Date of Completion
leadership, advice-taking, decision-making, mixed-method
Field of Study
Doctor of Philosophy
Leaders in today's rapidly changing organizations make many complex and critical decisions. Despite robust findings in the advice literature which suggests that incorporating advice into the decision-making process is highly beneficial, people, particularly those with authority and influence (e.g., leaders) fail to take advice, even from experts. Leaders are hesitant to take advice because they assume that doing so would make them appear weak or less competent to others in the workplace. However, the impact or consequences of leader advice-taking (e.g., performance and social perceptions) have not been widely examined to support those assumptions. In this dissertation, I propose a theoretical model that integrates the advice-taking and leadership literatures to investigate how leader advice-taking behavior influence subordinate evaluations and outcomes to better understand when and why advice-taking may be particularly (dis)advantageous for leaders. Competing theoretical frameworks from employee voice and help literatures suggest that leader advice-taking can result in either favorable or unfavorable perceptions. I reconcile the competing perspectives by drawing on social judgment theory to propose that leader advice-taking can result in both positive and negative perceptions, but in separate dimensions (i.e., interpersonal and job competence). Results from field and lab studies demonstrate a pattern of results showing that subordinates perceive leaders who frequently take advice as interpersonally warmer, and contrary to what was hypothesized, more competent on the job. Additionally, those perceptions also positively impacted the subordinates' work well-being outcomes. The findings from this dissertation suggest that, unlike leaders who rarely take advice, leaders who take advice more often can expect more positive evaluations from subordinates as well as positive impact on their subordinates' work experiences.
Zhu, Xiaoyuan (Susan), "Understanding the Social and Job Performance Consequences of Leader Advice-Taking: A Theoretical Model and Empirical Test" (2018). Doctoral Dissertations. 1950.
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