The Experience Qualities Approach to Leadership and Employee Well-being
Keywords:Health, Working Environment & Wellbeing, Organization & Management
A phenomenological psychology approach in organizational studies has been somewhat overlooked, particularly in research on leadership and employee well-being. This study presents a new way of examining leadership and employee well-being. A novel experience qualities approach was utilized with the aim of revealing the authentic structure of human experiences, particularly experience qualities such as emotions, knowledge, and assumptions. This study investigated the role of leadership in creating employee well-being experiences in a professional organization. The data were collected from 23 in-depth interviews conducted with company leaders and employees in Finland and then analyzed using the phenomenological method. The results indicated affirmative similarities and differences (experience domains) in experience qualities of well-being between leaders and employees. By identifying different experience qualities of well-being, leaders can promote their own and employees’ well-being more precisely and effectively. Practical implications for leaders are discussed.
Argote, L. & Miron-Spektor, E. (2011). Organisational learning: from experience to knowledge, Organisational Science 22(5): 1123–1137. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1100.0621
Arnold, K. A. (2017). Transformational leadership and employee psychological well-being:
a review and directions for future research, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 22(3): 381–393. doi: https://doi.org/10.1037/ocp0000062
Arthur, W. B., Day, J., Jaworski, J., Jung, M., Nonaka, I., Scharmer, C. O., & Senge, P. M. (2004). Illuminating the blind spot: leadership in the context of emerging worlds, McKinsey-Society for Organisational Learning (SoL) Leadership Project (1999–2000).
Avey, J. B., Avolio, B. J., & Luthans, F. (2011). Experimentally analyzing the impact of leader positivity and performance, The Leadership Quarterly 22(2): 282–294. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2011.02.004
Avolio, B. J., Gardner, W. L., Walumbwa, F. O., Luthans, F., & May, D. R. (2004). Unlocking the mask: a look at the process by which authentic leaders impact follower attitudes and behaviors, The Leadership Quarterly 15(6): 801–823. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2004.09.003
Barsade, S. G. (2002). The ripple effect: emotional contagion and its influence on group behavior, Administrative Science Quarterly 47(4): 644–675. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3094912
Barsade, S. G. & Gibson, D. E. (2007). Why does affect matter in organisations? Academy of Management Perspectives 21(1): 36–59. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5465/AMP.2007.24286163
Bono, J. E. & Ilies, R. (2006). Charisma, positive emotions and mood contagion, The Leadership Quarterly 17(4): 317–334. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2006.04.008
Briner, R. B. & Kiefer, T. (2005). Research into the experience of emotion at work: definitely older, but are we any wiser? In N. M. Ashkanasy, C. Hartel, & W. Zerbe
(eds.), The Effect of Affect in Organizational Settings—Research on Emotion in Organizations, 289−315, Oxford: Elsevier/JAI Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1746-9791(05)01112-0
Carmeli, A., Reiter-Palvon, R., & Ziv, E. (2010). Inclusive leadership and employee involvement in creative tasks in the workplace: the mediating role of psychological safety, Creativity Research Journal 22(3): 250–260. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10400419.2010.504654
Choi, S. B., Tran, T. B. H., & Kang, S-W. (2017). Inclusive leadership and employee well-being: the mediating role of person-job fit, Journal of Happiness Studies 18: 1877–1901. doi: 10.1007/s10902-016-9801-6
Coates, P. & Coleman, S. (2015). Phenomenal Qualities: Sense, Perception and Consciousness, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2014). Toward a psychology of optimal experience. In M. Csikszentmihalyi (ed.), Flow and the Foundations of Positive Psychology, 209–226, Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9088-8_14
Dahlberg, K., Dahlberg, H., & Nyström, M. (2008). Reflective Lifeworld Research, Lund, Sweden: Studentlitteratur.
