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The role of attachment and leader caregiving in followers' negative affective experiences

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

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Publication date7/06/2016
Host publicationResearch on Emotion in Organizations
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Pages35-67
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9781785609978
ISBN (Print)9781785609985
Original languageEnglish

Publication series

NameResearch on Emotion in Organizations
Volume12
ISSN (Print)1746-9791

Abstract

Purpose - To explore the roles of perceived leader caregiving, and followers' leader-specific attachment orientations, in followers' experiences of negative interactions and emotions. Methodology/approach - In a qualitative field study, individuals identified as secure and insecure (avoidant or anxious) on a pre-measure of leader-specific attachment, were interviewed regarding perceptions of leader caregiving and experiences of negative affective events in their current leadership dyad. Findings - Followers perceived and interpreted negative interpersonal events and emotions in ways that reflected underlying attachment concerns, and embedded perceptions, of leader caregiving quality. Research limitations/implications - The study was small-scale but provides rich relational information on which future researchers can build to further explore the development and impact of leader-follower attachment dynamics. Practical implications - Attachment-focused leadership development training may be useful in enhancing leader-follower relationship quality. Originality/value - This study is the first to demonstrate qualitatively the associations between followers' leader-specific attachment orientations, their perceptions of leader caregiving, and their experiences of negative affective events in the leader-follower dyad.