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Leadership style, organizational Leadership style
politics, and employees’
An empirical examination of two
Received July 2005
Revised January 2006
Accepted March 2006
Division of Public Administration and Policy, School of Political Sciences,
University of Haifa, Haifa, Isreal
Purpose – This study aims to examine perceptions of politics among public sector employees as a
possible mediator between the supervisor’s leadership style and formal and informal aspects of
employees’ performance (Organizational Citizenship Behavior – OCB).
Design/methodology/approach – The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) was
distributed to employees of a public security organization in Israel (N ¼ 201), asking them to
evaluate their supervisor’s style of leadership. Employees were also asked to report their perceptions
of organizational politics using the scale developed by Kacmar and Ferris. In addition, supervisors
provided objective evaluations of the levels of their employees’ in-role performance and OCB. The
intra-structure of the leadership variable was examined by exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and
conﬁrmatory factor analysis (CFA) with structural equation modeling. Two alternative models were
examined: ﬁrst, a model of mediation and second, a direct model with no mediation.
Findings – The research resulted in mixed ﬁndings that only partially support the mediating effect
of organizational politics on the relationship between leadership, in-role performance and OCB.
A direct relationship between leadership and performance (in-role and OCB) was also found.
Research limitations/implications – The differences between the models do not allow clear
answers as to the mediating or direct effect of organizational politics in the relationship between
leadership and performance. The implications on causality are also limited.
Practical implications – Managers should recognize the advantages and disadvantages of
different leadership styles as these may affect organizational politics and eventually, formal
performance and organizational citizenship behaviors.
Originality/value – The ﬁndings of this paper contribute to the understanding of the relationships
between leadership, performance, and politics in the workplace and in the public sector in particular.
Keywords Leadership, Organizational politics, Performance management, Employee behaviour,
Organizational behaviour, Public sector organizations, Israel
Paper type Research paper
Leadership is considered a factor that has a major inﬂuence on the performance of
organizations, managers and employees (Wang et al., 2005). Early theories tried to
Vol. 36 No. 5, 2007
The author wishes to thank Yinnon Dryzin-Amit for his help in conducting this study. The
author would also like to thank the referees and the Editor of Personnel Review for their support q Emerald Group Publishing Limited
and good comments.
deﬁne effective leadership styles (democratic or autocratic, socially oriented or target
oriented etc.) and to relate them with various aspects of organizational outcomes (e.g.
Blake and Mouton, 1964; Lewin et al., 1939). More recently, researchers have focused
mainly on the subordinates’ perspective and proposed two main facets of leadership:
transactional and transformational (e.g. Bass, 1985; Burns, 1978). This theory suggests
that transformational leadership, more than transactional leadership, has a stronger
positive effect on employees’ attitudes towards their job, their job environment, and
ultimately affects their work performance.
From a different approach, a variety of studies have recently pointed to
organizational politics as an important antecedent of employees’ performance, both
formal and informal (i.e. Adams et al., 2002; Allen et al., 1979; Ferris and Kacmar, 1992;
Gandz and Murray, 1980; Kacmar and Baron, 1999; Madison et al., 1980; O’Connor and
Morrison, 2001; Parker et al., 1995; Valle and Perrewe´, 2000). Most of these studies, and
others, have relied on the deﬁnition of organizational politics as behavior strategically
designed to maximize self-interests (Ferris et al., 1989) and therefore in conﬂict with the
collective organizational goals or the interests of other individuals. This perspective
reﬂects a generally negative image of workplace politics in the eyes of most
organization members. Although treated as separate constructs, several studies have
also related organizational politics to the theory of fairness, equity, and justice in the
workplace (i.e. Ferris and Kacmar, 1992, p. 93; Kacmar and Ferris, 1991, pp. 193-4;
Vigoda-Gadot, 2003, p. 30). Other studies describe organizational politics as a power
game and inﬂuence tactics designed to achieve the best outcomes for the user (Kipnis
et al., 1980; Pfeffer, 1992).
