Niels Jansen Transformational Leadership

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Niels Jansen Transformational Leadership

  1. 1. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environment Cornelis Nicolaas Jansen, BSc, 3054667 Utrecht University Faculty of Social Sciences Master dissertation Work & Organizational Psychology 2009-2010 Supervision: Prof. Dr. Toon Taris / Prof. Dr. Hetty van Emmerik th Date: June, 29 , 2010
  2. 2. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environment Abstract The purpose of this study was to create a model explaining the associationsamong nationality, the big five personality traits, and team work on the one hand, and transformational leadership on the other. It was expected that nationality,agreeableness, openness to experience, extraversion, team identification, teamsatisfaction and in-role performance have significant, positive associations with transformational leadership. 196 participants of an international companyspecialized in consumer electronics participated in this research by completing aquestionnaire. Regression analysis revealed that the big five personality traits of openness to experience, agreeableness, and team identification explained a significant part of the variance in Transformational Leadership. These findings contribute to hiring and development activities concerning transformationalleadership in companies. This research presents a model for Transformational Leadership as a point of reference for further research. 2
  3. 3. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environment Introduction Leadership is a well-researched topic in the areas of the organizationalbehaviour, business studies and psychology alike. Many theories and models,not only used in science but also in organizations, describe different forms ofleadership (Ismail, 2010; Politis, 2002; Testa, 2002). However, one issue withinthe broad area of leadership that still needs further research is leadership incompanies with employees from different cultural backgrounds. Is leadership in amulticultural organization different from leadership in a company with a morehomogenous population? This issue is of major importance for both science and business asresearch in this area would create better insight in the behaviour of employees ina society that becomes more international. Scientific studies in this area couldgain new knowledge of behaviour of multicultural groups. Companies couldimprove their way of operating, and their hiring and developing of leadershippotential based on new insights. Basically, the present research examines the associations among the bigfive personality traits, team work, and transformational leadership in aninternational environment. The findings in this studies will lead to a model thatrelates leadership to several factors of working life. Although many factorscontribute to leadership, the factors addressed in this study are seen as the mostrelevant and important for organizations with employees from differentbackgrounds, as will be explained below.Leadership and Personality The most universal and most frequently used set of personality traits is theso-called ‘big five’. (Hofstede & McCrae, 2004). This taxonomy of personalitytraits consists of openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion,agreeableness and neuroticism/emotional stability. These personality traits areusually considered the main traits that encompass all other ‘lower-order’ traits.For example: the lower-order trait assertiveness belongs to the category of the 3
  4. 4. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environmenthigher-order personality trait extraversion and belongs to a lesser extent to theother higher-order traits. A distinction must be made between the individual personality and thecollective personality (Hofmann & Jones, 2005). The individual personalityreflects the personality traits of a single person, however, the collectivepersonality reflects the personality traits of a team/group, or organization. Thecollective personality is the result, or product, of individuals that transmit, interactand influence each other. This is clearly different, but still somewhat related tothe individual personality. This study will focus mainly on the individualpersonality traits, and individual behaviour in groups or individual feelings aboutgroups. However, even the individual personality in a group is influenced by thecollective personality since the group always influences the individual and viceversa. According to De Vries (2008), each form of leadership is linked to a differentset of personality traits. In his studies, charismatic leadership has a profile of highscores on conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, openness toexperience and a low score on emotional stability/neuroticism. The construct of transactional/transformational Leadership is mainly basedon the studies of Bass, who was one of the main developers of the MultifactorLeadership Questionnaire (1985). However, the assumptions regardingtransformational leadership have been under an enduring discussion and haveevolved during the years (De Hoogh, Den Hartog & Koopman, 2005). Transactional leaders tend to maintain the status quo, whiletransformational/charismatic leaders try to change the status quo.Transformational leaders seek contact, take initiative, try to raise theperformance level of their team through information, communication andknowledge exchange with others. However, transactional leaders prefer todelegate and give orders; they make clear what is expected (Pieterse et al.,2010). Transformational leadership is considered to be rather effective in times ofchange and instability (Brown & Reilly, 2009). The terms charismatic and 4
  5. 5. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environmenttransformational leadership refer to the same form of leadership and thus, will beused interchangeably in this study. Judge and Bono (2000) contributed with their research to the assumptionthat the big five personality dimensions are related to transformationalleadership. In their studies the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) isused: one of the most frequently used questionnaires to measuretransformational leadership. Their research examined the relations between thebig five personality dimensions and transformational leadership. The relationsfound, partly reflect that of other studies in the same field of research (Hetland,Sandal & Johnson, 2008: Smith & Conger, 2004). Judge and Bono (2000) foundpositive relationships between extraversion, agreeableness and openness toexperience with transformational leadership. These findings are supported by thestudies conducted by Moss et al. (2006) and by the research of Hirschfeld et al.(2008). When comparing the different studies, most of these support the hypothesisthat all dimensions of the big five are positively related to transformationalleadership, except for the personality traits of conscientiousness and neuroticism.The most convincing studies show that openness to experience, agreeablenessand extraversion are related to transformational leadership. According to Judgeand Bono (2002), creativity and originality are both characteristics oftransformational leadership and openness to experience. In addition to that:openness leads to a need for change, which is a characteristic oftransformational leadership. For the personality traits of agreeableness, the linkis clear: transformational leaders need to be able to empathize and showcompassion. Achievement and discipline are important components of bothtransformational leadership and conscientiousness. Therefore, the firsthypothesis of this study is: Hypothesis 1: positive relationships will be found between openness to experience, agreeableness and extraversion on the one hand and transformational leadership on the other. Conscientiousness and neuroticism will be unrelated to transformational leadership. 5
