Which transformational leadership behaviors relate to organizational learning processes?

Dana R. Vashdi, Zehavit S. Levitats, Shmuel Grimland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This paper aims to examine the relationship between behaviors associated with transformational leadership (TL) and the sub-processes of organizational learning (OL) and to explain these relationships based on the ability-motivation-opportunity (AMO) framework. Design/methodology/approach: Questionnaires assessing leadership behaviors and unit learning processes were filled in by 520 employees from 30 units within 9 organizations. Findings: Each sub-process of OL was found to be related to different leadership behaviors. For example, distribution was related to TL components directed toward developing followers’ ability (i.e. vision and intellectual stimulation) and created the opportunity to share knowledge (i.e. supportive leadership). On the other hand, the TL components found to be related to interpretation were those that enhance followers’ motivation to work well in a group (i.e. inspirational communication and personal recognition). Research limitations/implications: Showing that specific TL behaviors are related to different OL sub-processes emphasizes the importance of each OL sub-process as a distinct outcome. In addition, this study begins to address the possible mechanisms that may explain why specific factors enhance some OL sub-processes, but not others. Practical implications: The study’s findings will assist managers and HR practitioners in recognizing which leadership behaviors are to be enhanced to help address particular sub-processes of OL that need improvement. Originality/value: This paper is the first to examine the fine-tuned relationships between TL and OL and thus adds another explanation regarding why organizations differ in their learning processes and in their eventual outcomes, such as performance and innovation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-189
Number of pages14
JournalLearning Organization
Issue number2
StatePublished - 14 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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