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Identity leadership, employee burnout, and the mediating role of team identification: evidence from the global identity leadership development project

van Dick, Rolf, Cordes, Berrit L., Lemoine, Jérémy E., Steffens, Niklas K., Haslam, S. Alexander, Akfirat, Serap Arslan, Ballada, Christine Joy A., Bazarov, Tahir, Jamir Benzon R. Aruta, John, Avanzi, Lorenzo, Bodla, Ali Ahmad, Bunjak, Aldijana, Černe, Matej, Dumont, Kitty, Edelmann, Charlotte M., Epitropaki, Olga, Fransen, Katrien, García-Ael, Cristina, Giessner, Steffen R., Gleibs, Ilka H. ORCID: 0000-0002-9913-250X, Godlewska-Werner, Dorota, González, Roberto, Kark, Ronit, Laguia Gonzalez, Ana, Lam, Hodar, Lipponen, Jukka, Lupina-Wegener, Anna, Markovits, Yannis, Maskor, Mazlan, Molero Alonso, Fernando Jorge, Monzani, Lucas, Moriano Leon, Juan Antonia, Neves, Pedro, Orosz, Gábor, Pandey, Diwakar, Retowski, Sylwiusz, Roland-Lévy, Christine, Samekin, Adil, Schuh, Sebastian, Sekiguchi, Tomoki, Jiwen Song, Lynda, Story, Joana, Stouten, Jeroen, Sultanova, Lilia, Tatachari, Srinivasan, Valdenegro, Daniel, van Bunderen, Lisanne, Van Dijk, Dina, Wong, Sut I, Youssef, Farida, Zhang, Xin-an and Kerschreiter, Rudolf (2021) Identity leadership, employee burnout, and the mediating role of team identification: evidence from the global identity leadership development project. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (22). ISSN 1661-7827

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Identification Number: 10.3390/ijerph182212081


Do leaders who build a sense of shared social identity in their teams thereby protect them from the adverse effects of workplace stress? This is a question that the present paper explores by testing the hypothesis that identity leadership contributes to stronger team identification among employees and, through this, is associated with reduced burnout. We tested this model with unique datasets from the Global Identity Leadership Development (GILD) project with participants from all inhabited continents. We compared two datasets from 2016/2017 (N = 5290; 20 countries) and 2020/2021 (N = 7294; 28 countries) and found very similar levels of identity leadership, team identification and burnout across the five years. An inspection of the 2020/2021 data at the onset of and later in the COVID-19 pandemic showed stable identity leadership levels and slightly higher levels of both burnout and team identification. Supporting our hypotheses, we found almost identical indirect effects (2016/2017, b = −0.132; 2020/2021, b = −0.133) across the five-year span in both datasets. Using a subset of N = 111 German participants surveyed over two waves, we found the indirect effect confirmed over time with identity leadership (at T1) predicting team identification and, in turn, burnout, three months later. Finally, we explored whether there could be a “too-much-of-a-good-thing” effect for identity leadership. Speaking against this, we found a u-shaped quadratic effect whereby ratings of identity leadership at the upper end of the distribution were related to even stronger team identification and a stronger indirect effect on reduced burnout.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2021 14:48
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2024 06:39

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