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More humility for leaders, less procrastination for employees: the roles of career calling and promotion focus

Wei He (School of Business Administration, Shanxi University of Finance and Economics, Taiyuan, China)
Zheng Zhang (School of Business Administration, Shanxi University of Finance and Economics, Taiyuan, China)
Qian Guo (School of Business Administration, Shanxi University of Finance and Economics, Taiyuan, China)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 14 February 2023

Issue publication date: 8 March 2023

643

Abstract

Purpose

Based on the conservation of resources theory, the authors explore the relationship between humble leadership and employee procrastination by introducing career calling and promotion focus, and constructing a moderated mediation model aiming to reveal the influence of humble leadership on employee procrastination.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 217 valid samples were obtained using a two-time point paired questionnaire. The proposed hypotheses were tested using hierarchical regression.

Findings

Hierarchical regression results indicated that humble leadership had a significant negative effect on employee procrastination. Career calling played a fully mediating role in humble leadership and employee procrastination. Promotion focus not only plays a positive moderating role between humble leadership and career calling but also moderates the mediating role of career calling.

Practical implications

Managers should pay attention to the cultivation of their own character of humility in the process of communicating with their subordinates, increase employees' career calling from various aspects to improve employees’ sense of meaning and value for their work and understand employees' situation for personalized management.

Originality/value

This study reveals for the first time the inhibitory effect of humble leadership on employee procrastination through the conservation of resources theory. This helps in expanding research on the antecedents of procrastination behavior and enriching research on the effects of implementing humble leadership. For this reason, the study contributes to the literature on humble leadership, employee procrastination and the conservation of resources theory.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Humanities and Social Science Fund of Ministry of Education of China (Grant numbers 21YJA630118) and National Social Science Fund of China (Grant numbers 22BGL133) for their financial support.

Citation

He, W., Zhang, Z. and Guo, Q. (2023), "More humility for leaders, less procrastination for employees: the roles of career calling and promotion focus", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 44 No. 1, pp. 120-136. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-03-2022-0140

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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