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You think you can, but you can't: A depletion perspective on situation dependent leader behaviors
In this study, we investigate the ironic situation wherein a leader, when faced with a demanding situation (perceived workgroup task conflict), may be too depleted to exhibit the leadership behaviors (initiating structure) needed to fix the situation. Further, a cooperative group climate moderates this negative indirect effect, such that experiencing workgroup task conflict is less depleting for leaders and therefore less detrimental for their initiating structure behavior in groups/organizations with highly cooperative climates. We find support for these predictions by conducting an interval contingent experience sampling study that tracked daily task conflict in the workgroup and leaders’ daily depletion and initiating structure behavior for ten consecutive work days.