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Defining Respectful Leadership: What It Is, How It Can Be Measured, and Another Glimpse at What It Is Related to

Abstract

Research on work values shows that respectful leadership is highly desired by employees. On the applied side, however, the extant research does not offer many insights as to which concrete leadership behaviors are perceived by employees as indications of respectful leadership. Thus, to offer such insights, we collected and content analyzed employees’ narrations of encounters with respectful leadership (N 1 = 426). The coding process resulted in 19 categories of respectful leadership spanning 149 leadership behaviors. Furthermore, to also harness this comprehensive repertoire for quantitative organizational research, we undertook two more studies (N 2a = 228; N 2b = 412) to empirically derive a feasible item-based measurement of respectful leadership and assess its psychometric qualities. In these studies, we additionally investigated the relationships between respectful leadership as assessed with this new measurement and employees’ vertical and contextual followership as assessed via subordinates’ identification with their leaders, their appraisal respect for their leaders, their feeling of self-determination, and their job satisfaction.

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van Quaquebeke, N., Eckloff, T. Defining Respectful Leadership: What It Is, How It Can Be Measured, and Another Glimpse at What It Is Related to. J Bus Ethics 91, 343–358 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-009-0087-z

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Keywords

  • interpersonal respect
  • followership
  • leadership
  • self-determination
  • work values