Congruence between real and ideal leader. What matters more in today’s work world: ethical behavior of a leader or productivity?
This paper draws from follower centric perspective and implicit leadership theories to explore factors that predict higher congruence between real and ideal leader in followers’ view. It also examines the impact of sociodemographic and organizational characteristics to the prediction of perceived congruence. 267 Lithuanian employees from private and public organizations participated in internet-based survey. Followers filled up a questionnaire about their direct middle supervisors: they rated fit between ideal and real leader, leader’s ethical behaviour and productivity of work unit. Results indicate that both ethical behaviour of a leader and productivity are important predictors of employees’ perceived congruence between real and ideal leader. However, ethical behaviour has significantly higher standardized beta coefficients in comparison with productivity in public sector organizations. Therefore, the context needs to be considered when making leaders’ selection and promotion decisions based on follower preferences. Important insights for leadership research are also discussed in the paper.
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