  6. 6. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environmentLeadership and Culture Culture can be a critical contributor of conflict (Euwema & Van Emmerik,2007). The development of intercultural competencies might increase the rangeof responses in conflict. People who are becoming interculturally competent learnto look at situations from different perspectives and therefore, can react indifferent ways to a certain situation. They learn to adapt and respond inappropriate ways that cope more effectively with intercultural differences. Culturaldifferences are very important factors in the multicultural organization sincedifferent parties have to deal with behaviour in contexts with a high conflictpotential. Other attributes of individuals, like gender, also have an influence onleadership (Van Emmerik et al., 2008). However, culture has a stronger impacton leadership compared with gender. In other words: employees with manydifferences in their culture, and therefore different habits, ways of thinking,values, et cetera, are more prone to conflict with each other if they do not knowhow to deal with the present behaviour. Therefore it is of high importance thatemployees are interculturally competent. Intercultural competence is the ability toact and think in a way that is interculturally appropriate (Hammer, Bennett &Wiseman, 2003). When employees are interculturally competent they are moreaware of the strengths and weaknesses that people of different cultures mightexperience when working together. Euwema and Van Emmerik (2007) found thatintercultural competencies are linked with intercultural conflict management.Therefore, as intercultural competencies are becoming more important inmulticultural societies, they should also become more important in multiculturalorganizations. Intercultural competence can be gained not only by experience,but also by training (McAllister et al., 2006). The factors involved with interculturalcompetence are related to the big five personality traits. Research conducted by Hofstee et al. (1997) show that although differentnationalities might find the same relationships between certain big fivepersonality traits and a variable, the specific scores or the percentage ofexplained variance, often varies. Although culture and nationality are not exactly 6
  7. 7. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environmentthe same, nationalities can be linked to cultural dimensions (Meeuwesen, 2008).In the present study a division is made between Dutch and Non-Dutchemployees. Therefore, the second hypothesis of this study is: Hypothesis 2.1: Dutch and non-Dutch employees will differ significantly on their scores on the big five personality traits. A study conducted by Jung et al. (2009) found that transformationalleadership is present across cultures, while culture-specific characteristics likecollectivism influences transformational leadership effectiveness.Transformational leadership is considered to be more effective in collectivisticcultures. This study focuses on the relationship between culture andtransformational leadership itself, to gain a better understanding of this topic. If arelationship is found between culture and transformational leadershipeffectiveness, it is important to know if this association is found becauseemployees from certain cultures have different levels of transformationalleadership itself, or because of transformational leadership effectiveness, assuggested in the previous studies. Cultures can be different in many ways: thelevel of masculinity, individualism, power distance, et cetera (Meeuwesen et al.2008). Therefore, a difference is expected between Dutch and Non-Dutchemployees on transformational leadership. Hypothesis 2.2: Dutch and non-Dutch employees will differ significantly on transformational leadership. If, as expected, relationships are found between the personality traits ofthe big five and transformational leadership, it is important to see if nationalitymoderates these relationships. No previous research examines theserelationships, and therefore one exploratory aim of this study is to see if suchrelationships exist at all. If nationality moderates the relationship between the bigfive personality traits and transformational leadership, this will be a first step innew area of research. The presence of a moderator effect of nationality on therelationship between the big five personality traits and transformational 7
  8. 8. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environmentleadership will give a better understanding of the associations around leadership.Therefore, the third hypothesis of this study is: Hypothesis 2.3: Nationality will moderate the relationship between the big five personality traits and transformational leadership.Team Work and Personality Driskell et al. (2006) suggested a possible link between the big fivepersonality traits and team work. Very specific behaviour underlying charactertraits like self-esteem and achievement contribute to teamwork. However, it is notclear which traits are linked to which specific areas of team work. The presentstudy focuses on three different areas of team work: team satisfaction, teamidentification and in-role performance.Team Satisfaction Moss et al. (2006) suggest that individuals are more committed when theywork in environments that facilitate the expression of their personality traits.Therefore it is of great importance that more knowledge is available about thepersonality traits present in teams. This can lead to improved work groupenvironments where personality traits can be expressed. One of the personalitytraits that is presumed to be related to satisfaction of social relationships isextraversion. People who score high on the trait of extraversion are easiersatisfied with social relationships (Bernerth et al., 2008). Pearsall and Ellis (2006)support this research by showing that assertiveness (a facet of Extraversion) isan important predictor of team satisfaction and team performance. Therefore, it isexpected that a relationship will be present between extraversion and teamsatisfaction. Little research is available concerning the other personality traits of the bigfive in relation to team satisfaction. However, research conducted by Simon et al.(2010) shows that agreeableness is positively associated with job and co-workersatisfaction. This study will relate all big five personality traits to TeamSatisfaction, but the main statements that can be made based on previous 8
