Stay Close! Leader Distance, Transformational Leadership, Engagement, and Performance in Teams

  • Paul T. Balwant
  • Academy of Management Proceedings, January 2017, The Academy of Management
  • DOI: 10.5465/ambpp.2017.10785abstract

Minimizing leader distance can engage team members in undergraduate project teams

What is it about?

Many leadership studies romanticize transformational leadership. My findings show that transformational leadership does not appear to be useful in undergraduate project teams. Instead, leaders of undergraduate project teams may need to create close leader-follower interfaces in order to engage team members. Suggestions for creating these close leader-follower interfaces are provided.

Why is it important?

This study contributes to leadership and management education research by (a) showing a context in which transformational leadership does not appear to work, (b) providing empirical support for the importance of leader distance, and (c) offering a clear conceptualization of transformational leadership.


Dr. Paul T. Balwant
University of the West Indies

I hope that this article helps to show undergraduate project team leaders the importance of minimizing distance between themselves and team members.

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