Components of CEO Transformational Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility

23 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2006

See all articles by David Waldman

David Waldman

Arizona State University West

Donald S. Siegel

Arizona State University

Mansour Javidan

Thunderbird, School of Global Management; University of Calgary - Haskayne School of Business

Abstract

We use transformational leadership theory to explore the role of CEOs in determining the extent to which their firms engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR). We test this theory using data from 56 US and Canadian firms. CEO intellectual stimulation (but not CEO charismatic leadership) is found to be significantly associated with the propensity of the firm to engage in strategic CSR, or those CSR activities that are most likely to be related to the firm's corporate and business-level strategies. Thus, studies that ignore the role of leadership in CSR may yield imprecise conclusions regarding the antecedents and consequences of these activities. We also critique transformational leadership theory, in terms of its overemphasis on charismatic forms of leadership. This leads to a reconceptualization of transformational leadership, which emphasizes the intellectual stimulation component in the context of CSR.

Suggested Citation

Waldman, David A. and Siegel, Donald S. and Javidan, Mansour, Components of CEO Transformational Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility. Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 43, No. 8, pp. 1703-1725, December 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=950072 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6486.2006.00642.x

David A. Waldman (Contact Author)

Arizona State University West ( email )

P.O. Box 37100
Phoenix, AZ 85069
United States
602-543-6231 (Phone)

Donald S. Siegel

Arizona State University ( email )

411 North Central
Phoenix, AZ 85004
United States
6024961101 (Phone)

Mansour Javidan

Thunderbird, School of Global Management ( email )

1 Global Place
Glendale, AZ 85306-6000
United States
602-978-7000 (Phone)

University of Calgary - Haskayne School of Business ( email )

2500 University Drive, NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada

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