Predicting unit performance by assessing transformational and transactional leadership

Bernard M. Bass, Bruce J. Avolio, Dong I. Jung, Yair Berson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1559 Scopus citations


How do leadership ratings collected from units operating under stable conditions predict subsequent performance of those units operating under high stress and uncertainty? To examine this question, the authors calculated the predictive relationships for the transformational and transactional leadership of 72 light infantry rifle platoon leaders for ratings of unit potency, cohesion, and performance for U.S. Army platoons participating in combat simulation exercises. Both transformational and transactional contingent reward leadership ratings of platoon leaders and sergeants positively predicted unit performance. The relationship of platoon leadership to performance was partially mediated through the unit's level of potency and cohesion. Implications, limitations, and future directions for leadership research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-218
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003


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