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What about the leader?: Crossover of emotional exhaustion and work engagement from followers to leaders
Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany.
Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany.
Philipps University of Marburg, Germany.
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. (Hälsa och välfärd i det mångkulturella arbetslivet (HVMA))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2576-1944
2017 (English)In: Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, ISSN 1076-8998, E-ISSN 1939-1307, Vol. 22, no 1, 86-97 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Although a growing body of research links leadership behavior to follower health, comparatively little is known about the health effects of being in the lead. This longitudinal study of 315 team members and 67 leaders examined the crossover of emotional exhaustion and work engagement from followers to leaders. Leader emotional self-efficacy was tested as a moderator in the crossover process. Multiple regression analyses revealed that followers’ work engagement was positively related to leaders’ work engagement eight months later, controlling for followers’ tenure with the leader, leader gender, autonomy, workload, and work engagement at time one. Leaders’ emotional self-efficacy did not moderate the crossover of work engagement. Followers’ emotional exhaustion was not directly related to leaders’ emotional exhaustion over time. We did find a significant interaction effect for follower emotional exhaustion and leader emotional self-efficacy. This paper is the first to show that crossover of emotional exhaustion and work engagement can unfold over time from team members to leaders. Main theoretical implications lie in the finding that—in line with job demands–resources theory—followers’ psychological states can pose a demand or resource for leaders, and influence their well-being. For practitioners, our results offer valuable insights regarding the design of organizational health interventions as well as leadership development measures. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 22, no 1, 86-97 p.
Keyword [en]
Author Keywords:leadership; followership; crossover; emotional exhaustion; work engagement KeyWords Plus:DEMANDS-RESOURCES MODEL; SELF-EFFICACY; MEMBER EXCHANGE; JOB-DEMANDS; BURNOUT; VALIDITY; PERFORMANCE; CONTAGION; STRESS; DEPRESSION
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Working Life Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-32380DOI: 10.1037/ocp0000024ISI: 000392214700007Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84962316125OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-32380DiVA: diva2:948884
Projects
Re-Su-Lead
Available from: 2016-07-14 Created: 2016-07-14 Last updated: 2017-02-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Self-efficacy at work: Social, emotional, and cognitive dimensions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Self-efficacy at work: Social, emotional, and cognitive dimensions
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Research has shown that self-efficacy is one of the most important personal resources in the work context. However, research on working life has mainly focused on a cognitive and task-oriented dimension of self-efficacy representing employees’ perceptions of their capacity to successfully complete work tasks. Thus, little is known about the influence that believing in one’s social and emotional competence could have. This thesis aims to expand previous theory regarding self-efficacy in the workplace by investigating social, emotional, and cognitive self-efficacy dimensions in relation to leadership, health, and well-being.  

The thesis rests on four empirical studies, all related to health and well-being, and including at least one self-efficacy dimension. Study I employed questionnaire data from 169 Swedish high school students. The other three studies were based on questionnaire data obtained during a three-year international health-promoting leadership research project. These participants were employees and leaders from 229 different teams in 12 organizations in Sweden and Germany representing a wide range of occupations.

Study I supported the idea that emotional self-efficacy is an important antecedent to prosocial behaviour and also highlighted the value of differentiating between different dimensions of self-efficacy. Study II validated the new work-related Occupational Social and Emotional Self-efficacy Scales; and indicated that these dimensions are positively related to well-being. However, Study III showed that emotional exhaustion in followers crossed over to leaders when the leaders’ emotional self-efficacy was high. Study IV revealed that transformational leadership and social self-efficacy can be positive for team climate.

The main theoretical contribution of this thesis is to expand previous theory regarding self-efficacy in the workplace by incorporating social, emotional, and cognitive dimensions. The main practical implication is that the new Occupational Social and Emotional Self-efficacy Scales can be used to promote health and well-being in the workplace through activities such as recruitment, staff development, and team-building. This thesis suggests that (a) training managers to exert transformational leadership behaviours may simultaneously promote team climate, and this process may be mediated by social self-efficacy, (b) it may be counterproductive to enhance leaders’ emotional abilities in a team of exhausted followers, since the result can be an exhausted leader rather than an exhilarated team, (c) interventions aimed at improving health and well-being should be specific to each work setting, and (d) a more holistic approach where the mutual influence between leaders and followers is considered may be beneficial for healthier work environments. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Eskilstuna: Mälardalens högskola, 2016
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 208
Keyword
Social self-efficacy, emotional self-efficacy, occupational self-efficacy, team climate, emotional exhaustion, emotional irritation, transformational lead-ership.
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Working Life Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-33083 (URN)978-91-7485-281-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-10-21, Raspen, Mälardalens högskola, Eskilstuna, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-09-07 Created: 2016-09-07 Last updated: 2016-09-26Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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