  9. 9. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environmentresearch concern extraversion and agreeableness. This leads to the followinghypothesis: Hypothesis 3.1: There will be a positive relationship between the big five personality traits extraversion and agreeableness on the one hand, and team satisfaction on the other.Team Identification Team identification is well researched by Bezrukova et al. (2009). Teamidentification can be defined as feeling part of a team, and finding similaritiesbetween oneself and the team. Bezrukova et al. found that team identificationenhances group performance in homogenous groups. Employees with manysimilarities tend to get along better. A team with members that get along well is astrong basis for good performance. This information is very valuable fororganizations that operate with employees from diverse backgrounds, wherehomogenous groups are possibly present. These findings are supported byresearch conducted by Jehn and Bezrukova (2010) who claim that a strong teamidentification causes less conflict and coalition forming. In alignment with theprevious hypothesis that examines the relationship between nationality and thebig five personality traits it is important to see if there are relationships betweenthe big five personality traits and team identification. Unfortunately, little researchis conducted in this area. New information could shed a different light onleadership, since team identification is very important for teams and leaders, andtherefore important for organizations. As found in previously described studies byJehn and Bezrukova (2010), employees with different cultural backgrounds thatwork together are more prone to conflict. Therefore, improvements can be madein order to increase team identification, and therefore team work. Little research is available concerning the possible relationships betweenthe big five personality traits and team identification. Team identificationenhances performance in homogenous groups, therefore, it is important to see ifbig five personality traits are related with team identification. If employees withcertain personality traits score higher on team identification compared with other 9
  10. 10. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environmentemployees, this is valuable information that could lead to a more effectivecomposition of working groups. Hypothesis 3.2: There will be significant relations between the big five personality traits and team identification. In-role performance is the behaviour an employee has to show and act uponto obtain the tasks he or she needs to complete. Someone who scores low on in-role performance behaves in such a way that mandatory tasks are not completed(Yap et al., 2009). Therefore, besides looking at the possible relationships of thebig five personality traits with team satisfaction and team identification, it is alsointeresting to see which big five traits are related to in-role performance. A betterunderstanding of these associations could lead to better ways of composingworking groups. Similar to team identification, in-role performance is not well-researched regarding its associations with personality traits. Hypothesis 3.3: There will be significant relationships between the big five personality traits and in-role performance.Teamwork and Transformational Leadership A strong group is an important basis for a good leader (Boehm & Yoels,2009). Therefore it is possible that team identification, team satisfaction and in-role performance predict transformational leadership. Again, little research isavailable that examines these ideas, therefore an important aim of this study is tosee if a relationship is present, to gain a better understanding of the associationsamong transformational leadership. Hypothesis 3.4: A positive relationship between team identification and transformational leadership can be found. Hypothesis 3.5: A positive relationship between team satisfaction and transformational leadership can be found. Hypothesis 3.6: A positive relationship between in-role performance and transformational leadership can be found. 10
  11. 11. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environment When relationships are found between the personality traits of the big fiveand transformational leadership, it is also possible that team identification, teamsatisfaction and In-role performance moderate these relationships. Little researchis available regarding these specific relationships, but a better insight in thismatter would enhance the model regarding leadership associations presented inthis study. Hypothesis 3.7: A moderator effect between team identification and the relationship between the big five personality traits with transformational leadership can be found. Hypothesis 3.8: A moderator effect between team satisfaction and the relationship between the big five personality traits with transformational leadership can be found. Hypothesis 3.9: A moderator effect between in-role performance and the relationship between the big five personality traits with transformational leadership can be found.Nationality & Team Work To complete the research model presented in this study, a check will bemade to see if there are relationships between nationality and team identification,team satisfaction and in-role performance. Little research is available on histopic, however, due to cultural-specific characteristics that could influence teams,like individualism, uncertainty avoidance, or masculinity (Meeuwesen, 2008), asignificant difference may be expected between nationalities and the teamvariables of team identification, team satisfaction and in-role performance. Abetter understanding of the relationship of nationality with the three teamvariables could possibly improve the leadership model as presented in this study. Hypothesis 4.1: A significant difference between Dutch and non-Dutch employees and team identification can be found. Hypothesis 4.2: A significant difference between Dutch and non-Dutch employees and team satisfaction can be found. 11
  12. 12. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environment Hypothesis 4.3: A significant difference between Dutch and non-Dutch employees and in-role performance can be found. The ideas presented in this introduction lead to a basic leadership modelthat could be used in both science and business. Since little previous research isavailable, this model is a first proposal and needs further, extensive research.However, this model could contribute to a better understanding of theassociations among transformational leadership. The proposed hypotheses aresummarized in the following leadership model: Figure 1: Leadership model with hypotheses MethodsParticipants The employees of an international company specialized in consumerelectronics were asked to complete an internet-based questionnaire. 117 males 12
  13. 13. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environmentand 79 females contributed to this research, with a total of 196 participants whofully completed the questionnaire. No data is present about the age of theemployees due to restrictions regarding confidentiality and the protection ofpersonal data. Due to the multicultural background of this study, a company waschosen where employees of different cultures work together. 93 employeeswhere from a Dutch nationality. 103 employees where from a Non-Dutchnationality. The specific nationalities with the largest number of representativeswere British (n = 17), Japanese (n = 11), French (n = 9), German (n = 6), Italian(n = 5), and Spanish (n = 5). The appendix provides a specification of allnationalities present in the current study. Most participants were not nativespeakers of English.Measures The questionnaire used in this research, which can be found in theappendix, was created by merging several other frequently used questionnaires.The language of the questionnaires used was English. Part of the questionnaire consisted of the ‘Multifactor LeadershipQuestionnaire’ (MLQ) created by Bass and Avolio (1992). This questionnaire isone of the most frequently used questionnaires to measure leadership (Judge &Bono, 2000). The questionnaire consisted of 21 items. The participants indicatedon a 4-point scale their preferred answer on a range from ‘not at all’ to‘frequently, if not always’. The MLQ consists of six different subscales: idealizedinfluence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, individualizedconsideration, contingent reward, management-by-exception, and laissez-faireleadership. The separate subscales of the Multifactor Leadership Questionnairehave been combined to increase the alpha value (α =.77). For the subscale ‘idealized influence’ the following statement, amongothers, has been provided to the participants: ‘I make others feel good to bearound me’. ‘I express with a few simple words what we could and should do’ isan example of a statement belonging to the subscale of ‘inspirational motivation’.For the subscale of ‘intellectual stimulation’, one of the used items is: ‘I enable 13
