Follower moral reasoning influences perceptions of transformational leadership behavior
Author(s): Andrew M. Naber, Richard G. Moffett III
Abstract: Transformational leadership reflects charismatic, but ethical, influence on followers. However, leadership ultimately occurs through the perceptual and attribution processes within followers. Accordingly, the perception and evaluation of transformational leadership is likely to be influenced by followers' moral reasoning, which is the ability that allows individuals to identify and interpret ethically-salient issues in social environments. As predicted by social-cognitive principles of self-schemas, observers' moral reasoning positively related to the perception and positive evaluation of transformational leadership behavior, but not to positive affective reactions towards that behavior. These same relationships did not occur for the perception and evaluation of transactional leadership behavior. Implications for whistle-blowing behavior, organizational ethics, and the measurement of transformational leadership are discussed.
Publication Title: Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Volume 47 (2)
Pub Year: 2017
Pages: 99 – 112
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jasp.12427
Keywords: transformational leadership, influence

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