Chapter overview

Proceeding from the literature review in the previous chapter, leadership behaviors and their effects on work-related outcomes will be the topic of investigation for this work. In addition to direct effects, this research is characterized by the application of contextual variables. In particular, focus is placed on analyzing influences of physical distance, relationship quality, and interaction frequency on the leader- follower relationship. The list of hypotheses is subsequently divided in two sections: (1) direct effects of leadership behaviors on work-related outcomes, and (2) moderating and mediating roles of physical distance, relationship quality, and interaction frequency on the influence of leadership behavior on work-related outcomes.

Direct Effects of Leadership Behavior on Follower Self-Leadership and Performance

Only a few attempts have yet been made to relate leadership behavior to facets of self-leadership. Using the Self-Leadership Questionnaire by Anderson and Prussia (1997), Brown and Fields (2011) linked leader self-leadership to perceived leadership behavior. The strongest correlation was found with role-modeling. Practicing behavior-focused strategies and demonstrating a high degree of self-discipline might encourage subordinates to follow their leaders’ example. Relating supervisors’ self-leadership behavior to the entire Full Range Leadership Model is first attempted by Furtner et al. (2013). Leaders’ self-leadership behavior was found to be positively correlated with perceptions of transformational and transactional leadership and negatively correlated with perceptions of laissez-faire leadership. Due to inevitable role-modeling behaviors of leaders (Braun & Fields, 2011) - also in negative ways - it is expected that transformational and transactional leadership trigger self-leadership in followers, whereas it is projected that passive leadership is counterproductive in the emergence of self-leadership in subordinates.

Hypothesis 1.1:

Transformational leadership and transactional leadership behavior both predict positive follower self-leadership, whereas passive leadership behavior predicts negative follower self-leadership.

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2017 N. Poser, Distance Leadership in International Corporations, Advances in Information Systems and Business Engineering, DOI 10.1007/978-3-658-15223-9_3

Transformational and transactional leadership have often been linked to positive organizational outcomes. Considered a multiple-level phenomenon (Chun, Yam- marino, Dionne, Sosik & Moon, 2009, p. 689), leadership may occur on organizational, team, and individual level (Braun, Peus, Weisweiler & Frey, 2013, p. 271). The researchers discovered a positive relationship between followers’ perceptions of transformational leadership and job satisfaction on individual level. On team level, positive correlations between team perceptions of transformational leadership and team performance were found (Braun et al., 2013). A meta-analytic review by Judge and Piccolo (2004) revealed that transformational leadership and active traits of transactional leadership (contingent reward and active management-byexception) were significantly and positively related to followers’ satisfaction with the leader, leader job performance, and leader effectiveness. Transformational leadership is further expected to enhance identification with the leader (Bass & Riggio, 2006) acting as role model, providing vision (Michel et al., 2011), and encouraging behaviors that foster creativity (Antonakis et al., 2003). Transformational leaders display a high level of self-efficacy which is in turn known to be associated with higher levels of performance (Cavazotte et al., 2013; Kirkpatrick & Locke, 1996; Walumbwa et al., 2008). Linking transformational leadership to business unit performance, Howell and Avolio (1993) conclude that leaders require a set of transformational leadership traits in order to execute their function successfully. As transformational leaders stimulate intrinsic motivation (Kahai & Avolio, 2008) and empower subordinates through optimism and integrity (Bass & Avolio, 1994), they are expected to generate enhanced follower performance. Team effectiveness was further predicted more strongly by transformational leadership than by transactional leadership (Howell et al., 2005; Lowe et al., 1996). Executing a rational exchange process, transactional leadership is considered effective (Judge & Piccolo, 2004) especially in stable environments (Daft & Lengel, 1998). Encouraging subordinates by emphasizing rewards in return for achievement, transactional leadership was found to result in high degrees of participation (Kahai & Avolio, 2008). Contingent reward leadership is further associated with effective communication (Neufeld et al., 2010), performance (Bass & Avolio, 1990), and subordinates’ satisfaction (Mihalcea, 2014). Contradictory to transformational and transactional leadership, laissez-faire leadership is passive and non-participative (Den Hartog et al., 1997). The laissez-faire leader is best known to avoid making decisions and to shrug responsibility (Antonakis et al., 2003). Followers of these leaders might often feel alone and lack a reliable source of guidance. Predictably, laissez-faire leadership was frequently related to negative and ineffective work-related outcomes (An- tonakis et al., 2003). Passive management-by-exception (MBEp) showed significant negative correlations with follower motivation and leader effectiveness and laissez-faire leadership further displayed significant negative correlations with followers’ satisfaction with the leader, leader job performance, and leader effectiveness. The behavior is viewed as counterproductive and may even result in interpersonal conflict (Skogstad et al., 2007).

Hypothesis 1.2:

Transformational leadership and transactional leadership behavior both predict positive follower performance, whereas passive leadership behavior predicts negative follower performance.

Rooted in self-management, self-leadership emerged in the early 1980s mainly under the influence of work by Manz and Sims. By redesigning work processes, selfleadership strategies potentially shift the focus from unpleasant to pleasant features. Individuals who further devote their mental energy to pleasant tasks stimulate their intrinsic motivation (Manz, 1986). Manz and Neck (2004) identified three major strategies underlying the concept of self-leadership. Behavior-focused strategies emphasize behavioral aspects of the self; i.e., reward is mainly the result of a certain behavior. Natural reward strategies focus on the intrinsic joy of a task; i.e., by adding pleasant tasks or shifting the focal point from unpleasant to pleasant aspects, the nature of the task itself might improve. Constructive thought patterns include self-leadership strategies that are directed toward mental and cognitive actions one can undertake; i.e., imagining a handshake after a successful presentation or selftalk, to name just two examples. Despite the categorization, all self-leadership strategies pursue the same goal: to enhance the motivation and improve the performance of employees (Manz, 1986).

Uhl-Bien and Graen (1998) were among the first to test influences of selfmanagement in the public sector. The researchers discovered self-management to be positively related to employee job satisfaction. Using a sample of 151 students Prussia et al. (1998) confirmed self-leadership to predict perceptions of selfefficacy which in turn led to improved individual performance. Team selfleadership was found to be a predictor of team performance for teams occupied with conceptual tasks, in an investigation by Stewart and Barrick (2000). Furthermore, individuals lacking self-leadership are more suspicious of the world and express fear (Dolbier et al. 2001). The researchers related self-leadership to perceived well-being and discovered negative associations with perceived stress and illness. In general, empirical outcomes of the study confirm the positive relationship be?tween self-leadership and a more satisfying and effective work environment. Study outcomes by Politis (2006) show evidence that certain aspects of self-leadership are indeed related to team member satisfaction. Self-observation, self-goal setting, selfpunishment, and self-reward all positively predicted intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction. Those in turn were positively related to non-financial and overall team performance. Furthermore, self-leadership is expected to promote innovative behavior at the work place (Carmeli et al., 2006).

Using an excerpt from the SLQ (Houghton & Neck, 2002), a study by Konradt et al. (2009) tested for the relationship between self-leadership and performance and retrieved empirical evidence for a positive association. A series of studies in the field of self-leadership was recently undertaken in the German-speaking region by authors Hauschildt and Konradt (2012a; 2012b). Research outcomes showed, among other things, that self-leadership positively predicted task and team member proficiency. Self-leadership also revealed positive effects on adaptivity and proactivity of followers on individual and team level.

Hypothesis 1.3:

Follower self-leadership strategies have a direct positive effect on follower performance.

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