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The Power of Followers That do not Follow: Investigating the Effects of Follower Resistance, Leader Implicit Followership Theories and Leader Negative Affect on the Emergence of Destructive Leader Behavior


Güntner, Amelie Verena; Klasmeier, Kai N; Klonek, Florian E; Kauffeld, Simone (2021). The Power of Followers That do not Follow: Investigating the Effects of Follower Resistance, Leader Implicit Followership Theories and Leader Negative Affect on the Emergence of Destructive Leader Behavior. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 28(3):349-365.

Abstract

This study focuses on follower resistance as a potential antecedent of destructive leader behavior and examines leader-related moderators and mediators to help explain the relationship between follower resistance and destructive leader behavior. Drawing from implicit followership theories, we propose that the relationship between follower resistance and destructive leader behavior is moderated by leaders’ Theory X schema. Furthermore, we build on affective events theory to hypothesize that follower resistance increases destructive leader behavior via leaders’ negative affect. We tested our hypotheses in a within-subjects online field experiment. Our study findings demonstrate that follower resistance increases destructive leader behavior and that this relationship is mediated through leaders’ negative affect and moderated by leaders’ Theory X schema. We discuss theoretical implications regarding the impact of (resistant) follower behavior on destructive leadership and offer methodological advances in terms of research design and analytical approaches to deal with endogeneity issues and derive causal inferences. Lastly, we derive practical implications for utilizing follower resistance.

Abstract

This study focuses on follower resistance as a potential antecedent of destructive leader behavior and examines leader-related moderators and mediators to help explain the relationship between follower resistance and destructive leader behavior. Drawing from implicit followership theories, we propose that the relationship between follower resistance and destructive leader behavior is moderated by leaders’ Theory X schema. Furthermore, we build on affective events theory to hypothesize that follower resistance increases destructive leader behavior via leaders’ negative affect. We tested our hypotheses in a within-subjects online field experiment. Our study findings demonstrate that follower resistance increases destructive leader behavior and that this relationship is mediated through leaders’ negative affect and moderated by leaders’ Theory X schema. We discuss theoretical implications regarding the impact of (resistant) follower behavior on destructive leadership and offer methodological advances in terms of research design and analytical approaches to deal with endogeneity issues and derive causal inferences. Lastly, we derive practical implications for utilizing follower resistance.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Business and International Management
Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Social Sciences & Humanities > Strategy and Management
Social Sciences & Humanities > Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
Social Sciences & Humanities > Management Science and Operations Research
Uncontrolled Keywords:Management Science and Operations Research, Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, Strategy and Management, Sociology and Political Science, Business and International Management
Language:English
Date:1 August 2021
Deposited On:09 May 2023 15:30
Last Modified:29 Jun 2024 01:36
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:1548-0518
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/15480518211012408