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Article
Publication date: 8 October 2020

Henning Krug, Hannah V. Geibel and Kathleen Otto

The purpose of the present research was to examine the impact of identity leadership on employees' well-being mediated by team identification and trust in the leader.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the present research was to examine the impact of identity leadership on employees' well-being mediated by team identification and trust in the leader.

Design/methodology/approach

In study 1, N = 192 employees participated in a cross-sectional online survey measuring identity leadership, team identification, trust in the leader and well-being (i.e., job satisfaction, work engagement, burnout). In study 2, N = 72 university students participated in a vignette study that manipulated high/low identity leadership and tested its effect on team identification and trust in the leader.

Findings

In study 1, identity leadership predicted higher team identification, trust in the leader and well-being of employees. Team identification mediated the positive relationship of identity leadership with both job satisfaction and work engagement, while trust in the leader mediated the negative relationship of identity leadership with burnout. In study 2, team identification and trust in the leader were significantly higher in the high identity leadership condition.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are consistent with the few existing studies on the positive effects of identity leadership. However, due to the correlational nature of the data in study 1, future longitudinal field research is needed to support the current findings and further establish causality for the model as a whole.

Practical implications

Identity leadership seems to be promising to increase well-being among employees. Thus, leadership development programs to foster identity leadership and collective identity should be implemented in organizations and further tested with respect to well-being.

Originality/value

This research contributes to an emerging body of research on the social identity approach to leadership and supports the recent claims that social identity might be one of the links between leader behavior and well-being of employees. Moreover, this study is among the first to investigate and experimentally test the underlying mechanisms of identity leadership.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 42 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

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Book part
Publication date: 19 October 2020

Iain L. Densten

This chapter investigated how pre-existing ideas (i.e., prototypes and antiprototypes) and what the eyes fixate on (i.e., eye fixations) influence followers'…

Abstract

This chapter investigated how pre-existing ideas (i.e., prototypes and antiprototypes) and what the eyes fixate on (i.e., eye fixations) influence followers' identification with leaders from another race. A sample of 55 Southeast Asian female participants assessed their ideal leader in terms of prototypes and antiprototype and then viewed a 27-second video of an engaging Caucasian female leader as their eye fixations were tracked. Participants evaluated the videoed leader using the Identity Leadership Inventory, in terms of four leader identities (i.e., prototypicality, advancement, entrepreneurship, and impresarioship). A series of multiregression models identified participants' age as a negative predictor for all the leader identities. At the same time, the antiprototype of masculinity, the prototypes of sensitivity and dynamism, and the duration of fixations on the right eye predicted at least one leader identity. Such findings build on aspects of intercultural communication relating to the evaluation of global leaders.

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Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2013

Christabel L. Rogalin

This chapter seeks to theoretically answer the question: under which circumstances do groups succeed under female leadership? Further, is it possible to conceptualize the…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter seeks to theoretically answer the question: under which circumstances do groups succeed under female leadership? Further, is it possible to conceptualize the engineering of groups such that group success under female leadership is a likely outcome?

Design/methodology/approach

In this chapter, I draw on identity control theory (Burke & Stets, 2009; Stets & Burke, 2005) and role congruity theory (Eagly, 2003) to discuss the implications for female leaders of the discrepancy between the female gender identity and the leader identity. Next, I draw upon status characteristics theory (Berger et al., 1972) to further illustrate the negative consequences of being a female leader. Then, drawing on group processes research, I make the explicit link between the negative expectations for female leaders on group performance through the endorsement of group members. Finally, I utilize innovative research using institutionalization of female leadership to propose a possible solution for improving group performance.

Research implications

I present nine testable hypotheses ready for empirical test.

Social implications

I propose that training materials underscoring the skills that females have as leaders can subvert the development of conflictual expectations facing female leaders, thus removing the deleterious effects on group performance. That is, if group members receive training that emphasizes the competencies and skills women bring to the group’s task and to the leadership role, then group performance will not be threatened.