Degoey, P. (2000). Contagious justice: exploring the social construction of justice in organizations, Research in Organizational Behavior 22: 51–102. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0191-3085(00)22003-0
Dewar, J. A., Builder, C. H., Hix, W. M., & Levin, M. H. (1993). Assumption-based Planning. A Planning Tool for Very Uncertain Times, Santa Monica: Rand.
Diddams, M. & Chang, G. C. (2012). Only human: exploring the nature of weakness in authentic leadership, The Leadership Quarterly 23(3): 593–603. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2011.12.010
Donaldson-Feilder, E., Munir, F., & Lewis, R. (2013). Leadership and employee well-being. In H. S. Leonard, R. Lewis, A. M. Freedman, & J. Passmore (eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of the psychology of leadership, change, and organizational development, 155–173, Chichester, UK: John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.
Downey, L. A., Papageorgiou, V., & Stough, C. (2006). Examining the relationship between leadership, emotional intelligence and intuition in senior female managers, Leadership & Organization Development Journal 27(4): 250–264. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/01437730610666019
Epstude, K. & Mussweiler, T. (2009). What you feel is how you compare: how comparisons influence the social induction of affect, Emotion 9(1): 1–14. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0014148
Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy (2011). No. 621/2011 Mining Act
Issued in Helsinki 10 June 2011.
Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (2001). No. 1383/2001 Occupational Health Care Act. Issued in Helsinki on 21 December 2001.
Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions, American Psychologist 56(3): 218–226. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.56.3.218
Gallegos, P. V. (2014). The work of inclusive leadership. In B. M. Ferdman & B. R. Deane (eds.), Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion, 177–202, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/9781118764282.ch6
Gardner, W. L., Avolio, B. J., Luthans, F., May, D. R., & Walumbwa, F. (2005). “Can you see the real me?” A self-based model of authentic leader and follower development, The Leadership Quarterly 16(3): 343–372. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2005.03.003
Giorgi, A. (1997). The theory, practice and evolution of the phenomenological method as a qualitative research, Journal of Phenomenological Psychology 28: 235–260.
Glasø, L., Skogstad, A., Notelaers, G. & Einarsen, S. (2018). Leadership, affect and outcomes: symmetrical and asymmetrical relationships, Leadership & Organization
Development Journal 39(1): 51–65. doi: 10.1108/LODJ-08-2016-0194
Glasø, L., Notelaers, G. & Skogstad, A. (2011). The importance of followers’ emotions in effective leadership, Scandinavian Journal of Organizational Psychology 3(2): 17–31. doi: https://biopen.bi.no/bi-xmlui/handle/11250/93618
Haslam, S. A., Reicher, S. D., & Platow, M. J. (2010). The New Psychology of Leadership –Identity, Influence and Power, Brighton: Psychology Press.
Hatfield, E., Cacioppo, J. T., & Rapson, R. L. (1994). Emotional Contagion, Paris: Cambridge University Press.
Henriques, G. (2014). In search of collective experience and meaning: a transcendental phenomenological methodology for organizational research, Human Studies 37(4): 451–468. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10746-014-9332-2
Hooper, D. T. & Martin, R. (2008). Beyond personal leader-member exchange (LMX) quality: the effects of perceived LMX variability on employee reactions, The Leadership Quarterly 19(1): 20–30. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2007.12.00
Ilies, R., Morgeson, F. P., & Nahrgang, J. D. (2005). Authentic leadership and eudaemonic
well-being: understanding leader-follower outcomes, The Leadership Quarterly 16(3): 373–394. doi: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2005.03.002
Inceoglu, I., Thomas, G., Chu, C., & Plans, D. (2018). Leadership behavior and employee well-being: an integrated review and a future research agenda, The Leadership Quarterly 29(1): 179–202. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2017.12.006
Kalshoven, K. & Boon, C. T. (2012). Ethical leadership, employee well-being, and helping
the moderating role of human resource management, Journal of Personnel Psychology 11(1): 60–68. doi: 10.1027/1866-5888/a000056
Kelloway, E. K., Weigand, H., McKee, M. C., & Das, H. (2012a). Positive leadership and employee well-being, Journal of Leadership and Organisational Studies 20(1): 107–117. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1548051812465892
Kelloway, E. K., Turner, N., Barling, J., & Loughlin, C. (2012b). Transformational leadership and employee psychological well-being: the mediating role of employee trust in leadership, Work Stress 26(1): 39–55. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02678373.2012.660774
Kernis, M. H. (2003). Toward a conceptualization of optimal self-esteem, Psychological Inquiry 14(1): 1–26. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/S15327965PLI1401_01
Landridge, R. (2007). Phenomenological Psychology – Theory, Research and Method, Harlow: Pearson Education.
