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Title: Leader reactions to follower proactive behaviours - not on my turf! : the role of leader identity threat
Author: Bagash, Asma
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 7148
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis presents three studies which explore leader identity threat as a cause for leaders’ negative reactions to followers’ proactive behaviours. Proactive behaviours can be considered as signs of emerging leadership (Morrison & Phelps, 1999), and leaders may construe such behaviours as a claim to their leader identity (DeRue & Ashford, 2010). As a result, leaders experience leader identity threat. This thesis argues that in order to restore their leader identity (Elsbach & Kramer, 1996; Kramer, 2010), leaders negatively evaluate their followers. By contrasting follower proactive behaviours with proficient behaviours in its experiments, this thesis investigates followers’ proactive behaviours as triggers of leader identity threat. In addition, the role of followers’ gender in accentuating leader identity threat is probed (Study 1). Study 2 broadens the scope of research from Study 1 to include the investigation of leader identity threat as a discrepancy between leaders’ ideal and actual leader identities. Increases in leaders’ agitation and dejection due to follower proactive behaviours suggest discrepancy between leaders’ actual and ideal leader identities. This study explores leaders’ attributions regarding follower proactive behaviours as being due to the personal characteristics of the followers, and explores the role of leaders’ self-esteem as a moderator of leader identity threat. Study 3 further expands the scope of the thesis by focusing on change in leaders of positive and negative affect as manifestations of leader identity discrepancy triggered by follower behaviours. This study investigates changes in leaders’ implicit leadership theories due to follower proactive behaviours. This study also explores the role of leaders’ core self-evaluation as a moderator of leader identity threat and the role of leaders’ implicit power and affiliation motives as moderators of leaders’ reactions towards their followers. This thesis extends the leadership literature by focusing on the outcomes of followers’ behaviour on leaders and contributes towards the understanding of leaders’ cognitions about their followers’ engagement in proactive behaviours and their reactions towards their followers. This thesis contributes to the proactivity literature by highlighting the negative outcomes of proactive behaviours.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; HD Industries. Land use. Labor