The research studies the role of contextual moderating variables on the relationship between person-oriented leadership behaviors (POLBs) and team performance. The authors claim that the varying effect sizes between POLBs and team performance are large because of the context the team is functioning in. Therefore, based on the framework of Johns (2006), this paper aims to investigate the moderating role of the relevant demographic (leader gender), social (in-group collectivism and team size), task (skill differentiation) and methodological (common method bias and the rater of the team performance) contextual variables in the study.
The authors accumulated evidence from 48 independent primary studies (N team = 4,276) to run the meta-analytic analyses. The authors followed the procedures described by Schmidt and Hunter (2015). For the categorical moderators, the analyzes were aided by the Hunter–Schmidt meta-analysis programs (2.0) (Schmidt and Le, 2014), which is an interactive software using a random-effects model. In the analyzes for the continuous moderators, the authors used Lipsey and Wilson’s (2001) statistical package for the social sciences macros and run meta-regressions using a random-effects model with unrestricted maximum likelihood.
The results indicate that the relationship weakens when female leaders exhibit these behaviors and when the team size increases. On the other hand, in-group collectivism strengthens the relationship. The study also found that the common method bias and the assessment method of the team performance are significant moderators altering the relationship.
The study highlights the perceptual differences and biases based on leader gender. Acknowledging these biases may help practitioners to appreciate the female qualities in leadership and decrease the undervaluation of female effectiveness. To create high-performing teams, leaders in high in-group collectivist countries are expected to develop a family feeling in the team by showing their concern for personal issues and build close interpersonal relationships. Researchers should use multiple sources to assess the predictor and criterion variables and also opt for more objective assessment methods for team performance.
With this study, the authors follow a substantively different perspective compared to the past meta-analytic reviews on this relationship. Rather than testing the inquiry whether there is a relationship between the two variables, the authors specifically focus on the role of contextual moderating variables. Several researchers have acknowledged that contextual considerations are critical in leadership-team performance research. Nevertheless, the body of research remains to be not cohesive. Thus, the study answers a call in the leadership area for a more context-based and cohesive understanding of the effects of leadership on team performance.
The author would like to thank Dr Hein Wendt for providing helpful input and feedback on earlier drafts of this article.
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