Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Transactional Leadership in the Public Sector: Integrating Public Values

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posted on 2022-08-01, 01:44 authored by Trang Thu Nguyen

Agreement exists that leadership studies should give increased attention to the application of generic leadership in specific contexts. In the public sector, a specific need exists to examine the effect of public values on the content and effectiveness of leadership. This study adds to the public administration literature by, principally, developing a transactional leadership (TL) substyle that incorporates public values (PV). This thesis calls this substyle “Public Values-focused Transactional Leadership” (PVTL).

Three main study questions are addressed: (1) What is the impact of Transactional Leadership on the Organisational Commitment (OC) of public employees? (2) What is the impact of Public Values on Organisational Commitment? (3) What is the impact of Public Values-focused Transactional Leadership on the Organisational Commitment?

This study uses a multiphase mixed-method design and data gathered from 25 interviews and a dyadic survey of 499 employees and 78 supervisors across 27 public agencies in Vietnam. Empirical results show positive, direct impacts of TL, PV and PVTL on OC. It also finds indirect impacts of PVTL on OC through psychological contracts, and a mediation effect of a participatory style on the relationship between PVTL and OC. Hence, support is provided for the relationships of the above study questions. PVTL is discussed as a new, useful construct for public sector leadership studies and as holding promise for improving public sector management.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Public Policy

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Alternative Language


Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Government


Berman, Evan; Plimmer, Geoff; Taylor, Jeannette