Stay Humble and Fly High: The Roles of Subordinate Voice and Competitive Work Context in the Linkage Between Leader Humility and Career Success

Danni Wang, Amy Yi Ou, Lynda Jiwen Song

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the relationship between leaders’ humility and their career success. We propose that humble leaders are more likely to occupy central positions in their subordinate teams’ voice networks where they improve their own performance and gain favorable reward recommendations. We also argue that in seemingly disadvantageous competitive work contexts, humble leaders become more central in the team voice network and increase their career prospects. We found support for these hypotheses in a multisource field study of 116 supervisors, 461 subordinates, and 34 shop managers from a Chinese company and in a vignette-based experiment with 233 working adults. Theoretical and practical implications for career success, leader humility, and voice literature are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-166
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Leadership and Organizational Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • career success
  • competitive work context
  • leader humility
  • social network
  • voice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research

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