Details

Advances in Group Processes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-976-8

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2020

Nuala F. Ryan, Michelle Hammond, Sarah MacCurtain and Christine Cross

The purpose of this paper is to advance our understanding of the role of risk in leader identity development for women by identifying processes women leaders employ to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to advance our understanding of the role of risk in leader identity development for women by identifying processes women leaders employ to overcome perceived risk.

Design/methodology/approach

Twenty-five women leaders in the Irish healthcare sector took part in an 18-month long identity-based leadership development program. Qualitative data from interviews, focus groups, critical incident diaries and individual exit surveys and observations were analyzed using the constant comparative method.

Findings

Four key processes are identified as women leaders work through risks associated with structural elements (perceiving and mitigating structural risk) and agency of the leader (accepting agentic risks and developing agency).

Research limitations/implications

Like many focused qualitative studies, generalizability to a larger population might be limited. The authors, therefore, recommend future research to consider these issues in other industries, levels and national contexts.

Practical implications

Organizational members should pay attention to structural factors that affect women's perceptions of risks in internalizing a leader identity such as perceptions of organizational support for development, role models, mentoring and behavioral norms. Programs should aim to increase individual agency through personal reflection and freedom to experiment.

Originality/value

This paper offers an original and nuanced perspective on the role of risk in the leader identity development process for women.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2020

Sally Smith, Thomas N. Garavan, Anne Munro, Elaine Ramsey, Colin F. Smith and Alison Varey

The purpose of this study is to explore the role of professional and leader identity and the maintenance of identity, through identity work as IT professionals…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the role of professional and leader identity and the maintenance of identity, through identity work as IT professionals transitioned to a permanent hybrid role. This study therefore contributes to the under-researched area of permanent transition to a hybrid role in the context of IT, where there is a requirement to enact both the professional and leader roles together.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilised a longitudinal design and two qualitative methods (interviews and reflective diaries) to gather data from 17 IT professionals transitioning to hybrid roles.

Findings

The study findings reveal that IT professionals engage in an ongoing process of reconciliation of professional and leader identity as they transition to a permanent hybrid role, and they construct hybrid professional–leader identities while continuing to value their professional identity. They experience professional–leader identity conflict resulting from reluctance to reconcile both professional and leader identities. They used both integration and differentiation identity work tactics to ameliorate these tensions.

Originality/value

The longitudinal study design, the qualitative approaches used and the unique context of the participants provide a dynamic and deep understanding of the challenges involved in performing hybrid roles in the context of IT.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 23 October 2009

Tom Karp and Thomas I.T. Helgø

The objective of this article is to explore and challenge the concept of leadership by presenting a perspective on leadership as identity construction. The perspective…

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4143

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this article is to explore and challenge the concept of leadership by presenting a perspective on leadership as identity construction. The perspective presented is based on premises from the complexity sciences.

Design/methodology/approach

The article is based on a conceptual discussion.

Findings

Leadership is better understood as identity construction. This is because leadership emerges in the interaction between people as the act of recognising and being recognised. Leaders' images of themselves are therefore social constructions and the development of a leadership self (and thereby leadership) is coupled to the interaction between leaders and followers.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited to a conceptual discussion. The findings need to be further explored and challenged by other methods. The discussion is focused on organisational leadership.

Practical implications

Leaders do not always have the control that mainstream leadership theory suggests. The act of leadership is therefore better understood as identity construction. In the article the authors suggest a conceptual framework for reflecting on leadership identity because self‐images influence people's acts as leaders. The concept of leadership is hence the ability to mobilise the discipline necessary to develop one's self by reflecting on identity in different contexts and coupling this to the acts of leadership.

