The Moderating Effect of Leader-Member Relationship on Introverted and Extroverted Personality Traits of Leaders and Organizational Citizenship Behavior of Followers: An Empirical Study of IT Industry in Sri Lanka

W. A. M. Niranga, M. P. P. Dharmadasa


This study focuses on investigating the relationship between personality and leadership supports the claim that individual differences may be the predictors of leadership effectiveness in contemporary organizations. Extended studies stress that ‘Big-Five ‘personality dimensions are related to leadership criteria and further identified introversion-extroversion as a key element of an individual personality. In general, the main differences between effective and less effective leaders are that, effective leaders make positive differences to themselves from their personality traits and the relationship building with followers. However, relatively few studies have tested how and why introvert and extrovert leaders’ personality traits relate to follower behaviors. In addition, if so; the mechanisms through which a leader’s personality traits relate to follower behaviors. Accordingly, the aims of the present study are to examine whether the introverted and extroverted personality traits of leaders affect the organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) of followers and to examine the role of leader-member relationship as a moderator, in social exchange process. To advance the understanding of these, simple regression analysis and regression analysis with moderator effects were performed to test hypotheses with a sample size of 46 introvert managers and 50 extrovert managers as leaders and 92 and 100 subordinates as their followers respectively from IT industry in Sri Lanka. The study found that there is a positive direct effect of introverted personality traits of leaders and no negative direct effect of extroverted personality traits of leaders on organizational citizenship behavior of followers. Yet, leader-member relationship moderates the positive and negative relationships between introverted, extroverted personality traits of leaders and organizational citizenship behavior of followers. Present study makes several theoretical contributions to path-goal theory of leadership with the support from theory of trait leadership and big five model. Further, managerial contributions of the present study make IT firms successful through better selection of leaders based on personality traits which facilitates organizational citizenship behavior.

Introverted personality traits, extroverted personality traits, OCB, Leader-member relationship, IT industry in Sri Lanka

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Vidyodaya Journal of Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka