We theorized and tested how both team-assessed leader group prototypicality (i.e., followers' collective perceptions of the extent to which a leader is viewed as being representative of the group prototype) and leader-team congruence on this factor relate to leader identity threat. We also proposed that leader identity threat, subsequently, negatively affects both leadership effectiveness and team performance, and that leader perceptions of organizational support mitigate the relationships. Using a multi-source and time-lagged survey design to collect data at the leader (team) level from 402 group members and their 90 group leaders, the results generally support our research hypotheses. For example, both team-assessed leader group prototypicality and leader-team congruence on leader group prototypicality negatively relate to leader identity threat. In addition, the effects of leader identity threat on leadership effectiveness and team performance were weaker when leader perceptions of organizational support were higher rather than lower.
- Identity threat
- Leader group prototypicality
- Leadership effectiveness
- Perceived organizational support
- Social identity