Transformational Leader as Champion and Techie: Implications for Leadership Educators

The effects of innovation on leadership abilities have not been widely investigated. Although diffusion of innovation theory has existed for some time, there is a need for more research detailing the relationship between innovation and transformational leadership. In a survey of organizational members (N = 294), innovation was significantly related to all subscales of transformational leadership. The relationship between innovation and transactional leadership was generally not significant, and the relationship with laissez-faire leadership was inverse and significant. Implications emerging from the relationship between transformational leadership and innovation are discussed, including the distinction between the champion and “techie” styles of innovation and their basis in leadership activity.