Whereas theory suggests that both leadership and organizational politics are
important antecedents that may affect employees’ performance, there are no integrated
models for studying the veracity of this theory. This study proposes and tests two
competing models for the relationship among leadership, politics, and performance. By
so doing, the study expects to contribute to our knowledge in this area by examining
the relationship between leadership and employees’ performance and arguing that
organizational politics mediates in this relationship. Another potential contribution of
this study is its focus on two fundamental aspects of performance: formal and informal.
While most studies have related leadership or organizational politics to only one aspect
of employees’ performance (either formal or informal), this study takes its lead from
Morrison’s (1994) suggestion and examines both outcomes together. Thus, this study
may make a unique contribution to the theory on Organizational Citizenship Behavior
(Organ, 1988; Bateman and Organ, 1983; Smith et al., 1983), beyond its contribution to
the knowledge on leadership style and organizational politics.
Theoretical background and hypotheses
Leadership in the workplace
House and Aditya (1997) provide an extensive historical review of the scientiﬁc study
of leadership and the prevailing theories of leadership. According to their view, studies
on leadership in organizations have moved in several directions, but two approaches
have dominated the literature. The ﬁrst approach has focused on the leader’s
characteristics and behavior, and the second on the circumstances necessitating the
demonstration of leadership and the possible results of different leadership styles.
Their deﬁnition of leadership is based on House (1995, p. 413) who suggested that
leadership is behavior “. . .that gives purpose, meaning, and guidance to collectivities
by articulating a collective vision that appeals to ideological values, motives, and
self-perceptions of followers . . . .”. House further states that the outcomes of such
behavior are heightened awareness of organizational values, unusual levels of effort,
and the foregoing of self-interest of followers for the good of the collective.
Today, the starting point of most studies on the topic is that organizational
leadership is ﬁrst and foremost the ability to inﬂuence people to perform tasks over a
period of time using motivational methods rather than power or authority (Kotter,
1996; Yammarino et al., 1994). This deﬁnition emphasizes the subordinate’s choice to
perform a task of his/her own free will and largely rejects the use of power, force, or
coercive actions by managers, who are considered “leaders”. Such a deﬁnition also
makes a clear distinction between leadership and coercive rules. However, it relates
leadership with the processes of informal inﬂuence, power and to a lesser extent,
formal authority, which comprise the political environment in organizations. When
people act out of obedience to authority, it is difﬁcult to decide whether they are acting
of their own free will or out of fear of punishment by their superior. Thus, modern
theories on leadership are much more interested in transformational leadership than in
any other type of leadership (i.e. Wang et al., 2005).
Nonetheless, the current theory of leadership still focuses on transformational
leadership and transactional leadership as core concepts in the ﬁeld. These concepts
were ﬁrst introduced by Burns (1978) and developed by Bass and Avolio to encompass
the “full range model of leadership” (Bass, 1985; Avolio and Bass, 1991; Bass and
Avolio, 1993). According to this theory, there are two basic levels of inﬂuence evident
in the interaction between the leader and the led. One inﬂuence comes from the
understanding that the leader creates a cost-beneﬁt interaction in his constituency.
Burns (1978) called this inﬂuence transactional leadership, meaning that the employees
will function in accordance with the leader’s wishes because they believe they will
beneﬁt by such actions. The second inﬂuence of the leader is an emotional excitement,
which Burns called transformational or charismatic leadership. This style is based on a
relationship between the leader and his employees that is inspirational and breaks the
cycle of subordinates’ basic expectations. This leadership style can captivate
employees and urge them on to new and challenging objectives. Transformational
leadership raises the employees’ awareness of their need to grow, validates their
self-expression, and motivates them to perform at new and higher levels. A
transformational leader inﬂuences the expectations of his subordinates, changes their
beliefs and values, and raises them in the hierarchy of needs. According to Burns
(1978), the hierarchy of needs is the foundation of the transformational process. He
suggests that the outcome of transformational leadership is a relationship of mutual
stimulus that transforms the led into leaders and the leaders into moral agents.
