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Prof. dr. Vincent Giolito (ULB-SBSEM) - Happy people in successful organizations: insights from "positive" leadership theories

Tuesday, 8 December, 2015 - 12:15 to Tuesday, 8 December, 2015 - 13:45
ULB - Solvay Building - 42 Av. Roosevelt - B-1050 Brussels

Over the past 15 years a profusion of so-called positive leadership theories emerged with a common preoccupation for the good of people, stakeholders and the society, above and beyond the mere economic or efficiency goals of the organization. Prominent constructs include authentic leadership, servant leadership, ethical leadership, and responsible leadership.  Not only those constructs were theoretically  delineated from prior theories, but also empirical research showed them positively associated with several indicators of individual-, group-, and organization-level performance even controlling for more established constructs such as transformational leadership and leader-member exchange. 

This presentation builds on two lines of research. First, I expose an empirical work on the links between servant and authentic leadership on the one hand, and objectively measured performance and employee holistic wellbeing on the other hand (servant leadership is highlighted in the paper). Second, based on a synthesis of the positive leadership constructs, I articulate a theoretical framework based on attributes employees form of their leaders. I argue that existing theories converge toward three attributes - leader self-awareness, ethical sense, and integrity. I suggest that those attributes may crystallize the decades-old proposition by McGregor (1960; 1966) that managers may attain organizational performance by relying on employees' striving for self-development.