  14. 14. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environmentothers to think about old problems in new ways’. ‘individual consideration’ iscovered by the statement ‘I help others develop themselves’ among others. ‘I tellothers what to do if they want to be rewarded for their work’ is an example of astatement that is part of the subscale ‘contingent reward’. ‘management-by-exception’ uses items like: ‘I am satisfied when others meet agreed-uponstandards’. ‘I am content to let others continue working in the same way asalways.’ is an example of a statement that represents the subscale ‘laissez-faireleadership’. The questionnaire used for the measurement of the big five personalitytraits was a translation of a short questionnaire developed by Van Emmerik et al.(2004). The questionnaire consisted of fifteen items with characteristics.Participants indicated their answer on a 7-point scale with answers ranging from‘completely agree’ to ‘completely disagree’. The big five questionnaire consistedof five subscales in alignment with the personality traits ‘openness to experience’(α = .85 ), ‘conscientiousness’ (α = .87 ), ‘introversion’ (α = .90 ), ‘agreeableness’(α = .84 ) and ‘emotional stability’ (α = .86 ). For the subscale ‘openness to experience’ statements like ‘Frequentlyhighly creative’ were used. A statement for the subscale ‘conscientiousness’ is‘Organized’, among others. An example of the subscale ‘introversion’ is ‘Quietwhen with people’. ‘Agreeableness’ is covered by statements like ‘Tenderhearted’. The subscale ‘emotional stability’ consisted of items like ‘More irritablethan others’. The questionnaire used to measure ‘team identification’ (α = .78), ‘in-roleperformance’ (α = .85) and ‘team satisfaction’ (α = .90) was created by mergingseveral questionnaires (Gladstein, 1984; Janssen & Xu, 2008; Tjosvold, 2003).The questionnaire consisted of 24 statements. Participants indicated on a five-point scale ranging from ‘completely agree’ to ‘completely disagree’. ‘Team identification’ consisted of statements like ‘I identify with othermembers of my team/department’. An example of an item for the subscale ‘in-role performance’ is ‘We fulfil all responsibilities required by the job’. For the 14
  15. 15. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environmentsubscale ‘team satisfaction’ statements like ‘I am very satisfied with working inthis team’ were used.Statistical Analysis For the statistical analysis of the data SPSS statistics 17.0.0 for Windowswas used. The data of the item ‘nationality’ was recoded into a dichotomousvariable (Dutch = 1 versus Non-Dutch = 0). The Cronbach’s Alpha was analysed( α ) to check for internal consistency, after collecting the data. Reliability scoresranged from acceptable (.60 at minimum) to good (.80 and higher). All results of this study have been calculated using the method of(stepwise) multiple regression analysis to see which proportion of the variance inthe dependent variables could be explained by the independent variables and theinteractions between those variables. Interaction variables were created for thepredictors of the big five personality traits with the predictors of nationality andteam identification, team satisfaction and in-role performance to calculatepossible moderator effects in accordance with the research model. Theseinteractions were created by first standardizing variables, after which therespective standardized variables were multiplied. In the regression analyses wefirst entered the (unstandardized) main variables, after which the interactionterms involving these main variables were entered. In this way we could examinewhether addition of interactions accounted for a significant additional part of thevariance in the outcome variables. ResultsTransformational Leadership Table 1, Model 1 reveals that there is at least one variable of teamidentification, in-role performance and/or team satisfaction that explains asignificant part of the variance of transformational leadership: F(3,192) = 5,928, p< 0.05. This model explains 7% of the variance of transformational leadership. 15
  16. 16. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environment Table 1: Results stepwise regression with three models comprised of possible predictors for transformational leadership. Model Adj. R2 Adj. R2 Change df1 df2 P 1 .070 .070 3 192 .001* 2 .294 .224 6 186 .000* 3 .320 .026 19 167 .144 * = significant at p > .05Model 1 consists of the predictors team identification, in-role performance and team satisfactionwith transformational leadership as the dependent variable.Model 2 consists of the predictors agreeableness, openness to experience, emotional stability,conscientiousness, introversion and nationality with transformational leadership as the dependentvariable.Model 3 consists of the interaction variables of agreeableness, openness to experience,emotional stability, conscientiousness and introversion with nationality and team identification, in-role performance and team satisfaction with transformational leadership as the dependentvariable. Table 1, Model 2, shows that at least one of the personality traits of the bigfive explains a significant part of the variance in transformational leadership:F(9,186) = 10,017, p < 0.05. This model explains 22,4 % of the variance intransformational leadership. The results for the individual predictors and theaccepted and/or rejected hypothesis will be discussed in accordance with Table2. Hypotheses 2.3, 3.7, 3.8 and 3.9 stated that nationality, team identification,team satisfaction and in-role performance moderate the relationship between thebig five personality traits and transformational leadership. Table 1, Model 3 showno existing significant relationships between the interaction variables of thepersonality traits of the big five with nationality and team identification, in-roleperformance and team satisfaction: F(28,167) = 4,279, p > 0.05, and therefore,these hypotheses were rejected. 16
