This study proposes a process model of the antecedents of both constructive and destructive leadership. As task difficulty increases, a leader's limited attentional resource capacity may become overwhelmed by the experience of high levels of negative emotions, resulting in self-regulation impairment and destructive leadership. When task difficulty is low, or when negative emotions do not overwhelm attentional resource capacity, then self-regulation is effective, giving rise to constructive leadership. We test our model with 161 leaders in the field and find good support for our model in the prediction of transformational leadership and abusive supervision as specific examples of constructive and destructive leadership.
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