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Rewarding and sustainable healthpromoting leadership

ReSuLead (Rewarding and sustainable health-promoting leadership) is a joint ven-ture of three research teams from Leipzig (Germany), Västerås (Sweden), and Tampere (Finland). The aim of this project is to examine the role of leadership in relation to employees' psychological health and wellbeing. Leadership is considered as a social process which is affected not only by individual behaviour but also by situational, teamrelated, and organizational characteristics. The research design includes a longitudinal study with three waves, as well as the process and summative evaluation of an intervention aiming at developing health-promoting leadership. Longitudinal analyses support that leadership behavior has an impact on health and wellbeing of followers, especially health-promoting leadership, and transformational leadership. But also a number of reverse relationships -that is, employees with better health and wellbeing provide more positive leadership ratings- could be observed. An indirect relationship between leaders' behavior and health and wellbeing via task characteristics could be found. The ReSuLead intervention could be shown to have positive effects on indicators of health and wellbeing, as well as a more positive evaluation of leaders in Germany. Comparing the country samples it was observed that employees in Germany rated their leaders significantly lower in the constructive leader behaviors as compared to the other countries. Differences between men and women (i.e. women reported more stressors, and fewer resources, as well as a worse state of health) were more pronounced in the German and the Finnish sample. Overall, we conclude that increasing resources and reducing stressors at work is the most promising avenue of health promotion. Lower level leaders seem to have only limited control to change working conditions of their followers, but constructive leadership does have positive effects on team climate as well as personal resources. To make the results of this european joint project more widely accessible to the German public, the authors presented a comprehensive German summary of the consortium report.

Bibliographic information

T. Rigotti, T. Holstad, G. Mohr, C. Stempel, E. Hansen, C. Loeb, K. Isaksson, K. Otto, U. Kinnunen, K. Perko:
Rewarding and sustainable healthpromoting leadership. 
1. edition. Dortmund: Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin 2014. pages 249, Project number: F 2199, PDF file

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Research Project

Project numberF 2199 StatusCompleted Project Rewarding and Sustainable health-promoting Leadership - RE-SU-LEAD

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