Linking transformational leadership and continuous improvement: The mediating role of trust

Mohammad Nisar, Roxanne Zolin, Noor Muhammad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this study is to investigate employee trust in the leader as the underlying mechanism between transformational leadership and employees’ organizational identification and their continuous improvement efforts.

Design/methodology/approach
Survey data were collected from 282 employees, working in 8 different private and public sector organizations from the banking, higher education, telecommunications and health sectors in Pakistan. Structural equation modeling was used to test the study hypotheses.

Findings
The results support the hypothesized relationships showing that trust in the leader partially mediates the relationship of transformational leadership with organizational identification and continuous improvement efforts.

Research limitations/implications
This study relied upon cross-sectional data, which does not satisfy the conditions to establish causality.

Practical implications
The results of this study will help organizations and practitioners to understand the importance of trust between transformational leaders and followers, which ultimately results in higher organizational identification and continuous improvement.

Originality/value
Using the broader framework of social exchange theory (Blau, 1964), this study contributes to the extant employee – organization relationship literature by proposing and testing trust in the leader as an underlying psychological mechanism that can explain the impact of transformational leadership on employees’ organizational identification and their continuous improvement efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)931-950
Number of pages20
JournalManagement Research Review
Volume43
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Continuous improvement
  • Continuous improvement efforts
  • Leadership
  • Organization identification
  • Organizational behaviour
  • Social exchange
  • Transformational leadership
  • Trust

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