Author ORCID Identifier


Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)



First Advisor

Dr. Todd Maurer

Second Advisor

Dr. Denish Shah

Third Advisor

Dr. Likoebe Maruping


Personality and burnout are highly complex constructs that researchers continue to refine and understand through iterative testing. The present study responds to calls for more research on possible moderators of the personality-to-burnout relationship by investigating the interacting effect of a leader's adopted leadership style, thus, answering the question: Does the adopted leadership style moderate the relationship between a leader's personality and emotional exhaustion? Many leaders adapt their leadership behaviors based on their organization's needs without understanding how this might impact their emotional or physical well-being. Frequently, the leadership style needed for an organization or team extends outside the leader's regular comfort zone (as suggested by their underlying personality), which forces the leader to deplete additional resources to activate it. Founding the theoretical basis for the study, the conservation of resources theory helps posit the effect of an adopted leadership style on the relationship between a leader's personality and leader burnout.

Furthermore, it is common for researchers to overlook the impact of the weight of leadership on leaders themselves since researchers tend to prioritize the influence that a leader exerts over their followers. However, since the loss of a leader can have catastrophic impacts on an organization, the present study sheds light on the potential forces that can cause leaders to experience increased levels of emotional exhaustion. In particular, the study hypothesizes the moderating effect of different leadership styles (e.g., the full range leadership model) on the relationship between the personality dimensions of the leader (e.g., openness and neuroticism) and the primary component of burnout (i.e., emotional exhaustion). Using hierarchical multiple regression analysis and structural equation modeling, results from an on-line survey of 412 leaders support the governing hypothesis that leadership style moderates the relationship between personality and emotional exhaustion. Nonetheless, additional research is necessary to substantiate the validity of specific individual path interactions due to the intricate associations between the constructs. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are also examined.


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