Desautels Faculty of Management
The Organizational Behavior Area and the Business and Management Research Centre
Arizona State University
W.P. Carey School of Business
Thursday, December 3, 2009
10:30 – 12:00
Pursuit of Whose Happiness? CEO Transformational Leadership and Personal Values
Researchers have assumed that transformational leaders hold altruistic values and that these leaders’ primary goals are for the betterment of followers and organizations. Yet, evidence abounds that such transformational leaders may not always hold selfless values. How would followers respond to leaders whose outward behavior is transformational but whose internal values focus on self-enhancement? On the basis of action theory, we hypothesized that self-enhancement values would attenuate, whereas self-transcendence values would accentuate, the effect of transformational leadership on follower commitment. Results using cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys as well as interview data from a sample of Chinese CEOs, top managers, and middle managers supported both the attenuation and the accentuation effects. Implications for future research on values in leadership are underscored.