The role of attachment and leader caregiving in followers' negative affective experiences

Annilee Game, Michael A. West, Geoff Thomas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose:
To explore the roles of perceived leader caregiving, and followers’ leader-specific attachment orientations, in followers’ experiences of negative interactions and emotions.

Methodology/approach:
In a qualitative field study, individuals identified as secure and insecure (avoidant or anxious) on a pre-measure of leader-specific attachment, were interviewed regarding perceptions of leader caregiving and experiences of negative affective events in their current leadership dyad.

Findings:
Followers perceived and interpreted negative interpersonal events and emotions in ways that reflected underlying attachment concerns, and embedded perceptions, of leader caregiving quality.

Research limitations/implications:
The study was small-scale but provides rich relational information on which future researchers can build to further explore the development and impact of leader-follower attachment dynamics.

Practical implications:
Attachment-focused leadership development training may be useful in enhancing leader-follower relationship quality.

Originality/value:
This study is the first to demonstrate qualitatively the associations between followers’ leader-specific attachment orientations, their perceptions of leader caregiving, and their experiences of negative affective events in the leader-follower dyad.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmotions and Organizational Governance
EditorsNeal M. Ashkanasy, Charmine E. J. Hartel, Wilfred J. Zerbe
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited
Pages35-67
Volume12
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78560-997-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-78560-998-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameResearch on Emotion in Organizations

Keywords

  • Negative emotions
  • affective events
  • leadership
  • attachment theory
  • caregiving
  • qualitative

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