Network scholars argue that one responsibility of leaders is to help their followers develop social capital. We suggest that one way leaders do this is by encouraging followers to engage in networking behavior. However, we argue that such encouragement is more effective when leaders are seen as less transformational, because followers are then less able to benefit from their leaders’ social capital. We support our arguments with a study of 142 followers and their leaders. Our findings show that followers engage in greater networking behaviors when encouraged by their leaders to do so, but this association is moderated by leaders’ transformational leadership style such that it is stronger as transformational leadership behaviors decrease. We thus introduce an unrecognized cost of leaders’ transformational leadership behaviors. Our findings contribute to research on networking behavior by investigating the role of transformational leadership style, and suggest avenues for research linking social capital and leadership.
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