Sparr, Jennifer L.
When Do Team Members Share the Lead? : a Social Network Analysis
2022-04-25, Tillmann, Sebastian, Hüttermann, Hendrik, Sparr, Jennifer L., Boerner, Sabine
Shared leadership is not only about individual team members engaging in leadership, but also about team members adopting the complementary follower role. However, the question of what enables team members to fill in each of these roles and the corresponding influence of formal leaders have remained largely unexplored. Using a social network perspective allows us to predict both leadership and followership ties between team members based on considerations of implicit leadership and followership theories. From this social information processing perspective, we identify individual team members’ political skill and the formal leaders’ empowering leadership as important qualities that facilitate the adoption of each the leader and the follower role. Results from a social network analysis in a R&D department with 305 realized leadership ties support most of our hypotheses.
The Critical Role of Moderators in Leader Sensegiving : A Literature Review
2015, Kraft, Anna, Sparr, Jennifer L., Peus, Claudia
Change initiatives entail a high risk of failure if leaders cannot convey the underlying sense to employees. However, the effectiveness of leader sensegiving depends on external as well as internal factors. Moderators of the leader sensegiving process represent a critical but underexplored factor of sensegiving during organizational change. We derive a theoretical model of contextual factors by reviewing existing sensegiving literature. Drawing on information-processing theory, we highlight the influence of crucial moderators at the organizational and individual levels during two phases of the sensegiving process: in the first phase, moderators affect how leaders set up sensegiving; in the second phase, moderators affect how employees engage in sensemaking. The moderators in the first phase are (a) schema consistency at the organizational level and (b) legitimate power at the individual level. During the second phase, the moderating effect of (c) schema consistency at the organizational level and (d) employee emotions at the individual level is explored. We contribute to literature by demonstrating how moderators affect sensegiving during organizational change at two phases of the process and providing a multi-level perspective by distinguishing between moderators at the organizational and individual levels.
Fairness perceptions of supervisor feedback, LMX, and employee well-being at work
2008, Sparr, Jennifer L., Sonnentag, Sabine
In a field study we examined employees fairness perceptions of supervisor feedback and their relationships with employee well-being (job depression, job anxiety, job satisfaction, turnover intentions) and perceived control at work. We hypothesized quality of leader member exchange (LMX) to partially mediate these relationships. We measured the above constructs in two different industries at two separate times over an interval of 6 months. Results from hierarchical regression analyses based on data from 99 employees supported our hypotheses. Perceived fairness of feedback was positively related to job satisfaction and feelings of control at work, and negatively related to job depression and turnover intentions. These relationships were mediated by the quality of LMX. Job anxiety was neither related to fairness perceptions of feedback nor to LMX, but positively related to frequency of negative feedback from the supervisor. Our research contributes to both, the feedback and leadership fairness literature, in connecting fairness of leader feedback to LMX and important work-related outcomes.
Giving and Making Sense About Change : The Back and Forth Between Leaders and Employees
2018-02, Kraft, Anna, Sparr, Jennifer L., Peus, Claudia
Leader sensegiving—the attempt to affect employees’ sensemaking—is a crucial leadership activity during organizational change. Yet, it is unclear how employee sensemaking and leader sensegiving vary across different change phases: Although addressing employee needs is key for successful sensegiving, current literature remains vague about how leaders account for different employee needs over the course of a change process.
Data were obtained from an interview study with organizational members who underwent episodic change. To integrate both perspectives, interviews were conducted with leaders (n = 26) and employees (n = 29). Data were analyzed using template analysis.
Our analysis revealed and confirmed different sensemaking needs and respective sensegiving foci in each change phase. During exploration, leaders respond to employees’ need for reassurance with receptive sensegiving. During preparation, leaders show participative sensegiving to answer employees’ need for orientation. During implementation, leaders’ compensating sensegiving responds to employees’ need for balance. During evaluation, leaders’ evaluative sensegiving accounts for employees’ need for acknowledgment. Each sensegiving mode is associated with a specific set of discursive and symbolic strategies in each phase.
This study provides a systematic framework on how leaders can respond successfully to employee sensemaking needs in each change phase using different discursive and symbolic sensegiving strategies.
The study enhances our understanding of development in sensemaking and sensegiving by outlining the specific interlocking between both processes within the different change phases. Furthermore, it outlines how the relevant sensegiving modes can be obtained through particular symbolic and discursive strategies.
Feedback environment and well-being at work : The mediating role of personal control and feelings of helplessness
2008, Sparr, Jennifer L., Sonnentag, Sabine
This study examines employees' personal control and feelings of helplessness at work as partial mediators of the relationship between the supervisor-employee feedback environment and well-being (job satisfaction, job depression, job anxiety, turnover intentions) at work. Findings are reported from a cross-sectional field study with 345 participants from three different industries. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that feedback environment was positively related to job satisfaction, personal control over information and decisions, and was negatively related to helplessness, job depression, and turnover intentions. Furthermore, personal control partially mediated the
relationships between feedback environment and job satisfaction as well as job depression. Helplessness partially mediated the relationships between feedback environment and job depression, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions. This study adds to the literature on feedback environment in highlighting the importance of the supervisor-employee feedback environment for well-being at work and introducing personal control and helplessness as mediating variables.
