Transformational Leadership and Voice: When Does Felt Obligation to the Leader Matter?

JY Duan (First Author), XH Wang (Participant Author), O Janssen (Participant Author), JL Farh (Participant Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal

9 Citations (Web of Science)


Drawing on the notion that felt obligation is an important motivation variable that drives employees' behavior, this study examines how leaders can evoke felt obligation in followers and to what extent such obligation can subsequently promote follower voice behavior. Using data from 384 Chinese employees and their 130 managers, we find that followers' felt obligation to the leader (FOTL) serves as a mediator in the relationship between transformational leadership and employee voice behavior and that the mediation effect of FOTL is moderated by followers' power distance orientation (PDO), such that the mediation effect is significant only for employees with low PDO. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-555
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Business and Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Corresponding author email

Project sponsor

Humanities and Social Sciences Program of the Ministry of Education of China
National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)

Project No.



  • Obligation
  • Power distance
  • Transformational leadership
  • Voice

Indexed by

  • ABDC-A
  • SSCI


Dive into the research topics of 'Transformational Leadership and Voice: When Does Felt Obligation to the Leader Matter?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this