Problem Statement:The most important characteristic of today’s organizations is too much change. The demand of organizations to fulfill objectives within dynamic environmental aspects has required strong leadership. Organizations’ accommodation to changes, generating new ideas, adapting these ideas to organizations, and also the individual and intellectual development of employees have revealed the transformational leadership concept. Transformational leaders empower participants independently from supervision and control of leadership; they create an environment free from punishment, so that participants feel themselves as empowered, and this leads to their behaving in an innovative manner. Transformational leaders empower employees and generate a climate that supports innovation. Research about transformational leadership, psychological empowerment, and innovative climate is generally conducted within a business organization, and there are so few studies about these variables within schools.
Purpose of The Study: The purpose of this study is to examine the mediating effect of psychological empowerment on the relationship between transformational leadership and innovative climate.
Method: The survey model was used in this study. 303 teachers working in Eskisehir Central Secondary School participated in this research. However, outlier values were examined, and the values of two participants including improper data sets were deleted; therefore, the number of participants was determined to be 301. Three different scales were used in this research. The validity and reliability of the scales were examined. Mean, standard deviation, Pearson correlation and stepwise regression analysis techniques were used.
Findings: It was found that there was a significant positive relationship between transformational leadership and psychological empowerment. A significant positive relationship was found between psychological empowerment and innovative climate, as well. The stepwise regression analysis showed a significant relationship between transformational leadership and innovative climate. According to the Sobel test results, the relationship between transformational leadership and innovative climate was decreasing but significant (z=2.43, p<0.05). Therefore, it has been determined that psychological empowerment partially mediated the relationship between transformational leadership and innovative climate.
Conclusion and Recommendations: Transformational leadership affects innovative climate both directly and indirectly through psychological empowerment. However, research about psychological empowerment in educational organizations and innovation and creativity at schools is very limited. In relation to this study, the effect of the leadership roles of principals, on the level of the psychological empowerment of teachers on their innovative and creative behaviors, can be examined.
Key Words: Transformational leadership, empowerment, innovation, innovative climate