Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Walter C. Borman


abusive supervision, engagement, motivation to lead, personality, transformational leadership


This study explored the links between leadership style, leader personality, and motivation to lead, with employee engagement. Transformational leadership, transactional leadership, and abusive supervision styles were examined in relation to levels of employee engagement via a sample of n=195 employees and n=130 managers. Consistent with findings from Christian, Garza, and Slaughter (2011), transformational leadership showed a positive link to employee engagement (r= .38, p< .05). On the opposite end, abusive supervision was negatively related to employee engagement (r= -.27, p< .05). Contingent reward leadership showed a positive link to employee engagement (r= .32, p< .05).

Relationships between personality and leadership style were framed according to the socioanalytic framework (Hogan & Shelton, 1998). This study did not find any significant differences in the relationships between the expected leadership behaviors and the traits directed at "getting along" with others vs. "getting ahead" to achieve power and status. Motivation to lead (Chan & Drasgow, 2001) was expected to moderate the relationships between leader personality and leadership style; however, these predictions were not supported in this study. Future directions for research, including other individual difference variables that may predict leadership styles, are discussed.