To Flatter or To Assert? Gendered Reactions to Machiavellian Leaders

Alessandra Capezio, Lu Wang, Simon Lloyd D Restubog, Patrick R.J.M. Garcia, Vinh N. Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Integrating power dependence and gender role theories, we investigate the interactive effects of followers’ gender and leaders’ Machiavellian orientation in predicting followers’ usage of upward influence tactics. Using a sample of 156 matched leader–follower dyads, we found that followers’ gender moderated the relationship between Time 1 leaders’ Machiavellian orientation and followers’ use of upward influence tactics at Time 2 (6 months later). Specifically, the relationship between Time 1 leaders’ Machiavellianism and Time 2 followers’ ingratiation (a soft influence tactic) was significant and positive for women followers and non-significant for men followers, while the relationship between Time 1 leaders’ Machiavellianism and Time 2 followers’ assertiveness (a hard influence tactic) was significant and positive for men followers but non-significant for women followers. These results suggest that gender plays an important role in how followers react to Machiavellian leaders. The social and ethical implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Volume141
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Assertiveness
  • Gender
  • Ingratiation
  • Machiavellian leaders
  • Machiavellian personality
  • Social influence tactics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Law

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