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Envious bosses: how leader envy mediates the relationship between subordinate power and leader-member exchange

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posted on 11.06.2021, 20:54 by Daniel J. Quintal-Curcic
Due to the nature of the leadership role, leaders are often assumed to have more power than their subordinates. However, the concept of power is multifaceted, and subordinates may possess power based on their likeability, knowledge, or influence in the organization. This research examines the effect of subordinate power on leader-follower relationships. Specifically, I focus on leaders’ perception of subordinate power, how these perceptions affect the quality of the relationship they develop with subordinates, and propose that envy may act as a mediator. The results of a time-lagged study of 140 leaders suggest that when leaders perceive their subordinates have power, they are more likely to engage in a high-quality relationship. Further, envy mediates the relationship between power andrelationship quality, but only when subordinates are perceived to have referent or global power. The results are discussed in terms of the implications for both leaders and subordinates





Master of Management Science


Management (TRSM)

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


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Management (TRSM) (Theses)