by Tarli Whitford and Simon A. Moss

This study addressed the question of whether the benefits of transformational leadership
extend to virtual environments. Furthermore, whether regulatory focus or goal orientation
moderate the extent to which these benefits apply to virtual environments was also
explored. A total of 165 employees completed a survey that assessed the leadership style
of their supervisors as well their own regulatory focus, goal orientation, work engagement,
and job satisfaction. When followers and leaders worked at different locations, visionary
leadership was positively related to work attitudes, provided that promotion focus was
sufficiently high or prevention focus was sufficiently low. Furthermore, when followers
and leaders worked in the same location, personal recognition was positively associated
with work engagement, especially if prevention focus or performance goal orientation was
high. These findings align with the proposition, derived from construal level theory, that
leadership advice and support in which only the essence needs to be extracted apply to
virtual environments. (download)