Transformational leadership is thus a result of the leader’s character, the strength of
his belief, and his/her ability to express a compelling vision.
Avolio and Bass (1991) expanded our knowledge about leadership by suggesting
eight styles of leadership behavior, the most differentiated model ever devised. The
model is based on the outcome of their research with 78 managers who were asked in
an open-ended questionnaire to describe the most remarkable characteristics of leaders
who had inﬂuenced them personally. Avolio and Bass expanded Bass’s (1985) original
model to what they called The Full Range of Leadership Model. This model includes:
a leadership style of laissez-faire or no leadership;
transactional leadership, which is based on passive and active aspects; and
transformational leadership, which is based on personal relationships,
intellectual challenge, inspirational motivation and behavioral charisma.
These three categories create a hierarchical sequence of leadership styles according to
the extent of activity that the leader expresses in his actions and according to the
extent of its effectiveness. In this model, transformational leadership ranks as the most
effective style, followed by transactional leadership and then the laissez-faire style. The
basic assumption of the Full Range of Leadership model is that in every leader all
styles can be found. Den Hertog et al. (1997) tested this approach in a study of Dutch
managers where only three factors were found (transformational leadership,
transformational leadership, and no leadership).
Leadership and performance
The relationship between leadership and performance has received considerable
scholarly attention. Most studies about the relationship between transactional
leadership and organizational performance have yielded disappointing ﬁndings.
However, when Bass’s (1985) Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) was used, a
high correlation was found between the leader’s transformational style and the
organizational performance level. This correlation was consistently higher than the
positive correlation between the leader’s transactional style and the organizational
performance. In other studies that followed, a negative correlation was usually found
between the transactional leadership style and organizational performance (Geyer and
Steyrer, 1998; Lowe et al., 1996; MacKenzie et al., 2001; Parry, 2003).
According to Bass (1985), employees choose to perform tasks out of identiﬁcation
with the leader or with the organization. This relationship results in the employees’
basic agreement with the norms to which they are required to perform. Bass suggests
that transformational leadership can create identiﬁcation with and internalization of
desirable values, as opposed to the limited goal of transactional leadership to create a
compliant workforce. Parry (2003) speciﬁcally examined leadership styles in public
sector organizations and found that a transformational leadership style has a positive
effect on the innovation and effectiveness of these organizations. Recently, Wang et al.
(2005) suggested the leader member exchange (LMX) theory (Graen, 1976) as a good
explanation for a mediating role between leadership styles (especially transformational
leadership) and organizational performance as well as organizational citizenship
behavior (OCB). In many respects, the LMX theory is in line with Vroom’s (1964)
expectancy theory and Blau’s (1964) exchange theory that call for a stronger balance
between managers and employees. According to these theories, better performance can
be achieved only when there is a reasonable level of expectation-ﬁt and when the social
exchange between managers and employees is fair and equal. Wang et al. (2005)
suggest that subordinates have role expectations of their leaders and that they are not
passive role recipients, as they may reject, embrace, or renegotiate roles prescribed by
their leaders. A reciprocal process is based on fairness and equity of exchange and
expectations, and is developed over time.
Studies that have focused on organizational politics have taken a different approach.
