Identity leadership, Employee burnout and the mediating role of team identification: evidence from the Global Identity Leadership Development Project

Article


van Dick, R., Cordes, B. L., Lemoine, J. E., Steffens, N. K., Haslam, S. A., Akfirat, S. A., Ballada, C. J. A., Bazarov, T., Aruta, J. J. B. R., Avanzi, L., Bodla, A. A., Bunjak, A., Černe, M., Dumont, K. B., Edelmann, C. M., Epitropaki, O., Fransen, K., García-Ael, C., Giessner, S., Gleibs, I. H., Godlewska-Werner, D., González, R., Kark, R., Laguia Gonzalez, A., Lam, H., Lipponen, J., Lupina-Wegener, A., Markovits, Y., Maskor, M., Molero, F., Monzani, L., Moriano Leon, J. A., Neves, P., Orosz, G., Pandey, D., Retowski, S., Roland-Lévy, C., Samekin, A., Schuh, S., Sekiguchi, T., Song, L. J., Story, J., Stouten, J., Sultanova, L., Tatachari, S., Valdenegro, D., van Bunderen, L., Van Dijk, D., Wong, S.I., Youssef, F., Zhang, X.-a. and Kerschreiter, R. 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), p. 12081. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182212081
Authorsvan Dick, R., Cordes, B. L., Lemoine, J. E., Steffens, N. K., Haslam, S. A., Akfirat, S. A., Ballada, C. J. A., Bazarov, T., Aruta, J. J. B. R., Avanzi, L., Bodla, A. A., Bunjak, A., Černe, M., Dumont, K. B., Edelmann, C. M., Epitropaki, O., Fransen, K., García-Ael, C., Giessner, S., Gleibs, I. H., Godlewska-Werner, D., González, R., Kark, R., Laguia Gonzalez, A., Lam, H., Lipponen, J., Lupina-Wegener, A., Markovits, Y., Maskor, M., Molero, F., Monzani, L., Moriano Leon, J. A., Neves, P., Orosz, G., Pandey, D., Retowski, S., Roland-Lévy, C., Samekin, A., Schuh, S., Sekiguchi, T., Song, L. J., Story, J., Stouten, J., Sultanova, L., Tatachari, S., Valdenegro, D., van Bunderen, L., Van Dijk, D., Wong, S.I., Youssef, F., Zhang, X.-a. and Kerschreiter, R.
Abstract

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.

Keywordsburnout; exhaustion; identity leadership; team identification; cross-cultural study
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Journal citation18 (22), p. 12081
ISSN1660-4601
Year2021
PublisherMDPI
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Anyone
Supplemental file
File Access Level
Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182212081
Web address (URL)https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/18/22/12081
Publication dates
Online17 Nov 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted12 Nov 2021
Deposited07 Jan 2022
Copyright holderThe authors
Copyright information© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
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