The construction industry is one of the major industries in Malaysia and it provides the catalyst for the development of more than 120 types of industries. The above statement is true and supported with evidence from Malaysia's achievement in 2016 with a total of 6,305 construction projects valued at RM 166.4 billion; this indirectly reflects the magnitude and impact of the domestic construction sector (Lembaga Pembangunan Industri Pembinaan Malaysia, 2017).
Studies focusing on the leadership aspect in the construction industry are very few (Ofori & Toor, 2012) and past research on leadership concentrated on only the direct effects of the concept of leadership on employee performance (Yammarino & Dansereau, 2008). Furthermore, very little research has been done to test psychological factors as mediators in explaining a relationship between leadership and employee performance. Therefore, this study attempts to address this gap by testing the transformational leadership of the project manager in influencing the extra-role performance of project team members. In addition, the study also uses the psychological factor (work engagement) as a mediator in explaining the relationship between the transformational leadership of project manager in influencing the extra-role performance of project team members. The concept of leadership is also being debated by scholars whether it is at the individual level (Judge et al., 2006) or at the team level (Bliese et al., 2002). However, the researchers thought the concept of leadership in this study was located at the team level as the position of leadership at the individual level cannot account for whether the impact of leadership on employee behavior had been caused by the influence of the organization or individual (Yammarino et al., 2005).
Our study contributes to the body of knowledge in two ways. First, for several decades, a lot of research regarding transformational leadership effects on employee performance has been conducted (Dundum et al., 2002) but little research has looked at the augmenting effects of transformational leadership behavior on extra-role behavior (MacKenzie et al., 2001). Secondly, with the exception of a few studies focusing on leadership research in construction (Ofori & Toor, 2012), not much studies have unveiled that psychological factors can explain the relationship between transformational leaders and extra-role performance subordinate (Walumbwa et al., 2008). Therefore to overcome this gap, the current study used work engagement as a psychological factor to explain the relationships. This study used the multilevel modeling approach to understand how different transformational leadership of the project manager influences extra-role performance of project team members in complex multilevel systems. In addition, this study also aims to examine whether the relationship between the transformational leadership of the project manager and the extra-role performance of project team members is linked to the psychological factors (work engagement) of the project team members.
This study was carried in 2017 for the period of six months involving 195...