Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)




A two-part survey was administered to 88 adult students in master's and undergraduate programs at Augsburg College to determine the relationship between the amount of time spent in computer-based communication between leaders and followers and the leadership style of the leaders. The two leadership styles studied were the transformational and transactional styles first described by James MacGregor Burns (1978) and further developed by Bernard M. Bass (1985). Most leaders exhibit both transformational and transactional leadership styles, but in differing degrees. However, transformational leadership is thought to be more motivational. It was hypothesized that the transformational style would be less prevalent among those who have higher levels of computer-based communication and that the transactional behaviors would be more prevalent because of the impersonal nature of computer-based communication. The participants indicated the amount and quality of their computer-based communication between themselves and their superiors in the first section of the survey and then completed the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ 5X). Analysis of the resulting data showed no sigfficant relationship between number of hours of computer-based communication between leader and follower and either the transformational or transactional leadership styles. Interestingly, there was, however, a significantly higher average score on the transformational scale for those participants who reported the effectiveness of communication between themselves and their supervisor above average or higher for both computer-based and face-to-face communication. In contrast, the transactional average scores did not vary significantly for either mode of communication.


SC 11.MAL.2002.Watson.L