Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology

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Volume 92 Issue 1 (March 2019), Pages i-iv, 1-224

Feeling safe? A conservation of resources perspective examining the interactive effect of leader competence and leader self‐serving behaviour on team performance (pages 52-73)

In this study, we explored the interplay of leader competence and leader self‐serving behaviour on followers’ perceptions of psychological safety and its downstream implication on team performance. Using a time‐lagged study of 166 leaders and 514 followers from six firms in central China, we found that leader self‐serving behaviour was an important contingent factor for how subordinates perceive their leader. Specifically, when competent leaders were perceived as being non‐self‐serving, team psychological safety as well as team performance were enhanced. In contrast, such positive influences were non‐existent when leaders were seen as self‐serving. Practical implications and important insights to future research were also discussed. Practitioner points Organizations are encouraged to establish and adopt adequate training and development programmes to ensure that employees are constantly provided with resources to enhance their competencies. Organizations should foster a culture of ethical behaviour and institute systematic monitoring to ensure that employees act in the best interest of the organization and not at the expense of the larger collective.

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