relationship between Charismatic Personality
and Leader Eﬀectiveness.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 114 (1): 110–130.
Vogel, R., and D. Masal. 2015. “Public Leadership: A Review of the Literature and Framework for
Future Research.” Public Management Review 17 (8): 1165–1189.
Walter, F., and H. Bruch. 2008. “The Positive Group Aﬀect Spiral: A Dynamic Model of the
Emergence of Positive Aﬀective Similarity in Work Groups.” Journal of Organizational Behavior
29 (2): 239–261.
Wang, G., I.-S. Oh, S. H. Courtright, and A. E. Colbert. 2011. “Transformational Leadership and
Performance across Criteria and Levels: A Meta-Analytic Review of 25 Years of Research.” Group &
Organization Management 36 (2): 223–270.
Wang, H., K. S. Law, R. D. Hackett, D. Wang, and Z. X. Chen. 2005. “Leader-Member Exchange as
a Mediator of the Relationship between Transformational Leadership and Followers’ Performance
and Organizational Citizenship Behavior.” Academy of Management Journal 48 (3): 420–432.
Wright, B. E., and A. M. Grant. 2010. “Unanswered Questions about Public Service Motivation:
Designing Research to Address Key Issues of Emergence and Eﬀects.” Public Administration
Review 70 (5): 691–700.
Wright, B. E., D. P. Moynihan, and S. K. Pandey. 2012. “Pulling the Levers: Transformational
Leadership, Public Service Motivation, and Mission Valence.” Public Administration Review 72
Wright, T. A., and R. Cropanzano. 1998. “Emotional Exhaustion as a Predictor of Job Performance
and Voluntary Turnover.” Journal of Applied Psychology 83 (3): 486–493.
Zacher, H., L. K. Pearce, D. Rooney, and B. McKenna. 2014. “Leaders’ Personal Wisdom and Leader–
Member Exchange Quality: The Role of Individualized Consideration.” Journal of Business Ethics
121 (2): 171–187.
Zagrodzki, M. 2017. “Police Reforms in France: 40 Years of Searching for a Model.” Securitologia 2
26 M. MOLINES ET AL.