Liu, J., Siu, O.-L., & Shi, K. (2010). Transformational leadership and employee well-being: the mediating role of trust in the leader and self-efficacy, Applied Psychology 59(3): 454–479. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-0597.2009.00407.x
Loukzadeh, Z. & Bafrooi, N. M. (2013). Association of coping style and psychological well-being in hospital nurses, Journal of Caring Science, 2(4): 313–319. doi: 10.5681/jns.2013.037
Lyly-Yrjäläinen, M. (2019). Working Life Barometer 2018, Helsinki: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland.
Manz, C., Houghton, J. D., Neck, C. P., Fugate, M., & Pearce, C. (2016). Whistle while you work: toward a model of emotional self-leadership, Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 23(4): 374–386. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1548051816655993
Manz, C. & Neck, C. (2004). Mastering Self-Leadership: Empowering Yourself for Personal Excellence, Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice-Hall.
March, J. G. (2010). The Ambiguities of Experience, New York: Cornell University Press.
Maxwell, J. A. (2010). Using numbers in qualitative research, Qualitative Inquiry 16(6): 475–482. doi: 10.1177/1077800410364740
Muhonen, T., Jönsson, S., Denti, L., & Chen, K. (2013). Social climate as a mediator between leadership behavior and employee well-being in a cross-cultural perspective, Journal of Management Development 32(10): 1040–1055. doi: https://doi.org/10.1108/JMD-02-2012-0034
Mulligan, K. & Scherer, K. R. (2012). Toward a working definition of emotion, Emotion Review 4(4): 345–357. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1754073912445818
Nembhard, I. M. & Edmondson, A. C. (2006). Making it safe: the effects of leader inclusiveness and professional status on psychological safety and improvement efforts in health care teams, Journal of Organizational Behaviour 27(7): 941–966. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/job.413
Norlyk, A. & Harder, I. (2010). What makes a phenomenological study phenomenological? An analysis of peer-reviewed empirical nursing studies, Qualitative Health Research 20(3): 420–431. doi: 10.1177/1049732309357435
Obolensky, N. (2017). Complex Adaptive Leadership: Embracing Paradox and Uncertainty, London: Routledge. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315264929
Olson, T. (2000). Numbers, narratives, and nursing history, Social Science Journal 37(1): 137–144. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0362-3319(99)00060-9
Peng, J. & Wang X. (2016). I will perform effectively if you are with me: leader-follower congruence in followership prototype, job engagement and job performance, Acta Psychologica Sinica 48(9): 1151–1162. doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.01151
Perko, K. (2017). Leadership and Employee Well-Being. A Psychological Perspective
Based on Resource Theories, Tampere: Tampere University Press.
Rahimnia, F. & Sharifirad, M. S. (2015). Authentic leadership and employee well-being: the mediating role of attachment insecurity, Journal of Business Ethics 132(2): 363–377. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2318-1
Rauhala, L. (1995). Tajunnan Itsepuolustus [Self-Defense of Consciousness], Helsinki: Yliopistopaino.