  17. 17. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environmentTable 2: Results regression analysis for team identification, in-role performance, team satisfaction, the big five personality traitsand nationality as predictors of transformational leadership.Model BetaTeam identification .325*In-role performance -.071Team satisfaction -.125Openness .411*Conscientiousness .035Introversion -.076Emotional stability -.058Agreeableness .154*Nationality .028* = significant at p < .05 Hypothesis 3.4 stated that team identification would be a significantpredictor of transformational leadership. This hypothesis was confirmed by theresults shown in Table 2 (p < 0.05). Higher scores on team identification areassociated with higher scores of transformational leadership. In-role performanceand team satisfaction have no significant relationship with transformationalleadership, and therefore Hypotheses 3.5 and 3.6 are rejected (p > 0.05). Table 2also reveals a significant relationship between openness to experience andagreeableness with transformational leadership (p < 0.05). More specifically,higher scores on openness to experience or agreeableness are associated withhigher scores on transformational leadership. This is partly in accordance withHypothesis 1, that stated that, apart from openness to experience andagreeableness, extraversion would be related to transformational leadership. Nosignificant relationship was found for the effects of conscientiousness,introversion and emotional stability on transformational leadership (p > 0.05).Contrary to Hypothesis 2.2, no significant relationship has been found betweennationality and transformational leadership (p > 0.05)Team Identification Table 3, Model 1 reveals that at least one personality trait of the big fiveexplained a significant part of the variance in team identification (p < 0.05). This 17
  18. 18. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environmentmodel explains 6.4% of the variance in Team Identification. This is explainedmore detailed in Table 4. Contrary to Hypothesis 4.1, no significant differencewas found for the association between nationality and team identification (p >0.05). Table 3: Results stepwise regression analysis with two models comprised of possible predictors for team identification. Model Adj. R2 Adj R2 Change df1 df2 P 1 .064 .064 5 190 .003* 2 .062 .002 1 189 .504 * = significant, p < .05Model 1 consists of the predictors agreeableness, openness to experience, emotional stability,conscientiousness, introversion with team identification as the dependent variable.Model 2 consists of the predictor nationality with team identification as the dependent variable. Hypothesis 3.2, that stated that the big five personality traits would predictteam identification, is partly supported by the results shown in Table 4. Asignificant relationship between the personality traits conscientiousness andemotional stability and team identification (p < 0.05) was found. Higher scores onconscientiousness are associated with higher scores on team identification, buthigher scores on emotional stability are associated with lower scores on teamidentification. No significant relationship was found for openness to experience,introversion and agreeableness (p > 0.05). Table 4: Results regression analysis for the big five personality traits as predictors for team identification. Model Beta Openness -.005 Conscientiousness .215* Introversion .012 Emotional stability -.172* Agreeableness .017 * = significant at p < .05 18
  19. 19. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environmentIn-Role Performance Table 5, Model 1, reveals that at least one personality trait of the big fiveexplains a significant part of the variance in in-role performance (p < 0.05). Thepercentage of explained variance in in-role performance is 12.2%. Hypothesis4.3 was rejected as no significant relationship was found between nationality andin-role performance, as can be seen from Table 5, Model 2 (p > 0.05). Table 5: Results stepwise regression analysis with two models comprised of possible predictors for in-role performance. Model Adj. R2 Adj R2 Change df1 Df2 p 1 .122 .122 5 190 .000* 2 .119 -.003 1 189 .570 * = significant, p < .05Model 1 consists of the predictors agreeableness, openness to experience, emotional stability,conscientiousness, introversion with in-role performance as the dependent variable.Model 2 consists of the predictor nationality with in-role performance as the dependent variable. Table 6 reveals a significant relationship between the personality traitconscientiousness on in-role performance (p < 0.05), such that higher levels ofconscientiousness are associated with higher levels of in-role performance. Thisis partly in accordance with Hypothesis 3.3. which stated that the big fivepersonality traits have a positive relationship with in-role performance. Nosignificant relationships were found for openness to experience, introversion,emotional stability and agreeableness (p > 0.05). Table 6: Results regression analysis for the big five personality traits as a predictor for in-role performance. Model Beta Openness .130 Conscientiousness .365* Introversion -.096 Emotional stability .074 Agreeableness -.024 * = significant at p < .05 19
  20. 20. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environmentTeam Satisfaction Table 7, Model 1 reveals that at least one personality trait of the big fiveexplains a significant part of the variance in team satisfaction (p < 0.05). Thepercentage explained variance in team satisfaction is 8%. Contrary to Hypothesis4.2, that stated an existing, significant difference between nationality and teamsatisfaction, no difference has been found for nationality and team satisfaction (p> 0.05). Table 7: Results stepwise regression analysis with two models comprised of possible predictors for team satisfaction. Model Adj. R2 Adj R2 Change df1 df2 p 1 .080 .080 5 190 .001* 2 .076 -.004 1 189 .771 * = significant, p < .05Model 1 consists of the predictors agreeableness, openness to experience, emotional stability,conscientiousness, introversion with team satisfaction as the dependent variable.Model 2 consists of the predictor nationality with team satisfaction as the dependent variable.Table 8 reveals a significant relationship between conscientiousness andemotional stability on team satisfaction (p < 0.05); higher levels ofconscientiousness and lower levels of emotional stability are associated withhigher levels of team satisfaction, which partly supports Hypothesis 3.1.Hypothesis 3.1 stated that extraversion and agreeableness have a positiverelationship with team satisfaction. No significant relationship has been found foropenness to experience, introversion and agreeableness (p > 0.05). 20
  21. 21. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environmentTable 8: Results regression analysisfor the big five personality traits as apredictor for team satisfaction.Model BetaOpenness .108Conscientiousness .189*Introversion -.007Emotional stability -.181*Agreeableness .041* = significant, p < .05Nationality Hypothesis 2.1, stating that Dutch and non-Dutch employees will differsignificantly on their scores on the big five personality traits, can partly beaccepted as Table 9 reveals that nationality explains a significant part of thevariance in the big five personality trait of conscientiousness (p < 0.05).Nationality explains 1.7% of the variance in conscientiousness. Dutch employeesscore significantly higher on conscientiousness compared with non-Dutchemployees. No relationship is found for the personality traits ‘openness toexperience’, ‘Introversion’, ‘emotional stability’ and ‘agreeableness’.Table 9: Results multiple regression analysis withnationality as a predictor of the big five personalitytraitsModel Adj. R2 df1 df2 Beta Openness -.02 1 193 .060 Conscientiousness .017 1 193 .149* Extraversion -.005 1 193 .023 Agreeableness -.004 1 193 .090 Emotional Stability .003 1 193 .040* = significant, p < .05 The initially described research model looks like the following (Figure 2),with all accepted relationships and their directions as shown. Rejectedhypotheses were not included. 21
