Being promoted from an individual contributor to a supervisor brings new challenges and opportunities. One challenge new supervisors face is creating and fostering a psychologically safe environment to encourage teams’ interpersonal risk taking. This research introduces the antecedent of first level technical leaders perceived transformational leadership training on team members psychological safety. A study of 92 technical teams (400 participants across nine companies, three industries, and four US regions) measured the impact of four hypotheses related to psychological safety. A positive relationship between leaders training and team psychological safety was discovered. The highly correlated variables, training and emotional intelligence, led to a recommendation for more research into four transformational leadership training elements and four emotional intelligence elements. A strong positive relationship between team psychological safety and team learning behavior was revealed. A strong negative relationship was realized between team psychological safety and team knowledge hiding. Qualitative remarks are included from 42 survey participants and 14 interviews. A call to action for organizations to shape their first level technical leaders’ training as training and behaviors will need to evolve to effectively address the changing needs of organizations, inspiring better leadership and consequently promoting improved psychologically safe working environments and resulting outcomes.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Work environment--Psychological aspects; Leadership; Emotional intelligence

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graziadio Business School



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Ann Feyerherm