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PublicationHELP WHEN LEADERS NEED SOMEBODY? POSITIVE FOLLOWER BEHAVIORAL REACTIONS TO LEADER WORK-FAMILY CONFLICT( 2023-05)
; ;Braun, Susanne ;Hoobler, JennyPeus, ClaudiaPerceptions of others’ work-family conflict (WFC) have typically been studied as a top-down phenomenon grounded in gender role theory; this work generally reveals negative career consequences for followers ascribed higher WFC—particularly women. However, we know less about how those lower in organizational hierarchies (e.g., followers) notice and behave in response to leaders’ WFC, and if these reactions differ for male and female leaders. Integrating prosocial motivation theory, we propose that followers perceive leaders’ WFC and respond to it positively because they want to help these leaders. We argue that this effect is especially pronounced for male leaders, because higher WFC positively violates gendered stereotypes surrounding care and communality. Results from a multi-source field study of leaders and followers (144 matched dyads from 144 followers and 268 leaders; total N = 412) showed initial support for our model, which we then causally replicated and extended via an experimental recall study (N = 468) and a behavioral vignette experiment (N = 420). This research marks a theoretical integration between WFC and prosocial motivation, highlighting a new behavioral bonus wherein leaders’ ostensibly negative state—WFC—elicits arguably unintentional positive behavioral effects in the form of more interpersonal helping from their followers. This research fits well with the conference theme by integrating a darker side of leadership and examining how it (arguably unintentionally) stimulates positive follower behaviors, thereby exposing a critical leader-follower dynamic between leaders at the work-family interface.
PublicationWe Can’t Fight Climate Change Without Fighting for Gender EquityGender equity and environmental sustainability may seem like unrelated issues, but research shows that they are in fact closely intertwined. Women and other underserved groups are disproportionately impacted by the global climate crisis, but they are also uniquely positioned to lead the fight for sustainability. In this piece, the authors offer six strategies to help business and political leaders empower women and address environmental challenges through an intersectional approach to sustainability. Ultimately, they argue that to tackle climate change (as well as the myriad other sustainability challenges that face today’s organizations), leaders must acknowledge the complexity and interconnectedness of these issues — and work to develop integrated solutions that will improve them all.Type: newspaper articleJournal: Harvard Business Review