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Keywords:

  • transformational leadership;
  • cognition-based trust;
  • affect-based trust;
  • prosocial motivation;
  • helping behavior

Summary

We proposed and tested a moderated mediation model that jointly examines affect-based and cognition-based trust as the mediators and prosocial motivation as the moderator in relationships between transformational leadership and followers’ helping behavior towards coworkers. Data were collected from 348 sales and servicing employees and their supervisors in four private retail companies and five private manufacturing companies located in Southeast China. The results showed that both affect-based trust and cognition-based trust mediated the relationship between transformational leadership and followers’ helping behavior towards coworkers. Furthermore, moderated mediation analyses showed that affect-based trust mediated the relationship between transformational leadership and followers’ helping behavior towards coworkers only among employees with high prosocial motivation, whereas cognition-based trust mediated this relationship among only those with low prosocial motivation. Implications for the theory and practice of leadership are then discussed. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.