An extensive bank of knowledge has been accumulated in recent years about
organizational politics and their relationship with organizational performance. As
suggested in the introductory section, studies have mainly focused on employees’
perceptions of organizational politics, deﬁned by Ferris et al. (1989) as behavior
strategically designed to maximize self-interests and therefore contradict the collective
organizational goals or the interests of other individuals. Block (1988, p. 5) mentioned
politics (in organizations) as basically a negative process and argued that “If I told you
you were a very political person, you would take it either as an insult or at best as a
mixed blessing”. Gandz and Murray (1980) and Madison et al. (1980) observed that
when individuals were asked to describe workplace politics, they typically listed
self-serving and manipulative activities that are not perceived positively. Studies that
developed this concept (e.g. Andrews and Kacmar, 2001; Cavanagh et al. 1981;
Cropanzano and Kacmar, 1995; Dipboye and Foster, 2002; Drory, 1993; Fedor et al.,
1998; Ferris and Kacmar, 1992; Vigoda-Gadot, 2003) found that workplace politics was
perceived as self-serving behavior by employees to achieve self-interests, advantages,
and beneﬁts at the expense of others and sometimes contrary to the interests of the
entire organization or work unit. This behavior was frequently associated with
manipulation, defamation, subversiveness, and illegitimate ways of overusing power
to attain one’s objectives (Kipnis et al., 1980).
Ferris et al. (1989) suggested the concept of the perception of organizational politics
(Perception of Organizational Politics Scale – POPS) as a good measure of OP.
Moreover, Kacmar and Ferris (1991, pp. 193-194) and Ferris and Kacmar (1992, p. 93)
argued that the higher the perceptions of politics are in the eyes of an organization
member, the lower in that person’s eyes is the level of justice, equity, and fairness.
While these studies distinguished between politics and fairness, it became a consensus
that these variables are strongly related. Thus, other studies (Ferris et al., 1996b; Folger
et al., 1992) have used the theory of procedural justice to argue that organizational
politics is related to the leader-member exchange relationships as well as to the
efﬁciency of human resource systems and to decision-making processes. Lack of
minimal justice and fairness in these systems was found to be a major cause of higher
perceptions of organizational politics and therefore of hampered organizational
performance. All these studies relied on Kurt Lewin’s (1936) argument that people
respond to their perceptions of reality, not to reality itself. Likewise, politics in
organizations should be understood in terms of what people think of it rather than
what it actually represents. Similarly, studies proposed that in many cases perceptions
of justice and fairness reﬂect a political climate in the workplace and may also be
related to formal and informal work performance (Drory, 1993; Cropanzano et al., 1997).
These ideas were replicated extensively and advocated in many studies (Ferris et al.,
1996a,b; Ferris and Kacmar, 1992; Kacmar and Ferris, 1991; Vigoda, 2002,
Leadership, organizational politics, and performance: a research model
The research model depicted in Figure 1 suggests a relationship between leadership
style, organizational politics, and employees’ performance. The model is based on the
idea of House and Aditya (1997) and Ammeter et al. (2002) to build a political theory of
The research model
leadership in organizations. The model examines perceptions of organizational politics
as a mediator in the relationship between leadership and performance. The rationale
for this model is based on several theories such as the leader-member exchange theory
(Graen, 1976; Wang et al., 2005), the expectation theory (Vroom, 1964) and the
social-exchange theory (Blau, 1964). According to these theories, it is the leaders’
responsibility to create an organizational atmosphere that is reciprocal, fair, and fulﬁlls
the expectations and needs of the individuals and the managerial cadre, as well as the
organization as a whole. A balanced relationship between leaders and members is
essential, and the fair treatment of the individual must be advanced as an
organizational strategy. Enhancing fair social exchange relations may reduce the level
of organizational politics and positively inﬂuence performance.
This line of thinking has been used in numerous studies. For example, Ferris and
Rowland (1981) argued that the leader’s behavior affects employee job perceptions,
which then affect employee attitudes towards the job and performance. Thus,
employees’ perceptions of the workplace, such as perceptions of politics, may be
mediators between leadership and performance. A more recent study by Pillai et al.
(1999) examined the relationship between transformational and transactional
leadership, procedural justice and distributive justice, and trust in organizational
obligation, OCB, and satisfaction from work. He found that an indirect relationship
exists between transformational leadership and OCB. The studies of MacKenzie et al.
