Experimentally Analyzing the Impact of Leader Positivity on Follower Positivity and Performance

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Department or Administrative Unit


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This field experimental study examined the role that positive leadership plays in producing effective leader and follower outcomes. Specifically, a sample of engineers (N =106) from a very large aerospace firm were randomly assigned to four experimental conditions. Two conditions involved assigning these engineers to a low and high problem complexity condition. The other two conditions represented high versus low conveyed leader positivity. The results indicated a positive relationship between the leaders'' positivity and the followers'' positivity and performance as well as a negative relationship between problem complexity and follower positivity. The study limitations, needed future research, and practical implications of these findings conclude the article.


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The Leadership Quarterly