  22. 22. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environment Figure 2: Research model with accepted hypotheses Discussion and conclusionTheoretical and practical relevance The purpose of this research was to create a transformational leadershipmodel that explains the associations among the big five personality traits,nationality, team identification, team satisfaction, in-role performance, andtransformational leadership. The most interesting findings of the present studywere on the one hand the relationships between openness to experience,agreeableness, and team identification with transformational leadership, but onthe other hand, the total absence of associations among leadership andextraversion. The model with associations around transformational leadership is lesscomplex and accounted for less of the variance in transformational leadershipcompared to what was expected, considering the number and type of variablesincluded in the model. Possibly, associations with other variables could enhancethe model and account for a greater proportion of the variance in transformationalleadership. 22
  23. 23. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environment The model in this research is most useful to the company that cooperatedin this research since this research is a quite accurate analysis of their populationof employees. The results of this research could be used for Human Resourcespurposes, like hiring and assessing new employees or developing employeesinto leadership functions. Applicants participating in assessments could be rateddifferently with this new knowledge about the associations amongtransformational leadership. If high scores of transformational leadership arecriteria for new employees, applicants could be assessed not only ontransformational leadership, but also on their personality traits. The applicantmust score high on the MLQ, but additionally, also on variables like openness toexperience and agreeableness. However, more research is needed to see if thefindings can be replicated and have practical relevance. This research is also valuable to organizations with a multiculturalenvironment in general: processes around leadership may work differently incomparison with other organizations. The hypotheses in this study are oftenbased on studies with a non-international setting and that might have influencedthe contradictory findings of this study. This research might be a first step in thearea of transformational leadership studies in multicultural environments, butfurther research is needed to see if the findings of this study can be replicated.Big Five Personality Traits One remarkable finding in this research is the absence of any associationwith the big five personality trait of extraversion. In this study the term‘Introversion’ is used to illustrate the variable of extraversion, the opposite end ofthe scale. While extraversion was expected to explain part of the variance intransformational leadership and team satisfaction, nothing was found. Also, nosignificant difference was found for nationality and extraversion, while pastresearch revealed that those differences were frequently found. A possibleexplanation for the absence of any effects of extraversion may be found in thepopulation used in this research. If employees were hired with a certain level ofextraversion, e.g. because the trait of extraversion is considered to be important 23
  24. 24. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environmentin the company, it is possible that no true variance is measured for extraversion.If every employee has the same scores on extraversion, no relationship can befound, while this could be different in other companies. Therefore, it is of greatimportance the results of this study are verified by future research. Some research, however, contradicts the most accepted mindset thatpersonality traits are associated with transformational leadership (Judge et al.2002), with weaker ratings in organizational settings (Bono & Judge, 2004).Since these studies are relatively rare, more research needs to be done beforeassumptions about possible weaker relationships of personality traits withleadership should be accepted. As expected, openness and agreeableness predict a significant part of thevariance in transformational leadership, which is in accordance with previousstudies. In spite of the fact that extraversion does not predict a significant part ofthe variance in transformational leadership, these findings imply that thehypothesis is (partly) accepted, especially with the fact that previous studies arenot always consistent about the results regarding personality traits andtransformational leadership (Hetland, Sandal & Johnson, 2008: Smith & Conger,2004). The most feasible explanation for the absence of the variable extraversionis that the population used in this study scored differently on extraversion, whichcould be important information for the company that contributed to this researchand for further research in this field. As predicted, higher scores on openness to experience or agreeablenessare associated with higher scores on transformational leadership. Employeesshowing specific behavior related to openness to experience or agreeablenessare more likely to be transformational leaders. If a company seekstransformational leaders, it is likely that possible future leaders with specificpersonality traits need to be recruited. Besides assessing employees onquestionnaires like the MLQ, other questionnaires can be used to strengthen thechoice of the company for an certain employee. An applicant scoring high onopenness to experience, agreeableness and transformational leadership seemsa better choice compared with an applicant scoring low on openness to 24
  25. 25. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environmentexperience and agreeableness, but has high scores on transformationalleadership. Another striking finding is that whereas conscientiousness explainsvariance in team identification, team satisfaction and in-role performance, norelationships with other concepts have been found (with exception of emotionalstability). However, as mentioned in the introduction, little is known about theexact associations of the big five personality traits and the different aspects ofteam work. This study is a small step forward regarding the knowledge about thebig five personality traits and team work. This study found that higher scores on conscientiousness are associatedwith higher scores on team identification, team satisfaction and in-roleperformance. Employees scoring high on conscientiousness should be highlyvalued by companies when hiring employees for team-based occupations. Thiscould have an effect on the hiring policies of companies since employees whoscore high on conscientiousness could be favoured compared with employeeswho score low on the same trait. Higher scores on emotional stability are associated with lower scores onteam identification and team satisfaction. An explanation for this finding is thatemployees who score high on emotional stability are possibly also lessemotionally flexible, and do not like to show their emotions. However, employeesvalue colleagues showing emotions, which enables them to identify with theirteam, and therefore show more emotions themselves. The question is on whichlevel these assumptions can be made. How ‘emotional unstable’ can someonebe while still maintaining high levels of team identification and team satisfaction?Therefore, more research, possibly with peer-ratings of emotional stability, isneeded. As mentioned before, also extraversion does not explain any variance inthe three team variables. Another explanation for the absence of this trait couldbe the hierarchical structure and Japanese company culture present in theorganization that cooperated to this research. This culture could be present insuch a way that employees of other nationalities are also affected. This contrasts 25
