The Role of Leadership in Occupational Stress: Volume 14

Cover of The Role of Leadership in Occupational Stress

Table of contents

(9 chapters)


Pages i-xiii
Content available

This chapter examines the role of leader workaholism in relation to their own and their followers’ well-being. We begin with an overview of workaholism, along with a description of how workaholism may relate to typical leader behaviors. We propose a conceptual model linking the various components of workaholism to leaders’ well-being and followers’ well-being. In our model, we propose that leaders’ workaholism can negatively influence their own well-being, and also their followers’ well-being through interindividual crossover of affective, cognitive, and behavioral components of workaholism. Furthermore, the negative well-being outcomes experienced by the workaholic leader can also crossover to the followers through interindividual strain–strain crossover. Several moderating factors of these relationships are discussed, as well as avenues for future research.


The role of dark side personality characteristics in the workplace has received increasing attention in the organizational sciences and from leadership researchers in particular. We provide a review of this area, mapping out the key frameworks for assessing the dark side. We pay particular attention to the roles that the dark side plays in leadership processes and career dynamics, with special attention given to destructive leadership. Further, we examine the role that stress plays in the emergence of leaders and how the dark side plays into that process. We additionally provide discussion of the possible roles that leaders can play in producing stress experiences for their followers. We finally illustrate a dynamic model of the interplay of dark leadership, social relationships, and stress in managerial derailment. Throughout, we emphasize a functionalist account of these personality characteristics, placing particular focus on the motives and emotional capabilities of the individuals under discussion.


This chapter utilizes a network perspective to show how the totality of one’s social connections impacts well-being by providing access to resources (e.g., information, feedback, and support) and placing limits on autonomy. We provide a brief review of basic network concepts and explain the importance of understanding how the networks in which leaders are embedded may enhance or diminish their well-being. Further, with this greater understanding, we describe how leaders can help promote the well-being of their employees. In particular, we focus on four key aspects of workplace networks that are likely to impact well-being: centrality, structural holes, embeddedness, and negative ties. We not only discuss practical implications for leaders’ well-being and the well-being of their employees, but also suggest directions for future research.


Building upon relational leadership theory, we develop a theoretical model examining the association between leader-follower congruence in follower role orientation and manager and subordinate relational and well-being outcomes. Follower role orientation represents individuals’ beliefs regarding the best way to enact a follower role. We predict that managers and subordinates who share similar role orientations will experience higher quality leader-member exchange (LMX) relationships and greater eustress than those who differ in their follower role orientations. Propositions are presented for direct effects between congruence and stress and indirect effects through LMX. Our theoretical model contributes to nascent research on followership by offering greater understanding of manager and subordinate beliefs regarding how followers should enact their roles, and the importance of considering leader (i.e., manager) as well as follower outcomes in the workplace. It also extends current thinking about stress as an important outcome of leader-follower relationships.


We propose a model of multidomain leadership and explain how it drives leader and follower well-being and stress. Multidomain leadership engagement, or the application of leader knowledge, skills, and abilities across domains, results in either an enriching or impairing experience for the leader. The result is influenced by the leader’s self-regulatory strength and self-awareness, as well as the amount of social support and domain similarity. An enriching experience leads to increased self-efficacy, self-regulatory strength, and self-awareness, which in turn leads to increased leader (and subsequently follower) well-being and reduced leader (and subsequently follower) stress. Enriching experiences also tend to drive further engagement and enriching experiences, while impairing experiences do the opposite. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.


Employee mental health problems are among the most costly issues facing employers in the developed world. Recognizing this, many employers have introduced resources designed to help employees cope with stressors. Yet, most employees fail-to-use these resources, even when they need them and could benefit from using them. We seek to understand this resource underutilization by (a) drawing on and expanding resource theories to explain why employees do not use existing resources and (b) proposing that leaders, managers, and supervisors can play a key role in facilitating the utilization of available resources. In doing so, we introduce resource utilization theory (RUT) as a complementary perspective to conservation of resources (COR) theory. We propose that RUT may provide the framework to describe patterns of resource utilization among employees, and to explain why employees do not use available resources to deal with existing stressors and demands.


Today’s work environment requires a new type of leader development. It is no longer enough for leaders to be qualified and knowledgeable. Leaders must be focused, adaptable, and resilient in order to be effective amid the increasingly distracting and chaotic organizational world. We argue that current methods of leader development need to evolve to encompass leader well-being and focus on intrapersonal competencies in order to adequately prepare leaders for today’s stressful work world. We provide a holistic development framework for leaders which we believe is a better match for the intrapersonal capabilities required by leadership roles. Our approach is two-fold. First, we believe it is important to educate leaders on the potential interaction between the external sources of stress and leaders’ neurophysiological and subjective well-being. Second, we believe leaders need different development experiences, ones that can help renew psychological resources. We review four categories of holistic leadership practices – mindfulness, social connections, positive emotion inductions, and body-based practices – which can help to counter the effects of overload and exhaustion. We also discuss the future of holistic leader development and suggest directions for future research.

Cover of The Role of Leadership in Occupational Stress
Publication date
Book series
Research in Occupational Stress and Well Being
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
Book series ISSN