Behavioral mechanism and boundary conditions of transformational process

Su Ying Pan, Jia Lin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine a behavioral mechanism linking transformational leadership (TFL) and subordinates’ task performance and its boundary conditions. The authors examined the mediation role of subordinates’ feedback-seeking behavior and the interactive effect of self-efficacy and dyadic tenure on the transformational leadership-task performance link. Design/methodology/approach – Paper and pencil surveys were administered to 239 supervisor-subordinate dyads from different industries in Taiwan. Confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to test the discriminant validity of the main variables. Hierarchical linear regression and bootstrapping were used to examine the moderated mediation effect. Findings – First, subordinates’ feedback-seeking behavior mediates the relationship between TFL and subordinates’ task performance. Second, self-efficacy mitigates this mediation process when dyadic tenure is low, whereas self-efficacy enhances this mediation process when dyadic tenure is high. Research limitations/implications – The use of a cross-sectional design prevents us from drawing causal conclusions. Practical implications – This study suggests that for high-self-efficacy subordinates, organizations should try to shorten the period required to familiarize oneself with transformational leaders. In contrast, for low-self-efficacy subordinates, organizations should try to enhance their self-efficacy over time to ensure that they are capable of implementing transformational leaders’ expectations in the long run. Originality/value – This empirical study examines a behavioral mechanism in the TFL-task performance link. In addition, by addressing the interactive effect of TFL, self-efficacy and dyadic tenure, it resolves theoretical conflicts and enables us to better understand the effectiveness of TFL in different contexts. A Chinese sample is also unique and valuable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)970-985
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Dyadic tenure
  • Feedback-seeking behavior
  • Self-efficacy
  • Task performance
  • Transformational leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Social Psychology


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