Two roads to effectiveness: CEO feedback seeking, vision articulation, and firm performance

Susan J. Ashford, Edward Wellman, Mary Sully de Luque, Katleen E.M. De Stobbeleir, Melody Wollan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Humble leadership is attracting increased scholarly attention, but little is known about its effects when used in conjunction with less humble leadership behaviors that rely on a perception of the leader as confident and charismatic. This study contrasts the effects on top management team (TMT) potency and organizational performance of a more humble (feedback seeking) and a less humble (vision) CEO leader behavior. We hypothesize that CEO feedback seeking increases TMT potency and firm performance by communicating to TMT members that the organization values their input and encouraging their own feedback seeking, whereas CEO vision articulation influences these outcomes by fostering greater clarity about the firm's direction, and an enhanced ability to coordinate efforts within the TMT. CEOs who have not developed a vision can achieve a similar positive impact on TMT potency and firm performance by seeking feedback. In a sample of CEOs and TMT members from 65 firms, both CEO feedback seeking and vision articulation exhibit positive direct relationships with firm performance. However, only feedback seeking displays an indirect effect on performance via TMT potency. Finally, CEO feedback seeking has its strongest effects on firm performance and TMT potency for CEOs who are not seen as having a vision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-95
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

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Keywords

  • CEO
  • feedback seeking
  • humble leadership
  • vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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