Julia Hoch, Bill Bommer, Jim Dulebohn, and Dongyuan Wu published their research in the February issue of the Journal of Management. Using meta-analytic techniques they examined results from over 300 studies involving thousands of working adults. Among their findings were the following:
- Authentic leadership was highly correlated with transformational leadership (.75).
- Ethical leadership was highly correlated with transformational leadership (.70).
- Servant leadership was moderately correlated with transformational leadership (.50).
- Overall servant leadership was most distinct from transformational leadership.
- The relationships between the outcome variables and authentic leadership and ethical leadership were about the same as transformational leadership
- On the other hand, servant leadership explained about 12% more of the variance than transformational leadership alone
- “Servant leadership is the only emerging form that seems to support construct nonredundancy [with transformational leadership theory].
1. I have stated my opinion about leadership in my book, blogs, and other writings. Leaders inspire others to go above and beyond the normal requirements of the job. Transactional leadership is management; transformational leadership is leadership.
2. Hoch and associates have offered empirical results that suggest authentic and ethical leadership theories cover leadership activities mostly covered by transformational leadership. However what they do offer, and what is brought more to the forefront by servant leadership, is the importance of ethical, moral conduct by a leader. Increasingly in popular media, we see the need for ethical leadership.
3. Organizational culture is important in nurturing and supporting ethical conduct. Unfortunately leaders who are less ethical or morally inclined may damage long-standing organizational norms.
Hoch, J. E., Bommer, W. H., Dulebohn, J. H., & Wu, D. (2018). Do ethical, authentic, and servant leadership explain variance above and beyond transformational leadership? A meta-analysis. Journal of Management, 44(2), 501-529.
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© John Ballard, PhD, 2018. All rights reserved.
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