Transformational leadership and speaking up: Power distance and structural distance as moderators

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Sheng-min Liu
Jian-qiao Liao
Cite this article:  Liu, S., & Liao, J. (2013). Transformational leadership and speaking up: Power distance and structural distance as moderators. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 41(10), 1747-1756.


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We explored the mechanism of the effects of transformational leadership on employees’ speaking up (voice), especially probing the moderating effects of power distance and structural distance. We used a questionnaire to conduct an investigation with dyads of leaders (113 senior engineers and 51 project managers) and their subordinates (495 engineers). The results from hierarchical regression modeling indicated that, in the relationship between transformational leadership and employees’ speaking up, structural distance was a positive moderator but power distance was a negative and stronger moderator than structural distance. Implications of these results for theory and management practice are discussed.

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