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Durham University

Research & business

Research lectures, seminars and events

The events listed in this area are research seminars, workshops and lectures hosted by Durham University departments and research institutes. If you are not a member of the University, but  wish to enquire about attending one of the events please contact the organiser or host department.


Dr Chia-Huei Wu (LSE): The role of leader support in facilitating proactive work behaviour: A perspective from attachment theory

25th October 2017, 12:45 to 13:45, Room 452, Durham University Business School

Researchers have proposed that leader support helps employees behave proactively at work.

Leader support can facilitate the opportunities for employees to bring about change, as well as their motivation to do so. Nevertheless, empirical studies have shown mixed effects of leader support on employees’ proactive behaviour. In this study, to reconcile the inconsistent findings on the impact of leader support on employees’ proactive behaviour, the authors consider the content, mediating mechanisms, and boundary conditions of leader support in shaping employees’ proactive behaviour. Based on attachment theory, the authors propose that secure-base support from leaders (support in the form of leader availability, encouragement and non-interference) positively predicts employees’ proactive work behaviour by increasing their role breadth self-efficacy and autonomous motivation. These hypotheses are supported in an online-survey sample from Unite State (n = 138) and a sample from a large gas and oil company in China (n = 212). The authors further propose that the beneficial effects of secure-base support from leaders are more prominent for individuals with lower attachment security. This hypothesis was also supported: individuals high in attachment anxiety especially benefited from leader secure-base support in terms of its effect on role breadth self-efficacy; whereas those who are high in attachment avoidance especially benefited from leader secure-base support in terms of its effect on autonomous motivation. Our study helps explain how leaders’ support motivates employees’ proactive behaviour, particularly for those individuals who have lower attachment security.

In this seminar, Dr Wu will also introduce his following studies on leadership and employees' proactivity.

About the Speaker
Dr Chia-Huei Wui is an Assistant Professor of Management at LSE. His research in organisational behaviour focuses on proactive behaviour, personality development, work design and employees' subjective well-being. His work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, including Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, and Journal of Management among others. He has also contributed chapters to books, including The Oxford Handbook of Leadership and Organizations, The Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship, Advances in Positive Organizational Psychology and Advances in Global Leadership. He is an editorial board member for Human Relations, Journal of Business and Psychology and Journal of Business Research. Dr Wu obtained his PhD in organizational behaviour from the University of Western Australia, MPhil in work psychology from the University of Sheffield, and MSc. and BSc. in psychology from the National Taiwan University.

Seminar sponsored by the International Centre for Leadership and Followership.

12.45-13.45 Seminar
13.45-14.00 Q&A

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