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Does narcissistic leadership enhance employee resilience? A moderated mediation model of goal-directed energy and psychological availability

Jin Li (School of Business, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China)
Yiwen Tong (School of Business, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 3 May 2021

Issue publication date: 23 June 2021

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the conservation of resources (COR) theory, this study highlights the mediating role of goal-directed energy as a critical psychological resource. The purpose of this study is to examine the mediating effect of goal-directed energy on the relationship between narcissistic leadership and employee resilience. The study also explores the moderating effect of psychological availability on the relationship between narcissistic leadership and goal-directed energy.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 857 employees and their supervisors at 137 enterprises in China. Confirmatory factor analysis, hierarchical multiple regression analysis and path analysis were adopted to analyze the data.

Findings

The results indicate that narcissistic leadership has a positive effect on goal-directed energy, which, in turn, enhances employee resilience. Furthermore, the effect of narcissistic leadership on goal-directed energy becomes more prominent in the context of lower psychological availability.

Practical implications

First, narcissistic leadership is supposed to play an effective role in helping employees gain resources. Second, organizations should attach importance to implementing resilience-building programs on employees to cope with uncertainty. Third, organizations should offer multiple training opportunities to stimulate employees’ goal-directed energy.

Originality/value

First, the findings suggest that employee resilience is influenced by narcissistic leadership, which provides more possibilities for the study on the antecedents of resilience. Second, the study offers novel insights regarding the effect of narcissistic leadership on employee resilience through goal-directed energy. Finally, it also examines psychological availability as the boundary condition between narcissistic leadership and goal-directed energy.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant/Award Number: 71872077).

Citation

Li, J. and Tong, Y. (2021), "Does narcissistic leadership enhance employee resilience? A moderated mediation model of goal-directed energy and psychological availability", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 42 No. 5, pp. 819-836. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-11-2020-0521

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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