  26. 26. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environmentwith research that found that certain personality traits, like extraversion, arerelated to successful expatriation (Van Emmerik & Euwema, 2009). In thecompany that contributed to this research, many expatriates are present and theabsence of any relationship with extraversion is quite interesting. However, moreresearch is needed before firm conclusions can be drawn. However, for the timebeing it can be concluded that personality factors (especially conscientiousnessand emotional stability) may well be relevant in affecting the scores on otherconcepts, including leadership and team-related variables.Team Work Out of the three variables of team identification, team satisfaction and in-role performance, only team identification predicts a significant part of thevariance in transformational leadership. Theoretically, team identification is veryimportant for groups since this creates a stable and safe basis for teammembers. Transformational leadership is characterised by the tendency ofchanging the status quo. Why would changing the status quo in a group with aleader who scores high on team identification possibly lead to higher levels ofsuccess? In such groups, leaders may feel more safe to take risky actions, whichcould improve group performance. It is easier to change the status quo when theemployees in a team, including the leader, identify with the group and trust eachother. However, further research is needed before assumptions can be made.This could explain why no relationship is found for the variables of in-roleperformance, and to a lesser extent for team satisfaction. Leaders can feelsatisfied about their team, but they can still feel uncertain when they have to takeinitiatives themselves, or if they want to implement changes. Also, for theseassumptions more research is needed. These findings could have implications for finding the transformationalleader in an existing team. Employees who score high on team identification arelikely to score high on transformational leadership, and therefore, could besuitable leaders for that same team. This knowledge could be applied whenmanagers or leaders get hired internally. 26
  27. 27. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environment No moderator effect has been found for team identification, teamsatisfaction and in-role performance on the relationship between the big fivepersonality traits and transformational leadership. One reason for the non-appearance of moderator relationships could be that team identification, teamsatisfaction and in-role performance are mostly outcomes, instead of predictorsof leadership.Nationality The only relationship found for Nationality was with openness toexperience. There is a significant difference between Dutch and Non-Dutchemployees for the personality trait of openness to experience. A possibleexplanation for the absence of other associations is that the employees involvedin this research score the same on most personality traits. This could be due toeither the hiring policy of the company or the company culture that influences thedisplay of personality traits. The company may hire employees with a specific setof personality traits, and therefore, create a homogenous group of employees,regardless of (or overruling) the effect of nationality. However, more researchneeds to be conducted before assumptions can be made. Dutch employees score significantly higher on conscientiousnesscompared with non-Dutch employees, but to state that Dutch employees arebetter transformational leaders compared with non-Dutch employees goessomewhat far. More obviously, Dutch employees tend to score higher ontransformational leadership compared with other cultures. Therefore, it is likelythat more Dutch employees are hired for leadership positions compared to othercultures, when the MLQ is part of the hiring process. However, it is the personalscore of the individual in the application procedure that is of importance. No relationship has been found between nationality and transformationalleadership. It can be hypothesised that Nationality influences the effectiveness oftransformational leadership, as Jung et al (2009) found in their studies. This is inaccordance with the studies by Kearney and Gebert (2009), who found thattransformational leadership moderates the relationship between nationality and 27
  28. 28. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environmentteam outcomes. However, the finding that no direct relationship betweennationality and transformational leadership is present, is valuable additionalinformation which could contribute to the understanding of the research modelcreated in this studies, but also for the model studied by Jung et al. (2009) andKearney and Gebert (2009). However, as Kearny and Gebert (2009) found a moderator effect fortransformational leadership and the relationship between nationality and teamoutcomes: in this studies nationality does not appear to have a relationship withteam identification, team satisfaction and in-role performance. Therefore, it isuncertain what the exact reason is for the apparent absence of any relationshipbetween nationality and transformational leadership, but also the absence of arelationship between nationality and team identification, team satisfaction and in-role performance. No moderator effect has been found for nationality of the relationshipbetween the big five personality traits and transformational leadership. Nationalitymay have lost its associations since the employees in this study are working inan international organization. Working experience could be an explanation forthis, since the effects of culture could have diminished in this population.Limitations Several factors that influence the findings of this study should be kept inmind. First, the population in this study consisted for the major part of Dutchemployees (n = 93), while the employees of other cultures were less wellrepresented; the largest group of employees of a specific nationality were British(n = 17). The findings of this study might have been different if larger groups ofcertain nationalities could have contributed to this research. This limitation couldhave consequences for the generalizability of this study. Moreover, the categoryof non-Dutch participants included very different nationalities (and, possibly,cultures), meaning that the effects of “culture” on the variables in the presentstudy may cancel each other out. Nationality does not necessarily translate 28
