Title: Cascading Leadership
Other Titles: Cascading Leadership
Authors: Jeuken, Aemilius Stefanus; R0435317
Issue Date: 29-Nov-2016
Abstract: Cascading Leadership Summary
Cascading leadership is defined as the co-occurrence of leaders’ values, attitudes and behaviors, at different hierarchal levels within an organization. The aim of this doctoral thesis is to get a better understanding of cascading leadership as well as the mechanisms underlying the phenomenon, with special focus on perceived power. We conducted three studies, using three different research methods: a systematic literature review, a field survey study, and an experimental study.
Chapter 1 introduces cascading leadership research, exploring both societal and academic relevance, as well as the aims of our study and overview of the PhD.
Chapter 2 presents our first study. As there has not been published a systematic review on the subject before, we conducted such a literature review, resulting in a selection of 18 papers, with 19 empirical studies. These studies cover a wide array of cascading constructs and theoretical perspectives. However, all studies are cross sectional, typically survey studies. Positional power and sense of power appear to play an important role, however have hardly been studied.
Chapter 3 describes our second study, in which we investigate whether trust in leadership cascades across three hierarchical levels of leadership and whether it is directly and indirectly related to work engagement of the front-line employee. Only one other cascading leadership study to date included four hierarchical levels. A total of 1,656 Dutch military peacekeepers participated. The results demonstrate cascading of trust in leadership across three levels of leadership as well as several direct and indirect relations between trust in leadership at different hierarchical levels and front-line work engagement.
Chapter 4 presents an experimental study, testing the impact of sense of power on external or internal motivation. The results demonstrate a three-way interaction, indicating that people with a high sense of power behave more according to their own predispositions, while the behavior of people with a low sense of power is driven more by their environment. Sense of power therefore offers a theoretical frame for understanding the mechanism of cascading leadership.
Chapter 5 contains a general discussion, including theoretical and practical implications of the studies.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: TH
Appears in Collections:Work, Organisational and Personnel Psychology

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