How Can Leaders Effectively Manage Employees’ Negative Emotions?


Publication: Leadership Quarterly (2016)
Article: The role of leader emotion management in leader-member exchange and follower outcomes
Reviewed by: Kevin Leung

Leaders often have to deal with employees’ negative emotions. Whether employees are feeling anxious about a project, feeling sad about being turned down for promotion, or feeling angry about being unfairly treated, leaders play a part in managing these emotions. New research (Little, Gooty, & Williams, 2016) has shown that how these emotions get handled can affect employees’ performance and how they feel about their jobs.

(more…)

How Childhood Social Class Influences CEO Risk Taking


Publication: Academy of Management Journal
Article: You don’t forget your roots: The influence of CEO social class background on strategic risk taking
Reviewed by: Kayla Weaver

The American Dream symbolizes the opportunity for individuals from any social class or background to achieve occupational success via a “rags to riches” transformation. In fact, some of the most successful CEOs were born into very humble beginnings, including Howard Schultz (Starbucks), Ursula Burns (Xerox), and Lloyd Blankfein (Goldman Sachs).

(more…)

Power Disparity on Teams: Now We Know When It Works


Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: When Does Power Disparity Help or Hurt Group Performance?
Reviewed by: Ben Sher

Power is what makes people obey even when they don’t want to, and power disparity on teams refers to a situation in which power is not evenly distributed among team members. Imagine a situation in which a powerful and experienced executive works with several junior associates on a project. This might be called high power disparity, because one person will have all of the power.

(more…)

Can Leadership or Climate Influence Underreporting of Workplace Accidents?

Workplace accidents threaten the lives or well-being of employees, and if that’s not enough of a reason to prevent them, they are also very costly to organizations. Missed work time, potential lawsuits, and increases in health care costs are all among many reasons why accidents affect an organization’s bottom line. But if organizations want to reduce the likelihood of accidents, they need to be aware of their occurrences. Labor statistics vary, but all estimate that the majority of workplace accidents go unreported. New research (Probst, 2015) uncovers two factors that influence the degree to which accidents go unreported.

(more…)

Transformational Leadership: Good for You and Good for Them


Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (Online First Publication, 2015)
Article: Benefits of Transformational Behaviors for Leaders: A Daily Investigation of Leader Behaviors and Need Fulfillment
Reviewed by: Ben Sher

Transformational leadership is characterized by motivating, inspiring, and coaching employees to achieve change and innovation. As you can imagine, research has supported the benefits of this leadership style for the followers of such an inspirational leader. For example, research has found that followers of transformational leaders have greater job satisfaction and more creativity. But new research (Lanaj, Johnson, & Lee, 2015) has found that transformational leadership is also beneficial to the leader. How does that happen?

(more…)

Narcissistic Leaders Can Use Humility to Succeed


Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (2015)
Article: Leader Narcissism and Follower Outcomes: The Counterbalancing Effect of Leader Humility
Reviewed by: Ben Sher

Are narcissistic leaders good for business? Are they good for employees? It’s a difficult question to answer, especially considering that research has found mixed results. Narcissistic people may be bold risk-takers with supreme confidence and unshakeable vision. This sounds like the kind of person we’d want leading, right? On the other hand, they have personal grandiosity, a feeling of superiority, and the constant need for admiration. Well, maybe we don’t want this person in charge. Fortunately, new research (Owens, Wallace, & Waldman, 2015) helps us resolve this dilemma. They found that narcissism can be good for leadership, but only when it’s tempered with a healthy dose of humility.

(more…)

How is Personality Linked to Charismatic Leadership in Different Work Conditions?


Publication: Personnel Psychology (2015)
Article: Personality and Charismatic Leadership in Context: The Moderating Role of Situational Stress
Reviewed by: Kevin Leung, Ph.D.

When we think of charismatic leadership, we see someone who is energetic, inspiring, and likeable. Maybe famous CEOs like Jack Welch and politicians like Barack Obama come to mind. Charismatic leaders can be powerful agents of change by getting others on board to achieve their vision. In fact, research has shown that charismatic leaders tend to have more satisfied followers and better company performance.

(more…)

The Role of HR as a Strategic Partner: Forming the G3


Publication: Harvard Business Review
Article: People Before Strategy: A New Role for the CHRO
Reviewed by: Susan Rosengarten

What is the role of HR in the modern workplace? The world of work has changed a great deal over the last few decades, but there is one truth that continues to stand the test of time; people are a firm’s greatest asset. Human capital, or the knowledge and collective intelligence inherent in a company’s workforce, can be a businesses’ strongest competitive advantage, and also its greatest source of risk. It is incumbent upon CEOs and CHROs, or Chief Human Resources Officers, to work together to manage their firm’s people assets, and to unlock the potential in every employee. The authors of the current article suggest that organizational decision making can be enhanced through open dialogue and discussion among the “G3” or the CEO, the CFO, and the CHRO.

(more…)

Leader Decision Making: Balancing Company Needs Versus Employee Needs


Publication: Academy of Management Journal
Article: Paradoxical Leader Behaviors in People Management: Antecedents and Consequences
Reviewed by: Will Smith

Leader decision making is an important topic that affects all organizational leaders. Leaders are often faced with unique challenges that test their abilities to manage diverse teams and situations. They are forced to make hard choices involving satisfying the needs of the organization and those of the employees, which can sometimes cause conflict.

For example, supervisors want to treat all their employees equally, but also find ways to identify the employees’ individual strengths as well as optimize them for the organization without showing favoritism. Or perhaps leaders want to increase morale by having an interpersonal relationship with their staff, but worry that getting close will make employees lose respect for them or their position. Supervisors may always want to allow staff to be autonomous in the work they do, but also need to ensure they maintain a level of productivity in order to meet and exceed organizational standards.

(more…)

Stigma-by-Association: How Follower Characteristics Influence Evaluation of Leaders


Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (2015)
Article: The Role of Proximal Social Contexts: Assessing Stigma-by-Association Effects on Leader Appraisals
Reviewed by: Andrew Morris

Evaluation of leaders is becoming an increasingly important workplace topic. This is especially so, because some research suggests that racial disparities within the US workforce have increased over the last decade, as some minority groups are greatly underrepresented in positions of management. There may be a number of reasons for this, but new research (Hernandez, Avery, Tonidandel, Hebl, Smith, & McKay, 2015) suggest that one reason could be biased appraisals of leaders (i.e. evaluations of performance, value and competence) that occur due to characteristics of individuals in the group. This means that the racial composition of the leader’s group, influences opinions of that leader’s effectiveness.

(more…)