Relationships among transformational and transactional leadership styles, role pressures, stress levels, and coping resources in senior Queensland catholic education executives

Lynette Ena Hand, Richard Edward Hicks, Mark Bahr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


There is considerable research available on general organizational leadership, but limited research in relation to religious educational organizations and the leadership styles of executive staff. The Queensland Catholic Education (QCE) executives are thought to emphasize transformational more than transactional leadership styles, but little information is available on the relationships of these styles to stress within the faith-based organizations, and to the role stressors faced and levels of coping resources. This paper reports on a study of 136 QCE executive leaders (of the total 220 executives) relating leadership styles adopted, strain (stress) experienced, personal coping resources, and selected role stressors (role conflict and role overload). Questionnaires used included the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (Bass and Avolio), the Occupational Stress Inventory-Revised (Osipow), and a demographics questionnaire (including position held, training, age and gender). Results confirm that the different leadership styles impact similarly in regards to experienced stress, and in relation to role overload with role conflict. However, transformational leadership styles were related to high levels of Personal Coping Resources; while there was no relationship to coping resources in regards to Transactional Leadership styles. Of highest significance in the results of analyses of the inter-relationships, elevated stress reactions were associated not with leadership style but with role overload (r = .81) and role conflict (r =.29). Implications for practice and further exploration are outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-54
Number of pages12
JournalReview of Business Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


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