Relationship of Transformational Leadership and Character with Five Organizational Outcomes

18 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2015

See all articles by Dr. William Hendrix

Dr. William Hendrix

Clemson University

Dr. Dana Born

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Dr. Scott Hopkins

CHRISTUS Health System

Date Written: Spring 2015


Extensive research exists linking leadership to organizational outcomes. In particular transformational leadership has received a great deal of support for its effectiveness in producing desirable organizational outcomes across a variety of organizational settings. More recently due to well-publicized business scandals, leadership research has focused on the moral dimensions of leadership. It has been suggested that charismatic leadership and transformational leadership could have a dark-side with some leaders using their influence to exploit followers and use their position for self-serving goals. The purpose of this research is to investigate if a leader’s character traits add in predicting organizational outcomes beyond that predicted by a leader’s transformational leadership style and to see if some transformational leaders do display a dark side. The sample for this research consisted of 279,100 active-duty military and civilian United States Air Force personnel. Data were collected using a survey that included measures of transformational leadership, character, and five organizational outcomes. Results indicated leadership and character were significantly related to the five outcome measures, and character significantly contributed to prediction of the outcomes after accounting for the effects of transformational leadership. Additionally, high levels of character and transformational leadership yielded the greatest effects on the outcomes. A small percentage of participants displayed the dark side of leadership (i.e., scoring high on transformational leadership and low on character). This research adds support for measuring leaders’ character in combination with transformational leadership assessment.

Suggested Citation

Hendrix, William and Born, Dana and Hopkins, Scott, Relationship of Transformational Leadership and Character with Five Organizational Outcomes (Spring 2015). Journal of Character & Leadership Integration, Spring 2015, Available at SSRN:

William Hendrix (Contact Author)

Clemson University

101 Sikes Ave
Clemson, SC 29634
United States

Dana Born

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Scott Hopkins

CHRISTUS Health System

4241 Woodcock Dr.
Suite A-100
San Antonio, TX 78228
United States

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