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When leader self-care begets other care: Leader role self-compassion and helping at work.

Authors
  • Lanaj, Klodiana1
  • Jennings, Remy E1
  • Ashford, Susan J2
  • Krishnan, Satish3
  • 1 Department of Management.
  • 2 Stephen M. Ross School of Business.
  • 3 Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode. , (India)
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of applied psychology
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2022
Volume
107
Issue
9
Pages
1543–1560
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1037/apl0000957
PMID: 34647780
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Integrating research on self-compassion with leader identity theory, we propose that leader role self-compassion-a mindset in which a leader takes a supportive, kind, and nonjudgmental stance toward himself or herself in relation to challenges faced in a leader role-matters for subsequent leader behaviors and stakeholder perceptions by strengthening leader identity. To test these theoretical ideas, we developed and tested a leader role self-compassion intervention in two field experiments. In the first field experiment, we show that on days when leaders engage in leader role self-compassion, they help others more with both task-related and personal problems because they identify more strongly with their leader role. Consequently, on such days, stakeholders perceive these leaders as more competent and civil. In exploratory analyses, we also find that these effects are stronger for leaders with lower (vs. higher) structural power, suggesting that novice leaders may benefit more from leader role self-compassion. In the second field experiment, we conceptually replicate the effect of the leader role self-compassion intervention on leader identity and establish the distinctiveness of this intervention from other types of interventions. We discuss implications for theory and research. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

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