(2001) examined the effect of transformational and transactional leadership on
marketing personnel’s performance at an insurance company. Findings showed that
transformational leadership has more inﬂuence on performance than transactional
leadership. This ﬁnding supports assumptions that the transformational leadership
style has a stronger relationship with in-role performance and with OCB compared
with transactional leadership.
Most studies about the relationship between leadership and performance show a
stronger relationship between transformational leadership and performance than
between transactional leadership and performance. Transactional leadership explains
a relatively low percentage of the researched performance criterion’s variance. On the
other hand, the relationship between transformational leadership and the measurement
of performance is positive and quite strong (Geyer and Steyrer, 1998; Lowe et al., 1996;
MacKenzie et al., 2001; Parry, 2003; Pillai et al., 1999). It seems that in many
organizations, especially public ones, transformational leadership is more effective
than transactional leadership. Skilled transformational managers have the ability to
support and educate employees, while challenging them to stretch themselves in order
to do their jobs. By their own behavior, such transformational managers offer an
imitation model and help encourage the employees in their efforts to promote aims and
Transformational leadership pushes employees to contribute to the organization
beyond the basic requirements of their job description out of personal motivation,
challenge, or the desire to emulate the leader and be regarded as part of his successful
prote´ge´s. This idea is much in line with the leader-member exchange theory (LMX) as
suggested by Graen (1976) and others. Nonetheless, it seems that transactional
leadership has the ability to strengthen the effectiveness of performance, especially
formal performance, which can be quantitatively measured and accurately rewarded.
Some studies have found that there is a signiﬁcant relationship between the conditional
gratitude measure (one of the transactional leadership components) and in-role
performance (for example, MacKenzie et al., 2001). Therefore, a ﬁrst hypothesis is
Transformational and transactional leadership are positively related with
in-role performance and OCB. Transformational leadership will have a
stronger relationship with and more inﬂuence on formal performance and
OCB than transactional leadership.
The relationship between transformational leadership and perceptions of
organizational politics is expected to be different from the relationship between
transactional leadership and organizational politics. The transformational managerial
leader may reduce the perceptions of politics in an organization because he/she offers a
vision, a mission, and an operative plan for goal achievement (Bass, 1985). He/she can
reduce ambiguity and professional uncertainty and validate the feeling that it is
possible to deal with organizational challenges in a decent way based on justice and
fairness. The managerial strategy underlying the transformational style reinforces
moral values, thereby contributing positively to feelings of fairness and justice and
reducing feelings of inferiority that derive from a lack of recourse to political
alternatives (Kacmar and Ferris, 1991). Transformational leadership may thus create a
positive organizational climate that supports professionalism and excellence, resulting
in a reduced perception of organizational politics.
In addition, the transparency in decision-making processes that characterizes the
transformational leader may also contribute to reducing the perceptions of
organizational politics by strengthening the belief that both the leader and the
organization are fair and trustworthy (Ferris et al., 1989; Ferris and Kacmar, 1992;
Ferris et al., 1996a; Folger et al., 1992; Kacmar and Ferris, 1991; Parry, 2003; Pillai et al.,
1999; Vigoda, 1999; Witt et al., 2002). In sum, transformational leadership has
characteristics that can reduce perceptions of organizational politics among employees.
