How feedback about leadership potential impacts ambition, organizational commitment, and performance

Niklas K. Steffens*, Miguel A. Fonseca, Michelle K. Ryan, Floor A. Rink, Janka I. Stoker, Anne Nederveen Pieterse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the present research we report results from two experimental studies that examine how feedback about leadership potential impacts leadership ambition, organizational commitment, and performance. Study 1 used an experimental vignette methodology that controls for prior performance. Results show that individuals who receive feedback that they have low potential to be a future leader have lower ambition and organizational commitment relative to those who receive feedback that they have high potential to be a future leader. Study 2 provides evidence of the causal behavioral effects of feedback about leadership potential using a real task effort environment. Results show that participants informed to be unlikely future leaders display lower performance in a subsequent task than participants informed to be likely future leaders. The findings from the two studies demonstrate that information about leadership potential affects subsequent ambition to become leaders as well as performance. We discuss the implications of these findings for the importance of followership, talent management, and leadership succession.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-647
Number of pages11
JournalThe Leadership Quarterly
Volume29
Issue number6
Early online date28-Jun-2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2018

Keywords

  • Leadership
  • Followership
  • Leadership succession
  • Ambition
  • Leadership potential
  • TALENT MANAGEMENT
  • IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION
  • EMPLOYEE REACTIONS
  • STRATEGIC CHANGE
  • CEO SUCCESSION
  • APPRAISAL
  • WORK
  • FOLLOWERSHIP
  • CONSEQUENCES
  • JUSTICE

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