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Dissertation Abstract

Transformational Leadership and the Dispositional Effects of Hope, Optimism, and Resilience on Governmental Leaders

Mary Ann Garbowski
December 2009

This study examined transformational leadership in relation to hope, optimism, and resilience in government employees. Transformational leadership was measured using The Leadership Profile (TLP; Rosenbach, 2004), utilizing Scales 3 through 10. Hope was measured using theHope Scale(Snyder, Harris, Anderson, & Holleran, 1991). Optimism was measure with the Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R; Scheier & Carver, 1985). Resilience was measured by the Short Hardiness Scale (Bartone, 1995). Lastly, social desirability was measured utilizing the Social Desirability Response Scale (SDRS; Hays et al., 1989). A nonexperimental, quantitative research design was used to answer five exploratory research questions. Pearson r correlation and linear regression demonstrated a significant relationship with all transformational leadership behaviors and characteristics except for follower-centered leadership. Suggestions are offered as to why the three dispositional variables jointly did not predict a relationship between a government employee and his or her extent of follower-centered leadership in this study. Resilience was the most significant dispositional variable after accounting for social desirability. Discussion from the transformational leadership literature in concert with the dispositional variables is presented to support the findings. Limitations of the study and recommendations for future research are presented.