Transformational Leadership, Basic Needs Satisfaction and Public Service Motivation: Evidence from Social Workers in Catalonia

Xavier Ballart*, Guillem Ripoll

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This study tests the relationship between transformational leadership and public service motivation (PSM), as well as the role that the basic needs of autonomy, competence and relatedness play in this relationship. Using a sample of 439 social workers in Barcelona and the Catalonia region, the results support a positive effect of transformational leadership on PSM. Of the three basic psychological needs, the satisfaction of the need of relatedness appears to be the primary driver in developing PSM, as relatedness has been recognized as a source of intrinsic motivation and is the only one of the three basic needs with a collective character. These results have clear practical implications. Transformational leaders designing their organizations to promote mutual support and encourage feelings of relatedness among their employees can contribute to increasing employees’ PSM.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Public Administration
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2023

Keywords

  • Basic needs satisfaction
  • Public service motivation
  • Relatedness
  • Transformational leadership

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