Leadership and solidarity behaviour: consensus in perception of employees within teams

Karin Sanders, Birgit Schyns

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: This study focuses on the relationship between cohesion, consensus in the perception of leadership style of the supervisor within teams and solidarity behaviour of employees towards their supervisor (vertical solidarity behaviour) and towards other team members (horizontal solidarity behaviour).

    Design/methodology/approach: According to the self‐categorisation theory, which elaborates on the social identity theory, hypotheses for the relationship between consensus in perception within teams, cohesiveness within the teams and vertical and horizontal solidarity behaviour of employees were formulated. The hypotheses were tested in a study with 193 employees within 35 teams in a Dutch Ministry.

    Findings: As expected, consensus in leaders' perception and cohesiveness within the team were positively related for transformational leadership style. Results from multi‐level analyses showed, as expected, a positive relationship between cohesiveness and horizontal solidarity behaviour. For vertical solidarity behaviour an interaction effect was found: the relationship between cohesiveness and vertical solidarity behaviour is positive if employees perceive their supervisor as high transformational, but is slightly negative if employees perceive their supervisor as low transformational.

    Research limitations/implications: The finding that consensus in transformational leader's perception within teams is related to the cohesiveness of a team support the self‐categorization theory. On the other hand cohesiveness is only related to vertical solidarity behaviour when the supervisor is perceived as high transformational.

    Originality/value: The different results mean that it make sense to distinguish between horizontal and vertical solidarity behaviour. In addition, they show the impact of consensus in the perception of leadership style on cohesion.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)538-556
    JournalPersonnel review
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    • METIS-233276


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