How do Followers see Their Leaders and Does it Matter?: Insights From a Person-Centered Analysis
In response to calls for theory integration and more in-depth analysis of destructive forms of leadership, pattern-centered analyses have emerged that suggest optimal and sub-optimal profiles. We broaden the range of leadership behaviors traditionally included in this type of analysis by including abusive supervision. We use a pattern-oriented approach to validate theoretically meaningful profiles based on the full-range model of leadership and abusive supervision using a sample of full-time employee’s perceptions of their managers. Three theoretically meaningful leadership profiles were established: optimal, passive-dominant and abusive passive dominant (Study 1). Furthermore, we used conservation of resources theory to examine how followers’ personal (i.e., physical health and psychological well-being) and work-related (i.e., burnout and affective organizational commitment) outcomes were associated with each profile on a separate sample (Study 2). As expected, optimal leadership profiles were significantly related to positive personal and work-related outcomes for employees; however, passive-dominant and passive-abusive dominant profiles were both significantly related to negative employee outcomes. Interestingly, the passive-abusive dominant profiles did not have significantly worse outcomes than the passive-dominant profile. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.