When Leaders Self-Sacrifice in Times of Crisis: The Roles of Employee Emotional Suppression and Leader Coping Strategies

Xingyu Wang, Xueqi Wen, Zihan Liu, Yixing Lisa Gao, Juan M. Madera

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

While literature articulates the relevance of self-sacrificial leadership to crisis situations, little attention has been paid to employees’ attitudinal and behavioral responses to self-sacrificial leadership. This is a particularly salient gap in the scholarship, given the decisions leaders must make to address challenges in the hospitality industry (e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic). Drawing on conservation of resources theory, this pair of field and experimental studies examines how individual differences in employee emotional suppression and leader coping strategy moderate the impacts of self-sacrificial leadership on employee perceptions of leader effectiveness. By sampling U.S. hospitality employees, the studies reveal that leaders who display self-sacrificial behaviors received more favorable ratings on leader effectiveness than others, an effect that is contingent on followers’ emotional suppression and leaders’ coping strategies. The perception of increased leader effectiveness in turn weakened employees’ intentions to engage in negative word-of-mouth toward their organizations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCornell Hospitality Quarterly
Early online date7 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • conservation of resources theory
  • coping
  • emotional suppression
  • leader effectiveness
  • self-sacrificial leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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