Transformational leadership and attachment

Micha Popper, Ofra Mayseless, Omri Castelnovo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Attachment theory posits that the child's experiences with attachment figures (mostly parents) form the basis for an internal working model of self and others that can be either secure (others and self are perceived positively) or insecure (others or self are perceived negatively). In adulthood, these models are reflected in attachment styles which are manifested in various realms (e.g., romantic relationships). This article expands the conceptualization derived from attachment theory to the area of leadership. The arguments presented are anchored in the similarity found in the literature between characteristics of the secure attachment style and those of transformational leaders. The central hypothesis is that the style of transformational leadership will correlate positively with the secure attachment style. This hypothesis was examined in three studies conducted in officers' courses, using different sources of report in each study. In all three studies, significant correlations were found between secure attachment and transformational leadership. This new direction of research has important implications for the understanding of the personality and development processes of transformational leaders.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)267-289
    Number of pages23
    JournalLeadership Quarterly
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 1 Jun 2000

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Business and International Management
    • Applied Psychology
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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