How Leadership Style develops Follower’s Regulatory Focus (Empirical Study from Rural Leaders at Banyumas Regency)

Achmad Sudjadi, Dwita Darmawati


There are many ways how leaders influence their follower to attain the goals. The leadership
process may be effective when there is a consistency between leader and followers focus. This
study integrates Bass‘s Leadership Theory (1985) and Higgin‘s Regulatory Focus (1997). Higgins
proposes two ways how people to attains the goal, namely promotion focus that regulates
achievement of gains, and prevention focus that regulates the losses avoidance. Bass classifies
leader behaviour into three, that is transformational characterised by behaviors that challenge and
motivate followers to achieve desirable goals, communicate value-laden visions of ideal future
states, encouraging accomplishment, and express support for change, activation positive emotions;
transactional involves creating exchange-based transactions with followers; and laissez-faire or no
We predict that transformational leadership correlates with follower‘s promotion focus,
transactional leadership correlates with prevention focus of the followers, and laissez-faire
leadership negatively correlates both promotion focus and prevention focus.
The sample of this study is 261 rural staff at Rural Offices in Banyumas Regency. The study
concludes that laissez-faire rural leaders reduce both promotion and prevention of their followers.
Although the data show that transformational and transactional leadership styles were applied, but
they are not supported by the data.
Keywords: Transformational; transactional; laissez-faire; promotion-prevention focus; and rural

Full Text:



Baer, M., Oldham, G. R., & Cummings, A. (2003). Rewarding creativity: When does it really

matter? Leadership Quarterly, 14, 569–586.

Bass, B. M., Avolio, B. J., Jung, D. I., & Berson, Y. (2003). Predicting unit performance by

assessing transformational and transactional leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88,


Bass, B.M. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectations. New York: Free Press.

Bass, B.M., and Avolio, B.J. (1995). MLQ Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire for Research,

Permission set. California: Mind Garden.

Bass, B.M. (1998), Transformational leadership: Individual, military and educational impact.

Mahwah, New Jersey: Erlbaum.

Bryman, A. (1992). Charisma and leadership in organisations. London: Sage.

Cui, W. L., & Ye,M. L. (2017). An Introduction of Regulatory Focus Theory and Its Recently

Related Researches. Psychology, 8, 837-847.

Hamstra, M. R. W., Sassenberg, K., Van Yperen, N. W., & Wisse, B. (2014). Followers feel

valued—When leaders‘ regulatory focus makes leaders exhibit behavior that fits followers‘

regulatory focus. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 51, 34–40.

Hamstra, M. R. W., Van Yperen, N. W., Wisse, B., & Sassenberg, K. (2011). Transformational–

transactional leadership styles and followers‘ regulatory focus: Fit reduces followers‘

turnover intentions. Journal of Personnel Psychology, 10, 182–186.

Higgins, E. T. (1998). Promotion and prevention: Regulatory focus as a motivational principle.

Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 30, 1–46.

Higgins, E. T., Shah, J., & Friedman, R. (1997). Emotional responses to goal attainment: Strength of

regulatory focus as moderator. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 515–525.

Higgins, E. T., & Spiegel, S. (2004). Promotion and prevention strategies for selfregulation: A

motivated cognition perspective. In R. F. Baumeister & K. D. Vohs (Eds.), Handbook of

self-regulation: Research, theory, and applications (pp. 171–187). New York: Guilford Press.

Hinkin, T. R., & Schriesheim, C. A. (2008). An examination of ‗‗nonleadership‖: From laissez-faire

leadership to leader reward omission and punishment omission. Journal of Applied

Psychology, 93, 1234–1248.

Johnson. RE, King, DD, Lin, S-H, Scott, BA, Walker, EMJ, Wang, M (2017). Regulatory focus

trickle-down: How leader regulatory focus and behavior shape follower regulatory focus,

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 140 , 29–45.

Kark, R., & Van-Dijk, D. (2007). Motivation to Lead, Motivation to Follow: The Role of the Self-

Regulatory Focus in Leadership Processes. Academy of Management Review, 32, 500-528.

Lanaj, K., Chang, C., & Johnson, R. (2012). Regulatory focus and work-related outcomes: A review

and meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 138, 998–1034.

Podsakoff, P. M., Bommer, W. H., Podsakoff, N. P., & MacKenzie, S. B. (2006). Relationships

between leader reward and punishment behavior and subordinate attitudes, perceptions, and

behaviors: A meta-analytic review of existing and new research. Organizational Behavior

and Human Decision Processes, 99, 113–142.

Zohar, D. (2002). The effects of leadership dimensions, safety climate, and assigned priorities on

minor injuries in work groups. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 23, 75–92.


  • There are currently no refbacks.