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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 19 December 2022

Gerry Larsson, Malin Mattson Molnar, Helena Tinnerholm Ljungberg and Christina Björklund

The study represents a theory-based leadership approach in exploring the subordinate's perceptions of leadership behaviors in relation to age, gender and type of work environment…

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Abstract

Purpose

The study represents a theory-based leadership approach in exploring the subordinate's perceptions of leadership behaviors in relation to age, gender and type of work environment. The aim was (1) to compare subordinates' ratings of their respective leaders' leadership behaviors based on of the leaders' age and gender, controlling for type of work environment and (2) to analyze the relationship between the subordinates' ratings of their leaders' leadership behaviors and their ratings of the outcome of these leadership behaviors.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected using the Developmental Leadership Questionnaire (DLQ) from a sample of Swedish leadership course participants (n = 10,869) and their respective subordinates (n = 97,943). The DLQ measures leadership behaviors designed to reflect the following leadership styles: developmental leadership, conventional-positive leadership, conventional-negative leadership and destructive leadership.

Findings

Results showed that older leaders (51 years or older) were rated less favorably than younger (29 years or younger) and mid-aged leaders. Female leaders received more positive ratings than male leaders. A 3-way analysis-of-variance showed strong main effects for age, gender, and type of work environment and no significant interaction effects. A significant model with high equivalents of R2 coefficients (Cox and Snell, 1989; Nagelkerke, 1991) was obtained in a logistic regression analysis. Developmental leadership and conventional-positive leadership made significant positive contributions to the subordinates' ratings of the outcome of their leaders' leadership behaviors. Destructive leadership behaviors contributed negatively to the outcome ratings.

Research limitations/implications

Weaknesses include the cross-sectional study design. The large sample size is a strength, and the results have novel implications for leadership theory related to subordinates' view on leadership.

Practical implications

Counter-stereotype age and gender findings may have implications for organizational decisions and processes regarding selection of managers. Development programs are suggested for all categories but for older, male leaders with a focus on reducing their use of leadership behaviors perceived negatively by their subordinates, whereas younger female leaders should be encouraged to continue to develop their positive leadership behaviors.

Originality/value

The theory-based approach on subordinates' perceptions of leadership behaviors with a simultaneous focus on age, gender and type of work environment, based on a large-scale data set, is new.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 44 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Aida Alvinius, Eva Johansson and Gerry Larsson

It has been claimed that job satisfaction is the most important and frequently studied attitude in organizational behaviour research. However, as most studies relate to lower…

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Abstract

Purpose

It has been claimed that job satisfaction is the most important and frequently studied attitude in organizational behaviour research. However, as most studies relate to lower hierarchical levels, the purpose of this paper is to gain a deeper understanding of job satisfaction and organizational commitment among high-level managers – military leaders in this case.

Design/methodology/approach

A grounded theory approach was used. The empirical material is based on 12 interviews, two of which were with women. The informants had wide experience of a number of leadership positions as well as participation in international operations. Their ranks ranged from Colonel to Brigadier General, and they represented army and naval units, the Armed Forces Headquarters and Swedish Defence University.

Findings

The qualitative analysis resulted in a theoretical model that describes the job satisfaction of military leaders at the strategic level, which concerns establishing and balancing organizational commitment. This means that top level managers develop, manage and recreate a “sense of oneness” between themselves and the organization – a strong identification that is established, challenged, changed and renegotiated in a continuous process. Establishing and balancing organizational commitment is built on two overarching categories: keeping up the organizational image and responding to organizational greediness.

Research limitations/implications

Research limitations are as follows: small sample, lack of representativeness and lack of elaboration on possible gender-related aspects.

Practical implications

The suggested model may be valuable in educational settings when evaluating the job satisfaction and organizational commitment of high-level officers. The model may have practical implications when it comes to selection, retention and leader development of high-level military officers.

Originality/value

A new integrative, theoretical model of job satisfaction and organizational commitment of high-level officers is developed and discussed.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 29 July 2020

Gerry Larsson and Christina Björklund

The purpose of this study is twofold. First, to compare the self-rated leadership behaviors, leadership-related competencies and results of the leadership of younger, mid-aged and…

10368

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is twofold. First, to compare the self-rated leadership behaviors, leadership-related competencies and results of the leadership of younger, mid-aged and older leaders; and second to compare these aspects among younger leaders in different kinds of the work environment and between men and women.

Design/methodology/approach

Data was collected using the developmental leadership questionnaire from a sample of Swedish leadership course participants (N = 7,743).

Findings

The results showed that the younger group of leaders (29 years old or younger n = 539), rated themselves more negatively than the mid-aged (30–50 years, n = 5,208) and older (51 years or older, n = 1,996) leaders. Analysis of the group of younger leaders showed that those working in the private sector scored most favorably. The gender comparison revealed that young male leaders scored higher on negative conventional (transactional) and destructive leadership behaviors. A logistic regression analysis of the younger group showed that social competence, developmental leadership and destructive leadership (negative) influenced self-rated results of leadership.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on leaders’ self-ratings only.

