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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2020

Magnus Larsson, Melissa Carsten and Morten Knudsen

Complex organizations increasingly rely on middle managers as strategic linking-pins between the top and bottom levels of the organization. Using social identity theory…

Abstract

Purpose

Complex organizations increasingly rely on middle managers as strategic linking-pins between the top and bottom levels of the organization. Using social identity theory and commitment theory as the foundation, this study evaluates a management and leadership development program (MLDP) intended to engage middle managers as strategy creators and implementers. We also evaluate the cascading effects of leadership development by assessing changes in subordinates' identification with the leader, and commitment to the work unit and organization.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of 107 manager participants and 913 of their subordinates, this study measures differences in both manager and subordinate identification and commitment prior to and after the completion of a 6 months strategically oriented MLDP.

Findings

Despite the organizations' best intentions, manager identification with and commitment to the organization decreased after completion of the MLDP. Similarly, subordinates identification with the leader and commitment to the organization also decreased at Time 2.

Research limitations/implications

The results paint a complex picture of the nuances of social identification as an outcome of MLDPs, and problematize the notion of cascading effects on subordinates within the organization. Researchers are encouraged to further examine organizational attitudes and perceptions as outcomes of MLDPs.

Practical implications

Suggestions are offered regarding how practitioners can manage strategically oriented MLDPs in order to avoid identity confusion and promote strategic action.

Originality/value

Strategically oriented MLDPs are increasingly popular in organizations. This study is one of the first to evaluate the theoretical mechanisms through which these programs may affect managers and problematize these effects for complex organizations.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2016

Melissa K. Carsten, Mary Uhl-Bien and Tracy L. Griggs

Building upon relational leadership theory, we develop a theoretical model examining the association between leader-follower congruence in follower role orientation and…

Abstract

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.

Details

The Role of Leadership in Occupational Stress
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-061-9

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Abstract

Details

Followership in Action
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-947-3

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Book part
Publication date: 5 October 2018

Mary Uhl-Bien and Melissa Carsten

Through his call to “reverse the lens” in leadership, Shamir (2007) helped trigger the emergence of followership theory as a new field of study in leadership research…

Abstract

Through his call to “reverse the lens” in leadership, Shamir (2007) helped trigger the emergence of followership theory as a new field of study in leadership research. While followership theory brings exciting new opportunities to leadership studies, it also introduces theoretical and conceptual challenges for researchers. In this chapter we address these challenges by showing how followership can be positioned fully within the leadership construct. We extend Shamir’s (2007) call for a balanced view in leadership by showing how followership theory adds new perspectives on the ways in which we can study leadership as a dynamic, fluid, relational process. The alternative views we present (e.g., position, role, identity, constructionist, and co-creation) approach leadership study from a range of paradigmatic perspectives that allow us to more fully capture the behaviors, interactions, relational dynamics, and processes through which leadership and followership are created and constructed. We conclude by reflecting on Shamir’s legacy as a scholar, and the contributions he made through his willingness to not only open his mind, but also to constructively challenge alternative perspectives and views.

Details

Leadership Now: Reflections on the Legacy of Boas Shamir
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-200-0

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Book part
Publication date: 5 October 2018

Abstract

Details

Leadership Now: Reflections on the Legacy of Boas Shamir
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-200-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

Michelle C. Bligh and Melissa K. Carsten

Previous research on psychological contracts has assumed that managers play a unidimensional role as either a contractual agent or an employee of the organization. These…

Abstract

Purpose

Previous research on psychological contracts has assumed that managers play a unidimensional role as either a contractual agent or an employee of the organization. These assumptions are examined in light of a recent article advocating a “multiple foci” conceptualization of psychological contracts.

Design/methodology/approach

As psychological contracts become increasingly salient in times of rapid change, qualitative data from 16 nurse managers in a post‐merger hospital consolidation were examined.

Findings

Results indicate that managers have a bi‐directional obligation with both the organization and their subordinates. Specifically, managers have strong upward contracts with top management with regard to material support, resources, and strategic communication. Manager‐to‐subordinate contracts, on the other hand, reflect a greater emphasis on the areas of employee involvement and emotional support.

Practical implications

These findings challenge researchers and practitioners to explicitly consider a multiple foci conceptualization of psychological contracts, particularly in the context of organizational change. In practice, this means that one must dedicate more attention to uncovering the constituents with whom managers hold psychological contracts, as well as how managers prioritize their multiple contracts within the organization.

Originality/value

Given the conflictual role managers often face in a post‐merger environment, it may be increasingly difficult to understand managerial contracts using traditional approaches. Although exploratory, this study provides the first empirical support for the above recent argument, and suggests that taking into account the multifaceted content and structure of managerial contracts may play a critical role in successful change initiatives.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 24 November 2016

Abstract

Details

Followership in Action
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-947-3

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Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2016

Abstract

Details

The Role of Leadership in Occupational Stress
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-061-9

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 24 November 2016

Abstract

Details

Followership in Action
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-947-3

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2016

Abstract

Details

The Role of Leadership in Occupational Stress
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-061-9

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