A selection of interesting articles we found recently on leadership styles.
How leaders ‘walking the talk’ affects followers: A meta-analysis
Substantial research examines the follower consequences of leader (mis)alignment of words and deeds, but no research has quantitatively reviewed these effects. This study examines extant research on behavioural integrity (BI) and contrasts it with two other constructs that focus on (mis)alignment: moral integrity and psychological contract breaches. Tony Simons and his team compare effect sizes between the three constructs, and find that BI has stronger effects on trust, in-role task performance and citizenship behaviour (OCB) than moral integrity and stronger effects on commitment and OCB than psychological contract breach.
These stronger attitudinal consequences run counter to their initial expectations, but they provide evidence of important conceptual distinctions and mechanisms that they articulate. BI theory suggests that BI’s greater performance impact is due to the notion that BI affects communication clarity in addition to attitudes. Results of meta-analytic structural equation modelling are consistent with this proposed dual path of BI’s impact. The authors highlight avenues for future research on BI and discuss how their findings inform the broader research on leader (mis)alignment.
Read further at: Tony Simons, Hannes Leroy, Veroniek Collewaert & Stijn Masschelein. 2015. How Leader Alignment of Words and Deeds Affects Followers: A Meta-analysis of Behavioral Integrity Research.
Journal of Business Ethics, 132(4), 831-844.
Leader courage and behavioural integrity affects leader performance and image
Michael Palanski and his colleagues examined the relationship between leader behavioural integrity and leader behavioural courage using data from two studies. Results from Study 1, an online experiment, indicated that behavioural manifestations of leader behavioural integrity and situational adversity both have direct main effects on behavioural manifestations of leader courage.
Results from Study 2, a multi-source field study with practicing executives, indicated that leader behavioural courage fully mediates the effects of leader behavioural integrity on leader performance and leader executive image.
Implications of these findings and future directions are discussed at: Michael E. Palanski, Kristin L. Cullen, William A. Gentry, Chelsea M. Nichols. 2015. Virtuous Leadership: Exploring the Effects of Leader Courage and Behavioral Integrity on Leader Performance and Image.
Journal of Business Ethics, 132(2), 297-310.
Ethical climate mediates the relationship between paternalistic leadership and team identification
The aim of this paper is to explore the role of ethical climate on the relationship between paternalistic leadership and team identification at the team level. In contrast to the prior studies that tended to focus on ethical climate as a whole dimension, this paper further classifies the domain of construct into the categories of egoism, benevolence, and principle using a sample from 143 teams in Mainland China and Taiwan. Hierarchical regression results showed that the average paternalistic leadership had a significant impact on team identification.
Moreover, the results indicated that the ethical climate of benevolence fully mediated while the ethical climate of egoism partially mediated the relationship between authoritarian leadership and team identification. Also, the ethical climates of benevolence and principle had a partial mediating effect on the relationship between benevolent leadership and team identification as well as moral leadership and team identification, respectively, but the ethical climate of egoism did not play a significant role. The major findings, theoretical contributions, practical implications, and the limitations were discussed.
More information is at: Meng-Yu Cheng & Lei Wang. 2015. The Mediating Effect of Ethical Climate on the Relationship Between Paternalistic Leadership and Team Identification: A Team-Level Analysis in the Chinese Context.
Journal of Business Ethics, 129(3), 639-654.
Organic leadership: No longer take a tree for the forest
Using trait activation theory as a framework, this study developed and tested a cross-level model of individual innovative behaviour. Data from a sample of 334 employees within 75 work teams were used to examine the hypothesised model. Results showed that employee learning goal orientation was positively related to innovative behaviour only when the team structure was more organic. Additionally, the relationship between employee learning goal orientation and innovative behaviour would be strongest when both the team structure was more organic and team mean learning goal orientation was higher.
Read more: Fu Yang, Jing Qian, Le Tang and Lihua Zhang. 2015. No longer take a tree for the forest: A cross-level learning-related perspective on individual innovative behaviour.
Journal of Management & Organization, FirstView article, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/jmo.2015.33
Authentic leadership and employee well-being
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between authentic leadership and the three dimensions of employee well-being (job satisfaction, perceived work stress, and stress symptoms). Furthermore, attachment insecurity was considered as a mediating factor between authentic leadership and the three dimensions of employee well-being. Data were obtained from a field sample of 212 health care providers with patient contact at five hospitals in the North East of Iran. Initially, collected data were analysed with multiple confirmatory factor analyses. Then, structural equation modeling was applied to test proposed hypotheses.
First, it was shown that authentic leadership negatively impacted attachment insecurity.
Second, attachment insecurity proved to be a factor impinging upon job satisfaction. On the contrary, higher levels of attachment insecurity was associated with higher levels of perceived stress and stress symptoms.
Third, it was revealed that attachment insecurity partially mediated the relationship between authentic leadership and job satisfaction and fully mediated the relationship between authentic leadership, perceived stress, and stress symptoms.
According to the literature of authentic leadership, this is one of the first research studies, and the first in the East exploring the effects of authentic leadership on the exclusive combination of dimensions offered in this paper. Moreover, researchers in the field of management have not delved enough into attachment and its antecedents and consequences in leader–follower relationship. This is one of the first studies to provide evidence of the relationship between authentic leadership, attachment security and employee well-being. As a further analysis, the final model was separately put under the two different lens of gender (female and male) and some interesting findings were discussed in the discussion.
For further details see: Fariborz Rahimnia & Mohammad Sadegh Sharifirad. 2015. Authentic Leadership and Employee Well-Being: The Mediating Role of Attachment Insecurity.
Journal of Business Ethics, 132(2), 363-377.
Are Authentic Leaders Always Moral? Or can Machiavellianism get in the way?
Drawing on cognitive moral development and moral identity theories, this study empirically examines the moral antecedents and consequences of authentic leadership. Machiavellianism, an individual difference variable relating to the use of the ‘end justifies the means’ principle, is predicted to affect the link between morality and leadership. Analyses of multi-source, multi-method data comprised case studies, simulations, role-playing exercises, and survey questionnaires were completed by 70 managers in a large public agency, and provide support for the hypotheses.
Findings reveal that Machiavellianism offsets the positive relationship between moral reasoning and authentic leadership. Specifically, this study shows that when Machiavellianism is high, both the positive relationship between moral reasoning and authentic leadership, and the positive relationship between authentic leadership and moral actions, are reversed. This study offers new insights on the underlying processes contributing to the emergence of leaders’ authentic behaviour and moral action. Implications for the moral development of leaders, and directions for improved leadership training are provided.
More details are at: Sen Sendjaya, Andre Pekerti, Charmine Härtel, Giles Hirst & Ian Butarbutar. 2016. Are Authentic Leaders Always Moral? The Role of Machiavellianism in the Relationship Between Authentic Leadership and Morality.
Journal of Business Ethics, 133(1), 125-139.