Practical implications

The results can be used in leadership development contexts and in individualized coaching or mentoring programs.

Originality/value

The results have new implications for leadership theory related to self-confidence, stereotypes, selection and organizational culture.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 44 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 December 2021

Alicia Ohlsson, Sofia Alexandra Nilsson and Gerry Larsson

The purpose of this study was to investigate military officers’ perception of the implicit expectations the organisation has for the officer’s private life and what implications…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate military officers’ perception of the implicit expectations the organisation has for the officer’s private life and what implications it may have for gender norms at the organisation, family and individual levels.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach, using an inductive thematic analysis, was performed. The data was based on 20 interviews with military officers, including 18 men and 2 women.

Findings

Two main themes, with three subsequent subthemes, were identified. These themes were interpreted as being necessary for the military officer to be able to manage organisational demands. The first included the implicit expectations the organisation had for the family. The three subthemes included the officer’s acceptance of frequent travel demands, adapting private life in accordance to organisational demands and picking a partner that matches the goals of the organisation. The second identified main theme included the military officer’s descriptions of implicit expectations the organisation held for the officer’s partner. Three subthemes were identified, including the partner’s need to be independent and psychologically strong, to take the main responsibility for managing family life and to engage in emotion work with the extended family.

Originality/value

The findings identify important perceptions that military officers have regarding the military’s expectations for their private life and the adaptive behaviors regularly performed. These adaptive behaviors allow the military officer to be able to engage in work that sustains the organisation.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 6 July 2023

Gerry Larsson, Madelene Höglund and Jonas Henrysson

The Indirect Leadership Questionnaire (ILQ) is constructed to measure important parts of a theoretical model of indirect leadership to be used in leadership courses for high-level…

Abstract

Purpose

The Indirect Leadership Questionnaire (ILQ) is constructed to measure important parts of a theoretical model of indirect leadership to be used in leadership courses for high-level managers. The ILQ consists of 15 model-derived items plus extra space that provides for free-text comments. This study aims to evaluate the psychometric properties of the ILQ, its predictive power and practical usefulness in indirect leadership courses and to evaluate the indirect leadership model in the light of new data.

Design/methodology/approach

The study sample consisted of 225 higher managers and 6–10 of their subordinates (total: 1,703). The latter were working at least two hierarchical levels below their higher manager. The managers made self-ratings, and the subordinates rated their respective higher manager using the ILQ.

Findings

Results showed that the ILQ has acceptable psychometric properties in terms of dimensionality (two model-compatible factors were obtained), reliability, discriminability and predictive power. Previous problems with many “Don’t know” responses from subordinates working two or more hierarchical levels below their higher manager were considerably reduced. A qualitative analysis of the free-text responses showed that indirect leadership behaviors that can be seen as inspirational influence and communication skills should be more emphasized in future indirect leadership courses. The leaders’ personality, task-related competence and performance-orientation were also highlighted more than in the indirect leadership model.

Research limitations/implications

It was concluded that the ILQ is a useful tool in indirect leadership courses but that it is too limited to be used as a basis for theory development of indirect leadership.

Originality/value

The ILQ has acceptable psychometric properties and provides an easy-to-use tool to gain practical, usable knowledge of the “how’s” of indirect leadership.

Article
Publication date: 15 January 2019

Christer Sandahl, Gerry Larsson, Josi Lundin and Teresa Martha Söderhjelm

The purpose of this paper is to report on the results of an experiential leader development course titled understanding group-and-leader (UGL).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on the results of an experiential leader development course titled understanding group-and-leader (UGL).

Design/methodology/approach

The study sample consisted of 61 course participants (the managers) and 318 subordinate raters. The development leadership questionnaire (DLQ) was used to measure the results of the course. The measurements were made on three occasions: shortly before the course, one month after the course and six months after the course.

Findings

The managers’ self-evaluations did not change significantly after the course. However, the subordinate raters’ evaluations of their managers indicated a positive trend in the scales of developmental leadership and conventional-positive leadership one month and six months after the course.

Research limitations/implications

The study was based on a comparatively small sample with a number of drop-outs. The study lacked a control condition.

Practical implications

From an organizational point of view, it could be argued that it is justifiable to send managers to such a course, as there is a good chance for an improvement in their leadership style as rated by subordinates.

Social implications

The integration of group processes and leadership behavior in the context of experiential learning seems to be a fruitful path to leader development.

Originality/value

Longitudinal studies on the results of experiential learning for managers are sparse. This is the first quantitative evaluation of a course that more than 80,000 individuals have taken.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 40 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 December 2017

Teresa Martha Söderhjelm, Gerry Larsson, Christer Sandahl, Christina Björklund and Kristina Palm

The purpose of this paper is to understand the influence of leadership programmes on leaders and co-workers, as well as which mechanisms are involved in the process.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the influence of leadership programmes on leaders and co-workers, as well as which mechanisms are involved in the process.

