Taking One for the Team: The Role of Social Identity-Focused Leadership in Enhancing Well-Being and Performance of Followers

The present dissertation examines the relationships between leader behavior and employees’ well-being and performance using the social identity approach to leadership (Haslam, Reicher, & Platow, 2011) that is based on social identity theory (SIT; Tajfel and Turner, 1979) and self-categorization...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Krug, Henning
Contributors: Otto, Kathleen (Prof. Dr.) (Thesis advisor)
Format: Dissertation
Language:English
Published: Philipps-Universität Marburg 2020
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Summary:The present dissertation examines the relationships between leader behavior and employees’ well-being and performance using the social identity approach to leadership (Haslam, Reicher, & Platow, 2011) that is based on social identity theory (SIT; Tajfel and Turner, 1979) and self-categorization theory (SCT; Turner, Hogg, Oakes, Reicher, & Wetherell, 1987). The core notion of this approach is that leaders should create and maintain a shared social identity among their team (i.e., a sense of ‘we-ness’; Haslam et al., 2011; Steffens, Haslam, Reicher, et al., 2014). In the present work, we examined four questions. First, what the underlying mechanisms behind the positive association of identity leadership (Steffens, Haslam, Reicher, et al., 2014; van Dick et al., 2018) and employees’ well-being are (Manuscript 1)? Second, what role does the perceived continuity of social identity at work play for employees’ well-being in times of crises and how can leaders foster that sense of continuity (Manuscript 2)? Third, what is the relationship between coaches’ identity leadership and team functioning outcomes and what is the underlying mechanism (Manuscript 3)? Lastly, how can we conceptualize and measure vision articulation of leaders from a social identity viewpoint (Manuscript 4)? Specifically, in Manuscript 1 we examined identity leadership and its relationship with team identification, trust in the leader, and employees’ well-being (i.e., job satisfaction, work engagement, burnout). We hypothesized that team identification and trust in the leader mediated the relationship between identity leadership and well-being. Study 1 (cross-sectional; N = 192) supported positive relationships between identity leadership and team identification as well as between trust in the leader and well-being (i.e., higher job satisfaction and work engagement, lower burnout). Additionally, team identification mediated the association with job satisfaction and work engagement, trust in the leader mediated the association with burnout. Study 2 (experimental; N = 72) provided causal evidence for the positive relationship between identity leadership and team identification as well as trust in the leader. In Manuscript 2 we cross-sectionally (N = 363) investigated the importance of perceived continuity of social identity for employees’ well-being (i.e., job satisfaction, loneliness at work, burnout) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, we examined the relationship of social identity continuity and identity leadership of formal and informal leaders (i.e., fellow team members). Results indicated a positive relationship between perceived social identity continuity and job satisfaction as well as a negative relationship between continuity and loneliness. As for leadership, team members’ identity entrepreneurship (i.e., ‘crafting a sense of us’, p. 1003, Steffens, Haslam, Reicher, et al., 2014) was associated with an increase in experienced social identity continuity at work. This accounted for an indirect effect of team members’ identity entrepreneurship on job satisfaction and loneliness via social identity continuity. Manuscript 3 was concerned with identity leadership in a sports context. Cross-sectional data from 24 soccer teams (N = 247) was used to examine the relationship between coaches’ identity leadership and indicators of team functioning that have previously been neglected (i.e., team effort and turnover intentions) and performance. Results indicated a positive association of identity leadership and team effort, individual/team performance, as well as a negative association of identity leadership and turnover intentions. Team identification mediated those relationships and was thus identified as an underlying mechanism. Lastly, in Manuscript 4 we took a closer look at leaders’ vision articulation from a social identity perspective. Based on the theoretical model by Stam, Lord, van Knippenberg, and Wisse (2014), the Vision Articulation Questionnaire (VAQ) was developed. Validation of the questionnaire was carried out across two cross-sectional studies (Study 1: N = 191; Study 2: N = 350). The final version consisted of 22 items for seven factors (i.e., Comprehensibility, Self-Worth, Empowerment, Collective Values, Intermediate Goals, Promotion Focus, and Personalization). In sum, the four manuscripts provide further evidence from various contexts that leadership based on principles derived from the social identity approach (Haslam et al., 2011; Stam et al., 2014; Tajfel & Turner, 1979; Turner et al., 1987) is beneficial for followers and thus deserves further attention from scholars and practitioners alike
Physical Description:175 Pages
DOI:https://doi.org/10.17192/z2020.0655