Originality/value

The principal contribution is a conceptual discussion on the concept of leadership. This contribution provides managerial ideas and insights into the act of leadership in organisations faced with increasing complexity.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 28 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 18 April 2018

Darja Kragt and Hannes Guenter

The purpose of this paper is to build and test an integrative model of leader identity as an important mechanism explaining why reactions to leadership training associate…

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3960

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to build and test an integrative model of leader identity as an important mechanism explaining why reactions to leadership training associate with leader effectiveness. It is proposed that this mediation relationship is conditional on leadership experience (i.e. time in a formal managerial role), such that it will be weaker for more experienced leaders because they already possess complex leadership-related knowledge and skills.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypotheses were tested using a sample of German managers (n=196) in formal leadership positions (i.e. with direct subordinates) across a range of industries. Data were collected using online questionnaires. The proposed first-stage mediation model was tested using the structural equation approach.

Findings

Leader identity was found to mediate the relationship between reactions to leadership training and leader effectiveness. This mediation was conditional upon leadership experience, such that the indirect effect only held for less, but not for more, experienced leaders.

Research limitations/implications

The findings should be interpreted with caution because all data are self-report and cross-sectional.

Practical implications

Leadership training for senior leaders should qualitatively differ (in terms of content and length) from that for novice leaders.

Originality/value

Leadership training can substantially improve managers’ ability to lead effectively. The present study is the first to establish leader identity as a motivational mechanism that explains this relationship. This is also the first study to test for the role of leadership experience in leader development.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2015

Wei Zheng and Douglas Muir

Leadership development has been replete with a skill-based focus. However, learning and development can be constrained by the deeper level, hidden self-knowledge that…

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5851

Abstract

Purpose

Leadership development has been replete with a skill-based focus. However, learning and development can be constrained by the deeper level, hidden self-knowledge that influences how people process information and construct meaning. The purpose of this paper is to answer the question of how people construct and develop their leader identity. The authors intend to shed light on the critical facets of identity changes that occur as individuals grapple with existing understanding of the self and of leadership, transform them, and absorb new personalized notions of leadership into their identity, resulting in a higher level of confidence acting in the leadership domain.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a grounded theory study of participants and their mentors in a lay leadership development program in a Catholic diocese. The authors inductively drew a conceptual model describing how leader identity evolves.

Findings

The findings suggested that leader identity development was not a uni-dimensional event. Rather, it was a multi-faceted process that encompassed three key facets of identity development: expanding boundaries, recognizing interdependences, and discerning purpose. Further, it is the co-evolvement of these three facets and people’s broadening understanding of leadership that led to a more salient leader identity.

Research limitations/implications

The model addresses the gap in literature on how leader identity develops specifically. It enriches and expands existing knowledge on leader identity development by answering the question of what specific changes are entailed when an individual constructs his or her identity as a leader.

Practical implications

The findings could be used to guide leadership development professionals to build targeted learning activities around key components of leader identity development, diagnose where people are in their leadership journey, set personalized goals with them, and provide pointed feedback to learners in the process of developing their leader identity.

Originality/value

The authors provide an in-depth and integrative account of the contents and mechanisms involved in the construction of the leader identity. The authors zero in on the critical transformations entailed in the process to establish and develop a leader identity.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 36 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Cynthia Mignonne Sims, Tao Gong and Claretha Hughes

Women are starting businesses at unprecedented rates, yet little is known about the leadership of small business owners. Establishing new ventures may allow women to use…

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1337

Abstract

Purpose

Women are starting businesses at unprecedented rates, yet little is known about the leadership of small business owners. Establishing new ventures may allow women to use their full abilities and benefit from a more level playing field. Business owners have the unique opportunity to lead and define their businesses based on their authentic selves, values and goals; therefore, they are more likely to be authentic leaders. Women in nontraditional industries may be challenged because the owner’s characteristics do not match those of the industry. When the enactment of one identity interferes with another identity, identity interference (II) occurs. Relational authenticity and role incongruity suggests that women founders must uniquely resolve II and find synergy among their gender and leader identities if they are to extend the boundaries of what it means to be a woman and an industry’s business leader. This research aims to determine whether gender and leader II was an antecedent or link to authentic leadership (AL).