Therefore, it is expected that a transformational leader will create a better
understanding among employees as to what is expected from them in the framework of
their job. Hence, they should have a more positive outlook on their workplace and be
willing to invest effort in the work, even beyond that which is required by their formal
On the other hand, it seems that transactional leadership contributes to
strengthening perceptions of organizational politics. This leadership style is
characterized by negotiation skills that are suitable for a political environment, by the
management of exchange relationships, and a reward system that will increase
employees’ motivation. The transactional leadership style encourages the development
of interest-based relationships between employees and managers, which is at the heart
of the political process. It encourages negotiation about interests and puts a price tag
on everyone and everything. This may lead employees to promote their interests more
aggressively in an environment that struggles over limited resources. In support of this
argument, Pillai et al. (1999) found a positive relationship between transactional and
transformational leadership on one hand and expressions of fairness and justice on the
other. Given that organizational politics is strongly related to fairness and justice in the
workplace, one may suggest that leadership style is also related to organizational
politics. Nonetheless, and in contrast to Pillai et al.’s (1999) research, I posit that the
nature of the relationship differs and will be positive for transactional leadership and
negative for transformational leadership. Based on the above, the second and third
hypotheses are suggested:
Transformational leadership is negatively related to perceptions of
Transactional leadership is positively related to perceptions of organizational
Studies also show that there is an established relationship between organizational
politics and various aspects of organizational performance. Strong perceptions of
organizational politics may damage the organization’s performance in a number of
ways. First, they are related to negative attitudes towards the organization such as
lower levels of trust, satisfaction, or commitment (i.e. Ferris and Kacmar, 1992, 1996a,b;
Vigoda, 1999, 2000, 2002). Second, relationships have been found between perceptions
of organizational politics and various negative employee behaviors such as the
withholding of information, neglect of one’s work, tardiness, absenteeism, or turnover
intentions (Vigoda-Gadot, 2003). Finally, strong perceptions of organizational politics
may damage the organization by reducing social cohesion and enhancing the tendency
to act in one’s personal interests, even if they are at odds with those of the organization
(Ferris et al., 1989, Ferris and Kacmar, 1992, Ferris et al., 1996a; Folger et al., 1992;
Kacmar and Ferris, 1991; MacKenzie et al., 2001; O’Connor et al., 2001; Parry, 2003;
Pillai et al., 1999; Poon, 2003; Vigoda, 1999; Witt et al., 2002). Therefore, it is expected
that perceptions of organizational politics will be negatively related to both
formal/in-role performance and to informal/OCB performance (Vigoda-Gadot, 2003).
Accordingly, the fourth and ﬁfth hypotheses are suggested:
Perceptions of organizational politics are negatively related to employee’s
Perceptions of organizational politics are negatively related to OCB.
Finally, studies have examined the effect of mediating variables on the relationship
between leadership and performance. Pillai et al. (1999) found that trust, procedural
justice, and distributive justice are mediating factors between leadership, OCB, and
satisfaction. MacKenzie et al. (2001) found that trust and job ambiguity are mediating
variables between leadership, in-role performance, and OCB. Parry (2003) showed that
organizational climate is a mediating factor between leadership and performance in a
public organization. These ﬁndings are signiﬁcant because they improve our
understanding of the complex relations between transactional and transformational
leadership and in-role or extra-role performance in the organization.
In addition, the direct relationship between leadership and organizational politics
has not been explored sufﬁciently. One of the most signiﬁcant contributions of the
proposed model is its examination of the inﬂuence of transactional and
transformational leadership on employees’ perceptions of organizational politics.
According to studies in leadership theory (i.e. Avolio and Bass, 1991; Pillai et al., 1999),
it seems that transformational leadership should reduce the perception of politics
because the transformational leader is by deﬁnition an exemplar and a role model of
doing the right things. In addition, a transformational leader tends to educate, guide,
and treat every employee to personal attention in his effort to motivate them to perform
above and beyond what is required of them. In contrast, a transactional leadership
style should strengthen perceptions of organizational politics among employees
because it does not emphasize these values. The transactional leader is characterized
by his/her ability to create a system of rewards and punishments that are necessary for
economic and social interactions within the organization. The leader-member exchange
(LMX) theory strongly supports this notion and suggests that interactions between
supervisors and employees are frequently interest based (i.e. Wang et al., 2005).
