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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01903

Does Differentiated Leadership Threaten Who I Am? Introducing a Self-Verification Perspective to Explain the Curvilinear Effect of Differentiated Empowering Leadership

 Shaolong Li1,  Shudi Liao2*,  Fang Sun1 and Zhiwen Guo2
  • 1Wuhan University, China
  • 2Hubei University, China

Based on the self-verification theory, this research proposed a multi-level model for exploring whether, how, and when differentiated leadership had curvilinear effects on relationship conflict within a team and further on team members’ counterproductive work behaviors toward individuals (CWBI). Drawing on a sample of 297 team members nested in 78 teams, we found that differentiated empowering leadership had no direct curvilinear effects on relationship conflict. However, the results showed that the team competence variance could moderate the curvilinear relationship between differentiated empowering leadership and relationship conflict. Specifically, only in teams with high competence variance among members, differentiated empowering leadership had a U-shaped effect on relationship conflict. Moreover, differentiated empowering leadership interacted with team competence variance had a downstream effect on team members’ CWBI through relationship conflict. We ended up by discussing the theoretical and practical implications of these findings.

Keywords: Differentiated leadership, Empowering leadership, Relationship conflict, Counterproductive work behaviors toward individuals, self-verification theory

Received: 23 Apr 2019; Accepted: 02 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Li, Liao, Sun and Guo. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Shudi Liao, Hubei University, Wuhan, China, shudiliao@hotmail.com