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Refining individualized consideration: Distinguishing developmental leadershipand supportive leadership


Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Alannah Rafferty, School of Management, Queensland University of Technology, 2 George St, Brisbane 4001, Australia (e-mail:


This study explores the theoretical and empirical distinction between developmental leadership and supportive leadership, which are currently encompassed in a single sub dimension of transformational leadership, individualized consideration. Items were selected to assess these constructs, and hypotheses regarding the differential effects of developmental and supportive leadership were proposed. Confirmatory factor analyses provided support for the proposed distinction between developmental and supportive leadership, although these leadership factors were very strongly associated. Structural equation modelling and multi-level modelling results indicated that both developmental leadership and supportive leadership displayed unique relationships with theoretically selected outcome measures. Developmental leadership displayed significantly stronger relationships with job satisfaction, career certainty, affective commitment to the organization and role breadth self-efficacy than did supportive leadership. Results provide initial evidence in support of the discriminant validity of these two types of leadership. Discussion focuses on the need to further examine the construct of developmental leadership.