Is transformational leadership always good for employee task performance? Examining curvilinear and moderated relationships
Yashuo Chen (),
Ranran Ning (),
Tong Yang (),
Shangjun Feng () and
Chunjiang Yang ()
Additional contact information
Yashuo Chen: School of Economics and Management, Yanshan University
Ranran Ning: School of Economics and Management, Yanshan University
Tong Yang: School of Economics and Management, Yanshan University
Shangjun Feng: School of Economics and Management, Yanshan University
Chunjiang Yang: School of Economics and Management, Yanshan University
Frontiers of Business Research in China, 2018, vol. 12, issue 1, 1-28
Abstract Transformational leadership, generally considered as a desirable leadership style, has positive effects on various performance outcomes of employees; however, its productivity has been called into question because of a relative neglect of its negative aspects. Addressing this gap, an attempt at rethinking the relationship between transformational leadership and employee performance is important. The paradoxical perspective indicates that conflicting positive and negative effects of transformational leadership can coexist, which provides possibility and rationality for thorough consideration of employees’ task performance influenced by transformational leaders. Integrating the principle of diminishing marginal utility and the “Too-Much-of-a-Good-Thing (TMGT)” effect, this research explores an inverted U-shaped relationship between transformational leadership and employee task performance. Furthermore, applying social cognitive theory, we assume an employee’s proactive personality moderates the curvilinear influence of transformational leadership on employees’ task performance. As expected, results from a study of data from 209 supervisor-subordinate relationships from China showed that the inverted U-shaped relationship between transformational leadership and employees’ task performance was moderated by employees’ proactive personality. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Keywords: Transformational leadership; Task performance; Proactive personality; Curvilinear relationship; Social cognitive theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://link.springer.com/10.1186/s11782-018-0044-8 Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:spr:fobric:v:12:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1186_s11782-018-0044-8
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this article
Frontiers of Business Research in China is currently edited by Jiye Mao, Ziliang Deng and Steven Shuye Wang
More articles in Frontiers of Business Research in China from Springer
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla ().