The role of culture on the relation between leadership and psychological well-being

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Poor employee well-being is reaching daunting levels all over the world now more than ever because of the Covid-19 pandemic, making the subject of great importance to both literature and practice. At the same time, globalization is continuing at a fast-growing rate making organisations and workforces a melting pot of different cultures. It has been proven that leadership plays an important part in the well-being of their employees. This study looks into the role of culture on the relationship between leadership and employee psychological well-being. During this study culture is defined by two dimensions, individualism and long-term orientation. Whereas leadership is defined by two different leadership styles, transformational leadership and transactional leadership. The leadership style is measured by both the perception of the employee as well as the joint perspective of employee and leader. Both individualism and long-term orientation are expected to moderate the relation between the two leadership styles and psychological well-being. To conform these expectations a survey was distributed and 109 employees with their leaders responded. Based on the data analysis, support was found for a direct effect between transformational leadership and psychological well-being. However, no support was found on any of the moderators effecting the relation between transformational leadership and psychological well-being. For transactional leadership no significant direct effect was found, however a high level of individualism does moderate the effect. Meaning that employees with high levels of individualism have a better psychological well-being when they are exposed to a transactional leader. For long-term orientation no interaction effect was found on the relation between transactional leadership and psychological well-being. This study provides a foundation for further research on the effect of culture on the relation between leadership and employee well-being.
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