The Effects of Transformational Leadership on Organizational Performance through Knowledge and Innovation


  • *The authors thank the Spanish Ministry of Science and Research for providing partial funding for this research through project SEC 2003-07755.


Today's information and knowledge society requires new leaders who can confront a reality based on knowledge and foster innovation to achieve improvements in organizational performance. However, organizations sometimes fail to achieve sustainable competitive advantage due to their limited understanding of the relationships between these strategic variables. To date, very little research has analysed the direct and indirect relationships between these variables. Our study seeks to fill this research gap by analysing theoretically and empirically how the leader's perceptions of different intermediate strategic variables related to knowledge (knowledge slack, absorptive capacity, tacitness, organizational learning) and innovation influence the relation between transformational leadership and organizational performance. Based on the literature, we develop a theoretical model that shows the interrelations between these variables. We then test the model using data from 408 Spanish organizations, discuss the findings and provide several implications for business practitioners.