Therefore, even when a transactional leader seems to be promoting his/her
subordinate’s interests, the subordinate may be tempted to interpret this support as
strategic in nature. Such an interpretation may have a negative effect on the employee’s
performance. This theoretical rationale is also in line with Ehrhart’s (2004) research,
which found that a climate of organizational justice mediates in the relationship
between leadership and OCB. Accordingly, a ﬁnal hypothesis is suggested:
Perceptions of organizational politics mediate the relationship between
transactional and transformational leadership, on one hand, and in-role
performance and OCB on the other.
Sample and procedure
The study was based upon a survey in a public security division of a law enforcement
agency in Israel. The agency is an independent authority with four major regional
headquarters and nine branches nationwide. Between December 2002 and August
2003, 233 questionnaires were handed out in the branches across the country and
collected directly by the researchers. The overall response rate was 86.4 percent, and
201 questionnaires were used for data processing. A direct method of distribution and
collection of the questionnaires was applied. First, permission to distribute the
questionnaires was obtained from the organization’s management. Second, employees
were asked by the researcher to cooperate in the study, and it was clariﬁed to the
employees that participation was completely voluntary. The employees were also told
that a certain degree of identiﬁcation was needed and that their answers would be
matched with other important data obtained from the managers. For this purpose,
employees needed not to be identiﬁed by name but by a certain code known only to the
researchers, not to the organization’s management. Thus, the researcher assured the
employees that the data collected would remain conﬁdential, as would certain pieces of
information collected for identiﬁcation purposes. The employees did have the option to
refuse to take part in the study with no fear of retaliation by their supervisors, as the
management had no information about who decided to take part in the study and who
did not. Only the researchers had this data.
The questionnaires were completed by the employees and collected at the same
meeting by the researcher. As the last step, the direct supervisor of each participant
was asked to complete a questionnaire about all the employees under his/her
supervision. Overall, nine supervisors completed 10-15 employees’ evaluations each.
The researchers matched the evaluations with the usable questionnaires, so the
anonymity of the participants was assured.
The average age of the respondents was 24.9 years (sd ¼ 1.9). In terms of
demographics, 79.6 percent of the sample was male, 81.9 percent married, and 39
percent had been with the organization for more than two years. Slightly less than one
third, or 32.8 percent of the participants were low-level or middle-level managers and
the others were front-line employees. An academic college degree was held by 49.7
percent of the respondents. The income median was about $1,500 per month. The
demographic characteristics of the sample were quite similar to those of the total
population in the organizations that participated in the study.
MLQ. The study used the MLQ (Multi-factor Leadership Questionnaire) for measuring
the full range leadership styles. This measure was ﬁrst introduced by Bass (1985) and
was further developed by Bass and Avolio (1993). Dvir (1998) formulated a Hebrew
version of the questionnaire that was used here. Employees were asked to evaluate the
degree to which a particular behavior was typical of their immediate supervisor.
Responses were made on ﬁve-point Likert scale ranged from 1 (never) to 5 (always). A
shorter version of the questionnaire was applied, as suggested by Bass and Avolio
(1993), including four items for each one of the components of the full range, which
resulted in 32 items altogether. Sample items were:
“My supervisor rewards performance when his/her expectations are fulﬁlled”.
“My supervisor is not present when he/she is needed”.
“My supervisor speaks enthusiastically about our goals as a team”.
Reliability for the transformational leadership factor was 0.95 and for the transactional
leadership factor 0.83.
Perceptions of organizational politics. This variable was measured by a shorter
version of the Perception of Organizational Politics Scale (POPS) that was ﬁrst
developed by Kacmar and Ferris (1991) and later re-examined by Kacmar and Carlson
(1994). POPS was deﬁned as the degree to which the respondents view their work
environment as political, and therefore unjust and unfair. While Kacmar and Ferris’s
original scale included 40 items, Kacmar and Carlson’s study used the more
parsimonious set of only 12 items, which were adopted here. Sample items were:
“Favoritism rather than merit determines who gets ahead around here”.
“Rewards come only to those who work hard in this organization”