Sanchez-Burks, J. & Huy, Q. N. (2009). Emotional aperture and strategic change: the accurate recognition of collective emotions, Organization Science 20(1): 22–34. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1070.0347
Sandelowski, M. (2001). Real qualitative researchers do not count: the use of numbers
in qualitative research, Research in Nursing & Health 24: 230–240. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/nur.1025
Skakon, J., Nielsen, K., & Guzman, J. (2010). Are leaders’ well-being, behaviours and style associated with the affective well-being of their employees? A systematic review of three decades of research, Work and Stress 24(2): 107–139. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02678373.2010.495262
Stanovich, K. E. & West, R. F. (2000). Individual differences in reasoning: implications for the rationality debate, Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23: 645–726. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X00003435
Stocker, D., Jacobshagen, N., Krings, R., & Pfister, I. B. (2014). Appreciative leadership and employee well-being in everyday working life, German Journal of Research in Human Resource Management 28(1–2): 73–95. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/239700221402800105
van Dierendonck, D., Haynes, C., Borrill, C., & Stride, C. (2004). Leadership behavior and subordinate well-being, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology 9(2): 165–175. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/1076-89126.96.36.199
Varela, F. (1996). Identity without substance. Interview with F. Varela, Paris, March 11, 1996. In C. O. Scharmer (ed.), Crafting Theories: Leading Organisational Thought: 21 Dialogue-Interviews on Organisation Studies, Strategy, Leadership, & Controlling in the 21st Century (Vol. I), 270–289. Unpublished Project Report, Cambridge, MA.
Wagner, H. R. (1983). Phenomenology of Consciousness and Sociology of the Life-World: An Introductory Study, Edmonton, Canada: The University of Alberta Press.
Walter, F., Cole, M. S., van der Vegt, G. S., Rubin, R. S., & Bommer, W. H. (2012). Emotion recognition and emergent leadership: unraveling mediating mechanism and boundary conditions, The Leadership Quarterly 23(5): 977–991. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2012.06.007
Wang, D.-S. & Hsieh, C.-C. (2013). The effect of authentic leadership on employee trust and employee engagement, Social Behaviour and Personality 41(4): 613–624. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2013.41.4.613
Wu, C.-H., Parker, S. K., & de Jong, J. P. J. (2014). Need for cognition as an antecedent of individual innovation behavior, Journal of Management 40(6): 1501–1510. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0149206311429862
Yiannis, G. & Griffits, D. S. (2002). Emotion, learning and organizing, The Learning Organization 9(5): 214–221. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09696470210442169
Zineldin, M. (2017). Transformational leadership behavior, emotions, and outcomes: Health psychology perspective in the workplace, Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health 32(1): 14–25. doi: 10.1080/15555240.2016.1273782
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2020 Author and Journal
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The Copyright Holder of this Journal is the authors and the Journal. This Journal gives Open Access with CreativeCommons license CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0.
You can download all the content of the Journal and share it with others as long as you credit the authors and the journal, but you can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.
More specifically this license means that you – authors and users – may:
Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form as long as you follow the license terms. The freedom to share includes parallel publishing on authors’ own website and in institutional repositories or in ResearchGate after publication in NJWLS, or if you want to reprint your article as part of publication of a PhD-thesis or a dissertation
You may share under these terms:
Attribution — You must give appropriate credit and provide a link to the license. Appropriate credit implies that you provide the name of the creator and attribution parties, a copyright notice, a license notice, a disclaimer notice, and a link to the material. The link used should be its DOI.
NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes. A commercial use is one primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary compensation.
NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material. Merely changing the format never creates a derivative.
Exceptions to the license terms may be granted
If you want to use content in the Journal in another way then described by this license, you must contact the licensor and ask for permission. Contact Bo Carstens at firstname.lastname@example.org. Exceptions are always given for specific purposes and specific content only.
The Journal is listed as a blue journal in Sherpa/Romeo, meaning that the author can archive post-print ((ie final draft post-refereeing) and author can archive publisher's version/PDF.
Copyright of others
Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere.
All published material is archived at Roskilde University Library, Denmark, and transmitted to the Danish Royal Library in conformity with the Danish rules of legal deposit.
We do not screen articles for plagiarism. It is the responsibility of the authors to make sure they do not plagiate.