Design/methodology/approach

An analysis was done into 431 free-text answers to questionnaires given to 120 participants in two different leadership programmes and their co-workers six months after their participation, using a grounded theory inspired approach.

Findings

The result is a model, linking internal psychological and external behavioural aspects, with the central outcome that leaders gained more confidence in their leadership role through theoretical models learned, and reflection.

Research limitations/implications

The course participants as well as the co-workers seemed to experience a positive leadership development indicating a value of participating in the courses.

Practical implications

Confidence in leadership role seems important for having positive outcomes of leadership. Although this needs further research, it is something organisations should consider when working with leadership questions.

Social implications

The co-workers perceived their leaders to be calmer, more open for discussions, and willing both to give and receive feedback post training. There appears to be an increase in trust both in the leader and reciprocally from the leader in the co-workers.

Originality/value

Until now there has not been any systematic research into the effects on participants and co-workers following the programmes, despite the fact that over 100,000 have participated in the courses.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 39 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2016

Aida Alvinius, Bodil Wilde Larsson and Gerry Larsson

Swedish healthcare has undergone continuous development over several decades. Today, legal responsibility is shared on the local and regional levels, i.e. between municipalities…

Abstract

Swedish healthcare has undergone continuous development over several decades. Today, legal responsibility is shared on the local and regional levels, i.e. between municipalities and county councils. The purpose of the present study is to gain a deeper understanding of boundary spanning roles and strategies involved in municipal and county council collaboration. A grounded theory approach was used. Fifteen informants from several Swedish health care authorities were interviewed. A tension exists between preserving boundary strategies that stifle collaboration and boundary spanning strategies that facilitate it. The way boundary spanners manage their role is assumed to influence the centre of gravity for this tension and thus the combination of favourable boundary spanning strategies and favourable boundary spanning roles is one way of getting the current form of collaboration to work.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 21 November 2022

Gerry Larsson, Ann Elisabet Zander and Marianne Lönngren

The purpose of this study was to develop an easy-to-use, theoretically well-founded and psychometrically sound assessment tool of the concept co-workership.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to develop an easy-to-use, theoretically well-founded and psychometrically sound assessment tool of the concept co-workership.

Design/methodology/approach

Firstly, inductively generated examples of favourable and unfavourable co-worker behaviours were collected, clustered and then expressed as frequency-based Likert-type scale items. Data were obtained from 825 Swedish white collar workers and military personnel. A factor analysis (principal axis factoring with oblique rotation) resulted in a seven-factor solution built up by 30 items and forming the instrument Co-Worker Questionnaire (Co-Worker Q).

Findings

The factors have a strong resemblance to the content of dominating models of leadership, followership, organizational citizenship behaviour and leader–member exchange. The factor scales had relatively high reliability (high Cronbach’s alpha coefficients and low standard errors of measurement). Regarding discriminability, women scored more favourably on five of the factors, men on one factor and age differences were noted on two factors.

Research limitations/implications

Shortcomings include the lack of data on possibly related aspects including person factors, such as personality and socio-economic status, and contextual factors such as more detailed data on the type of work environment and organizational culture.

Practical implications

The instrument has an easy-to-use format and can be used in organization development interventions with a co-workership focus and in individualized coaching or mentoring programmes.

Originality/value

The co-workership concept has so far mainly been used in the Nordic countries. The development of the Co-Worker Q opens up for broader applications.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 30 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 August 2021

Gerry Larsson, Aida Alvinius, Bjørn Bakken and Thorvald Hœrem

This paper aims to systematically review the extant research on social psychological aspects of civil-military inter-organizational collaboration, particularly in a total defense…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to systematically review the extant research on social psychological aspects of civil-military inter-organizational collaboration, particularly in a total defense context.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic scoping studies review was performed. Peer-reviewed articles were searched in PsycInfo and Sociological Abstracts. Inclusion criteria were met by 25 articles.

Findings

Four higher-order categories with underpinning categories were derived in the analysis. They were modeled as follows: antecedent conditions affect, informal processes and practical efforts, which, in turn, affect inter-organizational trust and collaboration. These higher-order categories are all influenced by formal organizational aspects and the society in which they are found.

Research limitations/implications

The existing literature covering the chosen study focus is limited. Further studies are needed and the presented model can serve as a road map.

Practical implications

A series of questions derived from the categories of the model is presented. The questions are included as a tool for practical reflection for collaborating actors in common education, training or exercise settings or in after-action reviews.

Originality/value

The focus on social psychological aspects of civil-military inter-organizational collaboration, particularly in a total defense context, is new. The suggested relationship between superior themes adds knowledge to a research field dominated by sociological and political science approaches.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

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