The power of benevolence: The joint effects of contrasting leader values on follower-focused leadership and its outcomes

Noga Sverdlik, Shaul Oreg, Yair Berson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The most frequent approach to studying leader attributes has been to demonstrate links between separate dispositions (e.g., traits and values) and leader behavior. Yet, both in the field of personality overall and the field of personal values in particular, there is a growing understanding that to more realistically capture the effects of personality, one needs to study the joint effects of personality dimensions, rather than their separate ones. In the present studies, we demonstrate how a combination of values predicts leaders' follower-focused behavior and its outcomes. Specifically, we demonstrate that the combination of leaders' power and benevolence values predicts leaders' follower-focused leadership and follower outcomes. In Study 1, the interaction between 75 school leaders' power and benevolence predicted followers' reports (N = 293) of their leaders' follower-focused leadership, such that the relationship between power values and follower-focused leadership was positive and significant only among leaders high on benevolence values. We replicated this effect in Study 2 with data collected in two points in time, from 76 principals and 494 of their subordinates. We also demonstrated the indirect effect of principals' values, through their follower-focused leadership, on teachers' satisfaction and nurturing behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1001-1014
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • follower-focused leadership
  • individualized consideration
  • leader personality
  • paradox theory
  • personal values
  • school principals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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