Charismatic leadership and organizational outcomes: The mediating role of employees' work‐group identification

Antonio Pierro, Lavinia Cicero
Published Online:
14 Sep 2007
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 42 Issue 5

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This research examines the degree of employees' identification with the work‐group as a function of charismatic leadership (e.g., Conger & Kanungo, 1998) and the mediating role of work‐group identification (Van Knippenberg & Van Shie, 2000) in the relationship between charismatic style and different work outcomes. Thus, the general aim was to analyse leadership and work outcomes as they are associated to social identification processes, referring both to recent developments of charismatic leadership models and to the recent developments of the social identity analysis applied to the workplace (see Abrams & Hogg, 2001). Two field surveys were conducted using 200 Italian public and private sector employees (two different working organizations). Two questionnaires were designed in order to collect data. They included different measures of charismatic leadership derived by the literature (e.g., the Conger‐Kanungo Charismatic Leadership Questionnaire; Conger & Kanungo, 1994, 1998, for Study 2), a scale to assess the degree of identification with the work‐group (Van Knippenberg & Van Shie, 2000), and some scales to measure the different outcomes considered (e.g., Brown and Leigh's effort measure, 1996; Mobley's turnover intention measure, 1977). As predicted, results of Study 1 revealed that charismatic leadership was positively related to work‐group identification, and employees' work effort was positively related to work‐group identification. Work‐group identification also mediates relationship between charismatic leadership and work effort. Results of Study 2 replicated the positive association between charismatic leadership and employees' work‐group identification; work‐group identification is also associated with their job involvement, job satisfaction, performance, and turnover intention. The same mediating role of work‐group identification between charismatic leadership and the criteria mentioned above was found. Underlying mechanisms as well as implications are discussed.

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