Aims: This paper is a report of a social cognitive theory-guided study about the link between supervisors' transformational leadership and staff nurses' extra-role performance as mediated by nurse self-efficacy and work engagement.
Background: Past research has acknowledged the positive influence that transformational leaders have on employee (extra-role) performance. However, less is known about the psychological mechanisms that may explain the links between transformational leaders and extra-role performance, which encompasses behaviours that are not considered formal job requirements, but which facilitate the smooth functioning of the organization as a social system.
Methods: Seventeen supervisors evaluated nurses' extra-role performance, the data generating a sample consisting of 280 dyads. The nurses worked in different health services in a large Portuguese hospital and the participation rate was 76·9% for nurses and 100% for supervisors. Data were collected during 2009. A theory-driven model of the relationships between transformation leadership, self-efficacy, work engagement and nurses' extra-role performance was tested using Structural Equation Modelling.
Results: Data analysis revealed a full mediation model in which transformational leadership explained extra-role performance through self-efficacy and work engagement. A direct relationship between transformational leadership and work engagement was also found.
Conclusion: Nurses' supervisors with a transformational leadership style enhance different 'extra-role' performance in nurses and this increases hospital efficacy. They do so by establishing a sense of self-efficacy but also by amplifying their levels of engagement in the workplace.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.