Psychological distance

Napier and Ferris (1993) build a broad foundation for subsequent research on leader-follower distance with a conceptual publication. The scientists refer to psychological distance as differences or similarities in characteristics such as age, race, socio-demographic variables, and perceived power distance. Research in all fields has shown that these are rather applied as control variables. Measuring sociodemographic differences is especially restricted as instrumental indicators of race or perceived power distance are missing. In addition, differences in age do not necessarily need to be associated with leader-subordinate distance (Avolio et al., 2004; Joshi et al., 2009). Popper (2013) claims that psychological distance is a subjective construct in which refers more to leaders’ traits than to their behavior. Followers allocate organizational successes and failures largely to their leaders simply according to the information they have (Jaquart & Antonakis, under rev.).

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