When do leaders sacrifice?: The effects of sense of power and belongingness on leader self-sacrifice

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When do leaders sacrifice?: The effects of sense of power and belongingness on leader self-sacrifice
The Leadership Quarterly

Past research on leader self-sacrifice has focused entirely on the effects of this leader behavior on followers and its implications for organizations. The present research focused on antecedents of leader self-sacrifice. We argued that self-sacrifice is positively influenced by leaders' sense of belongingness to the group they supervise. Furthermore leaders' subjectively sensed power can serve as a moderator of this effect. We expected this because a high sense of power is known to facilitate goal pursuit. Given that organizational goals often prescribe serving the interests of the organization leaders' sense of belongingness should promote selfsacrifice particularly among leaders low in subjective power; leaders high in subjective power should display self-sacrifice regardless of their sense of belongingness. Two field studies supported these predictions. A final experiment supported a critical assumption underlying our argument in showing that the sense of power×sense of belongingness interaction is restricted to situations that prescribe cooperative goals. When situations prescribe competitive goals this interaction was absent.

Citation: 
The Leadership Quarterly Volume 23, Issue 5, October 2012, Pages 883–896

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