  29. 29. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environmentliterally with culture: someone who recently gained a Dutch nationality might stillthink and act closely fitting the culture related to their origin. In the second place, the variables in this study are possibly not the onlyimportant factors contributing to leadership. Therefore, the proposed leadershipmodel is only limited to the variables used in this study. The leadership modelproposed in this study should be extended in further research. Another limitation of this study is that most findings have not beenreplicated in other research yet. This is partly due to the fact that little researchhas covered the areas addressed in this study. However, some findings werecontradictory to previous studies that did address some of the topics covered,like the absence of associations among extraversion. The company that contributed to this study was undergoing a largereorganization at the time of data gathering. Therefore, the responses of theparticipants could have been influenced by the events concerning thereorganization. Team identification is an example of a variable that could beinfluenced by the reorganization. When employees leave the company this mighthave an effect on other employees and their identification with their team.Suggestions for further research The model suggested in this research can be a start for further researchthat enhances this specific model, and contributes to the understanding ofleadership in multicultural environments. It is important that future studies focuson these areas since an increasing number of organizations are operating invarious, multicultural environments. Although this study examined associations that haven’t been studied yet,the limitations of this research should not be underestimated. Future researchshould address these limitations. For instance, one suggestion for furtherresearch could be the examination of other variables related to team work, likedeep-level similarity or team performance. This will enhance the current modeland result in a better understanding of the nomological network that surroundstransformational leadership. 29
  30. 30. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environment Culture, or nationality, has been an important factor in this study.However, many more ways of differentiating influences can be studied: age, oreducational diversity are all possible variables for future studies. Although thiswould be a topic that is interesting to gain more knowledge of, the current modelmainly focuses on leadership in a multicultural environment, and thereforenationality was used. Either way, also age and educational diversity may play arole in the multicultural organization. Not only self-rated transformational leadership could be used in thismodel, but also leader-follower ratings or peer-ratings of transformationalleadership. Research in these topics could complete this model since this willcontribute to a better understanding of transformational leadership from differentangles. This study focuses on a model that tries to explain the associationsbetween several sets of variables on the one hand, and transformationalleadership on the other. Although much research has been conducted about thiskind of leadership, few studies attempted to test a model that integrates severaldifferent variables to increase understanding of the processes involvingtransformational leadership. This study tested a model that can be used toexplain the associations of transformational leadership. However, manyhypotheses in this studies have been rejected, and therefore further research isneeded to see if this model can be used in other settings. However, this study isa small step forward in the understanding of leadership processes. ReferencesBass, B.M. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectations. New York: Free Press.Bass, B.M. & Avolio, B.J. (1992). Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire-short form 6S. Binghamton NY: Center for Leadership Studies.Bezrukova, K., Jehn, K. A., Zanutto, E.L. & Thatcher, S.M.B. (2009). Do workgroup faultlines help or hurt? A moderated model of faultlines, team 30
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  35. 35. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environment Appendix: Participants’ Nationalities Nationality Number American 4 Australian 2 Belgian 1 Brazilian 2 British 17 Canadian 1 Colombian 1 Czech 2 Danish 3 Dutch 93 Egyptian 1 Finnish 2 French 9 German 6 Greek 2 Hungarian 2 Indian 3 Indonesian 1 Irish 1 Israeli 1 Italian 5 Japanese 11 Malaysian 1 Mexican 2 New Zealander 1 Peruvian 1 Polish 3 Portuguese 4 South African 2 Spanish 5 Swedish 3 Turkish 2 Venezuelan 1 Jordanian 1 Total 196 35
  36. 36. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environment Appendix: Questionnaire Team work Please indicate on a five-point scale which response reflects your answer best (Completely disagree to Completely agree). We fulfill all responsibilities required by the job We never fail to perform essential duties We never neglect aspects of the job that we are obligated to perform We meet all the formal performance requirements of the job We are willing to assist new colleagues in adjusting to the work environment We are willing to help colleagues solve work-related problems We are willing to cover work assignments for colleagues when needed and always complete their duties specified in their job description We receive feedback about our team performance We are collectively held accountable for our team performance We receive regular feedback about our team functioning We are informed about the goals we should attain as a group I am satisfied with my present colleagues I am pleased with the way my colleagues and I work together I am very satisfied with working in this team I identify with other members of my team/department I am like other members of my team/department My team/department is an important reflection of who I am I would like to continue working with my team/department I dislike being a member of my team/department I would rather belong to another team/department I have a one-person job I rarely have to check or work with others I have to work closely with my colleagues to do my work properly In order to complete our work, my colleagues and I have to exchange information and advice Big Five Please indicate on a seven-point scale which response option reflects your answer best (Completely disagree to Completely agree). I am frequently highly creative I find novel solutions I am imaginative I am orderly I am organized I am precise I am shy I am reserved when with people I am quiet when with people I am moodier than others I often have mood swings I am more irritable than others I am kind to others I am tender hearted I am sympathetic 36
  37. 37. Associations among Team work, the Big Five and Transformational Leadership in an international environment I am efficient I am temperamental MLQ Please indicate on a four-point scale which response reflects your answer best (Completely disagree to Completely agree). I make others feel good to be around me I express with a few simple words what we could and should do I enable others to think about old problems in new ways I help others develop themselves I tell others what to do if they want to be rewarded for their work I am satisfied when others meet agreed-upon standards I am content to let others continue working in the same way as always Others have complete faith in me I provide appealing images about what we can do I provide others with new ways of looking at puzzling things I let others know how I think they are doing provide recognition/rewards when others reach their goals As long as things are working, I do not try to change anything Whatever others want to do is OK with me Others are proud to be associated with me I help others find meaning in their work I get others to rethink ideas that they had never questioned before I give personal attention to others who seem rejected I call attention to what others can get for what they accomplish I tell others the standards they have to know to carry out their work I ask no more of others than what is absolutely essential 37

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