Organizational researchers widely acknowledge that positive relational behavior is associated with leadership effectiveness. In this exploratory study, we seek to extend previous research examining contextual factors that influence leadership style based on the characteristics of person–vocation fit. Our research also indicates that the relationship between leadership style and perceived effectiveness varies based on the work interests shared by individuals who are attracted to different vocational settings. Our findings are consistent with the principles of complementarity and congruence, that is, those having high social skills, such as agreeableness, friendliness and warmth, may invite the same behavior from their supervisors as well as others with whom they work. The relational leadership dimensions identified in this study were found to predict effective leadership based on the leaders’ assessments by subordinates, peers, and top managers. They are based on a broader multirater approach that can help identify and develop those who have high potential to lead as well as those who are already in positions of leadership. It is our hope that this research undertaking might illuminate another piece of evidence to be used by future researchers and students of leadership behavior. Indeed, “one size of leadership does not fit all” because personal work interests and work context matter.
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