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How to prevent leadership hubris? Comparing competitive selections, lotteries, and their combination


Berger, Joël; Osterloh, Margit; Rost, Katja; Ehrmann, Thomas (2020). How to prevent leadership hubris? Comparing competitive selections, lotteries, and their combination. Leadership Quarterly, 31(5):1-17.

Abstract

Hubris is a tendency of leaders to hold an overly confident view of their own capabilities and to abuse power for their own selfish goals, sometimes with disastrous consequences for organizations. A major reason for hubris is the rigorous selection process leaders typically undergo. This study proposes a governance mechanism used successfully in history to tackle hubris: partly random selections, which combine competitive selections by competence with lotteries. A frequently voiced concern about the use of lotteries is that it takes no account of the competence of the leader chosen. We propose that partly random selections can mitigate the disadvantages of both competitive selections alone and lotteries alone and reduce hubris in leaders. We conduct a test of this governance mechanism by means of a computerized laboratory experiment. Our results show that partly random selections significantly reduce the hubris of group leaders.

Abstract

Hubris is a tendency of leaders to hold an overly confident view of their own capabilities and to abuse power for their own selfish goals, sometimes with disastrous consequences for organizations. A major reason for hubris is the rigorous selection process leaders typically undergo. This study proposes a governance mechanism used successfully in history to tackle hubris: partly random selections, which combine competitive selections by competence with lotteries. A frequently voiced concern about the use of lotteries is that it takes no account of the competence of the leader chosen. We propose that partly random selections can mitigate the disadvantages of both competitive selections alone and lotteries alone and reduce hubris in leaders. We conduct a test of this governance mechanism by means of a computerized laboratory experiment. Our results show that partly random selections significantly reduce the hubris of group leaders.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Sociology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Business and International Management
Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Social Sciences & Humanities > Applied Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
Uncontrolled Keywords:Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, Sociology and Political Science, Applied Psychology, Business and International Management
Language:English
Date:1 October 2020
Deposited On:20 Jan 2022 13:54
Last Modified:28 Jan 2024 02:40
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1048-9843
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2020.101388