When Leadership leads to Loathing: The Effect of Culturally (In)Congruent Leadership on Employee Contempt and Voluntary Work Behaviors
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionThe Journal of Values Based Leadership. 2017, 10 (2), . 10.22543/0733.102.1191
This article suggests that contempt ― a proclivity towards loathing others ― as an emotional response, can arise as a consequence of culturally incongruent leadership, i.e. leader behaviors and actions that do not comply with follower-held, culturally derived expectations and values. Outcomes of contempt were also studied by hypothesizing that contempt, when experienced in response to a situation of culturally incongruent leadership, can cause followers to reduce their display of organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) while engaging in deviant behaviors. The model was tested in a sample of 348 follower-level employees using structural equation modeling. Empirical results largely support theoretical hypotheses. Culturally congruent leadership was negatively related to contempt, while contempt was positively related to deviant behaviors and negatively related to OCB. The results contribute to the understudied field of contempt research, and suggest that leaders faced with cultural diversity may be well advised to adapt their behaviors to the local cultural values to stimulate follower OCB rather than deviance.