Managerial Discretion and Constraints: A Bounded Leadership Model

Open access

Abstract

Purpose: We propose and test a new leadership model. Our model is an extension of the leaderplex model which proposes that leader cognitive and social complexities are linked with leader effectiveness indirectly, in a mediation scheme, through behavioral complexity. We enhance the leader-plex model with a leader’s degree of managerial discretion as the moderator of the links in this mediation format.

Methodology: We test our model with a moderated mediation approach (Baron-Kenny four-step procedure and Preacher-Hayes bootstrapping methods).

Findings: We use results of interviews with top leaders in Poland and demonstrate that a leader’s managerial discretion is a moderator affecting the mediation scheme assumed in the leaderplex model.

Limitations: The sample size is only 29 leaders. To preserve the respondents’ anonymity, their opinions were evaluated by only one researcher who interviewed them directly. The results may be country specific (Poland).

Originality: We define new boundary conditions for the leaderplex model by showing importance of a leader’s real position (managerial discretion) in an organization. Specifically, we show that the nature of the relationships between the variables of interest will change when a leader operates in one physical environment (e.g., high managerial discretion) rather than another (e.g., low managerial discretion).

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