Are leaders' well-being, behaviours and style associated with the affective well-being of their employees? A systematic review of three decades of research

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This study is an overview of published empirical research on the impact of leaders and leadership styles on employee stress and affective well-being. A computerized search and systematic review of nearly 30 years of empirical research was conducted. Forty-nine papers fulfilled the inclusion criteria, which include the requirements for papers to report empirical studies and to be published during the period 1980 to 2009 in English-language peer-reviewed journals. The studies were mostly cross-sectional (43/49 papers) and examined the impact of leaders’ stress (4 papers), leaders’ behaviours (e.g. support, consideration and empowerment) (30 papers) and specific leadership styles (20 papers) on employees’ stress and affective well-being. Three research questions were addressed. The review found some support for leader stress and affective well-being being associated with employee stress and affective well-being. Leader behaviours, the relationship between leaders and their employees and specific leadership styles were all associated with employee stress and affective well-being. It is recommended that future studies include more qualitative data, use standardise questionnaires and examine the processes linking leaders with employee stress. This may lead to effective interventions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWork and Stress
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)107-139
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 2010

ID: 32473864