Design/methodology/approach

Study participants were from 63 businesses in the USA states of California, Ohio and Maryland. Three leader models were established to determine whether owner gender functioned as a moderator: all genders (n = 155), women only (n = 75) and men only (n = 65). The individual owners and their employees were the units of analysis and structural equation modeling was used.

Findings

The findings revealed that II was an antecedent to AL, owners were AL and owner gender moderated AL and II.

Research limitations/implications

This study supports (Kernis, 2003; Gardner et al., 2005) the proposition that identity congruence is necessary for AL; the less interference found between gender and leader identities, the more authentic the leader. II functioned as an antecedent to AL. Moreover when the AL self’s subscales were examined relative to II, the components that were active varied dramatically based on leader gender. This suggests that addressing II and resolving the incongruence between what it mean to be a woman (or a man) and a leader contributes to the development of AL. Additionally, the AL boundary condition of relational authenticity was supported by this study; leader gender was related to the different amounts of AL (Eagly, 2005; Kernis, 2003). Support was found that AL was a dynamic process between leaders and employees. When authentic leadership questionnaire (ALQ) self (leader) and rater (employee) were compared, there was a significant amount of consistency between these ratings. For the all genders leader model, when ALQ self’s subscale was analyzed relative to the employees’ ratings, the leaders’ relational transparency was found to be active. The women only leader model revealed that AL was activated through internalized moral perspective suggesting they were able to tap into the hearts and minds of their employees. For the men only leaders, no relationship was revealed between ALQ self’s subcomponents and employee AL ratings. Relational authenticity suggests that this may be due to employees rating men owners more based on the experience and perceptions of men leaders in general and not these business owners in particular.

Practical implications

Leadership development professionals should address how II may help women examine who they are, how they work with others, and their values; decrease leader II by providing insight on how to manage potentially conflicting roles through examples of synergistic behaviors and benefits; and, build upon women owners’ ability to connect with their followers by sharing their goals and aspirations. Men owners may benefit by ensuring their employees know their business’ unique value proposition.

Originality/value

This research sought to link the identities of leader and gender to AL in the context of small businesses. It builds upon the AL theory of Avolio et al., (2004) and Jensen and Luthans (2006) who advocated using AL to study small businesses. This study determined whether business owners experienced interference between their gender and leader identities; II hindered the formation of AL and was an antecedent to AL; and the owner’s gender led to more or less AL and thus determined if leader gender moderated AL. The support for studying leader gender comes from role incongruity (Eagly and Diekman, 2005) and relational authenticity (Eagly, 2005; Kernis, 2003) which suggests that differences in how employees perceive AL may be a function of the owner’s gender. Added support comes from Jensen and Luthans (2006); they asked future studies to examine AL to determine the mechanisms behind gender differences in small businesses. Such research provides insight on the development of AL in theory and practice.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2019

Ray R. Buss

This paper aims to describe how a Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate-guided EdD program has fostered the development of leadership and research skills and strong…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe how a Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate-guided EdD program has fostered the development of leadership and research skills and strong identities as learners, leaders and researching professionals (RPs) among its graduates. In doing so, the researchers explored students’ identities as learners, leaders and RPs and examined the development of those identities over a three-year period.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed method approach was used, including pre- and post-program surveys and interviews.

Findings

The results showed students enhanced or developed these identities over time. In particular, there was substantial growth and change in the “RP” identity as compared to development of the “learner” and “leaderidentities.

Research limitations/implications

The possible-selves theory and the provisional-selves framework (P/PS) were helpful in accounting for these changes as the program requirements fostered students’ efforts in elaborating and developing their identity roles. Further, examination of P/PS and their influence on identity development is warranted. For example, examining outcomes about more explicit use of P/PS and reflections on P/PS is warranted. See next section.

Practical implications

There are implications for teaching of EdD students such as faculty members making more explicit the concept of P/PS during instruction and in the work required of students. Additionally, students could be required to engage in reflection on P/PS to make this process more concrete for them.

Originality/value

Using P/PS provides a way to understand and foster processes underlying doctoral students’ identity development.

Details

Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4686

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