Purpose: In line with EAWOP 2015’s theme, effective leadership, the aim of this study was to investigate how (military) leaders can contribute to their subordinates’ adaptability. As the world is constantly changing, employees need to adapt to new and changing work situations. Adapability is especially crucial for soldiers because military units go on peacekeeping, humanitarian or other kinds of military operations, which include dealing with threats and working under ambiguous conditions. Unit leaders might impact their solders’ adaptability in different ways: through inspirational leadership, leader adaptability (modeling) and stimulating behaviors aimed at enhancing soldiers’ adaptability.Design/Methodology: Data were collected among 178 soldiers and their unit leaders, and analyzed using structural equation modeling. Results: Inspirational unit leaders appeared to be more adaptive themselves and showed more behavior aimed at stimulating their unit members’ adaptability. Moreover, leader adaptability and stimulating behaviors were positively related to unit member adaptability (measured as cognitive, affective and behavioral adaptability). Limitations: Self-reports; cross-sectional design; positive self-presentation owing to military context. Implications: Leadership appears crucial for subordinate’ adaptability. This effect might be especially strong because of the tight team structure (small, intensive units) used in the military. Leaders might be trained in showing the appropriate behaviors.Originality/Value: Soldiers’ adaptability is crucial for completing a mission successfully. This study contributes to theory and practice by quantitatively assessing the importance of leadership for soldiers’ adaptability, and by taking different aspects of leadership (style, modeling, leader behaviors) into consideration.
|Publication status||Published - 22 May 2015|
|Event||17th congress of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology : Respectful and effective leadership: Managing people and organizations in turbulent times - Oslo Kongressenter & Clarion Hotel Royal Christiania, Oslo, Norway|
Duration: 20 May 2015 → 23 May 2015
|Conference||17th congress of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology|
|Abbreviated title||EAWOP 2015|
|Period||20/05/15 → 23/05/15|