How Leaders Can Get the Most Out of Formal Training : The Significance of Feedback-Seeking and Reflection as Informal Learning Behaviors
2017-03, Sparr, Jennifer L., Knipfer, Kristin, Willems, Friederike
An important area for human resource development (HRD) research is the interrelated nature of different types of workplace learning. In our research, we studied feedback-seeking and reflection as informal, proactive learning behaviors in the transfer of formal training in the context of global leadership development programs. Thus, we add to our knowledge about how learners can transfer and extend formal training into informal workplace learning. In a partially mixed-method field investigation, we first explored triggers and characteristics, as well as the outcomes of feedback-seeking and reflection. Second, we investigated their predictive and mutually reinforcing effect on transfer of training. Integrated results from a qualitative interview study (Study 1, n = 15) and a quantitative survey study (Study 2, n = 60, comprising n = 15 participants from Study 1 and n = 45 additional participants) support the hypotheses that feedback-seeking and reflection are both relevant facilitators of transfer of training. In addition, Study 2 reveals that transfer of training was highest when both feedback-seeking and reflection were high, supporting our interaction hypothesis. This research extends the understanding of the importance of informal learning activities following formal training. Based on our results, we advocate that learners in their posttraining phase be engaged in both feedback-seeking and reflection to enhance their transfer of training. Further implications for human resource development research and practice are discussed.
Führend Wissen schaffen : Mehr als Einzelmaßnahmen ; Zur Bedeutung professioneller Führung
2012, Peus, Claudia, Sparr, Jennifer L., Knipfer, Kristin, Schmid, Ellen
Die Vorbereitung und Weiterbildung in den Bereichen Führung und Management in deutschen Wissenschaftsorganisationen ist meist noch wenig entwickelt. Die Professur für Forschungs- und Wissenschaftsmanagement an der Technischen Universität München (TUM) erforscht, wie Hochschulen und Forschungseinrichtungen noch effizienter und innovativer arbeiten können. Eines der zentralen Themen ist dabei das Thema Führung. Die gewonnenen Erkenntnisse fließen direkt in die praktische Gestaltung und Weiterentwicklung von Führungs- und Managementkompetenzen ein - basierend auf drei Säulen: wissenschaftliche Evidenz, spezifischer Bedarf der Zielgruppen und Ausrichtung auf das strategische Leitbild.
Feedback Environment, Feedback Fairness, and the Feedback Intervention Theory
2008, Sparr, Jennifer L.
Based on the feedback intervention theory (Kluger & DeNisi, 1996) and the assumption that feedback affects human needs for belonging, self-esteem, control, and meaning, this dissertation addresses the question of how, why, and under what conditions beneficial feedback is positively related to well-being and desirable behavior at work. In this dissertation, beneficial feedback is operationalized as a good feedback environment as defined by Steelman, Levy, and Snell (2004) and as feedback that is perceived as fair (in line with organizational justice research; Colquitt, 2001). The focus lies on feedback that supervisors provide to their employees about the employees performance.
In Study 1, the relationship between the feedback environment and well-being at work was examined. Personal control and feelings of helplessness were studied as mediators of this relationship. In a field study, 345 employees from three different industries answered a questionnaire. Results from hierarchical regression analyses showed that the feedback environment is positively related to the indicator job satisfaction, and negatively related to job depression and turnover intentions. The relationships between feedback environment and job satisfaction, as well as job depression, were partially mediated by personal control and feelings of helplessness. Additionally, feelings of helplessness mediated the relationship between the feedback environment and turnover intentions.
Study 2 examined the relationships between perceived feedback fairness and well-being as well as personal control at work. Leader-member exchange quality was focused upon as a mediating mechanism. Ninety-nine employees from two different industries answered two questionnaires approximately half a year apart. Results from hierarchical regression analyses revealed that perceived feedback fairness was positively related to the indicators job satisfaction and personal control, and negatively related to job depression and turnover intentions. Leader-member exchange mediated these relationships.
In Study 3, the relationship between perceived feedback fairness and personal initiative as well as innovative behavior was studied. Based on the feedback intervention theory, task-detail focus after feedback reception was examined as moderator of these relationships. Data were gathered from 126 employees from different industries. Performance data were assessed with external-source ratings. In order to account for dependencies in the data due to the team structure, hierarchical linear models were calculated with random intercepts and fixed effects. Results of these models show that the relationship between perceived feedback fairness and personal initiative and innovative behavior was dependent on task-detail focus of the recipient. If feedback recipients think a lot about task details after feedback reception there is a positive relationship between feedback fairness and personal initiative. If they think rarely about task details after feedback reception there is a negative relationship between feedback fairness and personal initiative as well as innovative behavior.
These three studies show that beneficial feedback is positively related to well-being at work and under certain conditions also with positive behavior at work. These relationships can be explained by the resources beneficial feedback provides to feedback recipients, including control perceptions or high-quality exchange relationships. I argue beneficial feedback thus on the one side satisfies self-relevant needs and on the other side fosters the willingness of the feedback recipient to reciprocate the feedback with positive behavior, as social-exchange theory (Blau, 1964) predicts. These considerations are integrated into feedback intervention theory. Additionally, the necessity of combining feedback with goals that direct the attention to the specific task is discussed. This dissertation contributes to the feedback literature in disclosing the relevance of feedback for well-being and behavior of the employees, and in identifying mediating and moderating mechanisms. The present data indicate that a systematic combination of feedback and fairness is a promising line of research that helps to better understand the complex relationships between feedback and positive outcomes at work. As practical implication based on the present results I suggest that informing supervisors about the relevance of fairness and contextual characteristics of feedback delivery, and training their feedback delivery skills, will have positive consequences for well-being and work behavior of the employees.