The role of within-group agreement in understanding transformational leadership


Correspondence should be addressed to Cheri Ostroff, Department of Organizational and Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 W. 120th St, Box 6, New York 10027, USA (e-mail:


Theories of transformational leadership imply that effective leaders should engage in a constellation of appropriate behaviours. Further, since an important component of transformational leadership is the leader's ability to create a consensus or a similar mindset among subordinates, attributions that the leader is transformational are likely to depend on both the leader's behaviours and the extent to which subordinates perceive the leader similarly. In the present study, these notions were tested using a multi-source data set comprising 68 focal managers, 285 subordinates, 495 peers, and 68 supervisors. Results indicated that leaders who engage in higher levels of appropriate leader behaviours are more likely to have followers who agree in their perceptions of the leader. In addition, significant interactions were found between leader behaviours and agreement among subordinates, suggesting that agreement moderates the relationship between leader behaviours and attributions of transformational leadership style.