Date of Award

Winter 12-18-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Managerial Sciences

Abstract

The work environment presents employees with many opportunities for meaningful experiences associated with personal and professional growth. When these opportunities match what employees need, they have favorable attitudes toward the job and the organization. My dissertation addresses questions related to work design, employees’ experiences of leadership and leaders’ attitudes towards their own leadership behaviors through the lens of Person-Environment (P-E) Fit theory.

In the first part of my dissertation, I revisited the Job Characteristics Model (JCM) which predicted positive attitudes and behavior when jobs were designed to increase five key job characteristics (variety; autonomy; feedback, identity, and significance). I re-conceptualized GNS as variation in employees’ needs for the five job characteristics by applying the person-environment fit (P-E) framework to the JCM

The second part of my dissertation suggested that visionary leadership might also engender negative effects because it required employees’ exceptional and relentless persistence and effort. I examined the joint effect of the visionary leadership employees’ receive and the amount of visionary leadership employees’ need on their work attitudes. Core self-evaluation (CSE) was predicted to moderate the relationship between visionary leadership needed and received on work attitudes.

The final part of my dissertation examined the effects of leadership on the leaders themselves. I proposed that leadership roles might also be harmful for leaders because the increased responsibility for subordinates and their performance requires them to enact leadership behaviors that deviate from what is comfortable, increasing their work overload and strain.

Results showed that as supplies deviated from needs for both deficiency and excess, employees’ outcomes (attitudes, well-being) decreased; when the needed amounts of job-related opportunities s were matched with the supplied amounts, outcomes were most positive. Moreover when needs and supplies were both high vs. when both were low, outcomes were more positive.

My dissertation demonstrated that desirable behaviors and experience can have negative effects on both employees and leaders when individual variations in employees’ and leaders’ needs are not considered. My findings suggest ways in which common advice to leaders is associated with unfavorable outcomes for employees, leaders, and their organizations.

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